Rosa Mutabilis Rose

rosa mutabilis rose

A Multi-Colored Shrub Rose

Rosa Mutabilis rose, or Rosa x odorata Mutabilis, is a mysterious rose, because no one knows for sure where it originated. It first appeared in Italy around 1896.

When I first planted the 'Mutabilis' in my garden, I invited several of my neighbors over to take a look at this rose in full bloom. They were all so taken by it that they went out and all purchased one of these roses for their own garden.

I have to say it's one of my favorite roses. I planted it in an island bed in my lawn. I gave it plenty of room to grow to its natural size and shape. Its a real show piece where its planted.

rosa mutabilis rose

This wonderful shrub rose in full bloom can best be described as masses of red, pink and yellow butterflies with their wings stretched out.

It's a very adaptable rose that can grow anywhere from 3 feet to 6 feet in spread, so give it plenty of room, unless you plant it as a hedge, as in the picture below, which I think is a fabulous way to use this rose.

rosa mutabilis rose

The flowers are very exciting and unusual as well as very beautiful. The long pointed crisp, vermillion red buds first open a peachy-yellow, with just a touch of apricot, then changing to pink and ending up crimson.

Now that's a transformation you rarely, if ever, see in a rose flower.

This color change is caused by sunlight changing the pigments in the petals, causing a chemical reaction that results in this unfolding of different colors, sometimes during a single day.

The fragrance is at first sweet, then becoming spicy as the blooms age.

'Mutabilis' is very seldom bothered by disease. I have never seen any on mine, and the re-bloom is endless all season long.

A large, fully grown rose bush is a sight to behold, it's so spectacular it will take your breath away.

The shape of the rose bush is most pleasing. It has an airy look to it, and it will gently sway in the wind.

The total effect of the Rosa Mutabilis rose is exquisite.

Plant the rose where it can grow to its natural size. Or use it as a dramatic centerpiece in an island bed in the lawn, or allow it to scamper over a low wall. You will not be disappointed.

Rosa Mutabilis rose was originally found on a botanical expedition to Reunion, in the Indian Ocean. The expedition was sponsored by the Italian prince Ghilberto Borromeo. It is known that by the late 1890's, the prince was growing 'Mutabilis' in his famous island garden in Lago Maggiore in the north Italian lake district.

'Mutabilis'rose is great for hot climates, but unfortunately it's not suited for cold climate zones as it is cold tender. Zones 7-10, height 3-5 feet.

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