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Species Rose, Primrose Rose

Rosa primula

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)
Additional cultivar information:(aka The Incense Rose)
Registered or introduced: 1890
Synonym:Rosa ecae subsp. primula
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6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:

Medium yellow (my)

Bloom Shape:


Flower Fragrance:

Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer




Patent Information:


Other Details:

Stems are moderately thorny

Sets hips

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Rufus, Oregon

Madison, Wisconsin

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 11, 2015, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Discovered by Frank N. Meyer (circa 1890).


On Jun 6, 2015, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

Hardy and long-lived in zone 3, Calgary, AB, Canada.


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 a year, for about two weeks, it contributes to the garden year round.

Su... read more


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.