Three at a Time

 ”Three at a Time”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 



The recent warm-up has spurred the flowering of one plant in particular – the Butterfly Rose (Mutabilis).  The roses here in the Coastal South always bloom better in the cooler, dryer months of fall and late winter.  The past few days, my rosebush has been living up to its name, having all three colors at one time.

The flowers start out a pale peachy yellow then darkens to a orange-pink and finally turns dark pink.  This is typical of China roses which have colors that darken with age instead of fading.








All three colors at the same time on one bush is supposed to resemble butterflies resting, hence the name Butterfly Rose.  I, personally don’t see the butterfly thing, but I do like the different colored single roses appearing at the same time especially at this time of year when so few things are blooming.


  1. fairegarden said,

    December 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Oh how wonderful. I love mutabalis, they were planted extensively in the Houston area and bloomed for such a long period. Yours is a beauty!

    • Jan said,

      December 29, 2008 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks, Frances. I love this rose and was thinking about trying to root a few cuttings when I trim it back soon. My mother was successful in rooting a cutting from my sister’s bush in the middle of the summer, so I am hopeful I’ll be able to do it when the weather is not so hot.

  2. Racquel said,

    December 29, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Those roses are pretty Jan. Does the color change with age?

    • Jan said,

      December 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm

      Yes, Racquel, as the flowers age they turn darker.

  3. tina said,

    December 29, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve never seen these or even heard of them. Very pretty!

  4. December 29, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    That’s lovely Jan. I too don’t see the butterfly thingy, but it sure is lovely as you said! Cheers

  5. Randy said,

    December 30, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Does that rose seem to be disease resistant in your area. We have such a hard time with black spot. It’s so beautiful!

  6. Jan said,

    December 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Tina, this is a very old rose, and while popular in established gardens, it is not seen in nurseries very much. It is a very pretty single rose. I usually only like double , frilly flowers, but this single one is special.

    Chandramouli, I agree that the butterfly image is a bit of a stretch or maybe I am just not creative enough. I think it is the pink color – there are no pink butterflies.

    Randy, this doesn’t have much of a blackspot problem, in fact, the China roses are supposed to be good roses for the South. I don’t do anything to try and control it. I would say it is about as disease resistant as the Knockouts are, and remember we live with very high humidity, so you may have more success.

  7. Brenda Kula said,

    December 30, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I just wish I had ANY roses blooming!

  8. Jan said,

    December 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Brenda, your pansies are so pretty they are enough. Just remember, it won’t be too long before your roses will be popping out flowers.

  9. Jean said,

    December 31, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Mutablis is such a great rose bush. It keeps on going and has such nice blooms. It does need a good bit of space, which has limited me growing it these days. But I loved seeing yours!

    • Jan said,

      December 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm

      Jean, I keep my Mutablis trimmed up and back to about 5 feet, so it is kept under control. It is however, the only rose bush in the center of a circular bed, so it can spread a bit. Besides the great colors, I like that it blooms just about year round.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: