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Bourbon Roses

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Bourbon Roses, in Latin Rosa (x) borboniana, are old rose hybrids originating from formerly called Bourbon Island, now known as the Reunion Island. Stemming from cross-breeding between the Chinese roses Rosa chinensis, and the Damask and Gallic roses Rosa damascena or Rosa gallica, respectively, they are all robust and generously repeat-flowering bushes bearing large, very full and pleasantly scented flowers. Bourbon roses can be divided into two categories: a first group where Rosa chinensis predominates, such as 'Louise Odier', 'Madame Ernest Calvat', or 'Madame Pierre Oger', and a second group where Damask roses such a 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' predominate. The most famous among them, still widely grown by traditional rose enthusiasts, are undoubtedly Madame Isaac Pereire, with its sumptuous fragrance, and Zephirine Drouhin, a small, thornless climber with abundant flowering. Bourbon roses generally reach a height of 1.50m (5ft), they love warmth and require rich and cool soils to support their long flowering.

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