Mother of Gardens

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Rosa chinensis
Roses are native to central and southern Europe as well as Asia and have grown in the gardens of both continents for more than a thousand years. But rose gardens in the West are now indebted to roses introduced from China in the late 18th and 19th centuries, for these roses carried genes that allowed them to bloom repeatedly through the summer and into fall. The Rosa chinensis "Old Blush" pictured here was one of them. Chinese gardeners likely created this cultivar centuries before it reached Europe. Today, thousands of varieties of repeat-blooming roses owe their parentage to roses from China.

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