Next to ThÃ©rÃ¨se Bugnet Rose, ‘Blanc Double de Coubert‘ is one of the hardiest, loveliest, of the rugosa roses. It has withstood every blast of wind and frozen temperature that the west side of my garden can muster, yet dependably blooms with the purest white, most fragrant blooms. Those delicate blooms belie the toughness of the plant.
Rugosa roses are a group that can definitely be called cold climate roses. They are hardy to Zone 3 with reputations of survival to even 43 below zero. Now, that is cold! Not only hardy, this group is disease resistant, with healthy looking foliage; which is why I call them “tough”. Survivors, their beauty adorns the garden each year, no matter how difficult the weather conditions have proven here in Ohio.
Features of the Blanc Double de Coubert Rose
- Pure white, semi-double flowers
- Highly fragrant, rated 8-10, exceptional on the fragrance scale
- Very hardy, Zone 3-8
- Healthy mid-green foliage
The blooms of this rugosa are medium sized, 2-3″ diameter, and of a silken pure white. The form is loose and graceful. They do get ruined in overly wet weather with some browning, but normally they shine out from the green wrinkle-textured leaves.
Dimensions and other features:
- Strongly upright, it grows to about 5′ in height
- Grows 4-5′ feet in width, somewhat leggy
- Tolerates shade
- Tolerates salt and wind
Blanc Double de Coubert is one of the old roses which has not spread in my yard, the way some of the other heirlooms have, like ‘ThÃ©rÃ¨se Bugnet ‘ or ‘Charles de Mills’. It stays demurely in its place. It also does not form hips freely.
Although having a reputation for rebloom (remonant), mine flowers mostly in the early summer. It is in a slightly shady spot, which could affect the flower production.
This year I hope to strike some new plants using the “potato method”. I do hope for success, since the beauty of the Rosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ is something I hope to have more of, and additional scent of a heady, spicy sort is especially welcome. The description of the aroma is “strong rose and licorice”.
How To Grow
- All roses like a fertile soil, and this one benefits from good fertility although it is not finicky.
- Well drained garden loam is ideal, but this rose will tolerate less than ideal conditions such as clay. It is always a good idea to improve soil for roses, adding humus and topdressing of well aged manure.
- Average moisture, with a good deep drink in the mornings. Although disease resistant, it is good practice to avoid wetting foliage. Simply allow the hose to soak the ground during dry periods.
One of the reasons to plant rugosa roses is the little care they demand, but don’t neglect them altogether. Fine blooms are the reward for good watering practices, some fertilizer after 4-6 inches of new growth with new leaves. Stop feeding 8 weeks before the first frost, much like most of the trees and shrubs which then need to ready for winter dormancy.
Bone meal, compost, fish fertilizer and kelp products, aged manure are all good organic amendments for roses.
This Rose In The GardenHow To Create A White Garden
Blanc Double de Coubert Rose makes a good hedge, with a thorny barrier.
Not all roses have such good foliage as the rugosa types, and they do turn a very pretty golden yellow in the fall.
Its fine qualities makes it a good candidate for cottage gardens, especially on the outer edges to hem in the garden- featured while in bloom and quietly covered in good foliage when other flowers take the center stage. Also a good idea to keep away from where those prickly thorns might be unwelcome.
I have seen some rose experts advise it grown as a specimenplant featured on its own in the landscape, but I don’t think its shape lends the shrub to this use. It would look a little ungainly set out in the yard by its lonesome.
Alice Morse Earle: “The fragrance of the sweetest rose is beyond an other flower scent, it is irresistible, enthralling; you cannot leave it. I have never doubted the rose has some compelling quality not shared by other flowers. I do not know whether it comes from some inherent witchery of the plant, but it certainly exists.”
More of Rugosa and Old Roses
‘Sir Thomas Lipton‘ is a similar Rosa rugosa cultivar, but I haven’t grown it.
‘ThÃ©rÃ¨se Bugnet’ Rose is a delicate medium pink.
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Featured photo by Ciaran Burke