A Short Treatise on Horticulture pp. 146-149 (1828)
William Prince, Long Island, NY

CHINESE ROSES AND HYBRIDS

Rosa odorata, or Tea Scented Rose.—This exquisite variety of the rose is now becoming widely disseminated in our country. The flowers are double, and of very large size when expanded, of a fine and delicate blush red, and possess a most delightful odour, resembling that of fine tea. It produces its flowers throughout the year most profusely. I have found it more difficult than any other China rose to strike root from cuttings. If budded on the White Musk Rose, it is said to flourish exceedingly well. A fine purple variety has been latterly introduced to our gardens of a similar delightful fragrance. There is also a variety with single flowers, and another with double yellow flowers, which are yet rare. The Centifolia odorata, or Sweet Hundred Leaved, is more double than the foregoing, but its fragrance is not so strong. Knight's Animating is another very sweet scented variety.

Champneys' Blush Cluster.—This is a double rose of small size, of a delicate blush colour, and the flowers are produced in numerous clusters. It was originated from the seed of the White Cluster Musk, (probably impregnated by accident with the pollen of the Blush China,) by my esteemed friend, the late John Champneys, Esq. of Charleston, South Carolina, and from it have originated all the race of roses termed Noisette, which should therefore be placed as subvarieties of the Champneys. All the roses of this class are particularly beautiful, as their small and delicate flowers, produced in large clusters during the autumnal season, form a splendid additional appendage to the garden at that period when it seems most to need their aid. The Champney, Noisette, and most of the varieties, may be trained against the sides of houses, over bowers, &c. to a very considerable length, although not quite so rampant in their growth as the different varieties of the Multiflora.

Noisette.—This rose, which is a variety of the preceding, is very similar to it in the size and colour of the flowers, but these are more double, and produced in larger clusters. It is an admirable variety, producing its flowers in large numbers together after the manner of the White Musk. It flourishes most in a free exposition, and needs no protection in winter. There are two other varieties, one with deeper red, and the other with single flowers.

Rosa Grevillii, or Greville Rose.—This species has attracted much notice in different parts of Europe and in this country, being quite a novelty in its general characteristics, and in commenting upon which I cannot perhaps give a better idea to the reader than by extracting the statements made in other publications. In the fourth number of Loudon's Magazine, page 467, is the following description given, in a letter from a correspondent to the editor:—

"You will no doubt recollect the shoot I showed you of my Greville Rose, which grew 18 feet in a few weeks—it is now in bloom, and is the most singular curiosity of all the rose tribe that has come under my observation; it grows on an east by north aspect, on the gable end of my house, covering above 100 feet square, with more than 100 trusses of bloom. Some of them have more than 50 buds in a cluster, and the whole will average about 30 in a truss, so that the amount of flower buds is little short of 3,000. But the most astonishing curiosity is the variety of colours produced on the buds at first opening; white, light blush, deeper blush, light red, darker red, and purple, all on the same clusters."

In the report of the Horticultural Society of London for the month of June, 1826, the following remarks are made:—

"Rosa Grevillii, in a single fasciculus of flowers, are roses of every shade of purple, and from white to the darkest tint; it is one of the handsomest of climbing roses."

The leaves are beautifully serrated on the edges, and those on the young shoots have a pink border running entirely round the leaf, and which, contrasted with the green, gives them a delicate and beautiful appearance; the petiole or leafstalk is broad at the base, and deeply indented on the sides, so as to form narrow hair-like segments: the upper part where it joins the leaf is narrow and of the usual size. I have succeeded during the past season in rearing about 150 young, vigorous plants, two-thirds of which have been already disseminated throughout the Union, and near 500 more are in a progressive state, and will be fit for transplanting the ensuing season.

Rosa banksiae, or Lady Banks' Double White Multiflora.—This rose, whose flowers are about the size of the blossoms of the Double Flowering Cherry, is fragrant, and possesses the odour of the Violet; the flowers are white, full double, and produced in clusters. It is an evergreen, and about as hardy as the Common Multiflora. It does not thrive when confined in a pot, but needs a large space for the expansion of its roots, and will then attain to its full development, throwing out numerous vigorous shoots to a great length. A plant is mentioned in the Transactions of the London Horticultural Society which covers a space of 40 feet. In this latitude it may in severe winters require some covering, but south of the Potowmac it would not need that attention; and its exceedingly fine evergreen foliage and delightful flowers render it one of the most desirable that can be cultivated in the southern states.

Remarks.—Having now given descriptions of some of the China roses, I will conclude by a few remarks on the other varieties. The Sanguinea is a deep crimson, and flowers very profusely; by many it is confused with the Old Double Velvet, Otaheite, or Semperflorens Rose, from which it differs by the flowers being more double, and the foliage of a deeper red. The Dwarf, or Pompone Rose, is admired for its very small flowers and delicate foliage. The Lawrencia Rose is the most diminutive one known both in leaf and flower. The Resplendent Rose has very dark full double flowers of middle size. The Speciosa, or Splendid, has large and elegant flowers, which have buds frequently in the centre. The Subalba is a fine double rose, nearly white. The Albiflora, or Maiden's Blush, is very large, and of a pale pink colour—it is one of the most beautiful varieties, and greatly admired. The Blueish Changeable varies in the colour of its flowers after expansion, and is variegated with small white stripes. The Gold Striped is very singular, its bark being most curiously striped yellow and green; the flower is similar to the Common China, being large and blush coloured. The Hybrid China produces delicate lilac coloured flowers in clusters. The Boursaultian Rose is of a fine colour: the flowers are in clusters, and much esteemed. The Microphylla has very delicate foliage; but I have not seen its flowers, as it has only been introduced into this country the present season, when I paid a guinea for a small plant of it. The Bichonia Rose is curious, as the edges of the petals turn white after being sometime expanded. The climbing, or running roses, suitable to train against buildings, or on arbours, bowers, &c. are the following:—Common Multiflora, Roxburgh's White Multiflora, Lady Banks' Double White, Greville's Superb, Champneys, Noisette, Boursaultian, Hybrid, Macartney's, &c. There are a few varieties of the China rose that require winter protection in this latitude, which are designated in the catalogue, but I consider that even these will not require that attention south of the Potowmac.