Butterfly Rose Rosa × odorata 'Mutabilis' (Ch)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
tea rose 'Mutabilis'


The 'Mutabilis' rose, commonly known as the Butterfly Rose, has a unique and enchanting appearance that captures the attention of onlookers. This plant is renowned for its color-changing flowers, which transform as they mature. The blooms start as tight, pointed buds in a shade of orange-yellow. As they open, the petals reveal a soft, peach-pink color. With time, the flowers continue to evolve, showcasing hues of copper-pink that eventually deepen to a rich, pinkish-red, giving the appearance that multiple colors of roses are growing on the same bush at once. The Butterfly Rose blooms are generally single, with a simple and open form, typically displaying a central cluster of golden-yellow stamens. The petals are slightly ruffled and have a silky texture, adding to the Butterfly Rose's overall graceful and delicate look. The foliage of the 'Mutabilis' rose is equally attractive, composed of lush, green leaves that provide a striking backdrop to the colorful display of its flowers. The Butterfly Rose also emits a light and pleasing fragrance that adds to its sensory appeal. The plant blooms repeatedly throughout its growing season, ensuring a long-lasting display of its striking and changeable flowers. Overall, the 'Mutabilis' rose is a vibrant and dynamic addition to any garden, admired for its playful dance of colors and simple yet striking beauty.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Butterfly Rose, Mutabilis Rose

    • Common names

      Rosa × odorata 'Mutabilis'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Butterfly Rose is not toxic to humans. It does not contain any substances that are known to cause poisoning. Therefore, ingestion of parts of the plant typically does not lead to any adverse health consequences.

    • To pets

      The Butterfly Rose is also not considered toxic to pets. It's generally safe for cats and dogs, and there's no record of toxicity from ingestion. As with any non-food plant material, ingestion of large quantities may cause mild gastrointestinal upset purely from the ingestion of non-digestible matter.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: The China Rose adds aesthetic beauty to gardens with its unique and changing flower colors, transitioning from pink to apricot and finishing as a deep crimson.
    • Attracts Pollinators: It serves as a source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, promoting biodiversity.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of low water availability, making it suitable for water-efficient landscaping.
    • Long Blooming Season: The China Rose has a long flowering period, providing color and interest in the garden for much of the year.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care once established, making it a good choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Landscape Versatility: The shrub can be used in mixed borders, as a specimen plant, or even trained as a small climber, offering various design possibilities.
    • Heritage Variety: As an heirloom plant, growing it helps preserve genetic diversity and garden heritage.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Some compounds in roses like flavonoids and terpenes may have anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Antioxidant: Roses contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols that can help protect cells from oxidative stress.
    • Astringent: Rose petals have astringent properties that can help tone skin and reduce inflammation.
    • Antibacterial: Certain extracts from rose plants can exhibit antibacterial activity against various types of bacteria.
    • Skin health: Rose oil and rose water are commonly used in skincare products for hydration and soothing irritated skin.
    • Mood enhancer: The scent of roses is sometimes used in aromatherapy to improve mood and reduce stress.
    This information is for reference purposes and does not substitute professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider regarding the use of herbal remedies or plant-based treatments.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Butterfly Attraction: The Butterfly Rose is particularly good at attracting butterflies which can benefit the biodiversity of a garden.
    • Photography Subject: Due to its changing hues, this rose variety is a favored subject among photographers, especially for macro and plant photography.
    • Aromatic Potpourri: Dried petals of the Butterfly Rose can contribute to a natural and visually appealing potpourri blend.
    • Natural Mulch: Fallen petals and leaves can be used as mulch to enrich the soil in gardens.
    • Handcrafted Paper: Petals can be incorporated into handcrafted paper, adding color and texture to the final product.
    • Floral Water: The petals can be steeped in water to create a fragrant floral water for use in home scents or linens.
    • Educational Tool: Its unique color-changing property makes the Butterfly Rose a useful tool for teaching botany and the science of flower pigmentation.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Artists may draw inspiration from its vibrant colors and form, using the Butterfly Rose as a muse for paintings and illustrations.
    • Wedding Decor: Its eye-catching and romantic appearance makes it suitable for natural wedding bouquets and venue decorations.
    • Culinary Garnish: Though not commonly eaten, the petals can be used as a colorful, organic garnish for special dishes, after ensuring they are pesticide-free.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Butterfly Rose is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Butterfly Rose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Change and Transformation: The blossoms of the 'Mutabilis' rose change color as they mature, shifting from yellow to pink and finally to crimson, symbolizing life's constant evolution and the beauty of transformation.
    • Love and Passion: As with many roses, the 'Mutabilis' is associated with love. The deepening color of its blossoms can represent an intensifying love or passion.
    • Grace: The rose is often associated with grace due to its elegant form and movement, and the 'Mutabilis', with its natural and effortless color changes, is no exception.
    • Mystery: The unpredictable color changes of the 'Mutabilis' rose can symbolize mystery and the unknown, reflecting the mysterious nature of emotions and relationships.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Butterfly Rose should be watered regularly to maintain moist but not soggy soil, especially during the growing season from spring to fall. It requires deep watering approximately once a week, with around 1 to 2 gallons of water each session depending on the size of the plant and the climate. In hotter and drier periods, increase the frequency to ensure the roots have sufficient moisture. During the dormant winter season, reduce watering to every 2 to 3 weeks, making sure the soil doesn't dry out completely. It's important to avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk of leaf diseases.

  • sunLight

    The Butterfly Rose thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily to bloom optimally. The best spot would be one where the plant receives morning sun, which is gentler and helps dry dew on the leaves, reducing the risk of disease. The plant can tolerate partial shade, particularly in hotter climates, but too much shade can lead to fewer flowers and a weak, spindly growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Butterfly Rose does best in temperate climates and can typically handle temperatures between 20°F and 90°F. It is important to protect the shrub from extreme cold, as temperatures below 20°F might cause damage to the plant. The ideal temperature range for the Butterfly Rose is between 65°F and 75°F, where it can grow and bloom without stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Butterfly Rose to maintain shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and encourage robust new growth and flowering. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring, just before new growth starts. Prune it once a year by cutting back about one-third of the older stems to promote air circulation and light penetration, which are essential for a healthy plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Butterfly Rose prefers well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A mix of loam, compost, and coarse sand in equal parts can provide optimal growth conditions and support its health.

  • plantRepotting

    Butterfly Rose, when grown in containers, should be repotted every 2-3 years to ensure the roots have enough space and the soil remains fertile.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Butterfly Rose thrives in moderate humidity levels, typical of outdoor garden conditions, without the need for specific humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, proper watering, and good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun with ample space in fertile, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9b USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the Rosa × odorata 'Mutabilis', commonly known as the Butterfly Rose, begins with seed germination, where the seed must be stratified before it germinates to produce a young seedling. The seedling stage involves development into a young plant with true leaves, which will then enter a vegetative growth phase characterized by the expansion of foliage and roots. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage, usually from late spring to fall, producing single or small clusters of flowers that change color from yellow to pink to crimson as they age. After pollination, typically by insects, the plant produces hips (fruit) containing seeds that can be dispersed for propagation. Throughout its life, the Butterfly Rose experiences cycles of dormancy in winter and re-growth in spring, adapting to seasonal changes. The plant then continues this cycle, with proper care and pruning, potentially for many years, since rose plants can live and thrive for several decades with good conditions and management.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The China Rose 'Mutabilis' can be propagated by several methods, with the most popular being softwood cuttings. This method is usually performed in late spring or early summer when the plant’s growth is most active. To begin the process, a gardener would select a healthy non-flowering shoot and cut a 4 to 6-inch (about 10 to 15 cm) length, making sure it includes at least two or three leaf nodes. The lower leaves are stripped, and the cut end is often dipped into a rooting hormone to encourage growth. Then, the cutting is placed in a well-draining soil mix. To retain humidity, the cutting is usually covered with a plastic bag or placed in a propagator. Rooting typically occurs in a few weeks, after which the new China Rose 'Mutabilis' plants can be gradually acclimatized to less humid conditions before being moved to their final location.