The old Rose ‘Chapeau de Napoleon’ is a centifolia type belonging to the moss rose family. It was discovered by chance in 1826 by a Swiss botanist in Fribourg, in an abandoned garden near the tower of a medieval castle.
This rose is one of the oldest and most famous among the 156 types we can admire in the Boboli Gardens. Already attested in 1847 in the General Catalogue of the Royal Garden of Boboli, the collection of those old roses can be found inside the Lemon House’s Garden, or in the Basin of the Island as well as in the Knight’s Garden and in the Grotto of Madama.
The ‘Chapeau de Napoleon’, in particular, is a rose characterized by an intense silver colour; it is incredibly fragranced and blooms once a year. The typical shape of its moss edges makes the buds resemble a tricorn, the famous cocked hat worn by Napoleon, whom it owes its name to. The flowers are sought-after for the extraction of precious essences as well as the production of syrups and preserves.