Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Old Garden Rose
Rosa 'Cardinal de Richelieu'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cardinal de Richelieu
Additional cultivar information: (Cardinal Richelieu, Rose Van Sian)
Hybridized by Parmentier; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1840

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19 members have or want this plant for trade.



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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)

Bloom Color:
Mauve and mauve blend (mb)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Patent Information:

Other Details:

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on old wood; prune after flowering

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
From hardwood heel cuttings
By simple layering

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By mosquitoflats
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa  by mosquitoflats

By bootandall
Thumbnail #2 of Rosa  by bootandall

Thumbnail #3 of Rosa  by TBGDN

By bootandall
Thumbnail #4 of Rosa  by bootandall

Thumbnail #5 of Rosa  by TBGDN

By bootandall
Thumbnail #6 of Rosa  by bootandall

By carriehelene
Thumbnail #7 of Rosa  by carriehelene

There are a total of 12 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive HolyChickin On Apr 4, 2011, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I am CHOMPING at the bit for this thing to bloom! I am not sure if it will though. See, I live in S. Florida; the land of perpetual Summer. I have had the Cardinal now for a little over a year... when I first got it, it was merely a rooted cutting. Now though it is getting some size to it, lots of new growth; it's really starting to take off! Since our "winter" this year is more like other people's early Fall, it may not know when to bloom. Guess I have to wait and see!

It is doing quite well so far... not a sign of disease (black spot is a real problem down here), hasn't been plagued with any bugs (which is something because there is an endless parade of them down here all year round), and it is very low maintenance. I do have it in a bit of shade under a palm tree to sheild it from the brutal mid-day sun and scorching heat. It seems to like it... I just hope it likes it well enough to reward me with some blooms. July is fast approaching so I will update!

Positive jamie68 On Feb 13, 2009, jamie68 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This was one of my first old garden roses, and it sold my on them completely!! Anyone who thinks they wouldn't like a rose that only blooms once should at least try growing one of these roses for a couple years, then see if their opinion changes! It may only bloom once, but it is literally covered in blooms when at its peak. It has a wonderful fragrance, and when in peak bloom fillsthe garden with its perfume. The blooms go thru many very beautiful shades as they age, and they do last a L-O-N-G time(at least 6 weeks in my garden)! After the bloom this plant is still a nice shrub, with nice, healthy, medium green foliage that fully clothes each cane and goes to the ground on my 3 plants. It is a great backdrop for other plants that bloom later, and are small when this is putting on its main show earlier in the season. I will always have this rose in my rose garden - once blooming is still quite a show with this Cardinal.... :)

Positive Marisa_K On Jan 15, 2009, Marisa_K from Lincoln, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The first time I saw this rose, it stopped me dead in my tracks. I HAD to have it. The deep plum flowers age to the most amazing smoke color. It's gorgeous. Even though it only blooms for about six weeks, it is still a good member of the garden the rest of the year. The plant is attractive and healthy. I don't know if it does this in every climate, but here in 8b the leaves turn red, orange, and gold in late November (they match my liquidambar) and they hang on until I strip them off in late January. This rose is one of my very favorites.

Positive TBGDN On Jun 10, 2006, TBGDN from Macy, IN wrote:

I planted 'Cardinal de Richelieu' in 1994, and it has done everything that I ever expected from it. It is a strong, hardy grower, and blooms each year in late May to early June without fail. I have moved it once out of dry sandy soil to a more moisture retentive loam with plenty of organic material. The flowers change color hue as they develop from buds to fully opened blooms. It is very attractive, and the fragrance is a nice rose aroma. It blooms only once in early summer (Before the Japanese Beetles get here!). The plant forms an arching mound up to 5 feet high and 4 feet wide with dark green leaves and few thorns. The primary insect problem here is the rose chafer which somehow knows when 'dinner is ready'. This disgusting insect eats not only roses, but irises and peonies too.

Positive hortensia On Sep 19, 2005, hortensia from Langley, BC, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

like most gallicas, this rose tolerates poorer soil and a bit of shade. The flower colour is best in some sun, but lasts better with a bit of shade. I have found the ideal situation is where it gets lots of early and late sun but is spared the mid day heat.

The flower is a most amazing mix of the entire spectrum form crimson to a mauve which is near blue. People talk about old roses fading, but never with enough emphasis on what a beautiful thing this is to observe, as the intense rosy flowers fade to rich deep mauve and french grey.

More prosaically, once established, especially on its own roots, this rose is healthy, hardy and a fine shrub even out of bloom


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

Lincoln, California
New Haven, Connecticut
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Macy, Indiana
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Kansas City, Missouri
Binghamton, New York
Fort Hunter, New York
Columbia, South Carolina
Alvord, Texas
Orwell, Vermont
Vancouver, Washington

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