ROSA CHINENSIS ‘MUTABILIS’ – Old Fashioned China Rose which is very commonly referred to as ‘the butterfly rose’


Although thought to be a Species rose from China before 1894 this spectacular rose is probably an old Chinese garden hybrid with characteristically mysterious origins. This rose is very highly recommend for use as a thick impenetrable rose hedge which would attain a height to at least 2 metres and spread of no less than 1.5 metres.

R. chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ produces masses of clusters of blooms which open sulphur yellow and change to orange, red and finally crimson. Since the shrub is constantly blooming, the appearance is that butterflies are fluttering all over the shrub and the new growth is dark crimson red – a sight to behold!

The foliage is lush and exceedingly healthy – this is a very highly recommended and useful rose for mass planting.

  • An old-fashioned China Rose
  • Masses of single blooms starting yellow, fading to pink, orange, crimson
  • Highly recommended for rose hedge
  • Thorny stems and lush healthy foliage


The generally sunny, dry and hot conditions of the Australian garden are particularly well suited to planting roses and roses flourish in our gardens when you take measures to provide the following:

WATER – Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions.

FEED – Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilized with quality (preferably organic) fertilizer which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertilizer should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.

PRUNE – During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape.
During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.

MULCH – Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

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