Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Antique, Alba, Old Garden Rose
Rosa alba 'White Rose of York'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: alba (AL-ba) (Info)
Cultivar: White Rose of York
Additional cultivar information: (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie's Rose, La Rose d'York, Semi-Plena)
Registered or introduced: pre-1597

Synonym:Rosa alba semi-plena
Synonym:Rosa x alba nivea
Synonym:Rosa x alba semi-plena
Synonym:Rosa x alba suaveolens

» View all varieties of Roses

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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)
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:
White (w)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Patent Information:

Other Details:
Sets hips

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on old wood; prune after flowering

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Click thumbnail
to view:

By louisa
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa alba by louisa

Thumbnail #2 of Rosa alba by TBGDN

Thumbnail #3 of Rosa alba by TBGDN

Thumbnail #4 of Rosa alba by TBGDN

By Cville_Gardener
Thumbnail #5 of Rosa alba by Cville_Gardener


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rosa_Alba On Apr 26, 2012, Rosa_Alba from Olympia, WA wrote:

I have to commend this rose for toughness! I ordered it from Rogue Valley Roses year before last. It came as described--a wee, tiny thing, but it's growing quite nicely. This last winter was ugly, with an ice storm that caused a lot of damage, but this little guy came through it all like a champ. It will be a while yet before it gets to blooming size, but its tenacity has certainly impressed me.

Positive soulgardenlove On Feb 19, 2007, soulgardenlove from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

From's list of list of carefree roses by Mary C. Weaver:
'Alba Semi-Plena' (also called 'The White Rose of York'): If fragrance is important to you, make room for this exquisitely scented variety, which has been cultivated for the production of attar (fragrant essential oil) of roses. An alba--one of the most cold-hardy and disease-free classes--'Alba Semi-Plena' bears large, semidouble milk-white flowers with showy stamens in spring and a good crop of red hips in fall. The blooms' grace and purity is matchless, and the grayish-green foliage is disease-resistant. It has long prickles, so don't site this substantial shrub where you'll brush up against it. Cultivated before 1867. Hardy to Zone 3 or 4. A spreading shrub 5 to 7 feet in height and width.

Positive TBGDN On Jun 8, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I am fond of all antique roses, especially this one. Even though it blooms only once, I enjoy having it in the landscape. I planted White Rose of York in 1994, and it still grows beautifully in its original location. It blooms massively during the early part of June, and on calm days the fragrance is widely spread in the air. It is quite attractive to butterflies and bees, (and unfortunately) to brown rose chafers which invade without fail every single year.

Neutral louisa On Aug 11, 2001, louisa from Troy, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Also known as the Jacobite Rose. Good autumn fruit. 16th century shrub rose. 6ft x 4ft wide. Shade tolerant.


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

Macy, Indiana
Elm Grove, Louisiana
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Columbia, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Olympia, Washington

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