Visit Homepage
Skip to content

Mutabilis – China Rose

Mutabilis, a China rose, is a perfect first rose for beginners.

Mutabilis’ flowers change so quickly that the overall effect is a tapestry of color. Flowers are copper, pink, or deep magenta depending on their age. The overall effect is one of grace and delicacy. The flowers are single form, each with five petals. It is a lovely, unusual garden rose.


Mutabilis rose is ridiculously easy to grow. It is disease resistant and robust. Unlike many roses, Mutabilis always looks healthy. The leaves are dark green and rarely get the forlorn look of so many roses bedeviled by blackspot, mildew, and rust. It is remontant, meaning it blooms from spring through fall.

Flowers are single, and golden stamens profusely fill the center of each bloom. The roses are so delicately held upon their stems that Mutabilis is also known as ‘The Butterfly Rose’. Looking at the photograph below, I can certainly understand how it earned this name.

old rose mutabilis
Mutabilis rose is also known at butterfly rose. Garden of Dan and Lori Lorentz.

Repeat flower is excellent on a robust shrub that may reach six or eight feet. As mentioned but worth repeating, foliage is dark green and disease resistant. Habit is graceful and arching. It is an outstanding shrub for the garden, attractive in shape and continuously in bloom.

mutabilis old rose
Mutabilis produces roses with colors that change rapidly.

Class: China
Zones: 7-10
Flowers: Varied due to significant maturation from copper orange to pale gold to rose pink to crimson. Five petals.
Size: 5-8 feet/6 feet wide
Fragrance: Very light musk (almost scentless)
Of note: High variation in bloom color due to the rapid change as the blossoms mature. Excellent disease resistance.

Unique and very attractive shrub should be welcome in every garden. Grow this one if you can find it from a reputable source.

    Leave a Reply