Damask Tea Rose

Ornamental Plants

  • Origin: IRAN

Rosa x damascena - Mill.

Common Name Damask Rose
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation, this species is probably a hybrid involving R. centifolia[11, 74].
Range W. Asia.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Rosa x damascena is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.




Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Condiment

Young shoots - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Best used when they are still red-coloured, they are peeled before being eaten[183]. Petals - cooked. They are the source of 'attar of roses' and 'rose water', and are used as a flavouring for drinks, sweets, baked goods, ice cream etc[183]. The petals are also used to make jam[74]. Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter[200], but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds[K]. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The leaves are used as a seasoning. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement[102, 183]. Be sure to remove the seed hairs[102].

Medicinal Uses

The petals are applied externally as an astringent[240]. They are also made into a preserve and used as a tonic that helps to put on weight[240]. The buds (the report does not say if it is leaf or flower buds) are aperient, astringent, cardiac and tonic[240]. They are used for removing bile and cold humours[240]. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers[214].