Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. odorata

Tea rose.  A climber with large, sweetly-scented, somewhat globular, semi-double, almost white, creamy-blush flowers in spring.  In my garden, although very productive, the flowers tend to blow very quickly.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888), Gore, Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863)].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced from the Fa Tree Nursery, Canton, China, in 1810.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.841/1843] and described as a tea-scented rose in the 1843 and 1845 catalogues.  This is presumably the rose referred to as odorata alba in some of Macarthur’s letters and invoices.  Rosa odorata was ticked in a copy of the Hort. Reg., October 1831.  Although this originally belonged to James Bowman, it is likely that this plant was grown by the extended Macarthur family earlier than 1843.


This rose is sometimes confused with Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. odoratissima which see.

Published Feb 10, 2010 - 03:45 PM | Last updated Sep 24, 2010 - 04:35 PM

The photograph shows a pale cream-coloured, very double rose with a pink-flushed centre.

Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. odorata | Author’s garden | Photo Colin Mills

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin
  • Rosa x odorata Sweet
  • Hume’s blush tea-scented China
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Rosa indica v. odorata 

Confidence level high