History of Garden Roses
Rosa x alba is an ancient hybrid of European gardens and was once considered to be the double form of a wild species. However, it is now thought to be derived from R. damascena and a wild rose such as R. corymbifera from the Mediterranean or the dog rose R. canina from Europe.
Two of the oldest Albas are 'Maidens Bush' and R. x alba 'Semi Plena' (White Rose of York). Another early form, R. x alba 'Maxima' (Great Double White) is also known as the Jacobite Rose as it was the badge of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his followers. Many albas such as 'Queen of Denmark' were not developed until the 19th century.
It is believed that an Alba rose hybridised with the Autumn Damask, produced E. centifolia (Provence or Great Holland Rose). This rose produced several sports, of which the most important was R. x centifolia 'Muscosa' (Common Moss).