Bourbon Rose '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
Registered or introduced: 1868
» View all varieties of Roses




10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Hanceville, Alabama

De Queen, Arkansas

Alameda, California

Brea, California

Capistrano Beach, California

Clovis, 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

Northport, New York

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

Quitman, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Spring, Texas

Willis, Texas

Charlottesville, Virginia

Locust Dale, Virginia

Manassas, Virginia

Sterling, Virginia

Sumas, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 25, 2021, FirstNations from Sumas, WA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Here this rose climbs for the skies, only blossoms once, and is moderately invasive. That having been said, it does have good points. The blossoms smell heavenly, it shrugs off our terrible winter winds, and it's nearly thornless. Just a nice garden staple.


On Aug 29, 2017, su_rose from Northport, NY wrote:

Ordered from Jackson&Perkins 25 yrs ago, bare root. Arrived in early March, planted in a shaded area close to a large yew plant. Survived all adversities: occasional extreme low temps, shade, competition with other plants roots. Been a delight for every one of those 25 years. Does not have any thorns. Gets no mildew, small amount of black spot toward the end of growing season. Continues to bloom and the aroma is heavenly. This summer, for the first time, has been blooming abundantly throughout the summer, rather than in a couple of big flushes. Probably the result of better care I'm taking of her this year: added garden soil, mulch, and Miracle Gro's Rose Food. Plus watering and a good amount of rain. The only issue is as a climber, external branches need good support and i have not found ... read more


On May 2, 2017, summer_luvin from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I got a "Zephirine Drouhin" last year. I can't remember what size. It may have been a 5 gallon. It is in a nice spot. It is growing well. There are several blooms on it this year. We are central valley, California. The problem is, has been since I got it last year, the blooms have no scent. I try to imagine there is, but I just don't smell any. I also have a couple other very young roses with no scent. Please tell me that is the problem. Tell me when they mature the scent will be better. I also believe a rose, no matter how beautiful, must smell good. So far, most of the canes are on the ground, they are not long enough to reach up to the fence.


On Mar 30, 2016, kmdeviney from Dumas, AR wrote:

Does anyone know how the rose would do in complete shade? I need something to climb an arbor and would love to have flowers. I have 4 huge oak trees in my backyard, so I literally have no sunlight. Maybe a little filtered sunlight at times. Thanks!


On Sep 30, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In Boston this has a reputation for being a mildew magnet. I used to maintain one in part shade that was usually covered in powdery mildew.

I planted two this year, and they both defoliated from black spot. One now has a lot of dieback and looks as if it probably won't make it through the winter (this one gets weekly fungicide spray).


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.


On Apr 12, 2013, suncityanne from Cary, NC 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.


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.


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.


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.


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 ... read more


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.


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.


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, ... read more


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.


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!


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 ... read more


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?


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... read more


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!


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


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.


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.


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" !


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.


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!


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 ... read more


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?


On May 16, 2005, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


On Aug 16, 2002, purpleplague wrote:

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


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.