Plant of the Month: June 2011

Please give a big hand for…


Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’

This shrub rose is a stunner. Rich copper buds open to sunset orange flowers which fade to pink and finally darken to a raspberry pink before dropping. Plant it where the westering sun will strike it and you’ve set the scene for summer evening glory.

Its scent is a barely there green sort of smell which is pleasant but doesn’t live up to the flowers. If only it had knockout scent too it would be my no.1 rose, but even without it easily makes my top 5. It doesn’t want heavy pruning and like many roses its fresh new leaves are a beautiful red colour too. One feature I love is that the flowers look good right until the petals drop:

The specimen at the towers stands about four feet tall and is fairly upright with erect dark stems. It sits in the private gardens to the west of the building in exactly the right place for the last rays of the sun. In past years I’ve taken cuttings which are taking hold now, one in another spot at the towers, one at home in front of a west facing fence.

I’ve seen a pale, rather anemic version but give me this one with it’s glorious parade of colour any day.


6 responses to “Plant of the Month: June 2011

  1. Welcome to Blotanical. That is where I found your blog. I too like the old fashioned shrub roses. They grow too big for my garden, but they are wonderful at this time of year.

  2. Beautiful rose! I really like the variations in color…very nice.

  3. Mutabilis is a wonderful rose, I am glad you like it.

  4. I’ve always liked this rose. I was reminded of its beauty at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland at the end of May. I tweeted your post. It’s a great plant to share.

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