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Archduke Charles China Rose

I love all roses(OK, I admit it, if it blooms, I love it), however antique, old garden or heirloom roses are my favorites. And today my favorite old garden rose is Archduke Charles.

Archduke Charles is currently putting on a show in my garden and once the purple larkspur around it start blooming, it will be absolutely breathtaking.

I took these pictures this morning in an effort to show how pretty this rose is and to try and show the colors of the blooms. As you can see there are both light pinks and dark pinks. Unlike most flowers that fade to a lighter color, the blooms open light pink edged with darker pink and as they age they turn dark.

The small, mildly fragrant blooms are multicolored like this in cooler weather in the spring and fall, but are mostly dark pink in the heat of the summer. And yes, he keeps blooming right through the summer. While not as lush as the springtime bloom, it does continue blooming.

Archduke Charles is beautiful close up and at a distance as this next picture shows.

China roses are a class of antique roses that do especially well in southern gardens. The heat and humidity don’t seem to faze them at all. The ones I have grown have been absolutely disease free and require no more care than an average garden perennial.

In fact many of the China roses have been found at neglected home sites and graveyards all over the south still growing and blooming despite being long forgotten. That’s not to say that you should neglect your old garden roses, as they will certainly reward you for the little care they need.

My China roses retain many of their leaves throughout the winter and have very little winter damage. While hybrid teas require extensive pruning, old garden roses don’t. I simply remove the few branches that are winter damaged and that’s the extent of the pruning they need.

If you are looking to add roses to your southern garden, you can’t go wrong with choosing one of the many roses in the China class.

No one in my local area sells antique roses, so I have had to order each rose that I have planted. I have had great success with the roses I have ordered from Chamblee’s(that’s where my Archduke Charles came from) and I highly recommend them.


  • Daniel Browning, Jr. said:

    Archduke Charles is definitely one of the most beautiful type of roses I’ve ever seen. Do you know where I can buy this type of rose?

  • Donna (author) said:

    As I mentioned at the end of the article I love Chamblees as a source for old garden roses.

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