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Old Garden Rose, Species 'Apothecary's Rose'

Rosa gallica officinalis

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: gallica officinalis
Cultivar: Apothecary's Rose
Additional cultivar information:(aka Officinalis, Old Red Damask, Red Provence, Red Rose of Lancaster)
Registered or introduced: pre 1160
Synonym:Rosa gallica duplex
Synonym:Rosa gallica maxima
Synonym:Rosa gallica plena
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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

Bloom Color:

Deep pink (dp)

Bloom Shape:



Flower Fragrance:

Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

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

By grafting

By budding

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:

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Ventura, California

Somerset, Kentucky

Exeter, New Hampshire

Middleburgh, New York

Columbus, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Media, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Sandy, Utah

Petersburg, Virginia

Chelan, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 16, 2016, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Rosa gallica thrives in my Zone 7A, Petersburg, Virginia garden. I was given a small rooted start by a friend perhaps ten years ago. It is healthy, lovely and fragrant, and although it blooms only once it does that prolifically. It is not as subject to black spot as some of my other roses. It gets no taller than 40 inches, but it spreads out and sends out suckers. I am going to plant an additional Rosa gallica in another bed where it will have more room to spread, and I am going to put down barriers in the bed where my present rose is choking out the stokesia and another rose. I neglected to keep it reined in for several years. If I had paid more attention, it should not have been too difficult to dig out the overflow. Rosa gallica is also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster, from the ... read more


On Jul 3, 2011, stanwell from NW of Boston,
United States wrote:

In full bloom in several of the museum gardens at Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth NH, 2 July 2011. Absolutely covered with flowers. Hard to remember that it's a once-bloomer and that its season may be very short. 'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may'


On Jun 26, 2010, NHLady from Exeter, NH (Zone 5a) wrote:

I purchased this plant from the Monticello plant shop in Virginia several years ago. Apparently Thomas Jefferson grew this rose. I've had to move it a couple of times to find the right amount of sun. It's doing very well at last. A person who helps with garden maintenance commented that it looks and behaves somewhat like a rosa rugosa. I can see the similarities, esp. the thorny stems and its prolific growing habit. I love it for its fragrance and somewhat rangy appearance. It's definitely not a neat plant, although I suppose it could be if I pruned it. It's just perfect the way it is.


On May 17, 2010, einhverfr from Chelan, WA wrote:

This is a classic hedge-forming gallica which blooms profusely once a year. The petals make nice additions to salads, etc (traditionally used in medicines), and the hips are also edible as they turn orange. As they become soft, they can be harvested, dried, and saved for later.


On May 16, 2009, val0822 from Media, PA wrote:

Have had this growing for several years. I planted it for the historical aspect. Beautiful flowers but the bloom period is kind of short and then it looks a little weedy. Very tough and fairly well behaved.


On Dec 23, 2002, sassy55 wrote:

The Apothecary Rose is highly fragrant, and easy to grow. It is a bushy, upright plant, about 4'x3'. It is said to be hardy to Zone 3, but not north of there. The bush is shade tolerant, but watch out for mildew. History tells us that this rose came to Europe in the 1600's. The petals from the Apothecary Rose are used in potpourri.


On Feb 21, 2001, Kathleen from Panama, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

This rose was used by apothecaries as an ingredient in medicines and beauty mixtures. It has blunt buds, 3 inch blossoms of a deep rose with 15 petals and bright yellow stamens. It grows upright to 2 feet.