Mutabilis (aka 'Butterfly Rose' and 'Tipo Ideale')
Origin - Unknown (late 1800s)
Parentage - Unknown
Color - shadings of yellow, copper, orange, pink and red
Foliage - Crimson changing to dark green, narrow, pointed
Thorns - Average
Size - 4' - 6' h. x 4' - 6' w. (larger in warmer climates)
Fragrance - Light
Repeat bloom - Yes
Disease resistance - Good
Hardiness - Zone 7
It took me three tries to get this rose to over-winter in my garden but I think I may have finally succeeded. Now usually I would have totally given up after at least the second try on a rose but Mutabilis is an exception and one that I just had to have. It doesn't look like your typical rose - small five petaled blossoms cover a bush that is twiggy and delicate in appearance - it is decidedly Oriental looking with its airy, crimson stems and would fit nicely in a Japanese style garden. The color of the flowers are quite amazing. Orange buds open pale yellow which gradually fade to pink and red. These various colors can appear at the same time on a bush and the illusion is similar to a flock of butterflies, which is why many refer to it as the "butterfly rose." Unfortunately, the lovely flowers are almost scentless.
The origins of this rose are obscure but most rosarians believe that it came from Italy. It was introduced in the United States in 1933. It is happiest in a warm climate (I hear it performs exceptionally well in California and Texas) and will be difficult to grow beyond zones 7. It is not fussy, however, about soil types and easy to grow in the right climate.
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