Damask Rose

Favored For It's Special Oils

Considered to be one of the oldest European roses, the Damask Rose – also known as the Rose of Catile or the Damascus Rose – is an enchanting and fragrant choice for any bouquet or floral arrangement. It harkens back to pre-Christian times and may have originated in Persia where the crusaders might have brought it back with them. However, the Damask rosewater has been traced back to the 12th century, and its arrival in France during the 14th century illustrates the grand nature of this rose variety. Today, it is grown extensively throughout Europe, including Bulgaria, where it is distilled into large quantities of fragrant rose water and rose oil. The petals are also used to flavor food or to create teas, so they are safe to eat.

Damask Roses are found on fairly tall, deciduous shrubs – up to just over seven feet tall – that feature hooked thorns, stiff bristles, and considerable, yet subtle, foliage, which has a matte, soft-textured, and grey-green appearance. The fragrance from the roses has been described as strong, aromatic, and even spicy. Typically, the flowers are a pastel pink, a slightly darker pink, or a light red although there are some white varieties. There is a wide variety of Damask Roses, which are commonly divided into two varieties. These are the Summer Damask Roses, which have a short flowering season only during the summertime. The Autumn Damask Roses have a longer flowering season, which extend from the summertime into the autumn months.

Growing Recommendations - Damask Rose

Damask Roses are typically cultivated within informally-shaped hedge rows. This cultivation strategy protects the delicates blooms from the wind and makes it easier to pick the flowers when they are ready. The roses are harvested by hand over a twenty to forty-day period. The roses are then used for decoration or for other purposes, such as rose water and rose oil in which they undergo steam distillation.

The Damask Rose if very hardy and can tolerate cold weather. It can typically be grown throughout the United States except for those areas that experience extremely hot weather. Great care must be taken when planting Damask Roses because it is easy to damage their roots. However, it is typically planted and tended to just like any other variety. When planting the Damask Rose, first add two to four inches of manure and till the ground down 18 inches. Put the manure out one week to ten days prior to planting the Damask Roses. The hole should be twice the size of the root ball. Fill the hole with water. Remove the rose plant from its container and spread the roots out and make sure to bury the roots as deep as they were in the container. Roses can be planted in holes that are spaced about three to six feet apart. Be sure to add a water-soluble fertilizer made especially for roses when the first leaves appear. Add a composted fertilizer around the plant about six weeks prior to the first frost to provide extra nutrition.

Photos of Damask Rose

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