Augusta (Tea-Noisette) []The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste, 4(3): 147-148 (Sept 1849)
A. Fahnestock,
re: Augusta
The roses bloom at the termination of the first growth of the winter buds, and were in clusters of three and four upon the branches sent me. I send you one of the largest leaves upon this season's growth; the terminal leaves all have two small leaves (or stipules) at the base, which neither Lamarque, Solfaterre nor Chromatella possesses.
  l'Enfant Trouvé was a found rose, originally thought to be 'Aurora'. As the above picture shows, this rose had the same pair of leaflets (or stipules) as 'Augusta'.

Drawn from Nature: the Botanical Art of Joseph Prestele and his sons (1904)
The Augusta Rose

Unsigned lithograph; attributed to Joseph Prestele; engraved on stone, colored; 34 X 26.5 cm. from an office file copy, Mount Hope Nursery (Ellwanger & Barry), Rochester, New York.
Courtesy, Ellwanger and Barry Collection.
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.

Joseph Prestele apparently made an engraved lithograph of the Augusta rose sometime before 1859 because what seems to be a version of it was published by D. M. Dewey in his 1859 Colored Fruit Book. Thereafter Joseph, perhaps his son Gottlieb, and certainly William Henry Prestele, created nurserymen's plates illustrating it.

Few plants have been introduced with as much excitement or suspense or have created as much controversy as this rose. The story is this, as recounted by A. Fahnestock. Lancaster. Ohio. July 1849—a friend of the principals—to the editor of the Horticulturist (vol. 4, no. 3. September 1849. pp. 147-48).

On a balmy January day in 1844, the J Honorable James Matthews of Coshocton, Ohio, with his wife, and the Honorable A. P. Stone, and Mrs. Stone of Columbus, Ohio, visited Mount Vernon. While there. Matthews, a rose fancier, gathered seed from some of the roses growing in what had been George Washington's garden. These he planted at his Ohio home and one of them produced a vigorous plant which in two seasons had sent up shoots sixteen to eighteen feet long. The blossoms—as Matthews reported to Fahnestock—"were very large and very double, and in colour a light, pure yellow ... much larger and much more double than those on the Chromatella and Solfaterre (also given as "Solfatare"), which were then popular yellow climbers, introduced a few years before. Matthews named the seedling "Augusta" as a "compliment to Mrs. Matthews and her second daughter." The propagation and sale of the rose was given to the nursery of Thorp, Smith, Hanchette & Co., of Syracuse, New York.

Enthusiastic reports about the Augusta rose created intense interest in the horticultural fraternity. Patriotism was also involved. John Feast, the Baltimore nurserymen, praised the rose in the Florist and Horticultural Journal (Philadelphia, vol. 2, no. 4., April 1853, pp. 112-13). He encouraged its introduction because of its native origin, and added the stirring command to American horticulturists to "preserve and encourage the raising of all kinds of seedlings, then we shall have plenty without importing trash." Others joined in applauding the Augusta rose for its beauty and fragrance, and its remarkably rapid growth, but there were many who pointed out that it was indistinguishable from the existing variety—Solfaterre William Henry Prestele diplomatically captioned the plate he made of this rose: "Augusta, or Solfaterre."

The Augusta rose did not long survive its unfortunate debut, notwithstanding its aura of Mount Vernon, its vigorous growth, and its fragrance. By the end of the century it was no longer listed in nursery catalogues.

The Country Gentleman 1(12): 190-191 (Mar 24, 1853)

The Augusta Rose.

THE subscribers take great pleasure in announcing to all the lovers of that beautiful flower, the Rose, that they will send out (or the first time, on the first day of May next properly packed for transportation to any pert of the United States, strong plants of their New, Double Yellow, Fragrant, Climbing Rose, AUGUSTA, which has been acknowledged by all who have seen its beauties, to be decidedly not only the best double yellow climbing Rose, but the freest bloomer, and the most deliciously fragrant of any in the country.

This Rose was raised from seed, planted by the Hon. James Mathews, of Coshocton, Ohio, in the spring of 1847, who, having in his collection the finest Roses in the country, including LAMARQUE, SOLFATERRE and CHROMATELLA, speaks thus of the AUGUSTA:

"This plant has thrown up shoots for the past two season, from 16 to it feet in height, and has proven itself, tint only a remarkable grower, but of a vigorous and healthy habit. The Rose resembles Lamarque somewhat in appearance, but as a more vigorous grower; leaves much larger, more ruddy and dark in hue, very glossy and handsome; young wood of a very redish cast, full of short, ragged thorns, but more numerous than Lamarque; old wood, large, coarse and strong; flowers very large said very double, and in color pure yellow, deeper than Devoniensis, and quite twice as large as La Pactole; bud is shaped like Lamarque, but is larger, and the flower when expanded is also much larger. It is purely tea-scented, quite as fragrant as Devoniensis, and more fragrant than any other variety with which I am acquainted. This rose has been the admiration of all who have seen at. being greatly preferred to all others of my pretty large collection: and it fully realizes my most sanguine expectations, being fully one hundred per cent better than Lamarque." [See Horticulturist, vol. iv, page 147.]—After several years further experience in growing said testing this Rose, he writes thus: "The Augusta has proved itself the finest of Noisettes, a very vigorous grower, with splendid foliage, of the most free blooming habit and deliciously fragrant. My opinion of it has increased yearly with its growth, and I have never as yet seen its equal."

We forwarded to the late lamented A. J. DOWNING, in August, 1851, a cluster of its flowers, and in the September number of the Horticulturist—[see page 436]—he published the following commendation of it:

Opinion of the late A. J. Downing, Esq., of Newburgh, N. Y.

"We have just received by Express from Messrs. Thorp, Smith, Hanchett & Co., of the Syracuse Nurseries, a branch of the "Augusta" in good order, and are glad to bear testimony as far as a cluster of cut flowers will allow us) to the beauty of this new variety. The flower, are a fine yellow, deeper than Cloth of Gold, and deliciously fragrant. We learn from those who have seen this new American seedling growing, that it is a fine, vigorous climber, with an everblooming habit, and have no doubt it will prove a great acquisition."

We have recently been favored with a letter from the following eminent Horticulturist and Pomologist, of Boston, Mass., the contents of which we are kindly permitted to make public.

Extract of a letter from the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, Boston, Mass.

"I am happy to say that, although I had heard a favorable opinion expressed in relation to the merits of this Rose, its beauty exceeded my anticipations

"The Augusta Rose is certainly an excellent variety, having in its growth the climbing habit of the Noisettes, while an bloom said fragrance it seems nearly allied to the Teas. Its foliage is beautiful; its flower is very pure and delicate in color; its form globular and perfect and although very double and full, appears to expand its buds freely. Considering these valuable characteristics, it may be esteemed as a good acquisition, and worthy of a place among the best varieties extant."

In addition to the preceding commendations, we have the privilege also of giving the following extracts from notices and opinions with which we have been kindly favored by persons who have had opportunities of examining its characteristics, all gentlemen of the highest character and worth, and most of them extensively known throughout the country for their fine horticultural taste and knowledge.

From the Hon. E. W. Leavenworth, of Syracuse.

"I have seen the 'Augusta' Rose several times during two successive seasons. It is a vigorous grower, and free runner, with dark green polished leaves, and the general aspect of the plant is very beautiful. It blooms with the greatest freedom, small plants not a foot high, having frequently been seen by me covered with flowers. The flowers are very double, very large and beautiful, and in fine clusters. It is very fragrant, and the fragrance is of a very agreeable nature. I am familiar with many of the finest Yellow Roses, and have hesitation in giving this a decided preference to any of them, for the vigor and beauty of the plant, the elegance of the bud and flower, and for its charming fragrance."

From Charles B. Sedgwick, Esq., of Syracuse.

"I have on several occasions seen and examined your 'Augusta Rose' during the last two seasons, and it appears to be possessed of a combination of desirable qualities. Its strong and free growth; the beauty and richness of the leaf; its high fragrance; the size, color and well developed form of the flower, all combine to place it it in the front rank of the new Roses.. I have noticed the full clusters upon quite small plants, and judge that it blooms freely, and is a Perpetual, from having seen it in blossom at various seasons of the year."

From the Rev. Samuel J. May, of Syracuse.

"It seems to me to combine more excellencies than any species of the Rose that I am acquainted with. It is a climber, grows rapidly and abundantly—as much so, I think, as the Michigan Rose—the foliage is rich, and it is a perpetual and profuse bloomer. The flowers, taken singly, are more beautiful than those of the Michigan. They are of a brilliant, though not of a glaring, yellow color; and, more than all, have a delicious fragrance like the choicest kinds of the Tea Rose. Whoever shall possess himself of this plant will confess that he has indeed a floral treasure."

From J. W. P. Allen, Esq., late Corresponding Secretary of the Oswego Horticultural Society, Oswego, N. Y.

"Having seen your new Rose, the 'Augusta,' in bloom, during nearly every month in the year, I do not hesitate to say that, combining as it does the properties of a free grower, perpetual and profuse bloomer, fine foliage, great beauty of developing bud and perfect flower, with the richest fragrance, it will be the greatest acquisition yet given to the amateurs of Flora in the form of a Yellow Rose."

From Dr. Herman Wendell, of Albany.

"I have no doubt but that the Rose, when it cornea to be known, will be a general favorite, for, from its delicious fragrance, (which, by the way, is precisely that of Smithii, a Yellow Noisette,) its very tree blooming character, as well as its running habit, it can not but please admirers and amateurs of the Rose."

From Messrs. Thorburn & Co., New York, and Newark, N. J.

"This is the finest American (or any other of its class) Rose ever raised—is a hardy outdoor runner—beautiful deep green glossy foliage, similar to the Cloth of Gold; the flowers of a deep nankeen yellow, full cupped to the centre, and of the most delicious tea fragrances. This rose is no catch-penny, but has passed the ordeal of severe scrutiny.


As the sole possessors of the Augusta, and in order to place purchasers on their guard against the frauds and villanies of the unprincipled, who have already, to some extent, taken advantage of its reputation to impose upon the unsuspecting some unknown variety under its name, we hereby caution all persons against purchasing from any one who can not show due authority from us to sell it. To show that the entire stock is in our hands, (we never yet having sent it out,) we give below the certificate of the original proprietor and originator. In his letter to our Mr. F., forwarding the certificate, he makes the following explanatory statement:

"I have never raised is plant from the original stock up to this time, nor have I ever given cuttings or scions to any one but yourself since I made a present of the right to you. But it is proper for me to state that about that time, for the many courtesies extended to me by our mutual friend, Mr. Fish, of Macon, Geo., I forwarded him, at his request, a few of the buds."

We have a letter from Mr. Fish, stating that he was entirely unsuccessful in his attempt to propagate it—every bud having failed—and he is now awaiting a plant for himself from us.

Mr. Mathew's Certificate.

"I hereby ceritify that I have never given or distributed to any nurseryman in the United States or elsewhere, any plants, scions, or buds of the 'Augusta' rose which was raised from seed by myself, except to Mr. A. Fahnestock, now of Syracuse, N. Y., to whom I presented the right of said rose, with the exclusive privilege to propagate from, sell, or dispose of it as he might think proper. Dated Coshocton, this 4th day of June, 1851. JAS. MATHERS."


The following are our duly authorised agents at the place. designated, with whom orders may be left:

John Feast, Baltimore, Md. Morse & Houghton, Cleveland, Ohio J55. D. Fulton, Philadelphia, Pa. A. E. Glenn, Columbus, Ohio. Geo. C. Thorburn, Newark, N. J. J. C. Ferris, Cincinnati, Ohio. H. P. Byram, Louisville, Ky. Kennedy & Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. Parsons & Co., Flushing, N. Y. L. J. Gibson, Cazenovia, N. Y., travelling agt.

>> The Rose will be sent to any part of the country, packed in the safest manner, in answer to all orders enclosing five dollars; or one dozen to one address for forty dollars.

SYRACUSE NURSERIES, Syracuse, N. Y., March 1, 1853.
March 23-12-21.