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China Rose

Rosa chinensis var. mutabilis

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China Rose (Rosa chinensis var. mutabilis) at Roger's Gardens

China Rose flowers

China Rose flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

China Rose (Rosa chinensis var. mutabilis) at Roger's Gardens

China Rose flowers

China Rose flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Butterfly Rose, Mutabilis Rose

Group/Class:  Shrub Rose


A lovely flowering shrub that bears distinctive, butterfly shaped flowers that open yellow, change to orange-pink, then finally to deep pinkish-red; blooms from mid-spring until frost; resistant to disease; remove spent flowers to encourage re-blooming

Ornamental Features

China Rose features showy lightly-scented buttery yellow flowers with orange overtones and gold centers at the ends of the branches from mid spring to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has green deciduous foliage. The serrated oval compound leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruits are showy orange hips displayed from late summer to early winter.

Landscape Attributes

China Rose is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease
  • Spiny

China Rose is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

China Rose will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 25 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. To help this plant achive its best flowering performance, periodically apply a flower-boosting fertilizer from early spring through into the active growing season. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features