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PlantFiles: Species Rose, Incense Rose
Rosa primula

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)

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3 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

Bloom Color:
Medium yellow (my)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Patent Information:

Other Details:
Stems are moderately thorny

Pruning Instructions:
Avoid pruning

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
By grafting
By simple layering
By air layering
By tip layering

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Oct 8, 2012, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An easy, beautiful plant that should be far more commonly grown. Unlike most roses, its mature habit is graceful year-round. The tough, disease-resistant foliage does not get black spot. This species tolerates poor stony soil.

Named for the soft yellow of the flowers, the color of species Primula vulgaris. The earliest of roses to bloom, it even beats Rosa hugonis by a few days, which it somewhat resembles.

Both flowers and fine-textured, ferny foliage release a uniquely delicious sweet scent in humid air (or when crushed), described as myrtle-scented, though to my nose more like crushed Lindera or Sassafras leaves, and not at all like incense. Though it only blooms once, for about two weeks, it contributes to the garden year round.

Suckers appear only tight in to the base, it does not spread into a wide thicket even after many years.

This is not a polyantha rose.

Positive watersedge On Mar 17, 2007, watersedge from Northeast Harbor, ME wrote:

Roas primula has a pleasant and simple yellow flower. The foliage is delicate and small giving this plant a very mounded and soft appearance when not in bloom. It does sucker so don't plant it too closely to anything that grows smaller than it. This is a single bloom rose.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Roslindale, Massachusetts
Rufus, Oregon
Madison, Wisconsin

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