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26 Free Vintage Rose Illustrations from Old Gardening Catalogs

Explore antique flower illustrations from old gardening catalogs. Our free download collection includes watercolour roses, vintage rose images, and high-quality line drawings. Perfect for creating high-quality prints, crafting and creative reference.

I have already shared vintage rose botanical prints on Picture Box Blue. Since then, I have seen 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 vintage illustrations 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 developed 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, a rose grows on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany. It is the oldest living rose at over 1,000 years old.
  • The rose is the world’s most popular flower. It is the national flower of many countries, including the USA and England.
  • Roses can be eaten; their petals 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 have made rosehip syrup from wild berries I have collected. This syrup is packed full of vitamin C and is an excellent antioxidant.
  • Roses are famous for their fragrance. Rose oil is used as the main ingredient in many perfumes. It takes 2000 flowers to make 1 gram of rose oil.
  • The most expensive rose cultivar was the Juliet rose, which was grown by the world-famous rose gardener David Austin. It sold for $15.8 million in 2006.
Vintage rose illustrations from catalog covers pin

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 colours symbolize other emotions, making them more suited to different situations.

  • Red Rose: Passion, true love, romance, and desire.
  • Pink Rose: Grace and elegance, it is often given as a token of admiration and appreciation.
  • Yellow Rose: Friendship and cheer due to their sunny appearance.
  • White Rose: 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 Rose: Energy, excitement and even admiration.
  • Lavender Rose (purple French rose): A sign of love at first sight or enchantment.

How To Download The Vintage Flower Illustrations

Click on the vintage rose illustration you want, and high-quality images will open in a new tab on your browser.  If you then click on that rose illustration with your mouse, you can save the image or create a high quality print.

The first set of antique rose illustrations are colourful watercolor roses; the last few are a black-and-white line drawing of roses.

Rose Illustrations and Drawings 1-8

1. 1884 Rose Illustration from “The new guide to rose culture

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:

  1. Princess of Wales Tea
  2. Etoile De Lyon Tea
  3. Duke of Connaught Hybrid Tea
1884 Catalog tea roses

2. 1884 Rose Illustration from “The new guide to rose culture” 2

Another vintage rose picture from the above catalog.

  1. Louisa De La Rive New Tea
  2. Souvenire De Therese Levet
  3. Madame Eugene Verdier
1884 catalog roses

3. 1886 American Beauty Roses and others

Roses cover of the 1886 version of the same catalog “The new guide to rose culture“.

  • White Flowers 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.

1886 american beauty and other roses

4. 1886 “The new guide to rose culture

  1. Madame De WattevilleI
  2. Etendard De Jeanne
  3. Imperatrice De Russia
1886 vintage rose illustrations

5. 1891 New American Pedigree Roses

From Dingee & Conard’s “Our new guide to rose culture: 1891“.

  1. Henry M. Stanley
  2. Golden gate
  3. Pearl Rivers
New American Roses 1891

6. Ellwanger and Barry’s general catalogue of fruit and ornamental trees 1894

Watercolor painting of leaved rose.

  1. Mrs John Laing
  2. Earl of Dufferin
  3. Marshall P. Wilder
Ellwanger and Barry's general catalogue of fruit and ornamental trees

7. Childs rare flowers, vegetables, and fruits (1896)

A collection of vintage rose varieties with lots of green leaves

  1. Crimson Rambler
  2. Mary Washington
  3. Child’s Jewel
  4. Champion of The World
Childs vintage rose illustrations

8. McGregor Brothers’ Floral Gems 1899

McGregor Brothers Floral Gems 1899

Rose Illustrations 9-16

9. May & Co Tea Roses

May & Co Catalogue of seeds, plants, bulbs and fruits (1895).

May & Co Tea Roses

10. Cream Beauty Rose 1899

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.

1899 Cream Beauty rose

11. Sir Rowland Hill Rose

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.

Sir Rowland Hill Rose 1894

12. Child’s New Rose Climbing Meteor 1896

Child's new rose climbing meteor

13. Maule’s seed catalogue – 1896

Roses Maule's seed catalog

14. Rose Tree of China

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.

Rose Tree of China

15. Alneer Brothers 1898

Alneer Brothers Seed & Plant Catalogue for 1898, cover.

Alneer Brothers Seed & Plant Catalogue for 1898, cover

16. Vintage Climbing Rose Illustration – Stark Fruits 1896

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.

Vintage Climbing Rose Illustration - Stark Fruits 1896

Rose Illustrations 17- 21

17. Forest Park Collection of Roses

Forest Park Vintage Roses

18. Rare Florida flowers and fruits (1899) 

19. Storrs & Harrison Co. 1899 Spring Catalogue cover

Storrs & Harrison Co. 1899 Spring Catalogue cover

20. G. R. Gause & Co. Catalogue of Flowers 1897

vintage white rose illustrations

21 Victory Rose

Dingee & Conard Co 1899.

Victory rose

Black and White Rose Illustrations 22-26

The following high quality images are black line drawings of roses on a white background.

22. Fruit trees, evergreens, roses, etc. for Florida and coast belt of southern states (1891)

black and white Rose drawings

23. Black and White Madame Hoste Rose Drawing

Black and white vintage rose drawing

24. Paul Neyron Black and White Rose Drawing

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 rose grown, and one of the finest; bright, shining pink, apparent and beautiful; very double and full, finely scented; blooms the first season and all Summer. No collection is complete without this magnificent variety.

Paul Neyron rose drawing in black and white

25. Souvenir De Wootton Black and White Rose Drawing

Souvenir De Wootton.—This is a remarkably brilliant and striking New Ever-blooming Rose; bright magenta-red, passing at the base to delicate 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. 

Black and White rose Drawing

26. The Queen Black and White Rose Drawing

The Queen is 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. 

The Queen black and white rose illustration

Other Related Collections

I hope you have enjoyed these roses, whether you plan to print and frame them for decor or use them for crafts and DIYs, such as decoupage.  You could make a lovely vintage rose frame or use the drawings for handmade pieces such as wedding invitations.

You may also like the images from the Yokohama Nursery Garden Catalogue.

Check out these seed packet planters and flower tray tables if you want craft ideas to use these rose pictures.

The Raphael of Flowers, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, was famous for his botanical rose illustrations, many of which feature in his book “Choix des plus belles fleurs”.

There are many more flower picture collections on Pictureboxblue. Here are some of the more popular flower illustrations available.

Good news you’ll also find vintage rose stock photos in this collection of Valentine’s Day original artwork and vintage Valentine cards.

There are is also a vintage rose pattern in this collection of William Morris designs.

As well as vintage botanicals on Pictureboxblue there are many vintage animal illustrations to check out.

If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Oh! These are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing them with us at the TFT party! Pinning


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

You're welcome and thank you so much.


Sunday 21st of November 2021

I adore floral decor and these are all so pretty! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm--pinned!


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Thank you, the vintage flower images are lovely from old catalogues.

Kathy A

Saturday 20th of November 2021

Oh, I so need a new color cartridge in order to print these! I love roses, with pink being my fave; I collect old plates with pink roses like these. I ask my son to get me printer cartridges for Christmas as it gives me such pleasure to print beautiful pix! Thank you!


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Thank you so much, I hope you get the ink you need.

Rebecca Payne

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

I love all of your vintage prints. These are gorgeous!


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Cheers and thank you so much.