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 multiflora Thunb. var. rubra

The Gardeners’ Chronicle of 1841 describes Rosa multiflora rubra growing at Woods and Son’s Nursery at Marsfield as a small, compact bush with rose-coloured flowers, clearly a dwarf form.  While possible that both of the ‘multiflora’ roses in the catalogues are dwarf roses, white and pink in colour, they are more likely to be climbers.  [See the note on Shepherd’s Nursery in Rosa multiflora Thunb. var. alba].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘We believe that the country owes the introduction of this rose from China to Mr. Evans, of the East-India House, by whom it has been liberally distributed; and its flowering has been expected with some degree of interest, as its blossoms were supposed to have been yellow; whence the name of Rosa flava in Donn’s Catalogue, if we do not mistake.  There can be no doubt of its being a double coloured variety of the Rosa multiflora of Japan; with Thunberg’s description of which, in his Flora Japonica, it corresponds in every respect, except that he says the flowers are white.’  [BM t.1059/1807.] 

Paul describes the ‘Crimson Rambler’ as probably originating from the old ‘Multiflora Rubra’, introduced into England in 1804.  [Paul (1848, 1888)].  This latter, a climber with double pink flowers, was figured in the Botanical Register [BR f.425/1819].  In an article on Paul’s Nursery in The Gardeners’ Chronicle of 1841 it is noted that the plants are tender and will only succeed against a wall with a good aspect.  Rivers notes that large plants of Rubra, the Old Red, may sometimes be seen in England, seldom putting forth flowers, due to severe pruning or to frost killing the small spray-like shots which produce the blooms.  [Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.851/1843].


Published Feb 10, 2010 - 05:23 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 05:44 PM

Figured are 3- to 7-leaflet pinnate leaves and small, very double, deep pink roses.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine  f.1059, 1807.

Rosa multiflora Thunb. var. rubra | BM t.1059/1807 | BHL

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

China or Japan

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Rosa multiflora rubra 

Confidence level high