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Sombreuil Climbing Rose Or Colonial White

Updated on August 31, 2016
David Austin Sombreuil
David Austin Sombreuil

Featuring the beautiful Sombreuil

The Sombreuil , also known as Colonial White is a highly favored climbing tea rose in moderate climates. Growing 10 to 12 feet tall.

Robert 1850

The flowers of the Sombreuil are flat. quartered, rosette~shaped.

The blooms are a creamy ~ white with a tinge of pinkish white in the center.

Sombreuil rose is an old, white climbing hybrid Tea rose with flowers that are quite large and beautiful to behold. With flat quartered blooms of creamy white with just a tinge of faint pink centers.It is very fragrant and produces repeatedly after the first flush. With healthy disease resistant foliage. It will grow extremely well on a trellis or along a fence.

It is a very sweet cutting rose.

It has been said that this rose Sombreuil, was named for the daughter of the Comte de Sombreuil who saved him from a certain death in prison at the time of the French Revolution.

Apparently, for years this rose has been mistaken for the Tea rose, Mlle. de Sombreuil . Sombreuil is often listed as a Climbing Tea. It would seem that, many are now in agreement that this rose is, in fact, the Climbing Floribunda, Colonial White.

I have found in my own personal experience with this rose, that it is very hardy and able to with stand a horrible wind storm. I had planted two Sombreuil's on either side of a large arch, they had both grown up and over the arch. Thriving very well, and beautiful indeed. But alas , we had a huge wind storm come through and blow the arch over, taking down both of my roses. When I saw this I cried , because both of the roses had snapped about ¾ of the way down. I knew that they probably could not survive, but I cleaned them up, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.. Two years later they are still alive and grown to about half the size they were, they stand at about 4 feet now...

The American Rose Society

According to the American Rose Society:

"The ARS Classification Committee has come to the conclusion that the rose sold in the United States and elsewhere as Sombreuil is not the same rose as the cultiver that is name Mlle. De that was originally introduced as a tea rose by M. Robert in 1850.
The cultivar that is now grown and purchased in the United States under the name Sombreuil is, in fact, a Large-Flowered Climber that was introduced into the United States, circa 1880. It does not have the tea fragrance, the shrub growth form, and the winter tenderness of the 1850 cultivar.

That being said, to correct this confusion, the Classification Committee has since ruled, that the name Mlle De Sombreuil will be retained as the approved exhibition name (AEN) for the 1850 shrub form Tea, and that the name Sombreuil be used as the AEN for the LCl, typically grown and sold in the United States.

With this change, Sombreuil (LCl) will no longer be eligible for the Dowager Queen award, and
must be exhibited in the Climber class.

10 to 12 Feet
Bloom size
4 inches
Creamy ~ White
Also known as Colonial White
Glossy green
Petal count
1950 ~1959

Fragrance In An Old Fashioned Rose Garden

Try mixing roses with other fragrant cottage garden favorites. Not only will you have beautiful bouquets, but you will be rewarded with season long blooms.

Choose plants that share the same likes as your roses, full sun, regular watering , with fertile well drained soil. Compliment and contrast the texture of the rose with plants such as shrubs, perennials and annuals growth habits, bloom times and flower color. Choose companion plants that provide interest when roses are resting, as well as coordinate with them when they are blooming.

By mixing flower and foliage colors, shapes and textures, you will not only have a season of blooms in your garden , you will have an abundance of bouquets to bring indoors and to share with friends and neighbors.

The table to the right will provide your roses with some good companion flowers suitable for an old fashioned rose garden.

Companion Plants

Plants and bulbs
Bloom Time
30~36 inches
6 inches
Bearded Iris
Late spring to early summer
12~30 inches
12~30 inches
Strong vertical accent
Bee balm
Early to late summer
36~48 inches
18~24 inches
Fragrant foliage attracts humming birds
Butterfly bush
Mid to late summer
6~9 feet
6~8 feet
Attracts butterflis, creates backdrop
Early to late summer
18~30 inches
18~24 inches
Fragrant gray~green foliage
Early summer
8~10 inches
12~18 inches
Fragrant mounds of foliage
Summer to fall
12~24 inches
12~18 inches
Dark blue flowers with a sweet aroma
Mid to late summer
12~30 inches
15~18 inches
Lavender flowers
Spring to fall
3~6 inches
12 inches
Border edging or ground cover

Companion Plants For Roses

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lavender | Source

Nell and the Sombreuil Rose


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    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      Thank You MsDora...for the up vote...

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for these lessons in roses. You're a treasure. Voted up!