I have already shared a collection of vintage rose botanical prints on Picture Box Blue. But since then I have come across many beautiful vintage rose illustrations from old gardening catalogs.
I have curated the best of those images to share them here. Many of the beautiful antique rose paintings come from gardening catalogs printed in the late 19th century and earlier 20th century. Thus these rose images are well over 100 years old and in the Public Domain, so you are free to print and use them as you wish.
Some Interesting Facts about Roses
- Roses are the oldest known flower. They have been found in fossils dating back 35 million years. According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are records of Ancient Romans (AD50) growing roses in large plantations and greenhouses. They grew the flowers year-round for ornamentation, medicinal extracts and cooking ingredients.
- The Chinese and Japanese grew roses over 5,000 years ago for ornamental purposes. Many of today’s garden roses in Europe originated from China.
- Amazingly there is a rose that grows on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany which is the oldest living rose at over 1,000 years old.
- The rose is the worlds most popular flower. It is the national flower for many countries, including the USA and England.
- Roses can be eaten, their petals are used to make rosewater, a popular flavouring in many cuisines especially those of the middle east.
- The berry fruit of the rose called rose hips are used to make jams, jellies, tea and medicinal syrup. I personally have made rosehip syrup from wild berries I have collected. This syrup is packed full of vitamin C and is a great antioxidant.
- Roses are famous for their fragrance. Rose oil is used as the main ingredient in many perfumes. It takes 2000 flowers to make 1gram of rose oil.
- The most expensive rose cultivar was the Juliet rose grown by the world-famous rose gardener David Austin. It sold for $15.8 million in 2006.
The Color Meaning of Roses
We all know that red roses symbolize love, that is why they are Valentine’s day flowers. But other rose colors symbolize other emotions making them more suited to different situations.
- Red Roses: Passion, true love, romance, and desire.
- Pink Roses: Grace and elegance, it is often given as a token of admiration and appreciation.
- Yellow Roses: Friendship and cheer due to their sunny appearance.
- White Roses: Purity, innocence and spirituality. A popular rose for wedding bouquets because of its association with young love, eternal loyalty, new beginnings and everlasting love.
- Coral/Orange Roses: Energy, excitement and even admiration.
- Lavender Roses: A sign of love at first sight or enchantment.
How To Download The Garden Catalog Vintage Rose Illustrations
Click on the antique rose picture you want and a higher resolution image will open in a new window on your browser. If you then click on that rose illustration with your mouse, you will have the option to save the image to your device.
The first set of vintage rose illustrations are very colorful, the last few are black and white drawings of roses.
Catalog by Dingee & Conard Co; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection.
The text apearing on the page describes the rose varieties as:
- Princess of Wales Tea
- Etoile De Lyon Tea
- Duke of Connaught Hybrid Tea
Another vintage rose picture from the above catalog.
- Louisa De La Rive New Tea
- Souvenire De Therese Levet
- Madame Eugene Verdier
Roses cover of the 1886 version of the same catalog “The new guide to rose culture“.
- White Rose: Madame Jean Sisley
- Peach Rose: Souvenir De Gabrielle Drevet
- Red Rose: American Beauty
American Beauty was the best selling rose cultivar in the United States until the 1920s. Due to its high price per stem (at least two dollars per stem right from its launch in 1886) and its popularity, the cultivar was called the million-dollar rose.
- Madame De WattevilleI
- Etendard De Jeanne
- Imperatrice De Russia
From Dingee & Conard’s “Our new guide to rose culture: 1891“.
- Henry M. Stanley
- Golden gate
- Pearl Rivers
- Mrs John Laing
- Earl of Dufferin
- Marshall P. Wilder
Vintage illustrations of the following rose varieties.
- Crimson Rambler
- Mary Washington
- Child’s Jewel
- Champion of The World
May & Co Catalogue of seeds, plants, bulbs and fruits (1895).
The description with this antique rose illustration is as follows:
The only hardy everblooming, cream-colored rose in cultivation, having the peculiar distinction of being both tea scented and climbing. Delightfully fragrant. Perpetual and prolific bloomer. Hardy and vigorous. Can be trained as a climber, pillar, or bush rose as desired. Originated in Michigan. Introduced by Greening Bros.
A Greening Bros vintage rose illustration.
A new perpetual blooming hardy Rose of matchless beauty. Color dark Crimson quite distinct. An all Summer bloomer, and a perpetual feast of joy to every grower.
Stark fruits Catalog (1896)
Rose Tree of China: “A tree full of Roses“. A rare and fine importation from China. Entirely hardy, “takes care of itself“, and, when budded on hardy standard plum stock, makes a most charming little tree. Blooms in April, long before roses and every branch is thickly set with the delicate pink flowers, resembling small roses.
Alneer Brothers Seed & Plant Catalogue for 1898, cover.
QUEEN OF PRAIRIES Best of all HARDY climbing roses. Bright rosy red, frequently with white stripes on petals; blooms in clusters; a vigorous and rapid grower.
Dingee & Conard Co 1899.
Black and White Vintage Rose Illustrations
From “Our new guide to rose culture – 1891“.
Paul Neyron.—We illustrate this grand Rose, and ask special attention to it; the flowers are immense; it is probably the largest R.ose grown, and one of the finest; bright, shining pink, very clear and beautiful; very double and full, finely scented; blooms the first season and all Summer. No collection is complete without this magnificent variety.
Souvenir De Wootton.—This is a remarkably brilliant and striking New Ever-blooming Rose; bright magenta-red, passing at the base to fine violet crimson, richly shaded; flowers are large, full and regular, with thick leathery petals and delicious tea scent; makes beautiful buds and is recommended both for open ground and conservatory.
The Queen, as one of the very best, pure white varieties for general planting. It is a vigorous, healthy grower, and one of the heaviest and most continuous bloomers we know. The flowers are large, full and well filled; color, pure snow white and very sweet. A remarkably early forcer; makes fine buds; opens well, has plenty of substance, and is a good keeper. It’s considered by all who have tried it, one of the most valuable pure white Ever-blooming Roses for all purposes.
I hope you have enjoyed these vintage rose pictures, whether you plan to print and frame them for decor or use them for crafts and DIYs, such as decoupage.
Pierre-Joseph Redoute was famous for his botanical rose illustrations. There are many more flower picture collections on Pictureboxblue. Here are some of the more popular flower illustrations available.