Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bourbon Rose
Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Zephirine Drouhin
Additional cultivar information: (aka Charles Bonnet, The Thornless Rose, Zphirine Drouhin)
Hybridized by Bizot; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1868

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

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

Bloom Color:
Deep pink (dp)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Blooms repeatedly

Trained to climb

Patent Information:

Other Details:
Susceptible to black spot
Stems are nearly thornless

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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21 positives
11 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive pegster57 On May 29, 2013, pegster57 from Charlottesville, VA wrote:

I am growing this rose in the central Va piedmont where we have tons of humidity and it is a blooming MONSTER. It was slow to take off partly due to the deer nibbling at it, but now at 8' tall it is unstoppable. I had intended to weave it through a fence but there is no way it will slow down and be prissy like that. It is covered with blooms and scents the entire garden area. It is in its third year. I will post a picture of this beast.

Positive suncityanne On Apr 12, 2013, suncityanne wrote:

Does really well in the heat of the Las Vegas valley. Gets morning sun and late afternoon shade. Is on a trellis against a west facing wall, but the east side of the house. Does get aphids. Have not seen blackspot here, but we are so dry that is not really a problem.

Positive mangoe On Jan 21, 2013, mangoe from Cloverly, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

If you don't mind the blandly green foliage and are OK with candy heart pink, this is a very good medium-sized climber. It is nicely scented, basically thornless, and resistant to pretty much everything. Even here in the Black Spot Capital of the USA it is only mildly troubled by it.

Positive stephenp On Dec 18, 2012, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Lovely plant when it flowers, but in the site where I keep it, it stays evergreen as it never goes below 0C.. not entirely sure that's good for a rose.. and waiting to see if it will die eventually.

Hope not though, it's got beautiful blooms and a great scent.

Positive Cocoa1904 On Feb 25, 2012, Cocoa1904 from Abilene, KS wrote:

Last sping (2011) I planted a small two-year old own root specimen. It took off almost immediately and gave a nice floral display in May. Very little rebloom occurred, which may have been due to the horrendously hot summer we endured, or perhaps to the partial shade situation. The foliage remained quite healthy without spraying (I picked off yellowing leaves as they occurred) and the plant is much bigger. I am looking forward to this spring's display.

Positive msheather On Jul 25, 2011, msheather from East Lansing, MI wrote:

Reading this whole thread on Zephrine, it seems like it doesn't want too much sun & heat or too much fertilizer. I adore mine- growing against a 4ft fence & getting am sun then shade then partial hot aft sun in Michigan. After 5 yrs is now @ 17 ft tall & would grow taller, except I have trained it over an arch by simply tying it where I want it to grow with cloth strips & now bungee cords because it's so big. It has some dieback of canes after our zone 5 winter. I just take care to cut out the dead canes from the bottom. Also, it wants to grow a lot of cross canes that would saw on each other, so I thin it out from the bottom in spring and shape the sides to enhance that vase-like shape people mention. i had the blackspot, but then I stopped fertilizing so much, kept the ground below religiously clean, and --here's the real secret, I think-- I spray with natural Neem oil a couple times in spring a few weeks apart as buds are forming. Mine blooms all of June, then stops, then reblooms towards fall a little. And it depends on the year too. I have it intertwined with dark purple clematis Jackmani & the clematis kicks in towards the end & its pretty awesome. Also, my neighbors all comment on the way the fragrance carries--they love it. ALSO TO WOTWITGREW IN MO--DID YOU PLANT ZEPH RIGHT WHERE YOUR NEW DAWN WAS?? THEN WHAT YOU HAVE IS ROSE DISEASE--YOU CAN NEVER PLANT A NEW ROSE WHERE AN OLD ONE GREW. Look it up in rose books for further info.

Positive Buttoneer On Jul 8, 2011, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Mine is about 7 feet tall on the north side of our rose arbor, which doesn't get a lot of sun. This is it's 3rd year and first year to bloom, absolutely gorgeous and the smell is magic. I read about it in the profile and now know that it won't bloom again until fall. I should have taken pictures. It is the perfect rose for the location. We tried Don Juan and not enough sun for it. Zepherine is very happy and we are well-pleased. It does have tiny spines on the small branches, though.

Positive Melrose77 On Jun 14, 2011, Melrose77 from Zeeland, MI wrote:

I have one planted on a trellis along the W. side of our brick house with hose irrigation. It is easily over 12 feet tall. I have to prune at least twice a year as it will easily overgrow the wall, which also has New Dawn intertwined amoung it. STUNNING spring dispaly & then nice sporadic bloom after that as I fertilize & amend the soil. No problems with black spot, but do spray for powdery mildew. WIth no thorns, it makes it very easy to prune & maintain.

Neutral Wowitgrew On Jun 7, 2011, Wowitgrew from Ballwin, MO wrote:

Everyone says what a great plant this is, and I must be doing something terribly wrong.
I had a "New Dawn" rose by my walkway, and it grew so large that kids were cutting themselves on the thorns when they passed, so I cut it down -- It broke my heart to do that!!!
Then I saw the "nearly thornless" comments about this rose so I bought it to replace my lovely old standard, but this rose WILL NOT grow! It gets about ten inches in height, with VERY small canes, and then stays that size all summer. It dies back in winter, and then grows ten inches again. It has done this for the past two years, and I am going to give up and plant the New Dawn again.
Least you think I am unable to grow roses, I have over 40 hybrid teas and 15 other rose varieties (old country roses, shrub, climbers, etc.) in my yard. Zephirine Drouhin gets the same love and attention that they all get!!!

What am I doing wrong????

Neutral amy53 On Apr 16, 2011, amy53 from Leesville, SC wrote:

I had planned to pull this out after its gorgeous bloom this year, as it is the only rose I have that gets black spot EVERY year. After prolific blooming in April-May, it begins dropping leaves....even if I spray it weekly for weeks. I am surprised to see that so many in this forum find it resistant to black spot. Mine gets a lot of sun from noon till evening. I live in a humid area, however (SC). It is so pretty and so full of blooms just now, that I do not have the heart to get rid of it. Maybe I will try one more year with the spraying, and pull it up in the fall if I am not successful.

Neutral mizar5 On Apr 9, 2011, mizar5 from Merritt Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have two Zephs and they bloom a little but not much.

I think part of the issue with the blooms is that I pruned too often at first trying to "train" the Zeph over an arbor.

I have since learned that they prefer to "fountain" naturally. Not sure what to believe, but I am trying just letting them grow. They don't look like the ones in the pictures on DG, I can tell you that! Mine are lanky canes with not many leaves and it seems like there's a lot of dead wood on them. Is this normal? I don't know. I remove the dead wood regularly hoping the rose will respond. I use Rosetone and deep water. I have other antique roses that do much better than Zeph has for me. I'm not giving up on this rose yet, though!

Positive debles On May 26, 2010, debles from Tulsa, OK wrote:

Love this rose!
I had one planted in my back yard along a tall fence that never did much and eventually died.
However, I have two large clumps of them in my front yard that amaze us every year with beauty and fragrance.
I'm sure I probably got them from difference sources, but pretty much neglected both of them over the years.
I do cut them back so they don't dangle all over. Hubby complains if they whip him when he mows.

Gorgeous display in spring and then not much again until fall. The fall blooming is much lighter than spring though. Mine bloom about the same time as the iris in the same bed bloom. Very pretty.
We've let a strong, tall pecan seedling grow in the center of the bed though, so I will eventually have to move my beloved roses or risk too much shade.

Sawpalm - When I first planted mine, I had a metal arbor in the center for them, but the hubby moved it when strong winds knocked it over.
Since then, mine have been growing without support. The canes are thick and strong and they don't really start bending over until they reach about 5 foot. I let some grow taller.
They never did really twine into a support, the cane's are too stiff. When I had an arbor there, I had to tie them to it.
You should be fine without a trellis.

Positive sawpalm On May 9, 2010, sawpalm from Winston Salem, NC wrote:

I have a Zephirine Drouhin and is it fantastic. After three years, it is the best ever. Question, does it have to be a climber? I need to move it if it does. When I bought it I was told that it would climb but didn't have to. Anyone have experience in growing it without a trellis?

Positive Violetsrblu On Apr 6, 2010, Violetsrblu from Bartlett, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

My Zephirine Drouhin has been a carefree delight for over 14 years. It pretty much gets neglected, but thrives beautifully in a partially shaded area of my backyard. I have never sprayed it, but it has never been plagued by diseases. I remember to fertilize it about every 2-3 years, yet it grows like a weed and puts out a huge, gorgeous display of flowers every May (we're knee deep in fallen petals afterwards) and keeps blooming lesser amounts of flowers till frost. I've seen it described as nearly thornless, but I have never encountered a single thorn yet. A few years ago in the month of October, a neighbor asked for a cutting from my rose and she did nothing more than stick it in the ground next to her fence and cover it with a clean, clear glass jar. In the following spring, she removed the jar. She later reported that this cutting grew 4 feet tall over the next few months. Unfortunately, she then adopted a puppy who chewed and dug it up.

Positive oldroselover On Mar 15, 2010, oldroselover from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

To Michael Madden in Texas: There are two good sources for this lovely old climber in Texas that I know of. The Antique Rose Emporium carries it through mail order and at their locations in Brenham and San Antonio, Texas. Their website:
Chamblee's Roses in Tyler, Texas also carries it, by mail order or at their Tyler greenhouses. Their website:

My sister in the Austin area loved this rose so much that she bought a second one. The fragrance is outstanding, and lack of thorns is definitely a plus!

Neutral MichaelTWMadden On Mar 11, 2010, MichaelTWMadden from Richmond, TX wrote:

Good afternoon--
I am in the market for Zephrine Droughin climbing roses and would like to know where to purchase them. I am located in Richmond, Texas and none of the garden centers have them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Michael Madden

Neutral peonyrosegirl On Oct 6, 2009, peonyrosegirl from Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

In NW Indiana I've found this rose to be much more resistant to black spot and pests than my others and the foliage is a beautiful deep green really all summer. I also get a good amount of growth from the canes each year which is what makes me keep trying. On the other hand it is not fully cane hardy here and I've had the canes die back to the ground without enough winter protection. Also, I've had it for 3 1/2 years and have had only a few blooms so far. However I do have to say it doesn't get as much sun as it probably wants. I think this is a beautiful rose worth growing but in zone 5, unless your conditions are just right, there are hardier, more prolific climbers to try.

Neutral jaxweaver On Jul 28, 2009, jaxweaver from Jacksonville Beach, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Our Zephirine Drouhin has been a big disappointment in not producing. It gets about 4 hours direct morning sun, then lots of brightness. It gets fed monthly with systemic rose food as do our other roses. Zephirine was planted in 2001, a bare root from Oregon. It took 3 years to get the first bloom. Since then each spring we get one blooming episode at the same time the confederate jasmine blooms; the rose is between the pool and a fence covered with jasmine. But then sadly, nothing but long canes. Would really love to have a continuing display of Zephirine blooms.

Positive brugmaniac1 On Jul 22, 2009, brugmaniac1 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have two of this plant. They both grow extremely well, is VERY fragrant, BUT very susceptible to blackspot. Perhaps they don't like the humidity of the Mid-Atlantic? If it weren't for the fragrance and the beauty of the flower, I would think about replacing it with a more disease-resistant climber. Note, I said "think" !

Positive val0822 On May 28, 2007, val0822 from Media, PA wrote:

I planted 2 of these years ago on either side of my porch. Now they are 10-15' tall and completely covered in blooms every May / June. They are not in full sun and still bloom. The one with more sun is larger than the other. I do not fuss over them at all - they get minimal pruning and pretty much no other care. They really don't bloom much after June though - very few and sporadic throughout the rest of the year.

Positive WaterCan2 On Apr 6, 2007, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's a fighter, bloomed, developed black spot and recovered the first year. Came back the second year thirsting for more sun, (I have it in a partial sun area). It's flowers are long lived. It's tenacity makes it easy to grow and it does grow fast!

Positive soulgardenlove On Feb 21, 2007, soulgardenlove from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Get it if you can!! Of the roses I currently know, one of my top favorites.. Who couldn't love such a beauty without the all thorns?? Smells like a rose should.. amazing. Lovely color and just lights up a trellis like a garden magazine show model. Strong grower.. I have one by my back deck and it just grows and grows. I have plans for an arbor and this will adorn it. It didn't lose all of it's leaves over winter.. How nice is that?

Zephirine Drouhin
Class: Bourbon
Bloom: Medium red
Size: 10 - 15 ft. tall
Introduced: Bizot, 1868
Immensely popular because it is thornless, this climbing Bourbon rose has much more to offer. Cerise pink semi-double roses have an intoxicating perfume. New foliage is dark red and matures to a gray-green color. Takes a few years to reach peak blooming but worth the wait. Zones 6-9.

Neutral GardenMyosis On Nov 2, 2006, GardenMyosis from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Great for only two weeks in mid-late spring. Beautiful at that time. But, very few blooms after the spring season. I have it growing in a sunny area which gets sun from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It grows very rapidly and I need to constantly prune it back because it wants to grow higher and higher. Seems to be weedy?

Positive berrygirl On May 16, 2005, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is my second year growing this rose. Last year I had Zephy growing in almost total shade and she grew so much I had to cut her down and move her. Wish now I hadnt moved her! Now she is in total sun and has recovered well from the SEVERE pruning I gave her when I had to move her.
It is a gorgeous pink color and the fragrance is incredible!!
She is thornless and so far I haven't had to spray her for aphids or black spot as I have my other roses.

Of the few roses I have, she is now my favorite.

Positive sugarlump On Jan 8, 2005, sugarlump from Louisville, KY wrote:

Does well in Kentucky. I have mine on the north side of my house growing against a stockade type fence. Its very shade tolerant, completely thornless, and has pristine green leaves untouched by blackspot, when other roses in my garden in suffer with it. It has a gorgeous fragrance, and blooms and reblooms like mad. Beautiful bright pink. Cannot go wrong! Bought another for my backyard.

Positive leahsgran On Jun 11, 2004, leahsgran from Sible Hedingham
United Kingdom wrote:

Report from the UK. Grown by my garden shed, on trellis, sandy soil with added spent mushroom compost, fed twice yearly with rose food. Flowers all season June-Oct. Cut back in late March and light prune when removing spent flowers. Damp conditions mean blackspot is a problem, but with this fabulous scent I can forgive this wonderful rose. This plant is on its third year and was slow to establish but now its got going its wonderful.

Neutral Terry On Oct 3, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's thornless, which makes it a great (neighbor-friendly) choice for a fence or arbor. We trained it on a wrought-iron fence and it looked great, except that I found the blooms were a bit, well...garish. I love a good pink old-fashioned type rose, but this one had just enough salmon in the color that IMO, it seriously detracted from an otherwise wonderful set of attributes. I left it behind in the move, and probably won't choose it again.

Positive Lionheart On Oct 2, 2003, Lionheart from Slingerlands, NY wrote:

Shade tolerant, resistant to blackspot. Has performed beautifully in Zone 5. Generous, stunning flush of blooms in late spring/early summer. Sporadic rebloom in summer, with a reasonably good flush in autumn. Very fragrant, attracts passersby with fragrance.

Neutral violabird On Apr 15, 2003, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Beautiful bloom in spring but very sporatic during the summer and fall. Perhaps doesn't like very hot humid weather?

Neutral bettygiesel On Feb 28, 2003, bettygiesel from Melrose, FL wrote:

In north Florida, took a long time (years) to start blooming. Fairly good bloom in the spring, then only a few sporadic blooms. Beautiful, but for our area there are better roses.

Positive purpleplague On Aug 16, 2002, purpleplague wrote:

Hardy in Chicago area. Easy to grow. Bloomed early summer. Fragrant.

Neutral potpouri On Oct 25, 2001, potpouri from Twin Falls, ID wrote:

The height of this plant can extend to 15-20 feet. It grows in full sun to light shade, and blooms off and on from mid-summer to frost. It's mildew-resistant, thornless, and fragrant.


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

Dothan, Alabama
Florence, Alabama
Hanceville, Alabama
De Queen, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Brea, California
Capistrano Beach, California
Saratoga, California
Wrightwood, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Jacksonville, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Thonotosassa, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Hartwell, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Champaign, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Crown Point, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Abilene, Kansas
Saint Marys, Kansas
Crofton, Kentucky
Echo, Louisiana
Silver Spring, Maryland
Mansfield, Massachusetts
East Lansing, Michigan
Ferrysburg, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Zeeland, Michigan
Ballwin, Missouri (2 reports)
Grandview, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Henderson, Nevada
Jamesburg, New Jersey
High Point, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Mansfield, Ohio
Guthrie, Oklahoma
Owasso, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Leesville, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee
Germantown, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Toone, Tennessee
Anderson, Texas
Austin, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas
Paris, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
Spring, Texas
Willis, Texas
Charlottesville, Virginia
Locust Dale, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia

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