Gallica Roses, also known as French or Provence roses, are the oldest of all garden roses.
Rose Gallica has been cultivated at least since classical Greek and Roman times.
They are prized for their cold hardiness, and are once-flowering, compact, low-growing rose bushes.
Their canes are covered with needle-like thorns, and the textured foilage is usually a deep matte green, that is paler on the underside.
The Gallica flowers are very full, forming a neat lovely rosette shape.
The fragrant Gallica blooms ranging in rich shades of purple, violet, pink, and white, often marked with stripes and splotches of contrasting colors, are so very beautiful, you would want to plant one in your own garden for sure.
When grown on their own roots, Gallicas will sucker profusely, forming a dense clump of canes that can spread out across the garden.
As I mentioned before, the Gallica rose is extremely cold hardy and might not flower well in the milder climate zones of the USA.
The picture above shows the most popular of all Gallicas, the Rosa Mundi rose, and its flowers are striped and very lovely.
Examples of Gallicas are the Apothecary rose, from the 12th century, also known as Rosa gallica officinalis, and the Red Rose of Lancaster which is one of the most ancient Gallicas grown today.
Rosa Mundi, pictured above, is from the 12th century, and is also known as Rosa gallica versicolor is actually a sport (spontaneous mutation) of the 'Apothecary's Rose'. It blooms better in warm climates than it's parent.
Another popular Gallica is the 'Cardinal de Richelieu' (1840) has velvety double flowers of smoky purple on a thornless bush that grows to about 5 feet or so.