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Plants from the Ground Up

Rosa chinensis mutabilis BUTTERFLY ROSE


Another mysterious and beautiful plant! The origins of this incredibly lovely rose are still unknown. In 1934 Rosa chinensis mutabilis, the butterfly or ‘China’ rose was introduced to the world by the Swiss plantsman Henri Correan. Mr. Correan purchased the rose from an Italian prince named Ghilberto Borromea, however, how the prince came to have such a magical rose in his garden remains unknown.


Single flowers start out a soft golden yellow before darkening to copper-pink and finally a very dark fuchsia, these roses adorn the bush in all variances of the colors at once reminding one of colorful butterflies. Robust leaves start out a rich red before developing into an elegant dark green with red edging. The shrub remains evergreen in mild winter areas and develops rich orange rose-hips if not deadheaded. Rosa chinensis mutabilis generally grows into a 6 x 6′ shrub, but in southern climates they have been know to reach ten feet! They are USDA hardiness rated to zones 6-9. Butterfly Rose make perfect specimen plants and also look stunning as a hedge. To propagate take softwood cuttings in autumn.

For more photos and available sizes, see Rosa chinensis mutabilis at the Forestfarm Store.

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