Saturday, September 25, 2010

Flowers on Friday ... The Beautiful Mutabilis

I make no secret of the fact that the China rose 'Mutabilis' is on my short list of favorite roses. 

Mutabilis has SOOO many wonderful features that keep it dear to my heart. 

By now, You all KNOW that my very favorite flower form is the Single ... the simple beauty of 5 delicate petals, with a cluster of stamens in the middle, is irresistable to me.

I like my rose bushes to be BIG, and Mutabilis has the potential to comply.  I have been told that Mutabilis has reached its mature size when it is as big as a VW Bug!  Mine is about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide right now.

You have probably already noticed one of Mutabilis's most unique and endearing characteristics ... the flowers completely change color and form as they age. 

Newly opened flowers are cream-colored, with an apricot blush on the edges of the petals.  Look at those stamens!!

By the next day or two, the petals have darkened to a deep pink and they are longer and thinner.

This is what the flowers look like right before the petals fall off.

Mutabilis is a PROFUSE bloomer!  There are always flowers at each stage of bloom found on the bush at the same time. 

The Mutabilis in my garden was a gift from my friend Rick.  (Remember Rick's garden that I shared with you HERE?)  It started life in his mother's garden in Florida ... a climate that China roses LOVE.  After she passed, he dug up the rose and moved it to his garden. 

Rick's yard is small, and he doesn't really have the space to devote to such a large rose, so he made the difficult decision to remove it.  This was made easier for him knowing how much I love the rose and that I will take good care of it and treasure it for the story behind it.  Rick tells people that I have the only Old Garden Rose that he's ever given away.  (He replaces and rearranges his modern roses all the time, but antique roses in his garden are considered permanent.)

I planted Mutabilis in a VERY prominent spot, so it is the first rose I see when I go through the gate into the Rose Field.  I have given it a very large space, so it can grow and become the star that I already know it to be.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. One of my favorites as well. Chris

  2. That is a beauty for sure and I am so glad you have it. I love the many colors all at one time on the same bush! Amazing!

  3. What a beautiful story and rose! I'm so glad you gave it a loving home. The everchanging colors are spectacular!

  4. Great pictures! Any chance that Mutabilis grows in Zone 5? I want, I want.

  5. We have one of these in the display garden at work, and I can attest to it being well suited to the hot and humid south. Unfortunately, not many of the wholesale rose growers stock it, so when I find them I buy lots to keep them on hand.

  6. Thank you so much for introducing us to this lovely rose, Connie! It is a beauty... Hugs, Lola

  7. Pretty flowers! Seems your garden was so healthy. Wish I can have a healthy garden too. I'm been looking for interesting topic as this. Looking forward for your next post. Keep posting!



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