Elegant Albas

Once considered a separate species, Albas are now thought to be very ancient hybrids of unknown origin, though it is suspected that they are the result of natural hybridization between  Rosa canina (similar foliage, fruit and stems) and Rosa damascena. Grown in Ancient Rome, predominantly for its medicinal qualities, Albas were introduced into England by the Romans before 100 AD, where they quickly naturalized. The Alba rose became the symbol for the House of York during the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century, gaining the name ‘The White Rose of York’, as well as bearing other titles : ‘ The Jacobite Rose’, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Rose’, ‘Cheshire Rose’ and  ‘Great Double White’. Gerard grew R. alba in his garden at Long Acre in 1597. Albas were widely grown during the Middle Ages for their medicinal properties. Botticelli painted Alba maxima in his famous painting ‘Venus’ in 1485 and this fampous old rose was also the subject of Dutch masterpieces in the 18th century. At the time of Dupont (1813), there were only 10 Albas known, but Jean-Paul Vibert grew over 70 different types of Albas in 1824.  Today, there are less than 20 – Peter Beales lists 16 Albas in his book ‘Classic Roses’.


Also known as Tree Roses, due to their vigorous tall upright growth to over 1.8 metres. They have lax, arching stems and distinctive grey-green (sometimes described as blue-green) foliage with grey scentless leaflets (an identifying feature, as other roses have scented leaves). Once blooming in Spring and early Summer, they have few-flowered clusters of highly fragrant, white and blush to soft pastel pink blooms. The scent has been described as refined and even as a mix of spicy apples, white hyacinth and honey! These roses are the toughest and most disease-resistant of all roses. They are Winter hardy, mildew-free and tolerate more shade and root competition than other roses, so are good near trees or on a south-facing wall (Southern Hemisphere). They still require at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight to bloom. The photo below is Celeste.blogelegantalbasreszd50image-191I used to grow both Alba Semi-Plena and Alba Maxima in my garden and I loved their tall growth, attractive leaves and simple pure white flowers. Both can revert to each other, Alba Maxima  basically looking like a fuller version of Semi-Plena.  Maxima is one of the oldest roses and is a healthy upright tall shrub, 1.8 metres high and 1.2 metres wide. With healthy grey green foliage with a blue glow, it bears upright clusters of 6 to 8 pure white to creamy white, very double, fragrant blooms, with the scent of damask and citrus, followed by oval hips in Autumn.blogelegantalbasreszd20%2014-10-27-13-07-44 Semi-Plena, also known as Rosa x alba suaveolens or R. x alba nivea, is taller (2.5 metres high by 1.5 metres wide) with matte grey-green leaves and sweetly scented, semi-double, pure white blooms with pronounced stamens and good Autumn fruit, which look like large orange Dog Rose hips. It can be traced back to the 14th century.blogelegantalbasreszd50image-210blogelegantalbasreszd50image-212Another very old Alba (pre-15th century) with a host of interesting names is Great Maiden’s Blush, also called ‘Cuisse de Nymphe’, ‘Incarnata’, ‘La Virginale’, ‘La Séduisante’ and ‘La Royale’. They are 1.5 metres tall with arching, almost thornless branches and blue-grey foliage. Creamy white or white buds open to loosely-double, pale blush pink flowers, fading white again, with a very refined pefume. Cuisse de Nymphe émue is the name given to more richly coloured clones of this rose. I grew this rose in my old garden, but now grow Maiden’s Blush 1797, also referred to as Small Maiden’s Blush, a slightly smaller sport of Great Maiden’s Blush, both in stature (1.2 metres tall by 0.9 metres wide) and flower size, but otherwise looking much the same. Because I cannot find any old photos of Great Maiden’s Blush, I have included this link to Peter Beales’ site, as it was one of his favourite roses from since he was a young boy: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/roses/maiden-s-blush-great-shrub-rose.html , and maybe next Spring, I will be able to insert a decent photo of my Small Maiden’s Blush blooms!

Another favourite ancient alba is Celeste or Celestial (1.8 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide). I love her semi-double, beautifully scented, light pink flowers and leaden grey foliage.blogelegantalbasreszd20img_9253blogelegantalbasreszd50image-190blogelegantalbasreszd50image-177I have never grown Mme Plantier (1835), a hybrid between an Alba and a Noisette. It has a sprawling mound of compact growth; pale green foliage; and creamy-white, sweetly fragrant, small pompom-like blooms with a pointed green eye in the centre.blogelegantalbasreszd20img_9256Again, because this is not a wonderful photo, though it does give a good idea of its sprawling growth habit (!),  I have included a link to this post: http://hedgerowrose.com/rose-gardening/2012/09/06/growing-madame-plantier-or-the-brides-rose/, which also demonstrates the similarities and differences of this lovely rose to Damask rose, Mme Hardy.

Next month, we will be looking at the Centifolias and Moss roses, the final group of Old European roses, their heavy globular blooms adored by the Dutch still-life painters and the start of a rose breeding in earnest! Next week, I will be posting about the roses in the cottage gardens of Gamble Cottage, South Australia, and Ziebell’s Farmouse and Heide in Victoria.

Barossa Old Rose Repository and the Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens of the Waite Institute

South Australia is a wonderful spot to visit if you love Old Roses! In last month’s post, we explored the roses of the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden and the Adelaide Botanic Garden. In this post, we will be visiting the Barossa Old Rose Repository and the Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens of the Waite Institute, two very different gardens, but united in their love of old roses. We were fortunate enough to visit both rose gardens twice – our first time on our way home from our camping trip around Australia and our second visit as part of a specific rose holiday to South Australia in October 2014. Please note that the photos are interspersed with the text on a general basis and are not necessarily pictures of roses mentioned in the prior text, unless where specifically indicated.

Barossa Old Rose Repository

Hannay Crescent, off Murray St

Angaston, SA 5353

Free and open dawn till dusk.


This garden is quite special, as it is the only one of its kind in Australia, being a repository of locally-grown, pre-loved and forgotten roses.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-09-53Established in 2003 on a small triangular section of level land behind the village green, the garden is bordered by a creek (with a small wooden footbridge to a former orchard and vegetable garden), a tributary and Hannay Crescent. The first 24 roses were planted on their own roots in October 2003 by the newly-formed Barossa and Beyond regional group of Heritage Roses in Australia Inc.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-13-12 One hundred-year old redgum posts were salvaged from Mader’s Hayshed, Flaxman’s Valley, after it blew down in a storm in 2004.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-24-35blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-24-59 Eleven posts were installed in July 2005, with chain swags between them for climbers and ramblers to scramble over. In 2007, an interpretive sign was installed, a brochure produced, two jacaranda trees were planted in the lawn and funds raised for a wooden table and benches.blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7364The garden was developed and is maintained by the Barossa and Beyond regional group of Heritage Roses in Australia Inc. Their aim was to find and preserve the old roses of the Barossa region, which were at danger of being lost, because of the increased use of herbicides to control roadside and cemetery vegetation, and to educate the public about the importance of old rose conservation for future generations. One of the founding members and current coordinator of the group is Old Rose conservator, Patricia Toolan, who was given a Churchill Fellowship in 2002 to study techniques and strategies for the preservation of old rose and plant varieties in cemeteries overseas (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and the United States of America). She has written an article about the development of the Barossa Old Rose Repository, titled ‘The Scent of Memory’, which was published in Volume 19, Number 2 (September/October 2007; pages 16 – 19) of Australian Garden History (for more information, see: http://www.gardenhistorysociety.org.au/category/detail/132). She also supplied a number of the roses, grown on their own roots, in the repository.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-12-57Many of the roses in the repository have been propagated from cuttings, taken from ‘mother plants’, which were brought to Australia by the early German and English settlers of the region. These mother plants have been found in cemeteries, along roadsides, in vineyards and on farms, and in the gardens of old homesteads and cottages. They include rose bushes, ramblers and climbing roses. All of them are once-flowering only, their peak being from Spring to early Summer, and all have wonderful stories to tell…!!!  Note: The letters ‘ROR’ stand  for’ Renamed Old Rose’. I rather like the RORs– they convey such a sense of history!blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-16-23blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-11-17Mrs. Heggie’s Red Tea ROR, Almerta Orchard Pink ROR and Fortune’s Double Yellow 1845 (see photo below) all came from the Almerta Homestead, a small vineyard owned by the Heggie family in Flaxman’s Valley in the early 1900s.blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7358 Lady Hillingdon 1910; Cardinal de Richelieu 1840 (Miss Hatch’s Gallica ROR) : see photos below; and Miss Hatch’s Cabbage ROR (also known as the Habermann Cemetery HP Mengler Grave ROR and Gomersal Cemetery HP ROR) were propagated from cuttings from an old cottage garden in the main street of neighbouring town, Nurioopta, belonging to a Miss Hatch, who died in 1997.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-13-08blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-11-54The Ebenezer Cemetery Pink ROR came from cuttings taken from a sickly sprayed rose (which has since died) on an old grave and is thought to be the Hybrid Perpetual, Caroline de Sansal, 1849. Anna Olivier 1872 is another rose propagated from a very old rose, growing on the side of the old butchery building at an early Barossa property at Krondorf and which has also since died.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-17-05blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-16-40The ABC Howard Quarry Yellow Tea (possibly the Tea Rose, Souvenir de Pierre Notting 1902) was found intertwined with honeysuckle in an abandoned old garden near Angaston. Here are 3 photos of this lovely yellow rose below (Cardinal de Richelieu: bottom left corner of Photo 1).blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-22-41blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-23-20blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-10-05 The Anlaby Apricot Rambler and Anlaby Station Yellow Hybrid Tea ROR were sourced from Anlaby Station (Kapunda, Barossa), the oldest Merino stud in South Australia.blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-14-17There were 63 roses in the Barossa Old Rose Repository when Patricia Toolan wrote her article in 2007,  including :

Gloire de Rosomanes 1825

General Jacqueminot 1853

Comtesse de Labarthe, also known as Duchesse de Brabant and Countess Bertha 1857 (South Rhine Cemetery Pink Tea ROR)

Mme Alfred Carrière 1875

Mlle. Augustine Guinoisseau 1889

Maman Cochet 1892

Turner’s Crimson Rambler 1893

Climbing Mme Caroline Testout 1901 (Springton Deserted House Back Drive ROR)

William R Smith 1908 (Edna Stapleton’s Cochet Tea ROR)  and

Mrs Herbert Stevens 1910 (Mr Heath’s White Tea ROR).blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7361blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-23-33blogbarossawaitereszd20%2014-10-27-10-16-54For more photos of roses at the Barossa Old Rose Repository, it is worth looking at their Facebook site.

Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens

Waite Historic Precinct

Fullarton Rd, between Cross Rd and Claremont Avenue

Urrbrae SA 5063

7km south of CBD Adelaide

Open dawn till dusk every day except fire bans. Free entry.


Another wonderful spot to enjoy Old Roses, this garden traces the development of the rose from 1900 to today and includes over 200 varieties of roses, with roses significant to each decade.blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7453 It is located at Urrbrae House, the original home of Peter Waite, a prominent pastoralist, who bequeathed the property to the University of Adelaide on his death in 1923, to be used for agricultural research and a public park. I have already discussed the Waite Historic Precinct in my post on Education Gardens in May 2016 (see : https://candeloblooms.com/2016/05/10/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-education-gardens/) so for now, I will be focusing solely on the rose garden.BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9223blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7442The original rose garden of Urrbrae House was to the west of the current site and included a long rose arbour, built from timber posts and metal tube work, which extended from the house to Claremont Avenue and was covered with pale yellow, double climbing roses, as well as a rose border on the front lawn of the house. While the gold rose below is not the original climbing rose on the arbour, it is still a beautiful rose, which graces the corner of the house.blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9229 blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7448By 1956, the garden was overgrown with Kikuya grass and had deteriorated badly with many of the roses suffering wilt and dieback. Only two of the original roses  from Peter Waites’ time survived: a hedge of Cécile Brünner and a Mme Alfred Carrière, both near the house.blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9232 In 1959, a new trial rose garden was established to the north-east of Urrbrae House by the SA Rose Society under the instigation of Alex Ross to replace the diseased roses, but this second garden was replaced by a new teaching wing in 1972.BlogEducationgardens25%ReszdIMG_7454

In 1991, to celebrate the centenary of Urrbrae House (1891), a new rose garden was designed by Deane Ross and was developed in collaboration with Ross Roses and the Heritage Roses in Australia Society Inc.blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9225 Located on its present site south of Urrbrae House, and incorporating the original rose arbour, this first stage of the Twentieth Century  and Heritage Rose Garden, opened in 1993, has a formal layout and features earlier varieties of heritage roses. Roses were donated from Ross Roses and those that were no longer commercially available were sourced from England, America and New Zealand.blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9233

I love the circular  garden, which inspired our own Soho Bed.BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9255BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9261The long rose arbour and other arches are equally impressive, especially during peak flowering season in October/ November, although there are roses between September and May. The 4th photo is Cornelia (UK, 1925) and the 5th photo Mermaid (UK, 1917).BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9268BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9289BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9280BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9238blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9270The second stage of the garden (northern end), opened in 1996, was developed by Vieturs Cielens and Susan Phillips. It has a more informal, contemporary design with low mounds, ponds and an early 18th century cast-iron fountain called ‘Temperance’. Another structure in the rose garden is an armillary sphere sundial, made by Margaret Folkard and John Ward, of Sundials Australia.BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9281BlogEducationgardens20%ReszdIMG_9282Here are a few more photos of specific roses in the garden in order: Constance Spry (Shrub Rose, UK, 1961); Hiawatha (Rambler, USA, 1904); Sunlit (Hybrid Tea, Australia, 1937); Peace, also known as Mme A. Meilland (Hybrid Tea, France, 1935); General MacArthur (Hybrid Tea, USA, 1905); and Papa Meilland (Hybrid Tea, France, 1963).blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9236blogbarossawaitereszd20img_9288blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7445blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7455blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7443blogbarossawaitereszd25img_7452

Divine Damasks

Rosa × damascena, more commonly known as the Damask Rose, or sometimes as the Rose of Castile, is a rose hybrid, whose parents include Rosa gallica, Rosa moschata and Rosa fedtschenkoana. While thought to have originated in the Middle East, it is now thought that it developed in the foothills of Central Asia. It has been cultivated since Ancient Egyptian times and the Autumn Damask is thought to have been the Four Seasons Rose of Paestum, described by ancient Roman writers. Crusader, Robert de Brie, is credited with introducing the rose to Europe from Syria in 1254, hence its naming after the capital of Syria, Damascus. Others suggest that the Romans brought the rose with them to Britain. The rose below is a very famous old Damask called York and Lancaster.blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-19-13-39-08 There were two types originally. The Summer Damask, a light pink rose, which only flowered in Summer; and the Autumn Damask, R. damascena bifera, also known as Quatre Saisons, which is a rather prickly shrub, with spreading growth and leaves running right up to and enclosing medium pink, loosely-double flowers, borne singly or in small clusters, with a moderate fragrance and some repeat-flowering into Autumn. In fact, the Autumn Damask is the only Old European rose to flower more than once and is used for making potpourri.blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9496 There is also a white sport, Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseux, which is very similar to Quatre Saisons, except for the white colour and the fine brownish-green moss on both stems and buds, as is very obvious in these photos below. The stems are very prickly like its parent.blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-19-13-07-38blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-19-13-07-43blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-19-13-09-08blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-19-13-09-19 A symbol of love and beauty, the Damask Rose is highly fragrant with a distinctive Damask fragrance and is grown commercially for rose oil (both rose otto and rose absolute), rose water and other culinary products. Bulgaria (especially the area around Kazanlak in the Valley of the Roses) and Turkey are the largest producers of rose oil, which is used in the perfume industry. Bulgaria produces Bulgarian rose oil or Bulgarian rose otto, while in Turkey, it is sold as rose oil, Turkish rose otto and R. damascena attar. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbDrwg-HWzw.  Rose oil is also produced in Afghanistan (near Kabul), India and France. This is a photo of Kazanlik, the rose grown extensively in Bulgaria since 1420.blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-178 The Iranian physician, Avicenna, is credited with the discovery of the process for extracting rose water from the petals back in the early 11th century. Rose water is used extensively in Indian, Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine for flavouring meat and chicken dishes, jam, yoghurt, icecream, rice pudding, and even Turkish delight and Turrón, a Valencian nougat. It is also used as a skin toner and in the treatment of depression. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEA0HzeQ-vo.

The fresh petals can be used as a garnish  or can be preserved in sugar (gulkand, which is used in Ayurvedic medicine). Rose powder is an ingredient in the Moroccan spice mixture, Ras el Hanout, (http://www.anediblemosaic.com/ras-el-hanout-moroccan-spice-mix/) and there is even a herbal tea made from the petals called zhourat. See: https://mountoftabbouleh.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/i-found-a-perfect-tea-recipe-in-lebanon/.

Damask roses are also important, because of their major role in the breeding of a host of new rose families, including Centifolias, Bourbons, Portlands and Hybrid Perpetual roses.


Deciduous tall shrub, up to 1.5 m height, with a sprawling, lax growth habit and informal shape.

Stems are covered in stout, curved prickles and stiff bristles.

Leaves are pinnate, usually with 5 leaflets only; are elongated and pointy; have a grey-green colour; and are downy underneath.

The buds have elongated sepals, a distinguishing feature of this rose family, as can be seen in the photo of Kazanlik below.

Flowers are relatively small; vary in colour from light to moderate pink and light red; grow in small to medium clusters; and are highly fragrant with a distinctive Damask fragrance. All are once-flowering, except for the Autumn Damask, which has some repeat-blooming into Autumn.

The hips are bright red, long, thin and bristly.blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-189Types of Damasks

There are 19 different Damasks listed in Peter Beales’ book, of which four are very famous. Two are named after the place where they are extensively grown. Kazanlik, also known as Trigintipetala, is an ancient rose, which has been cultivated for many years in the rose fields of Kazanlak in Bulgaria and is used to make attar of roses and potpourri. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lJAXtccPLs and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdEeEp9kgUo. The lax growth does better with support; the foliage is dark green; and the double, shaggy flowers are a warm pink and very fragrant.blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-27-12-50-29blogdivinedamasksreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-46

Ispahan, or the Rose d’Isfahan, grows wild on the hillsides of Iran and is named after the city of Isfahan, 340 km south of Tehran, Iran, an area once renowned for its gardens and roses, where this particular rose was apparently discovered in a garden. Garden designer, Norah Lindsay (1873–1948), is credited with introducing it to the United Kingdom.  Ispahan is also extensively cultivated in Turkey. It has a very long flowering season, being one of the first old roses to bloom and the last to continue. Its large, semi-double flowers are a rich warm pink, hold their shape and colour well and are very fragrant. They last well as a cut flower too.blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-203blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-184blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9259 York and Lancaster, R. damascena versicolour, a sport of Kazanlik, is another old Damask from before 1551, with semi-double, scented flowers of variable colour from blush-pink, white, sometimes a mottled mixture of the two colours on the one flower or two different colours on different flowers on the same head. It has grey-green downy foliage and numerous thorns.

blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9458blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9643 Madame Hardy was bred in 1832 by Alexander Hardy, the chief horticulturalist at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, and is possibly a Damask-Alba hybrid. It is a lovely rose and has tall upright canes, 2.1 metres in height, with fresh bright green foliage; buds with unusually leafy sepals and a faint blush and distinctive white cupped, fragrant flowers, which open out flat, then reflexed; and have a green eye in the centre. Vigorous and healthy, it only occasionally gets blackspot with stressful weather. I love Madame Hardy, having grown it in our old Armidale garden, and plan to order one for here next year, as it is such a famous and quintessential old rose.blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-183blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-182 Botzaris 1856 is another favourite with a divine perfume. It also has an affinity with the albas and has thorny wood, rich light green foliage and flattish, fully double creamy-white, often quartered, blooms according to Peter Beales, though the specimen I grew in my old garden was a very soft blush pink, which turned white with age, as can be seen in these photos:blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9454blogdivinedamasksreszd50image-195I will be exploring the Elegant Albas – one of my favourite type of roses – next month, but in the meantime, we will be continuing our exploration of the South Australian old rose gardens, with a visit to the Barossa Old Rose Repository and the Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens of the Waite Institute next week!

Gorgeous Gallicas

This week, I am discussing one of the oldest cultivated Old European Roses, the Gallica Rose.

The original species and parent of all Gallica roses, Rosa gallica is a small, upright, deciduous bush (1.2 m high by 0.9 m wide), which suckers freely to form large shrubberies and is native to Southern and Central Europe, as far east as Turkey and the Caucasus mountains. The slender stems have fine prickles and glandular bristles and the pinnate leaves have 3 to 7 dull bluish-green leaflets. Borne in clusters of 1 to 4 blooms in Summer, the single, medium to large, deep pink, fragrant flowers have 5 petals and pronounced gold stamens and are followed by 10 to 13 mm, orange-brown, globose to ovoid hips in Autumn.  It was known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans and only flowers once.

Rosa gallica officinalis is the oldest cultivated Western rose and was grown in vast amounts by the Romans for rose oil, medicine and potpourri, as its petals retain their fragrance when dried. It is an erect, low, bushy shrub  (1.2 m high and wide; 1 to 1.5 m in Australia) with dull, dark grey-green foliage; highly fragrant, profuse, 8 cm wide, semi-double, deep pink blooms with gold stamens in Spring and Summer (the colour varying with the climate and season, being much paler in the heat); and small oval hips in Autumn. It declined in popularity after the fall of Rome, surviving in hedgerows, cemeteries, roadsides and abandoned gardens. It also persisted in 13th century monastery gardens, where its medicinal use earned it the title of the ‘Apothecary’s Rose’. Other names are the ‘Red Rose of Lancaster’, being a symbol of the House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses in the 13th century ; the ‘Red Rose of Miletus’ (Miletus was an Ancient Greek city), described by Pliny; and the ‘Rose of Provins’ or the ‘French Rose’, because many Gallicas were grown in Provins, just south-east of Paris. The word ‘Gallica’ is the female form of the Latin word ‘Gallicus’, meaning ‘Gallic’ or ‘French’, even though they are not French at all, but originated in the Caucasus Mountains! It was thought to have been brought back to Provins by Thibault Le Chansonnier on his return home from the Crusades. Thibault IV, King of Navarre, wrote a poem called ‘Le Roman de la Rose’ in 1260, in which he refers to this rose as having come from ‘the Land of the Saracens’.

In 1629, English botanist, John Parkinson, listed 12 types of Gallica roses. The Dutch then started raising seedlings to produce new varieties, after which the French started breeding them on a large scale. By the 1800s, there were over 2000 Gallica cultivars, accounting for more than half of the roses sold in Europe at that time. Empress Josephine grew 150 different Gallicas at her chateau at Malmaison. With their penchant for the unusual, Victorian gardeners loved collecting striped and spotted Gallicas in the early 19th century. With the introduction of the repeat blooming Hybrid Perpetuals, and then the Hybrid Teas, with their high centres and yellow and orange hues, Gallicas declined in popularity and there are only about 30 cultivars available today, though Peter Beales describes 52 varieties in his book ‘Classic Roses’. New Gallicas are still being produced in France and these particular cultivars tend to do better in dry and warm climates. There are no climbers, no repeat bloomers and no whites.


Dense, bushy, compact, stocky, upright small shrubs, generally 1.2m tall and 1.2 m wide, and suitable for small gardens and large containers.

Stems are slender and have fine prickles.

Foliage: Heavily veined, rough-textured, pointed, dull green oval leaves, which turn a deep red in Autumn.

Once-flowering: Blooms profusely for a period of  3 to 6 weeks in mid Summer. Open blooms, showing their stamens, are borne upright. Flowers are very variable in form, colour and fragrance.

Flower Form: Near-singles to fully-double, densely-packed rosettes 6.4 to 8.9 cm in diameter.

Flower Colour: From blush pink to a variety of pinks, lavenders and mauves and deep purple to crimson shades. Colours vary clear to cloudy, striped and even spotted. Most cultivars are the deeper, more intense colours : deep pinks; near-crimsons; and rich mixtures of purple, violet and mauve. This photo is Rosa Mundi.bloggallicasreszd50image-174Cultivation:

Gallicas are extremely hardy, tough, undemanding shrubs, which tolerate poor dry soils and gravel, drought and shade, though their colours will be less intense when grown in shade. Cold hardy, they survive Northern  European Winters without harm. They can be grown in Zone 4 to 8 and can survive temperatures down to minus 25 degrees Celsius. In fact, they actually require Winter chilling to provide a dormant period and perform poorly in the warmer areas of Southern Europe. They propagate easily from runners and suckers and will sucker freely if grown on their own roots to form thickets. Generally, disease and pest resistant (though their leaves can get mildew in cold, damp climates), they are very easy-care roses. Only prune out dead wood and the occasional old cane to increase air flow and encourage new basal shoots. Their size makes them ideal for small gardens. This photo is also Rosa Mundi. Note the variation in the amount of deep pink.bloggallicasreszd50image-240Cultivars:

Rosa Mundi :  Rosa gallica versicolour    Prior to 1581

A sport of Rosa gallica officinalis and one of the oldest and best known striped roses, this rose was named after Fair Rosamund, the mistress of King Henry II (1133 – 1189), as it was found growing near her grave. An upright bushy rose, 0.5 m to 1 m in height and width, with smooth stems, dull matte green foliage and highly fragrant, semi-double, 7 cm wide, striped flowers (though sometimes the odd branch reverts to its parent’s deep pink blooms). Flowers have crimson, pink and deep pink stripes on a blush white background and are followed by small oval red hips in late Summer and Autumn. A very hardy rose, tolerant of Summer heat and humidity (though is prone to mildew), it makes an excellent low hedge! Here is a final photo of Rosa Mundi !bloggallicasreszd50image-208Two more striped Gallicas are Camaieux (Camayeux), bred by Vibert in 1830, and Georges Vibert, bred by Robert in 1853 (according to Peter Beales, though David Austin attributes this rose to Bizard in 1828). Camaieux is a neat compact shrub (0.9 m high and wide) with twiggy growth and arching stems; grey-green leaves; and sweetly fragrant, loosely double, blush white flowers with even deep pink and magenta stripes, fading to mauve purple stripes on white with age. Dependable and disease free, it does not ball in wet weather. Georges Vibert has a small compact habit (1 m tall and wide); many thorns; and crimson buds, which open to small, flat, finely quilled and quartered, fragrant Summer blooms, which are blush white, striped with light crimson, though the colour may vary from carmine to purple depending on the climate. See the photo below:bloggallicasreszd50image-175

Cardinal de Richelieu Before 1847

One of the most commonly grown Gallicas, this tough medium sized shrub (1.5 m to 1.8 m high and 1.5 m wide) has a lovely branching habit, shapely orderly growth, few thorns, dark green leaves and ‘one of the darkest blooms of all roses’, according to David Austin.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-07

While its breeding has been ascribed to either Van Sian ( Holland) and Louis Parmentier (Belgium), it was introduced by Laffay in France in 1840 and its smooth, shiny, dark green foliage and growth habits are due to the fact that one quarter of its genes are from China roses. This Gallica has also been described by Graham Thomas as having ‘sumptuous blooms of dark grape’, due to its intense deep colouring. Dark crimson-purple buds open to a dustier, deep purple plum, small, cupped Gallica-like blooms, 6 cm wide, which reflex back to almost a ball and fade to a deep grey purple. It has 3 blooms per cluster and the fragrance has been described as a mild peppery scent. It benefits from the periodic removal of older growth. This rose was genetically altered in 2004 to produce the world’s first blue rose.bloggallicasreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-12Other Gallicas with intense deep colouring are Tuscany (pre 1598) and its sport Tuscany Superb (Rivers, UK, 1837). Tuscany is one of the oldest surviving Gallicas, described as the Old Velvet Rose in ‘Gerard’s Herbal‘ in 1596. A vigorous, tidy, rounded shrub, 1.2 m tall and wide, it has stems, which are covered with fine prickles, and small dark green leaves. Like all Gallicas, it only flowers once in Spring with slightly fragrant, large, semi-double, dark crimson to deep purple flowers with flat velvety petals, arranged around prominent yellow stamens. A very tough survivor, it is both Winter-hardy and tolerant of Summer heat and humidity. It is not susceptible to black spot and only rarely gets mildew. It suckers readily on its own roots.bloggallicasreszd50image-198 Tuscany Superb, a sport of Tuscany, is a very fine Gallica, 1.5 m high and 0.9 m wide, with almost thornless stems; larger and more rounded, dark green foliage; and highly fragrant, semi-double, deep rich maroon velvety 6 cm wide blooms, ageing to a purple black, with gold stamens (often partially obscured by the larger number of petals), followed by bright orange red hips. The seed germinates easily, but needs stratification by chilling in the fridge for 12 weeks prior to sowing in Spring. It also spreads by suckering. Tuscany Superb requires a cold Winter for proper dormancy and Spring blooming. It is resistant to black spot, though can get slight mildew after blooming. See photos above and below.bloggallicasreszd50image-205I grew Rosa Mundi, Georges Vibert and Tuscany Superb in my old rose garden and would love to room to grow these once-flowering roses again! Two other Gallicas, which I would love to grow for their historical associations are Sissinghurst Castle and Empress Josephine. Sissinghurst Castle, also known as Rose des Maures, is another deep red Gallica, which was discovered by old rose lover, Vita Sackville-West, in the early 1900s, when clearing the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle. It bears rich plum blooms, edged and flecked with light magenta-crimson, with gold stamens in the centre. See its photo below. It was commercially produced from 1947 on and its blooms are very similar to Tuscany Superb, but the growth of the latter is is taller and more arching. It suckers freely to produce thickets of thick upright stems and is an incredibly tough survivor.  Empress Josephine, also known as Rosa francofurtana, but renamed after her death, is a large, sturdy, shapely shrub, with thornless stems; clean, trouble-free, coarsely-textured grey-green foliage; profuse, mildly fragrant, large, semi-double, rich pink, heavily textured blooms, veined with deeper shades, which last for 4 to 6 weeks; and a fine crop of large turbinate hips. Like all Gallicas, it is very tough and tolerant of poor soils.bloggallicasreszd20img_9712Please note, because I tend to only use my own photographs, I have only described roses that I have grown or photographed in gardens, which I have visited. Please consult ‘Classic Roses’ by Peter Beales or ‘The Rose’ by David Austin for a more extensive list. Next month, I am describing the Divine Damasks, another very ancient rose group.

Roses of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Since I examined Species Roses last week , I thought I would start the month with a feature post on the ACTO Heritage Rose Garden, which is based at Mt Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills and is devoted to Species Roses. I am also discussing the Adelaide Botanic Garden later on.

Mt Lofty Botanic Garden : ACTO Heritage Rose Gardenblogadelaidebgreszd80image-33625 minutes from Adelaide CBD; Free entrance; Map above from the official brochure.

Upper Entrance: Summit Rd, Crafers

Lower Entrance: Lampert Rd, Piccadilly

8.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 5 pm Weekends and Public Holidays (6 pm Daylight Savings)


Mt Lofty Botanic Garden covers an area of 97 hectares in the Adelaide Hills and specializes in cool climate plants. It is one of three gardens managed by the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and was opened to the public in 1977. The ACTO Heritage Rose Garden is set right up the top of the hill on the northern corner of the gardens above the nursery, and even though it is quite a long walk and not the easiest to find, it is well worth persevering! It is also a lovely walk up through the gardens!blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-09-33blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-34-57 It started as the National Species Rose Collection in 1977. The cooler climate of the Adelaide Hills is more favourable for the Species and Heritage Roses, while Hybrid Teas predominate in the much warmer Adelaide Botanic Garden in the city. During the late 1980s, the collection morphed into the ACTO Heritage Rose Garden and is dedicated to Clive Armour, the former Chairman of the Board of the Adelaide Botanic Garden and CEO of ACTO Power. The collection continues to expand with new acquisitions, grown by seed from known wild origin. Here are two maps from the official brochure:blogadelaidebgreszd30image-335blogadelaidebgreszd30%2014-10-27-11-59-12This garden is dedicated to Species Roses and the History and Development of the Rose. They are the forerunners of all modern roses and have huge variety in their shape, origin and scent. Usually they are all single (double or multiple petalled forms are usually hybrids) with 5 petals (though R. sericea pteracantha usually has only 4 petals). They provide all-year round interest and display from their Spring flowers to Autumn foliage and ripening hips in a wide variety of colour, shape and size. Roses are grouped in sections according to their characteristics (flowers; foliage; prickles; hips; and chromosome number). They are displayed in a linear taxonomic arrangement, with each group labelled with information, specific to that group, as well as each rose species being individually labelled. Rose-shaped information boards have titles from : The Story of the Rose and Old European Roses to Botanic Buccaneers; Out of China and The Power to Perpetually Flower; Rugged Roses (Rugosas and American roses) and finally Hip Hip Hooray, describing some of the roses renowned for their beautiful hips.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-48-30blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-48-46Attached to the online site is an excellent audio tour about the cultural and botanical history of the rose by Alexandra de Blas, who interviews Walter Duncan, a prominent rose breeder and rose grower of international renown (we visited his Heritage Garden in Clare in Peak Old Rose blooming season in late October 2014!) and Dr Brian Morley, a former Director of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It is well worth listening to it, both before and after visiting Mt Lofty Botanic Garden. Ideally, you would listen it as you walk round each bed! Unfortunately, I discovered the audio tour after my visit, so I cannot verify the mobile reception coverage in the garden! All in all, it is an excellent précis of the History of the Rose, even if you never get to visit this wonderful garden!! See: www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/botanic_gardens/audio/atco.zip.

I will now show you some photos of the different rose beds in the order discussed on the audio tour.

  1. Old European Species: In the early days of settlement in Australia, roses were transported by ship in Wardian cases to Hobart and Sydney, then overland to Adelaide. Gallica roses grew well in the early colonial gardens. An example from this bed is Cardinal de Richelieu, a deep purple Gallica.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-07bloggallicasreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-12 Albas and Damasks are both complex hybrids. Trigintipetala or Kazanlik is grown in vast paddocks in Bulgaria, its petals distilled to produce attar of roses, used in the perfumery industry.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-50-29blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-46 Maxima is a very old, very tall Alba from the 15th century.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-06-33blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-07-44
  2. Wild Roses : Hebe’s Lip (1st photo) is a cross between a Damask and R. eglanteria, while Lord Penzance, a cross between R. eglanteria and ‘Harison’s Yellow’ (3rd photo below), is one of the Penzance Briars (2nd photo). Also see the photo of the shrub at  end of this section on Mt. Lofty Botanic Garden.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-09-12blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-09-47blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-41 Scotch Briars or Burnet Roses, R. pimpinellifolia or R. spinosissima, are also tough Species Roses, which grow in the wild in cold mountainous regions from the Alps to the Rockies and even the Arctic Circle.
  3. Chinese Species : The introduction of the continuous-flowering China roses to Europe by businessmen, returning from China in the days when China was opening up to the West, had an enormous impact on rose breeding. The four Stud Chinas : Old Blush (Parson’s Pink China) 1789; Slater’s Crimson China 1792; Hume’s Blush Tea-Scented China 1810; and Parks Yellow Tea-Scented China 1824, arrived in England in the late 18th century. Their petals had a translucent glow and a delicate scent, reminiscent of the tea chests, in which they arrived on the ships of the East India Company. Old Blush is an excellent picking rose and makes a good hedge.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-51-05blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-51-10 Mutabilis is one of my favourite China roses, its multi-coloured single flowers, reminding me of butterflies!blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-51-20Hermosa is a classic China hybrid rose.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-53-24 Two yellow species from China are Father Hugo’s Rose, R. hugonis (1st photo) and Canary Bird, a hybrid of R. xanthina (2nd and 3rd photos).blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-55-53blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-56-44bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-27-12-56-56 R. sweginzowii is found in NW China.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-57-32The plant hunters, or Botanic Bucaneers as they are labelled, also brought in Chinese species.blogadelaidebgreszd50%2014-10-27-12-58-25 Robert Fortune is remembered in the name of R. fortuneana.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-58-47 It is closely related to the Banksia roses, R. banksiae, with which it is closely intertwined in the photos below.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-59-07blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-59-18 There is also a single form: R. banksiae lutescens.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-03-48 Ernest Wilson brought back R. wilmottiae, R. moyesii and R. roxburghii. Wilmot’s Rose, R. wilmottiae, comes from Western China.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-17 Moyes Rose, Rosa moyesii, has arching canes, red flowers (though there is a pink variation) and bright sealing wax red, bottle-shaped hips.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-57-55 The Chestnut Rose (or Burr Rose), R. roxburghii, from China and Japan has vicious prickles, evergreen foliage, repeat-blooming flowers and prickly yellow hips, reminiscent of a chestnut or small pineapple.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-00-20blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-04-46blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-04-20 R. sericea pteracantha uses its blood-red, translucent winged thorns to gain purchase and climb up other vegetation. It is 3 m tall with wrist-thick canes and four-petalled flowers, but it is really grown for its attractive young shoots, thorns and leaves.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-24blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-30The Himalayan Musk Rose, R. brunonii, is a huge shrub, 4 to 5 m high, with a five-petalled delicate white flower, with a sweet delicate fragrance, and 1 cm long, bright red hips in late Summer through Autumn to Winter, providing bird food. It is partially evergreen in warm climates.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-54-01blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-54-29 R. webbiana (1st two photos) also comes from the Himalayas, while R. rubus hails from Central and Western China (3rd photo).blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-29blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-57blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-54-53 Rosa dupontii is another favourite tall species with single white flowers and gold stamens.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-55-11Largest of all, Rosa gigantea, climbs up to 20 m high into trees in NE India, SW China and the foothills of the Himalayas.blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-12-59-58
  4. Rugosa Roses: Very tough roses from Japan with deciduous, rugose, deeply-veined foliage; attractive continuous scented single flowers; and plump red hips, which look terrific in dried flower arrangements in Autumn and Winter. Best grown en masse as a hedge or bank, they are also used in land reclamation projects in Europe. They grow well on sandy soils and have no diseases or pruning or spraying requirements. The photos below show in order: Scabrosa, Mme Georges Bruant, Frau Dagmar Hastrup and Pink Grootendorst, one of the Rugosa cultivars.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-11-35blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-14-01blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-12-34blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-14-46
  5. Hybrid Musks: Two of my fravourites are Buff Beauty (1st 2 photos)and Penelope (photos 3 to 5.) blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-15-17blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-17-27blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-16-41blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-16-20blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-16-56 The ACTO Heritage Garden is certainly a wonderful collection of the original Species Roses and an excellent reference point if you are considering growing Species Roses in your garden. All of them are tough, drought-resistant and disease-free and require no pruning, but they do need space and a temperate climate. This shrub of Lord Penzance definitely needs room!blogadelaidebgreszd20%2014-10-27-13-11-59

Adelaide Botanic Garden

North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000

Open 7.15 am Monday to Friday; 9 am Weekends and Public Holidays. Closes between 5 pm (Winter) and 7 pm (High Summer). For times, consult the website. Free entrance.


I love visiting the Adelaide Botanic Garden, whenever I visit Adelaide. It is such a well-planned city with all the major institutions: the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Stae Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, the University of Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, all side by side the length of North Terrace and backing onto the landscaped gardens and lawns edging the Torrens River (Karrawirra Parri). There are two sections of the Adelaide Botanic Garden of particular note for the rose lover: the International Rose Garden and the National Rose Trial Garden, both designated by the reference E23 on the map from the official brochure below:blogadelaidebgreszd25image-334International Rose Garden

Hackney Rd, Adelaide, SA

This 1.5 hectare garden holds 2500 roses, with special areas devoted to Australian-bred roses; Single roses; Heritage Roses; Pillar Roses; and Charity Roses (the proceeds of their sale going back into specified charities) like Olympic Gold and The Childrens’ Rose. It includes a sunken garden; a circular rose garden; several pergolas and a series of huge arches, covered in climbing roses. Here are some photos from our visits in 2008 and 2014.

blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7113blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7104blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7105blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7106blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9309blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7112blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9324blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7114blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9342There are Teas; Hybrid Teas; Cluster-Flowered Roses; Shrub Roses; and Miniature Roses, Standards, Weepers and Climbers. The climbers on the huge arches include: Mermaid, a hybrid of R. bracteata, bred in UK in 1917;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9325blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9326

Adelaide d’Orléans, a hybrid of R. sempervirens, bred in France in 1826;blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9330 R. brunonii, a Species rose, discovered in the Himalayas in 1922;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9332 R. gigantea, another Species Rose from the Himalayas 1889;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9334 Lamarque, a Noisette rose bred in France in 1830; Note the variation in colour according to the different light.blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9338blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9339

and Climbing Lorraine Lea, a Climbing Tea, bred by Alister Clark in Australia in 1932.blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9341Here are photos of some of the Tea Roses: Devoniensis 1838 UK;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9302 Triomphe du Luxembourg 1840 France;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9306blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9308 Catherine Mermet 1869 France;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9299 Anna Olivier 1872 France;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9305 and Jean Ducher 1873 France.blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7108blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7107 Hybrid Teas include: Mrs. Oakley Fisher 1921 UK;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9310 and Sally Holmes, a Shrub Rose, bred in UK in 1976.blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9319blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9320 R. X dupontii is a Species Rose from before 1817.blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9312Hybrid Musks include: Kathleen 1922;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9321blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9318 Cornelia 1925;blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9313 and Felicia 1928, all bred in the United Kingdom.blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9315blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9316 For more information, see: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/visit/adelaide-botanic-garden/gardens/international-rose-garden

National Rose Trial Garden


Started in 1996 to determine which roses, imported from the Northern Hemisphere and not yet for sale, are best suited for the Australian climate. It is the first of its kind in Australia (and the 3rd of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere) and is a joint venture between the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, the National Rose Society of Australia Inc. and the rose industry. Roses are trialled over two growing seasons (2 years), receiving equal treatment. Depending on the rose type, 3, 4 0r 6 plants are trialled. They are identified only by a code number, all other details only known by the trial coordinator and the agent, who entered the rose in the trial. A panel of 10 experienced rosarians allocate points every month of the 2 years, according to health; vigour; hardiness; pest and disease tolerance; growth habit; impact of display; beauty of blooms; abundance of flowering; fragrance and novelty. The best roses receive an award and are then sold in nurseries to the general public. Some of the winners can be seen on the following website: http://www.nationalrosetrialgarden.net.au/.

While in the city, it is worth consulting the following website, which details other rose venues:  http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/assets/rose-garden-walking-trail.pdf.

I always love visiting the Heritage Rose Garden on the Northern bank of the Torrens River between Frome Rd and the University footbridge. blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7096blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7098blogadelaidebgreszd25img_7099Established between 1996 and 1999 by the Adelaide City Council and the South Australian chapter of Heritage Roses Australia Incorporated, its terraced rose beds showcase 1200 Heritage Roses, including Teas, Chinas and Polyanthas, while Climbing Teas and Noisettes festoon pillars and arches. It is a very picturesque spot! Here are some more photos including Mutabilis (photos 4 and 6) :blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9372blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9368blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9363blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9369blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9370blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9373blogadelaidebgreszd20img_9374Next week, I am describing the Gorgeous Gallicas!






Wild Species or Botanical Roses

Species or Botanical Roses are the original roses, which grew all over the Northern Hemisphere from Europe to the Middle East and Asia, as well as North America. I will be discussing species from all areas, but first a quick note about the other subgenera.

Hulthemia, or Simplicifoliae (meaning simple leaves), is the oldest of the subgenera and has been classified outside the Rosa genus by some authorities. Its growth habit, behaviour and general appearance are very rose-like, but the foliage is different, being simple leaves with no stipules. They are the only roses without compound leaves or stipules. The flowers are single with five petals and the stems are angular with many thorns. It originated in SW Asia, mainly Iran, hence the name ‘Persian Rose’, R. persica.

R. stellata, the Gooseberry Rose, belongs to the subgenus, Hesperhodos (Greek for Western Rose) and it looks and behaves very much like a small gooseberry bush with very prickly stems; small, light green, gooseberry-like foliage; and buds and fruit covered with soft spines. It hails from SW North America, while the third subgenus Platyrhodon (Greek for Flaky Rose, referring to its bark) only has one species: R. roxburghii, the Burr or Chestnut Rose, which originated in China. This tall shrub has tawny-brown angular stems with flaky peeling bark on the older wood; long, stout, paired thorns; light green compound leaves with 15 small leaflets; a small crop of single clear pink flowers; and spiny yellow-orange fruit.

Now I will focus on the largest subgenus, Rosa, which has 11 sections. I have repeated this section from last week’s post for easier reading:

1. Pimpinellifoliae (including R. foetida, R. spinosissima, R. hugonis, R.ecae)

2. Gallicanae (including R. gallica, R. damascena, R. centifolia, R. centifolia muscosa, R. richardii, Portlands)

3. Caninae (including R. alba, R. canina, R. eglanteria, R. glauca and R. villosa)

4. Carolinae (including R. carolina, R. nitida, R.palustris, R. virginiana, R. foliolosa)

5. Cassiorhodon (Cinnamomaea :  including R. moyesii, R. rugosa, R. blanda, R. fedschenkoana, R. kordesii, and Boursaults)

6. Synstylae (including R. arvensis, R. brunonii, R. dupontii, R. filipes, R. moschata, R. multiflora, R. phoenicia, R. sempervirens, R. setigera, R. wichuriana and Hybrid Musks, Polyanthas, Floribundas, Multiflora Ramblers, Modern Climbing Roses and Modern Shrub Roses)

7. Chinensis (including R. chinensis, R. odorata, R. gigantea, Bourbons, Noisettes, Teas, Hybrid Perpetuals and Hybrid Teas)

8. Banksianae (including R. banksiae and R. fortuniana)

9. Laevigatae (R. laevigata)

10. Bracteata (R. bracteata)

11. Gymnocarpae (R. gymnocarpa)

The photos below are of Species Roses: R. wilmottiae (photo 1); R. webbiana (photos 2 and 3); and R. roxburghii plena (photo 4).blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-17blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-29blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-57blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-04-46However, I think it is easier to understand all these species by dividing them up into their original habitats and because our forefathers came from Europe, bringing their roses with them, I will start with Europe.

Dog Roses, R. canina, are the commonest wild roses, often growing in hedgerows, in Britain and Northern Europe. They have hardy, stiff twiggy bushes; single, sweetly-scented, pale pink flowers borne in small groups; and bright orange hips, which are very rich in Vitamin C and are used to make rosehip syrup, jam, tea and even wine. One cup of rosehip tea provides the minimum daily adult requirement of Vitamin C. Apparently, during the Second World War, the British relied on rosehips and hops for their source of  Vitamins A and C , hence the common (and very quaint!) wartime expression ‘we are getting by on our hips and our hops’! In the past, they were used as a medicine to treat bites from mad dogs, hence the name, the Dog Rose. Here are photos of the hips and the flowers:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-192blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-11-14-20 Sweet Briar, R. eglanteria, also known as R. rubiginosa, is closely related to and very similar in appearance to R. canina, except that it has apple-scented foliage and a higher density of prickles. Its oval bright orange red hips in late Summer and  Autumn are also used to make rosehip syrup. It has a number of cultivars, though many have since disappeared, and include the Penzance Briars of the 1890s. I saw both Lord Penzance 1890 and Lady Penzance 1894 at the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden. I loved their tiny golden blooms. Lord Penzance is a cross between R. eglanteria and R. harisonii, while Lady Penzance is a cross between R. eglanteria and R. foetida bicolor and has the strongest scented foliage. Both R. canina and R. rubiginosa have been fully naturalized in Australia from the days of early settlement. The Dog Rose was used as a root stock for modern roses in Europe until superseded by Rosa laxa, though it is still used as an understock for standard roses. This is a photo of Lord Penzance :blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-09-47The Apple Rose and the Field Rose also hail from Northern and Central Europe. The Apple Rose, R. villosa or R. pomifera, hailing from the same area as R. canina and R. eglanteria, also has fragrant leaves; clear pink, fragrant, single flowers; and large, orange, apple-shaped fruit, covered in bristles. It is related to R. glauca, another European rose from 1830, which has glaucous purple stems, soft mauve-pink flowers and oval red-purple hips. The Field Rose, R. arvensis, a natural climber which wends its way through hedgerows, has wide open creamy flowers with gold stamens and has been used to breed Ayrshire Roses, which are very hardy, vigorous, white-flowered climbers.blogspeciesrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-15-28-51Scotch Briars, R. pimpinellifolia, also known as R. spinosissima, prefer colder and less fertile areas like the coast. They are very hardy and not fussy about soil, reproduce easily from cuttings and sucker freely on their own roots. They have very prickly bushy growth, attractive fern-like Autumn foliage and single and double blooms of white, pink, yellow or red, often being the first roses to flower in Summer. Spinosissima Single Purple (photo above) is an example.They were very popular at the beginning of the 19th century and were the dominant cluster-flowered rose in 1824, until they were superseded by longer-flowering roses, but only a few cultivars are left. Harison’s Double Yellow, R. harisonii, photographed below, is a very double yellow form, which we also saw at the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-41blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-31-26 The German breeder, Kordes, used R. pimpinellifolia to breed Fruhlinsgold 1937 (photos 2 and 3), Fruhlingsmorgen 1942, Fruhlingstag 1949 and Maigold 1953 (photo 1).blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9505blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-30-29blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-259 But my favourite of all the Scotch Roses (and in fact, one of my favourite roses of all, for its refined scent and long continuous flowering, often being the first and last rose of the season to bloom – see photo below) is Stanwell Perpetual 1838, a cross between the Autumn Damask, R. damascena bifera, and R. pimpinellifolia. It is tall and straggly, with long, incredibly prickly, arching canes; grey-green, ferny leaves; and fully double, quartered, soft blush-pink scented flowers.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-10-09-19-11In Southern Europe, R. gallica  is the dominant rose and will be discussed in my post on Gallicas next month. R. sempervirens and its hybrids are healthy ramblers and scramblers, which originated in the Mediterranean area and were known as the Evergreen Roses in Victorian times, as they retain their foliage in Winter. They include Adelaide d’Orleans 1826 (photo below) and Félicité Perpétue 1827. The Musk Rose, R.moschata, also grows in Mediterranean regions and may have been introduced from the East early on in the history of the rose.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9330The roses which grow in the Middle East: R.foetida, R. ecae and R. hemisphaerica: also belong to the Pimpinellifolia subgenus. The Austrian Briar or Austrian Yellow, R. foetida (‘foetida‘ referring to the slightly unpleasant smell of the flowers), has large single golden-yellow flowers with prominent stamens in early Summer. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-18

I used to grow Austrian Copper, R. foetida bicolor, a sport of R. foetida. Its single blooms are copper orange inside and yellow on the outside (see photo 2 below), occasionally reverting to the original yellow or sometimes both colours occurring on the plant at the same time (see photo 1 below). Both are vigorous shrubs and can be used as climbers.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-55blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-58 R. foetida persiana (photo below) has double, globular, rich  golden yellow blooms. The golden colours of R.foetida and the latter have been used extensively in the breeding of the modern rose, but unfortunately these roses have also passed on their propensity to black spot.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-28-55 The Sulphur Rose, R. hemisphaerica, is also a tall, fully double, sulphur-yellow rose, while R.ecae is a small prickly shrub with reddish-brown twigs; small ferny leaves; and single, buttercup-sized, deep yellow blooms with pronounced stamens.blogspeciesrosesreszd50nov-2010-259

I used to grow Geranium 1938, a seedling of R. moyesii (photo below). Geranium, photographed above, has light green leaves; single, orange-red blooms with creamy anthers; and a large crop of pendulous, orange-red, flagon-shaped hips each year.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-57-55I have never grown any of the American species, so I don’t know much about them, but they include : R. virginiana; R. carolina; R. nitida (photo below); the Swamp Rose R. palustris; the Meadow Rose R. blanda and  R. gymnocarpa, the latter two the American equivalent of Europe’s Dog Rose; and R. foliolosa. All have good Autumn foliage, but have less fragrance and colour variation then the European species. The Prairie Rose, R. setigera, is the only native climbing rose in the USA and is a hardy trailing shrub with long arching branches, good Autumn foliage, clusters of single pink flowers with no fragrance, and small globular red hips. Baltimore Belle 1843 is a famous Setigera hybrid, resulting from a cross with a Gallica hybrid. R. gymnocarpa is the most distinctive rose in California and is known as the Bald Hip Rose, because it loses the sepals off its hips earlier than in other species.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-53-07The Cherokee Rose ( R. laevigata ) and the Macartney Rose ( R. bracteata ) are both Asian roses, which naturalized very quickly in the warm South of USA.  They are both climbers with glossy nearly evergreen leaves, large vicious barbs along their stems, and very large, white, single flowers with pronounced gold stamens. R. laevigata (photo below) was discovered in China in 1759 and reached America by the end of the 19th century, where it adapted so readily that it became known as the Cherokee Rose.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9262 In 1895, R. laevigata was crossed with a Tea Rose in Germany to produce the light pink Anemone Rose, R. anemonoides, which later sported Ramona, the Red Cherokee Rose. R. bracteata (photo below) was discovered in the Shangtun and Kian regions of China in 1792 during a plant collecting expedition led by Lord Macartney, after whom the rose is named. It was a bit tender in Europe, but on reaching America by the early 19th century, it thrived, naturalizing in the hedgerows, then escaping into the fields, where its strong underground runners are now used to prevent erosion. Crossing R. bracteata with a double yellow Tea Rose in 1917 produced a famous and beautiful evergreen climber, with lemon-yellow single flowers, called Mermaid.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9264Asia has by far the greatest diversity in Rosa species. Since it is one of the first roses to flower for the season, I will start with the Banksianae Roses. Banksia Roses are vigorous climbers with few thorns; smooth, light green foliage with 5 to 7 leaflets; large clusters of small, rosette-like, white or yellow flowers; and small hips.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-38-30 I have two types : the double white R.banksiae alba plena 1803 (photo above) on the bottom fence in the future chook yard, intermingled with jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum, both of which I grew from cuttings in the same polystyrene box. Their roots were so intertwined that I planted them both together and they  both flowered at the same time in Spring, as did our huge old bush of the double pale yellow Lady Banks Rose, R. banksia lutea 1825. See photos below:blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-11-39-16blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1904blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0289Lady Banks was the wife of Joseph Banks, the botanist on the Endeavour during Captain Cook’s exploratory trip to Australia, and later the President of the Royal Horticultural Society, when these roses were discovered in China. It is such a spectacular sight over our outdoor eating area and was one of the contributory factors for our purchase of the house. We also used to grow it over the outside toilet in our old garden in Armidale.blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-224

Both banksias have single forms too – R. banksiae normalis 1877 has single white blooms, which are borne singly rather than in clusters, while R. banksiae lutescens 1870 has single pale yellow flowers, which are slightly larger than R. banskiae lutea. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-38-09 R. fortuniana, thought to be a cross between R. laevigata and  a white R. banksiae, has larger scented double creamy-white flowers, which are borne singly in each leaf axil, rather than in clusters, an identification aid, differentiating it from R. banksiae alba plena. It also has slightly darker green foliage and stems and is even easier to propagate, so is often used as a rose understock, especially in sandy soils. It was introduced from China to the West in 1850. It flowers once only in early Spring.

On my neighbour’s fence line, I am growing three Rugosa hybrids. R. rugosa hails from Japan and West Asia and originally only had two forms with a wine-red or a white single bloom, but extensive hybridization since the 1890s has produced at least 46 different hybrids of single, semi-double and double forms and a wide colour range from white to pink, red, purple and even yellow, as in the case of Agnes, which I saw at Walter Duncan’s Heritage Rose Garden in Clare, South Australia (photo below).blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-32-32 Rugosas are tough hardy shrubs which tolerate poor and sandy soils, pollution and salty winds, so can be grown in coastal situations. They are even grown in the middle of the French autoroutes, an inspired decision, as their beautiful colourful blooms are very fragrant and bloom almost continuously. The purple-red blooms of Roseraie de l’Hay (photo below) are particularly fragrant. It is one of my favourite roses!blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-15-13-41-50 Madame Georges Bruant (photos below) also has a lovely scent and elegant, semi-double, pure white blooms.blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-233bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-11-16-23-13It is a cross between R. rugosa and Tea Rose, Sombreuil, photographed below.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_0189 In between, I have planted the slightly smaller Fru Dagmar Hastrup, also known as Frau Dagmar Hartopp, which has silvery-pink, scented, single blooms (photo below) with pronounced gold stamens and tomato-like hips.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-12-34 All rugosas are incredibly prickly and make good impenetrable hedges. They also have deep veined, coarse, textured rugose (wrinkled) leaves, hence their name and their ability to withstand tough climatic conditions. They provide good Autumn color, as do their large, globular, red hips.They are also incredibly disease-resistant and drought- and shade-tolerant.blogspeciesrosesreszd50april-028 In the past, I have also grown Scabrosa, which has large, fragrant, single, cerise blooms and gold stamens and prominent hips (photos below);blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-11-35blogspeciesrosesreszd50april-032 R. rugosa alba (photo below) with its single, pure-white, fragrant flowers;blogspeciesrosesreszd70image-159 Fimbriata, a cross between R. rugosa and Noisette rose, Mme Alfred Carrière, with small white/ blushing pale-pink, dianthus-like blooms (photo below) with a frilled edge (as if they had been cut with pinking shears), but unfortunately no fragrance;blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-171 Pink Grootendorst, its pink equivalent; See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-14-46 and the enormous Vanguard, with equally gigantic, salmon-pink, semi-double blooms, which I probably would never have ordered had I realized how large it grew (which is also why I am NOT growing it now!). See photos below:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-213image-178 Vanguard was developed in 1932 from a cross between Eldorado and a hybrid Rugosa alba-Wichuraiana cross, which brings me to the next type of rose, the Wichuraiana Ramblers.

R. wichuraiana was introduced to the West in the 1890s from China and was crossed with Polyanthas and China roses to produce many exceedingly healthy and vigorous ramblers and climbers with cluster flowers and glossy green foliage like Dorothy Perkins 1902; Excelsa 1909; Sanders White 1912; Dr W. Van Fleet 1910; and Paul Transom 1900 (photo).blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9247

I have three hybrids in my current garden. Albéric Barbier 1900 is a cross between R. wichuraiana and ‘Shirley Hibbard’ and has long pliable stems, glossy green foliage and creamy white flowers in Summer. I grew it from cuttings and have 2 bushes in pots, ready to clamber over the future chook pen! I also raised three plants of Albertine and one plant of New Dawn from cuttings. Albertine 1921 is a favourite, despite its wicked, sharp-hooked thorns. It is a cross between R. wichuraiana and ‘Mrs Arthur Robert Waddell’ and has glossy coppery-red leaves and beautifully scented, muddled warm-pink blooms in Summer only (photos 2 and 3 below). I have planted them along the back of the shed, where their blooms will complement the colour of the old shed wall perfectly. We plan to construct a framework behind them, so they can be kept under control to a certain degree, otherwise they could well take over the entire area! In my old garden, they covered the entrance pergola, as can be seen in photo 1 below:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-227blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-187blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-16-09-47-07 New Dawn 1930, a sport of Dr Van Fleet, has soft blush-pink scented blooms (see photos below), glossy dark green foliage and thorny stems. I am growing it up the front of the main pergola on the bottom side. New Dawn was the first perpetual flowering climber, opening up a new era for climbing roses.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-22-17-03-43blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_0456Another rose species with large hooked thorns is R. sericea from the Himalayas and Western China. In fact, R. sericea pteracantha (photos below) is often grown specifically for its young red thorns, which are quite spectacular when the sun shines through them! They have small, single, white flowers with only four petals and delicate ferny foliage.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-24blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-30 R. xanthina, the parent of bright yellow Canary Bird 1908, photographed below, also has ferny foliage and hails from China. It is a member of the Pimpinellifolia subgenus.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-56-44blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-56-56Rosa brunonii is also from the Himalayas , hence its name, the Himalayan Musk Rose, as well as its previous scientific name, R. moschata nepalensis. It is a very vigorous climber with downy grey-green, drooping leaves; hooked thorns; and single, white, tissue-thin flowers in clusters in Summer. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9332 It is now seen as a distinct species, separate from R. moschata, the Musk Rose, which looks very similar and has a pleasant musk scent. The latter is a very old rose and is thought to have been introduced during the reign of King Henry XIII. R. moschata was crossed with R. gallica to produce R. dupontii, one of my favourite tall shrubs (2m) with single, white, scented flowers and gold stamens. Here is a photo of Dupontii: blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-55-11

Rosa multiflora hails from East Asia and has had a great influence in the development of modern roses. Seeds were sent from Japan to the French rose breeder, Guillot, in 1862, who then used it to develop Floribundas, which I will be discussing later in the year, and at least 27 once-flowering Multiflora Ramblers, most of which still exist today.

I am growing three plants of Russelliana 1840, a cross between R. multiflora and R. setigera, which I raised from cuttings, along my neighbour’s fence at the back of the future chook yard. Also called the Old Spanish Rose, as it was thought to have originally come from Spain, this ancient rose has very double, quartered, fragrant, crimson-purple, fading to lilac/ mauve, flowers with a green eye, borne in clusters; very thorny stems; and blue-green leaves with a resinous (pine-like) fragrance. It is a tough rose, tolerating poor soils and full shade, so it hopefully should be able to handle its proximity to the white mulberry tree. It propagates easily and was once used as a root stock. Here is one of my young seedlings:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-08-10-27-30 Seagull and Rambling Rector are two more famous examples of the latter rose type.

Rosa multiflora, photographed below, is very floriferous, even though it is only a short flowering season, with clusters of small, single, creamy-white flowers with gold stamens, borne on thornless stems produced in the previous season and smooth light green leaves. Because it strikes readily from seeds and cuttings, it was used as an understock in the early 20th century. Other forms of R. multiflora include: R. multiflora carnea (fully double globular white flowers tinged with pink); R. multiflora cathayensis (larger single pink flowers) and the unusual Seven Sisters Rose, R. multiflora platyphylla 1816, with huge trusses of large double flowers, often with seven different colours within the one truss. Colours vary from soft to deep pink, lilac and even deep red.blogspeciesrosesreszd70image-163And finally, the most famous Chinese species of all, without which the modern rose would never have developed: The China Rose, R. chinensis, previously called R. indica and R. sinica. The China, photographed below, is one of the Stud Chinas, called Slaters Crimson China.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-14-31 It is a member of the subgenus Chinensis, along with other Chinese species R. gigantea (photo below) and Rosa X odorata, and I will reserve discussion of this important subgenus till later in the year. Its main contribution to the modern rose gene pool is its remontancy, as well as its warm colour range.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-24-37  Before the introduction of the Chinas to the West, Old European Roses were only white, pink or red and flowered only once, except for the Autumn Damask, which flowered twice. The basic rose groups were : Gallicas, Albas, Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses, so next month, I will start with an in-depth look at the Gallicas, then progress through the other rose types in order.

Rose Websites

A shorter post this week with plenty of information for you to chase up and digest! These are my favourite rose websites!

  1. Heritage Roses in Australia Inc.    http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/

This is the Number 1 website for Australian Old Rose growers! Formed in 1979 for lovers and collectors of Old Roses, its aim is to preserve, cultivate, distribute and study Old Roses, including roses no longer in general cultivation, roses of historical importance, and species roses and their hybrids. There was also a particular interest in finding and conserving Australian bred roses, for example those of Alister Clark, Frank Riethmuller and Mrs Fitzhardinge.

There are regional groups in New South Wales (Blue Mountains, Illawarra-Southern Highlands, Orange-Central Tablelands, Sydney, Riverina), Queensland (Brisbane, Darling Downs), Tasmania (Northern Region, Southern Region), South Australia (Adelaide, Barossa & Beyond), ACT (Canberra), Victoria (Goldfields and Beyond, Greater Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, State Rose Garden, Western Districts) and Western Australia (Perth, Great Southern, South West).

The website includes tabs for :

News and Events around the world and in Australia;

Membership : Benefits include garden visits and lectures by renowned speakers about Old Roses and their visits to Old Rose gardens around the world and attendance of national (every two years) and international conferences;

Quarterly Journal: Informative and interesting articles from renowned experts, details of coming events and regional reports;

Articles: Index and Gallery of roses; Rose breeding/ propagation/ pruning; History of Rose: General/ Australian breeders: Alister Clark; and Videos.

Links Page: http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/links : particularly useful for more rose websites.

  1. National Rose Society of Australia      http://www.rose.org.au/

Another important website for Australian rose growers, though it encompasses modern roses as well.

This national body was formed in 1972 with representatives from all the state societies. It is also a member of the World Federation of Rose Societies. Its aim is to encourage, improve and increase the cultivation of the rose in Australia by means of exhibitions, publications and the co-ordination of all State Rose Societies.

Each state society has its own website, each of which is quite comprehensive with details of shows and meetings; articles on rose care, choice, breeding and pruning; a rose care calendar, videos and publications and a query forum; a list of public rose gardens and rose growers and suppliers and most importantly, more links to reference sites; other rose and garden societies; gardens to visit and vendors’ web sites. Here are the links to the state societies:

Victoria:  http://www.rosesocietyvic.org.au/

NSW: http://www.nsw.rose.org.au/

SA:  http://sarose.org.au/

WA:  http://www.wa.rose.org.au/

QLD: http://www.qld.rose.org.au/

There is also information about the latest rose conventions around the world. For example, the 18th  World Rose Convention: A Fairytale of Roses : to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 28 June to 4 July in 2018 : http://www.wrc2018.dk/.

The above website also has as a list of Australian Bred Roses: http://www.rose.org.au/ausroses.html. In fact, if these are your particular interest, there is also a specific site for Australian Bred roses:

  1. Australian Rose Breeders’ Association Inc : http://www.arba.rose.org.au/. It includes articles on Australian roses and their breeders; hybridizing and propagating roses and more links : http://www.arba.rose.org.au/links.html.
  1. World Federation of Rose Societies http://www.worldrose.org/.

The umbrella organization for all the rose societies of the world, this site includes a Heritage Rose Newsletter and a Rose Conservation Data Base and all the news and events from around the world. They also have a world rose directory : http://www.worldrose.org/rosedirectory/directory.asp

  1. Heritage Rose New Zealand Inc http://www.heritageroses.org.nz/

Well worth looking at for Australian growers, as New Zealand is part of our region and grows beautiful roses. Features include: a Rose Register and lists of fragrant Old Roses; gardens to visit in New Zealand; and local rose suppliers and growers, not to mention some great recipes for rose water and rose vinegar (See: http://www.heritageroses.org.nz/pdfs/RoseWater.pdf) ; rose petal yoghurt and rose petal sugar and rose hip syrup, which I have yet to try! I remember making rosehip jelly as a teenager and removing all the irritating hairy seeds from the small dog rose hips was a very time-consuming job, as the tiny amount of remaining flesh necessitated the use of a huge number of hips! Heritage Rose New Zealand also produce a rather luscious-looking quarterly journal!

6. There is also another website called The Rose Garden on New Zealand Roses Online in NZ : http://www.netlist.co.nz/Gardens/rosegarden/, which is worth investigating. It has articles on the different rose groups; photos of roses and rose gardens and links to other websites, mail order suppliers and special garden events.

7.The American Rose Society : http://www.ars.org/ is the equivalent of the National Rose Society of Australia and is worth consulting for its resources : http://www.rose.org/resources/.

8. Heritage Rose Foundation :  http://www.heritagerosefoundation.org/ is an American organization, established in 1986, for the preservation of Old Roses, as well as ongoing research and education. They have a monthly newsletter, as well as a biannual journal Rosa Mundi, which has some wonderful articles on Old Roses and gardens. For example: La Bonne Maison : http://media.wix.com/ugd/e6654e_3e8ede54ba3df1d99c601b1e9032417b.pdf and The Roses of the Ardennes Region in France: http://media.wix.com/ugd/e6654e_61393f7cd851087d3baedc0e917a40ec.pdf.

9. Roses Anciennes en Francehttp://www.rosesanciennesenfrance.org/ is the French equivalent, but does require a fluid grasp of written French! It is a very active group with lots of activities, articles and photo galleries and links to French rose gardens, associations and suppliers like : Pépinières Les Rosiers des Merles : http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com, Roses Anciennes André Eve : http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com and the Loubert Rose Garden : http://www.rosesloubert.com/ . Note that Roses Loubert does sell these roses at : http://www.pepiniere-rosesloubert.com/.

Rose Anciennes en France also has an English version of The History of the Rose in Lyon : http://www.rosesanciennesenfrance.org/en/history_of_the_rose.htm.

10. Another French organization devoted to Old Roses is Rosa Gallica: http://www.rosagallica.org , and while mainly written in French, it includes an English newsletter for its foreign English-speaking members: http://www.rosagallica.org/page11/page11.html.html.

11. England has the Royal National Rose Society : http://www.rnrs.org.uk. Established in 1876, it is the world’s oldest specialist plant society. It is best known for its flagship Gardens of the Rose at Chiswell Green in Hertfordshire, on the outskirts of St Albans: http://www.rnrs.org.uk/visit-us/.

12. Rogers Roses : http://www.rogersroses.com/ is the website written by Roger Philips and Martyn Rix, British authors of two books in my rose library, which I discussed early in the month: ‘The Quest for the Rose’ and  ‘The Rose’, part of their Garden Series, which also includes a host of books on other garden plants. The website features almost 5,000 varieties of roses and around 6,000 photos, providing a perfect reference for rose identification. There are also details of the nurseries around the world stocking particular rose varieties.

13. Help Me Find : http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/index.php is also a very useful site, not just for roses, but clematis and peonies as well. Their catalogue includes over 44,000 roses and has more than 160,000 photos, along with thousands of rose nurseries, public and private gardens, rose societies, authors, breeders, hybridizers and publications from all over the world. They also have a huge number of links covering anatomy, care, pests and diseases, hardiness, rose trials, species roses and a category titled: ‘Other’, which encompasses so much, I will leave it to you to explore at your leisure!

14. For dreamy reflections on roses, I cannot go past Rose Gathering : http://www.rosegathering.com/ , which is a delightful site with articles on all the rose classes, as well as on the symbolism of the rose; recommendations about books on roses, general gardening, specific plants and rarer books like the Wilhelm Keller rare rose catalogues of 1828, 1829 and 1833. There is also a list of artworks featuring roses, including postage stamps, and a list of rose societies and references to specific rose gardens. The Links section is also enormous and well worth exploring! See: http://www.rosegathering.com/links.html.

15. Paul Barden has written a website called Old Garden Roses and Beyond : http://paulbardenroses.com/main.html. It is devoted to Old Roses of the 19th Century and before, but also discusses the best modern roses of the 20th and 21st Centuries, as well as David Austin’s English Roses. He also provides lots of information about the growing, pruning, propagating and breeding of the rose, as well as another large resource section. A breeder and rose hybridizer himself, Paul also writes a blog called A Hybridizer’s Journal : http://paulbarden.blogspot.com.au/.

16. The Antique Rose Emporium is a name, which often comes up in the links : https://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/. It is an American mail order rose company, with a lovely mail order catalogue.

17. Botanical.com: A Modern Herbal , written by Mrs M Grieve (http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/roses-18.html) has plenty of information about rose history, rose types and the uses of roses throughout the world in medicine and cooking. She includes recipes for potpourri, crystallized roses and even rose petal sandwiches!

18. Brent C Dickerson has written a number of articles on Old Roses : http://web.csulb.edu/~odinthor/oldrose.html.

19. There are also many websites written by rose specialists:

Peter Boyd is an expert on Scots and other Pimpinellifolia roses : http://www.peterboyd.com/scotsroses.htm.

Jerry Haynes has an article on Tea Roses : http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/History-of-Roses-Tea-Roses.pdf.

20. And finally, there are the countless rose nursery websites. For example: Peter Beales: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ and David Austin : https://www.davidaustinroses.com/.

Happy Reading !!!