And now to the roses of the Twentieth Century: the Hybrid Teas, Polyanthas and Floribundas, which represent the majority of all rose plants and have been interbred so much that they are now very difficult to separate on a genetic basis.
Both groups are short bushes, 1m to less than 2m tall and less than 1 metre to 1.5 metres wide, with an upright growth habit, bred to be grown in rose beds and cut for floral arrangements in the home. They repeat-flower with several flushes, 6 to 8 weeks apart and lasting several weeks long, throughout the season, from late October and mid-November to pruning time the following Winter, here in Australia. The first two photos are of Just Joey.Most blooms have the traditional modern form with a high-pointed bud, opening to a circular outline with a high spiralling centre. However, there are more informal types with a lighter, more airy arrangement of petals, while others have tight rings of petals in rosettes or cupped formations.To add to the confusion, most roses of either group can form multiple heads (clusters) on the top of strong water shoots in Spring, and even cluster-flowered roses can throw a good number of single stems on older, lightly pruned plants.
Within each group, there is huge variety in the foliage canopy (dense/sparse), leaf appearance (matt/glossy), height (tall/short) and bloom colour and shape, enabling the choice of roses for a wide variety of purposes and situations:
Floral arrangements and cutting blooms: Consistently single shapely blooms on long stems eg Mr Lincoln, Julia’s Rose, Blue Moon, Fragrant Plum (2nd photo below), Pascali (long regarded as one of the best white Hybrid Teas and a cross between Queen Elizabeth and White Butterfly) and Double Delight. Here is a vase of Mr Lincoln (dark red) and Lolita (orange, pink and gold):Exhibition/ Competition blooms: Consistently large blooms with a good form, but not necessarily long stems eg Peace;Attractive garden plants: Plentiful eye-catching blooms on thick, well-rounded plants eg Apricot Nectar; Lolita (main tall rose in photo above); and Fragrant Plum (photo below);Bedding Roses: Tidy growth habit, dense foliage and free-flowering eg Iceberg, La Sevillana (photo below) and Queen Elizabeth;Roses for Low Borders: 0.5 to 1 metre tall eg Polyanthas
Ground Cover, Patio and Miniature Roses: See later.
Single Blooms eg Mrs Oakley Fisher, Ellen Willmott, White Wings (photo below) and Dainty Bess; and
General Purpose Roses: Combine a number of the above attributes eg Gold Bunny, Just Joey (photo below) and Peace. In 1971, Hybrid Teas and Floribundas were reclassified as Large-Flowered Roses and Cluster-Flowered Roses respectively. I will now focus Hybrid Teas for the rest of this post, then Polyanthas and Floribundas (Cluster-Flowered Roses) in Thursday’s post.
Hybrid Teas are the result of a cross between Tea roses (for their elegance and perpetual flowering) and Hybrid Perpetuals ( for their robustness and freedom of flowering) in the mid-19th Century.
The earliest Hybrid Teas were:
Victor Verdier, bred by Lacharme, France, 1859: A cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Jules Margottin, and Tea rose, Safrano, and the first reliably documented rose, that could be classified as a Hybrid Tea, according to David Austin. See: http://www.petrovicroses.rs/en/roses/old-roses/hp/victor-verdier;
La France, bred by Guillot Fils, France, 1865: This rose has uncertain origins. Guillot thought it was possibly a seedling of Tea rose, Mme Falcot, the current position taken in Peter Beales’book, Classic Roses, while David Austin attributes its parents as Hybrid Perpetual, Mme Victor Verdier (not to be confused with Victor Verdier) and Tea Rose, Mme Bravy. It had a good scent, vigorous growth and was very free-flowering. At the time, it was considered to be another Hybrid Perpetual and was a nearly sterile triploid, as were the early Bourbons. For a long while, it held the honour of being the first Hybrid Tea. For a photo, see: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/hybridteas/lafrance.html. It was soon followed by:
Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, Bennett, UK, 1882 (photo below): A cross between Devoniensis (Tea) and Victor Verdier (Hybrid Perpetual), it was a fertile tetraploid and was the parent of many early British Hybrid Teas. Thought to have disappeared, it was rediscovered in 1975 by Keith Money, Norfolk. Bennett, long regarded as the Father of the Hybrid Teas, was the first to use the term Hybrid Tea or as he put it ‘Pedigree Hybrids of the Tea Rose’. Bennett was also, along with French breeder, Sisley, the first to apply systematic deliberate cross breeding to roses with certain objectives in view, thus being the first modern rose breeders.Other early varieties included:
Grace Darling 1884. Unknown parentage. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/grace-darling-bush-rose.html;
Mme Caroline Testout 1890 ( a cross between Tea Rose, Mme de Tartas and Lady Mary Fitzwilliam);Lady Waterlow 1903 (Hybrid Tea, La France de ’89 X Mme Marie Lavalley);Irish Elegance, Alexander Dickson II, United Kingdom,1905, a cross between R. hibernica and an undocumented Hybrid Tea. Salmon buds open to highly fragrant, single, flat peach blooms, fading to salmon-buff. This rose is very disease-resistant and blooms in flushes throughout the season.Château de Clos Vougeot, Pernet-Ducher, France, 1908: Unknown cross;Mrs Herbert Stevens, McGredy, UK, 1910, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Tea Rose, Niphetos;Ophelia 1912 (a seedling, which arrived in a consignment of Antoine Rivoire – photo below). For a photo of Ophelia, see: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ophelia-bush-rose.html; andMme Butterfly 1918, the bush form a sport of Ophelia. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/mme-butterfly.
While many of these early Hybrid Teas have been superseded by the more modern varieties, they still hold their own in their climbing forms, which are either crosses or sports involving the bush forms. For example:
Climbing Mme Caroline Testout 1901;
Climbing Château de Clos Vougeot 1920, both sports of their bush form;
Climbing Mrs Herbert Stevens 1922, one of the most popular white climbers, which is frequently found in old gardens;Climbing Lady Sylvia 1926, the bush form itself also a sport of Mme Butterfly, and one of the most popular roses of the 1930s. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/lady-sylvia; and
Mme Gregoire Staechelin (Spanish Beauty) 1927, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot. The first two photos below were taken at Walter Duncan’s home at the Heritage Garden, Clare, while the last photo was our old verandah at ‘Creekside’, Armidale.
Ophelia, Mme Butterfly and Lady Sylvia all exhibit the ideal for perfect Hybrid Tea buds with their exquisitely scrolled formation and have few rivals, even today. They only differ in their colour: Ophelia is blush-pink; Mme Butterfly is a slightly deeper shade and Lady Sylvia is blush, suffused with apricot. In all three, the colour deepens towards the centre. All are reliable growers, reaching 80 cm in height, but are prone to blackspot. The neat foliage is grey-green and the flowers highly scented. All have excellent climbing sports. Ophelia alone was responsible for at least 36 sports!
For more photos of the Early Hybrid Teas, see:http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/gallery/early-hybrid-teas.
The next advance was the first yellow Hybrid Tea! In 1910, Pernet-Ducher crossed a clear-yellow R. foetida persiana with a red Hybrid Perpetual, Antoine Ducher, to produce a seedling, which was then crossed with R. foetida bicolor to produce the first yellow Hybrid Tea, Rayon d’Or.
Rayon d’Or is now extinct, but another yellow form of the same crossing (Antoine Ducher x R. foetida persiana) still survives: Soleil d’Or 1900. For a better photo, see: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/soleil-d-or-bush-rose.html.
Originally known as the Pernetianas and now reclassified as Hybrid Teas or Large-Flowered Roses, they had yellow or orange blooms with little scent and were very thorny and highly susceptible to blackspot. In fact, they are the source of most of the yellows and bright colours in modern roses, as well as the source of their susceptibility to blackspot!
Another important breeding program was the introduction in 1945 of R. wichuraiana genes by Brownlow, Rhode Island, to produce hardier varieties, more resistant to blackspot and suitable for growing in the colder climate of North-Eastern USA, which he called Sub-Zero Hybrid Teas. For more information on these roses, see: http://www.midwestgardentips.com/sub-zero_tea_roses.html. Some were later used by German breeder, Kordes, to produce varieties suitable for Germany.
There are now thousands of Hybrid Teas on the market, with at least ten large rose specialist breeders around the world, including: Kordes (Germany); Meilland (France); Dickson (Northern Ireland); McGredy (formerly Northern Ireland and later, New Zealand); Harkness (England) and Fryer (England); Cocker (Scotland); Jackson and Perkins (USA); and Weeks (USA), as well as countless smaller and amateur breeders.
Tall upright growth with sparse foliage towards the base.
Large solitary specimen bloom with a high-pointed bud and variable degrees of scent. The photo below of Mrs Herbert Stevens shows the typical long pointed and spiralling buds.Recurrent flowering.
Not as hardy or tough as Old Roses and more susceptible to diseases like black spot.
Most widely grown rose type and according to Deane Ross, the most popular rose type in Australia and New Zealand. Below is a photo of a bush of Mme Caroline Testout.
I have already mentioned a few early Hybrid Teas. Here are some more very famous and popular varieties in order of their introduction. Please note that it is only a miniscule portion of the vast number of Hybrid Teas available, the selection being based on the few Hybrid Teas, which I grow in my garden, and other personal photos from other gardens! Where I did not have suitable photos, I have included a link, as in the first rose below.
Mrs Oakley Fisher, Cant, UK, 1921. Single deep orange-yellow blooms with a good scent and golden-brown stamens. Unknown parentage. See: http://www.rosenotes.com/2014/08/mrs-oakley-fisher-rose.html;
Dainty Bess, Archer, UK 1925, a cross between Ophelia and Kitchener of Khartoum, both Hybrid Teas, it has single rose-pink blooms with a deeper pink on the outside, contrasting red-brown stamens and fringed petals. Ellen Willmott, Archer, UK, 1936: A cross between Dainty Bess and Tea Rose, Lady Hillingdon with large, single, creamy flowers, tinged with pink at the edges, wavy petals and golden anthers and red filaments;Peace, Meilland, France, 1945: One of the most popular roses of all time, the story of its creation immortalized in Antonia Ridge’s beautiful book ‘For Love of a Rose’. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
Peace is the result of crosses between (George Dickson x Souvenir de Claudius Pernet) X ( Joanna Hill x Charles P Kilham) X Margaret McGredy and was also called Gloria Dei (Germany), Mme A Meilland (France) and Gioia (Italy). For a shorter version of its story, see: https://www.gerbera.org/gardening-magazine/the-gardener-index/june-2005/peace-rose/. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1974;White Wings, Krebs, USA, 1947 : A cross between Dainty Bess and an unknown rose, it is another Hybrid Tea with pure white single blooms with chocolate anthers;Sutter’s Gold: Bush form: Swim, USA, 1950; Climbing form Weeks, USA, 1950: A cross between Charlotte Armstrong x Signora, both Hybrid Teas. A lovely rose, with whose climbing form I grew up. See: http://www.treloarroses.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2466;
Meg, Gosset, UK, 1954: A cross between Paul’s Lemon Pillar X Mme Butterfly, both Hybrid Teas and another beautiful single golden rose;Papa Meilland, Meilland, France, 1963: A cross between Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin, both Hybrid Teas. A velvety deep red rose with a perfect formation and delicious perfume. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1988, however it can be a tricky rose with poor growth in Britain. See: http://sarose.org.au/rose-month/papa-meilland/;
Mr Lincoln, Swim and Weeks, USA, 1964 : Another cross between the same two Hybrid Teas, Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin. Another beautiful deep red rose with a divine scent and very long stems, making it very popular with florists;Blue Moon, Tantau, Germany, 1965: A cross between Hybrid Tea, Sterling Silver, and an unknown seedling, this rose has upright growth and highly fragrant lavender exhibition blooms. One of the earliest and most successful of the blue roses that will flower through Summer and Autumn. See: http://rankinsroses.com.au/product/blue-moon/;
Lolita, Kordes, Germany, 1973 A cross between Hybrid Tea, Colour Wonder and an unknown seedling. Continuous slightly scented apricot flowers, tinged with pink on long straight almost thornless stems. I love it at all stages from the tight bud (photo above) to a high-pointed, classic-shaped rose through to a full bloom showing its stamens;Julia’s Rose, Wisbech, UK, 1976: A coppery coffee-coloured rose with a slight scent, which is a cross between two Hybrid Teas, Blue Moon and Dr AJ Verhage;Double Delight, Swim and Ellis, USA, 1977: A cross between Granada and Garden Party, both Hybrid Teas, it has creamy-white, highly scented continuous blooms with red edges, but the leaves are susceptible to mildew. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1986. See: http://www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com/double-delight-rose.html;
The Children’s Rose, Meilland, France, 1995: A cross between (Perfume Delight x Prima Ballerina, both Hybrid Teas) X The Mc Cartney Rose, another Hybrid Tea, this tall robust disease -resistant rose has highly fragrant, fully double fat, soft pink blooms, mainly borne singly, but sometimes in clusters on almost thornless stems. It starts to bloom in the mid-Spring, the flowering being constant throughout the season and right up to Winter pruning. It was introduced in the United States under the name, Frederic Mistral;Our Copper Queen, Kordes, Germany, 1996: Tall healthy plant with large, fragrant, deep golden yellow solitary double blooms, borne in flushed throughout the season;Ice-Girl, Kordes, Germany, 1997: A cross between Frederic Mistral and Osiana, both Hybrid Teas, this rose has ivory-white, medium, double and quartered blooms in small clusters in flushes throughout the season;Best Friend, Meilland, France, 1997: A cross between (Tino Rossi x Rendez-Vous) x Sonia, all Hybrid Teas, this tall, disease-resistant rose has medium-pink blooms with a fruity fragrance, borne on long strong stems in flushes from late Spring to late Autumn. A perfect rose for floristry, it was named by the RSPCA to honour the unconditional love of man’s best friend (below is another photo of the rose with my best friend, my husband, Ross!) and has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Rome Rose Trials in Italy, and Fragrance Awards at the same trials, as well as at the Nantes Rose Trials and Bagatelle Rose Trials in France; Le Roeulx Rose Trials in Belgium and the Geneva Rose Trials in Switzerland; and lastly,Heaven Scent, Carruth, USA, 2001 A cross between a Floribunda, Blueberry Hill, and a Hybrid Tea, New Zealand, this is a strong tough rose with large highly scented (Damask scent) orchid-pink roses with a darker reverse and slightly frilled petals on long thornless stems, perfect for floral arrangements. It is the pink rose in the foreground. Lolita is the rose in the background.On Thursday, I will be discussing the Polyanthas and Floribundas or the Cluster-Flowered Roses, as they are known today.