Isabella Gray (Noisette) [seedling of Chromatella]

The Illustrated Bouquet t. 1 (1857)
E. G. Henderson & Son


L'Illustration Horticole v. 6, t. 212 (1859)
As "Isabelle Grey"

Floricultural Cabinet 25: 178-179 (July, 1857)

THE charming Rose selected for our present illustration is one which will be hailed with pleasure by all growers of this lovely tribe. In addition to its possessing all those qualities that are desirable in a Tea Rose, it has the additional recommendation of being a very free-growing variety, bearing its rich golden blossoms in great abundance, while its constitution is vigorous. The flowers are large, full, and of a rich golden yellow, not partaking of the usual numerous tints of buff, lemon, and salmon, which have hitherto been so common in this class. It appears to have been raised from seed by a Mr. Grey, in South Carolina, with whom it bloomed most profusely, and although exposed to the great heat of that climate, appeared to suffer no injury, and in this country it has also kept its character. As noticed by us in a late number, a plant was exhibited at the Horticultural Society's rooms last April, having forty fully expanded blooms, diffusing a rich fragrance, and exciting considerable notice.

The old Double Yellow Rose, so remarkable for its shy-flowering qualities, will now be entirely superseded by the present beautiful variety, which bids fair to become a universal favourite, both as a pillar Rose, or for planting in the conservatory. For its culture we refer our readers to an article on the Tea Roses in the present number.

The Florist, Fruitist, and Garden Miscellany, 10: 161 (June 1857)
(PLATE 127.)

W have taken an early opportunity of introducing to the notice of our readers a representation of this charming new Rose, which bids fair to become universally popular.

The first intimation the public had that such a Rose was in existence was at the London meeting of the Horticultural Society, on the 7th of April last, when a plant in bloom was exhibited before the Society by Mr. Low, of Clapton. We quote the following report of the meeting, in reference to this Rose, from the "Gardener's Chronicle" of April 11. "Among this class of plants, however, the great attraction was a new deep yellow climbing Tea Rose from South Carolina. This was furnished by Mr. Low, of Clapton. The plant exhibited was, unfortunately, not in good condition for showing, having got greatly injured from travelling. It, however, indicated what a fine thing it is. It had upwards of 40 blooms on it, large and double, and nearly as fine in colour as that of the old double yellow, which nobody, can flower. The new sort must therefore be considered as a great acquisition, should it continue to be a free bloomer."

We are indebted to Mr. Low, jun., of the Clapton nursery, for introducing this very attractive addition to the already beautiful family of Roses; this gentleman met with it when travelling in the United States, in the garden of a Mr. Gray, in South Carolina, who it appears had raised it and some others nearly similar, from seed. Mr. Low states that when he first saw it it was covered with flowers, and exposed to a burning sun without being in in the slightest degree.

Our readers will have learned by the advertisement of this Rose for sale by Messrs. E. G. Henderson & Son, of the Wellington Nursery, in last month's FLORIST, that they have purchased the entire stock from the Messrs. Low & Co., to which we beg to refer our readers for further particulars; and likewise to the intimation, that as there appears to be three other Roses allied to this in this country under the name of Miss Gray, of whose comparative merits nothing is yet known, they will bear in mind that the Rose now figured, and advertised by Messrs. Henderson, is the one selected for purchase by Mr. Low, as surpassing all the others in his estimation. Mr. E. G. Henderson informs us that the old plant, having been cut down for stock, is breaking strongly, making a fine growth, and with remarkably handsome foliage.

The Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, Volume 17: 470 (July 4, 1857)
The Isabella Gray Rose.
T. Rivers, Herts

As the history of this Rose has not been very accurately given in the advertisements, it may be perhaps interesting to your readers to know something more about it. Mr. Andrew Gray, who had been first foreman to Mr. Buist, of Philadelphia, left him some years since and settled at Charleston, S.C., about eight years ago; the Noisette Cloth of Gold seeded freely with him; from the seedlings raised he selected two, one he called Isabella, alias Miss Gray, after his eldest daughter, the other he called Jane Hardy, after his wife; the former has bloomed well in beauty. Jane Hardy does not bloom well; it is like the old double yellow Rose, its buds burst without opening. Isabella Gray was sent to England three years ago by Mr. Buist, who gave me the above information, but has not bloomed till this season. There is, therefore, but one Miss Gray or Isabella Gray Rose, which is likely to prove a very nice free blooming yellow Rose. The Cloth of Gold Rose was not raised in America, as stated in one of the advertisements, but at Angers, in France, about the year 1841.

Gardener's Chronicle (July 7, 1860) p. 624
Prof. Lindley

And now that we are upon the subject of roses, one word may be said about Isabella Gray, that "worthless American cross-bred, which will only flower under glass." It is known to our readers that we have never placed our faith in the fair lady's detractors, her first ancestor, Rosa rubifolia, having nothing tender in his nature. All that it appeared to us to demand was good soil, a roasting south wall, and exemption from the favors of the pruning knife. This evil spring has confirmed our opinion, such a rose in such a place having bloomed in the greatest profusion during the whole month of June. The flowers were perfect in size and color, and many opened well. Others, indeed, rotted on their stalks before they were half expanded; but the same fate befel such hardy roses as the Queen and Coupe d'Hebe. Had Isabella Gray been screened by a pent-house, or had the weather been better, the plant would have been a rose grower's envy; for the half-expanded flowers are most beautiful.

We may add, that a Cloth of Gold, in a similar situation, equally warm and sheltered, was so damaged by October's frost that its main branches died back, and there is no sign at present of roses for this year, although it is now pushing most vigorously, and will soon recover its lost ground.

The Rose Book, a Practical Treatise on the Culture of the Rose, p. 137 (1864)
James Shirley Hibberd

Among the strong growers we have now only three left, and they are the three finest yellow roses known. Cloth of Gold is truly magnificent when brought to perfection; the colour pure gold yellow, the form globular, very large and double. Isabella Gray differs from it in being a shade deeper in colour towards the centre. When well grown it opens freely, but is rather deficient in form; there is a sort of squareness about it which the experienced eye detects at a glance. But very often this rose does not open well, and it is very shy of blooming under all ordinary circumstances. The last of the three is Jane Hardy, flowers deep gold-yellow, small, but pretty; the habit that of a climber, and too tender to be used as a standard; though in a warm climate, as that of Jersey for example, where Cloth of Gold thrives amazingly, it would make superb weeping standards, that would look like tents of gold tissue when in full bloom.