Rosa × francofurtana Muenchh.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Rosa × francofurtana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-03.



  • R. turbinata Ait.
  • R. francfurtensis Roessig
  • R. campanulata Ehrh.


Immature shoot protected by scales that develops into leaves and/or flowers.
With an unbroken margin.
Bearing glands.
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.
Enlarged end of a flower stalk that bears floral parts; (in some Podocarpaceae) fleshy structure bearing a seed formed by fusion of lowermost seed scales and peduncle.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rosa × francofurtana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-03.

This old garden rose is now as rare as it was once common, and is mentioned only for its historical interest. A shrub to about 6 ft high, its stems sparsely set with straight or curved prickles, the branches unarmed or with a few bristles. Leaflets five or seven, up to 2 in. long and 134 in. wide, broadly ovate to roundish, hairy on the veins beneath, coarsely toothed; rachis densely hairy. Stipules broad, hairy beneath. Flowers in corymbs of three to six, or solitary, terminating long growths, purplish pink, double, but with a central boss of stamens, subtended by very large bracts; pedicels glandular-bristly, the bristles extending to the base of the receptacle, which is top-shaped or bowl-shaped. Sepals entire or with a few lateral appendages, abruptly narrowed to a slender point, glandular at the edge and on the back, which is also hairy.

An old hybrid of European gardens, described by Charles d’Escluse (Clusius) in 1583; he saw it at Frankfurt, whence the name it bears in modern nomenclature. It is one of the least armed of roses and the original ‘rose without a thorn’ (Rosa sine spinis, so named by Tabernimontanus in 1590). According to Parkinson (1629) the flower is ‘so strong swelling in the bud, that many of them break before they can be full blown.’ Miller did not bother to describe the Frankfurt rose: ‘it is of little value except for a stock to bud the more tender sorts of Roses upon, for the flowers seldom open fair and have no scent.’ It was at one time a common hedging plant in central Germany, and was also planted on graves; possibly its thornlessness endowed it with religious significance, ‘Rose without a thorn’ being one of the epithets of the Virgin Mary.

Crépin suggested, with hesitation, that the Frankfurt rose was the result of a cross between R. gallica and R. majalis (cinnamomea). This cross is apparently unrecorded from the wild, no doubt because there is little overlap in the natural ranges of these species. But both, especially in their double forms, are old inhabitants of gardens.

The rose named R. turbinata var. orbessanea by Thory (Redouté, Les Roses, Vol. II, 21, t.) was considered by Lindley to having nothing in common with the Frankfurt rose except the top-shaped receptacle. It was more decorative and cultivated at one time in this country. A top-shaped or bell-shaped receptacle seems to be not infrequently associated with doubleness of flower (see R. rapa p. 147) and it may be that other roses with this character have been identified as the Frankfurt.

For the ‘Rosa sine spinis’ of Parkinson, see under R. pendulina.