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Damask Roses

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Damask Roses are a group of very ancient hybrid roses, which are said to have been brought back from Damascus by the Crusaders. Their double flowers in clusters are often inclined and their colour is paler than that of Gallic roses. But they are superbly scented and highly valued in perfumery, especially Rosa x damascena whose petals are still harvested today. They generally have an upright, slightly arching, elegant and harmonious habit, and their foliage is well-cut and less prone to diseases. They do not exceed 1 to 2 m (3 to 7ft) in height. In this group, there are summer roses such as Ispahan with a single but early and incredibly generous flowering, and autumn roses that bloom twice a year. These roses were already cultivated in Mediterranean countries before the Christian era, and it is more likely that it was the Romans who were responsible for their arrival in Europe. Relatively resistant, they require little care, but it is advisable not to plant them in a confined and too shady place. They have retained an excellent adaptation to dry and hot climates, but also a medium hardiness, sometimes lacking in cold regions.

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