Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: China Rose, Green Rose
Rosa viridiflora 'Green Rose'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: viridiflora (vir-id-uh-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Green Rose
Additional cultivar information: (aka Bengale Fleurs Vertes, Green Calyx, Monstrosa)
Hybridized by Bambridge & Harrison; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1830

Synonym:Rosa chinensis var. viridiflora

» View all varieties of Roses

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:
White (w)

Bloom Shape:
Tea shaped

Flower Fragrance:
No fragrance
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Patent Information:

Other Details:
Resistant to black spot
Resistant to mildew
Resistant to rust

Pruning Instructions:
Avoid pruning

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
By grafting

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By Paulwhwest
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa viridiflora by Paulwhwest

By greenorchid
Thumbnail #2 of Rosa viridiflora by greenorchid

By FLSuncoast
Thumbnail #3 of Rosa viridiflora by FLSuncoast

By Baa
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By Kathleen
Thumbnail #5 of Rosa viridiflora by Kathleen


11 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Bloomfly22 On Jan 2, 2012, Bloomfly22 from Palmdale, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm not surprised to hear that you have trouble finding a plant, most notably because the only ways to produce more plants is to graft or take cuttings. The lack of reproductive parts baffles me, and I haven't been able to locate one either. I like to sniff them when I do see one, but they are unappreciated, and therefore not easy to come by. I have had a positive experience when I see one though.

Negative alanabug On Jan 2, 2012, alanabug from Bishopville, SC wrote:

i wish to recieve a cutting or something from this plant can't seem to find any where selling so if some one could please provide one email at

Positive Jasminkay On Dec 3, 2010, Jasminkay from Newcastle
Australia wrote:

Hi! I live in the hunter region NSW of Australia. My father has the green rose In his front yard, he has had plant specialists and many others try to graft it with many failed attempts! Any information on how to get this unique plant to grow from a clipping would be very helpful! The plant itself has been there for over 100 years, it was the previous familys family flower. Any help or tips will be extremely helpful :-)

Positive Ficurinia On Nov 21, 2008, Ficurinia from Portland, OR wrote:

In order for this not to get lost out in my garden, I planted it near our patio in a large planter. I love to surprise people with it when I ask them to lean over and look closer. Then I ask them to smell the rose and they are always shocked at the pepper scent. It is a favorite and a garden visitor favorite.

Positive lovemyiris On Jul 8, 2008, lovemyiris from Huntley, MT (Zone 4b) wrote:

My ancestors brought this rose around the Cape to the Big Sur coast of California in the 1800s. It has since been kept alive through cuttings that many of our family members have started.

I grew this in the Panhandle of Nebraska for a few years then lost it.

I got another start of it from my brother when I moved to South Central Montana and have had it successfully growing outside year round for about 5 years now. We're in Zone 4/5. I do wrap it with burlap and cover it with a large pot during winter.

Positive sandiegojames On Nov 18, 2007, sandiegojames from San Diego, CA wrote:

It's interesting to read the other posts on this plant, particularly about how many have moved this plant when they relocated, or that the plant was a family heirloom. That's pretty much my story. Growing up I was a rose geek, growing over 100 varieties in Los Angeles County. When I relocated to San Diego, this was the only rose from my family garden that I brought with me, and currently it's the only rose in my garden.

Looking at the plant, it's maybe a little difficult to see why it generates such an attachment. The flowers aren't exactly spectacularly, though incredibly interesting when yo consider that this plant is a rose. For me the plant produces large sprays of buds that open to the leaf-green "flowers" that are usually tinged with red. These blossoms technically aren't flowers at all. When the sepals open, what's inside are more sepals, followed by yet more sepals--no petals, no stamens, no pistils. The whole floral assembly, lacking the usual reproductive apparatus of a typical flower, is absolutely sterile and totally incapable of producing more roses by seed. Left alone in nature it would die out forever once the last plant would pass on. This plant was a greenhouse mutation in the 19th century, and lives today only through the kindness of humans who perpetuate the plant through cuttings and grafts.

In the garden, the plant sees an occasional bit of mildew here in coastal San Diego, but nothing like many other roses. Otherwise the leaves are shiny, bright green, and the plant is a vigorous but well-behaved 5-footer. It's currently living in a raised bed with a fairly sandy and often dry soil. Compared to growing in heavy clay in a hot valley area of LA County, the plant seems to be as happy as ever. I hope to have the plant for another 35 years!

Positive Silphion On Apr 7, 2006, Silphion from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Though not for some, there is more than just rairity to find in the Green China Rose. Here in Z8b I have had blooms that not only lasted into December but new buds as late as November! There is somthing to be said about the folage as well; new growth has that slightly reddish tint that is found in the occasional bloom and is as close to evergreen as any Rose could hope to be. The only slight downside is that, of the roses in my yard ('Mermaid' a heritage climber, a Pink Damask, & a Yellow Hybrid-T) my China Green's seem to attract the most aphids of the bunch...not to worry, the pesky blighters never seem to bother this "trooper" of a rose! :)

Positive FoxFire0365 On Mar 16, 2006, FoxFire0365 from Carrollton, GA wrote:

I have one specimen of this plant. My father dug it up from my great great grandfather's home place, somewhere around the year, 1953. He planted it at our home, in a very shady area, where it didn't do very well, but survived. When my mother moved from our home, after dad died, I took the plant (1999) to my farm and planted in a sunny area, where it "took off". Since then, it has survived a house fire, and re-potting again, where it is growing vigorously. I'm about to plant it in the soil, again, at my new home on the same property. I've never seen another like it anywhere in this area, which is just west of Atlanta. I'm also about to try propigating by cuttings, to spread it throughout my family. The blooms are green, but as they age, develop a pale pink center.

Positive MotherNature4 On Oct 3, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have been growing this rose for 55 years, and got the original cuttings from my grandmother who had been growing them for just as long. This is an heirloom in our family. It never fails to win a blue ribbon when entered in a flower show.

Positive a5thbrat On May 14, 2005, a5thbrat from Sebastopol, CA wrote:

My "verdigris" rose blooms almost constantly in a 10 gallon pot. Original plant was rescued from a vacant lot where an old Victorian house had burned down in Santa Rosa CA.

I have had much success propagating by cuttings (not grafts) but they must be kept out of the sun and kept damp! Best time: very early spring.

I have read that this rose had a designation of "X" either "15" or "20" (e.g., "X-15") back in Victorian days and that it is definitely Chinese.

Positive Roselaine On Aug 22, 2002, Roselaine from North Vancouver, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

The most notable quality of this particular shrub is the unusual bloom, if you want to call it that (flowers formed by a multitude of green and brown bracts with no petals in the accepted sense, and with age, they turn to a purplish-brown)...very rare!

Positive FLSuncoast On Aug 21, 2002, FLSuncoast from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

It is the only true green rose and is more of a conversation piece than a true rose. It does work quite well in floral arrangements. Flowers have abundant sepals but no petals. The parentage of the 'Green Rose' is not known. Some think it is a sport of Old Blush. This rose was introduced into England in 1833. It is disease resistant and hardy. Excessive prunning may cause it not to bloom. It prefers full sun, but tolerates poor soils and some shade. Remove dead wood as required and trim it to shape annually.

Neutral Baa On Oct 4, 2001, Baa wrote:

Synonyms include Rosa viridiflora and R. chinensis 'Viridiflora'

Not to everybody's taste.

Upright shrub with dark green, shiny, toothed, ovate leaves. Bears double, thin petalled, flowers which are truely green with some red splashes. Has a peppery scent.

Has flowered here from early June and is still going strong in October.


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

Calistoga, California
Desert View Highlands, California
La Puente, California
San Diego, California
Sebastopol, California
Tulare, California
Vincent, California
Bartow, Florida
Carrollton, Georgia
Kalona, Iowa
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Huntley, Montana
Somerset, New Jersey
Panama, New York
Grants Pass, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
San Antonio, Texas
Wells, Texas

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