class: China Rose
breeding: before 1894
photographed by Daphne Filiberti in her garden
'Mutabilis' is a spectacular rose, whose origin is obscure. It was once
known as 'Tipo Ideale'. The flowers of 'Mutabilis' dance through a smooth metamorphosis of color. Elegant, single flowers of a soft buff coloring open from a slender, pointed, firey-orange colored bud.
The roses age to crimson through gradations of copper and pink. The shrub can have roses that are several colors at once, and Peter Beales has remarked that the rose
has a well-developed sense of humor. People who are unfamiliar with the shrub do not believe that
'Mutabilis' is a rose. It can appear to look like it is covered with a flock of butterflies of many colors at
different stages of flight. Stems are plum with red metallic tints; leaves and thorns are fine. The
shrub is disease-free, and always flowering. The shrubs are 8 feet in my garden, and look wonderful
as large free hedges. They look absolutely stunning when massed (300 roses over two acres) in large open spaces, as they are
at the gardens of La Landriana, created by Marchesa Lavina Taverna, near Rome. 'Mutabilis' can
tolerate some shade. Cut buds will open gracefully in the vase.
Illustration of 'Mutabilis' by Alfred Parsons
©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti