April 13, 2012

Plant Spotlight: White Lady Banks Rose

The Lady Banks Rose is a staple of the southern garden. Popular for its cascades of tiny rose blossoms, the yellow variety is by far the most popular. However, I'm here to advocate for its lesser used twin, the double-white Lady Banks Rose, Rosa banksiae 'Alba Plena'. For me there is nothing better than a pure white rose to ring in the spring, and the large blooms of this climbing variety do it with style.

The Lady Banks Rose has been popular in China for centuries, where the native species (a small-blooming white variety) grows wild. On a plant hunting expedition at the request of botanist Sir Joseph Banks, the gardener William Kerr found the rose in Chinese gardens and brought it to the west in 1807, naming it after Sir Banks wife.

The Lady Banks Rose provides a thorn-free, carefree, disease resistant option for incorporating roses into your garden. It blooms early in the season, from early March to late April in our garden. Although the yellow provides a more popular color, the white lady banks has a light, enchanting fragrance reminiscent of violets. With enough sunlight and room to grow, this climbing rose can turn any fence into a fragrant spring bouquet!


  1. I am a big fan of the Lady Banks...I have a yellow and two whites in my garden. They are such a wonderful addition to a spring garden and they are rapid growers. Beautiful shots!

  2. One of my all time favorites!


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