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What Color Is An American Beauty Rose?

Ask The Expert: What color is an American Beauty Rose.  Valeria.

Flower Expert Reply:

This seems like a very simple question to answer. However, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the color and actual heritage of this rose.  The foundation for this confusion may be a result of a 1999 movie – American Beauty.  In the movie, a dark red rose is used thus creating a connection between dark red roses and the term American Beauty.

The history, color and origin of this rose is surrounded by controversy. The original American Beauty rose is said to be a rich deep pink, long-stemmed rose with intense fragrance. It has been said that the original rose came from a nursery in Baltimore MD and was planted in a Washington DC garden in the 19th century. A well-known Washington DC florist then took cuttings from this plant propagating a large number of plants which he forced to blooms. This florist then sold the long stem roses under the name American Beauty. Many rose experts claim that the American Beauty is actually a French rose called Mme. Ferdinand Jarmin, a French rose.

Since confusion and controversy surround this rose, some red roses maybe sold as American Beauty roses or called Red American Beauty roses.

Hopefully one of our readers will have more information about this rose.


  1. American Beauty is a variety of rose that is indeed a dark pink. The rose gave it’s name to a fabric color that matched it. The Philadelphia Mummers of the 40’s, 50’s and 6o,s were very fond of it.

    The American Beauty rose did not produce well or keep well. It was replaced commercially in the 40’s by the Better Times rose from the Hill company in Richmond, Indiana. Better Times grew better and was the standard for many years. In the fifties other commercial varieties came on the market. Happiness, Forever Yours, Cara Mia all offered a deep red color as well as improved vase-life. Varieties such as Bacara and Visa offered a truer red color.

  2. Ben

    Thanks so much for the information. Didn’t know about the fabric – very interesting. As the times and rose varieties changed did the color become more red than pink?

  3. Gail Jolly says:

    The idea that the film “American Beauty ” started the idea of the term American Beauty is nonsense. I have been around long enough to remember many years before this film was thought of. American Beauty was used as a colour in fashion (usually deep red with a pinkish tinge) for years and was always assumed to come from the rose. Its use rather went out of fashion by 1999 when the film was made but I suspect the film makers were using it as play on words.

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