Redouté: Les Roses vol. 3; t. 180 (1835) Also see André: Rosa indica major (1874)



ARBRISSEAU multitige de quatre à six pieds de hauteur et en buisson, très élégant; écorce vert très vif; aiguillons épars assez nombreux, courts, acérés, base plus large que la hauteur, et passant du purpurin au brun noir; feuilles dc cinq à sept folioles ridées, luisantes, vert‑foncé et lancéolées; bords finement dentés en scie; pétioles dont le dessous est armé de légers aiguillons verts et crochus, et la base munie de stipules étroites, terminées en pointes réfléchies en dehors de chaque côté; fleurs très nombreuses à l'extrémité des rameaux et ramuscules, qui couvrent les tiges depuis la base jusqu'au sommet celles‑ci arquées avec grâce en tous sens, comme les rayons d'une gerbe de jet d'eau plus ou moins nombreux; pédoncules longs, glabres et flexibles; tube orbiculaire et glabre; divisions calicinales régulières, peu ou point appendiculées; corolles pleines, assez larges, et d'une superbe contexture; pétales transparens, d'un beau blanc pur, quelquefois carné; bords tantôt striés rose, tantôt maculés de cette même couleur, tantôt rubanés idem; et souvent ces variations de styles dans te coloris se trouvent simultanément sur les roses d'un même rameau; fruit jaune‑orangé lorsque la maturité est complète.

Multi-stem shrub four to six feet tall and in bush, very elegant; very bright green bark; spines scattered fairly numerous, short, sharp, base wider than height, and passing from purplish to black-brown; Leaves of five to seven leaflets wrinkled, shining, dark green and lanceolate; fine-toothed edges; petioles, the underside of which is armed with light green and hooked spines, and the base furnished with narrow stipules, terminated in points reflected off each side; flowers very numerous at the extremity of the branches and branchlets, which cover the stems from the base to the summit, the latter arched with grace in all directions, like the rays of a sheaf of a jet of water more or less numerous; long, glabrous and flexible peduncles; orbicular and glabrous tube; regular calyx divisions, little or not appendiculate; corollas full, fairly broad, and of a superb texture; transparent petals, of a fine pure white, sometimes blush; edges sometimes striated pink, sometimes stained with the same color, sometimes banded the same; and often these variations of styles in the coloring are simultaneously found on the roses of the same branch; fruit is yellow-orange when fully ripe.


Cette superbe plante nous a été communiquée par le docteur CARTIER; elle est considérée par les uns comme Bengale, par les autres comme un hybride de Bengale et de sempervirens, et par quelques amateurs très exercés comme un sempervirens tout pur. A la première vue, la plante pourrait, par son port et son feuillage, paraître en effet appartenir au groupe des Bengales, mais si l'on remarque qu'elle ne fleurit qu'une seule fois, et que ses aiguillons et ses fruits ne diffèrent en rien de ceux qui sont naturels aux sempervirens, on ne pourra plus la confondre avec les premiers. On cessera également dc la prendre pour hybride, si l'on fait attention qu'elle donne assez volontiers des fruits parfaits, à la vérité en moins grand nombre que la plupart des rosiers considérés comme variétés ou espèces franches, tandis que généralement les hybrides sont stériles; enfin on partagera pleinement l'avis des cultivateurs‑botanistes qui la considèrent comme un sempervirens, si l'on veut faire attention que cette classe, dont elle a tous les caractères, est susceptible, comme toutes les autres, de donner par le semis des variétés à larges fleurs, pleines, et aussi variées que celles qui proviennent des semis du Bengale.

J'ai placé cette plante aux hybrides, et lui ai maintenu le nom sous lequel maintenant elle est généralement connue et indiquée, tant chez les cultivateurs‑amateurs que chez les cultivateurs‑commerçans. On la connaît aussi sous le nom pittoresque de Bengale mousseline, que lui donnent certains amateurs, à raison de la brillante transparence de ses pétales. Si j'avais à la nommer, je lui donnerais le nom de sempervirens à grandes fleurs panachées. P.

This superb plant has been communicated to us by Dr. CARTIER; It is considered by some as Bengal, by others as a hybrid of Bengal and sempervirens, and by some amateurs very practiced as a pure sempervirens. At first sight, the plant might, by its port and foliage, appear to belong to the group of the Bengals, but if it be observed that it flowers only once, and that its spines and fruits differ in nothing from those which are natural to the sempervirens, they can no longer be confounded with the former. It will also cease to be regarded as a hybrid if attention is given to the fact that it produces rather perfect fruits, indeed fewer in number than most roses considered as varieties or free species, whereas hybrids are generally sterile; Finally, the opinion of the botanist growers, who regard it as a sempervirens, will be fully appreciated, if we wish to be careful that this class, of which it has all the characteristics, is capable, like all others, of giving by sowing varieties with large flowers, full, and as varied as those which come from the seedlings of Bengal.

I have placed this plant in the hybrids, and have maintained the name under which it is now generally known and indicated, both to the amateur growers and to the commercial farmers. It is also known under the picturesque name of Muslin Bengal, given to it by certain amateurs, on account of the brilliant transparency of its petals. If I had to name it, I would give it the name of sempervirens with large variegated flowers. P.

Manual of Roses (1846) p. 73
William Robert Prince

Indica Major, Bengalensis scandens, Duchess of Dino, Walton Rose, or Rose Blanche, is doubtless a hybrid between the China and Sempervirens: it is of the most vigorous and luxuriant growth, richly clad with large lucid foliage, nearly evergreen: it will make shoots of ten to fifteen feet in a season, and may be trained over a diameter of thirty feet or more, and to twenty feet or more in height; the flower buds are edged with pink and peculiarly beautiful; the flowers expand early, are very large, measuring about three and a half inches in diameter, full double, white, suffused with delicate touches of pale blush color. When a large and expanded plant is in full bloom, it is remarkably striking and attractive. It is well suited to cover unsightly buildings or walls.

The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening 28: 195; Aug 22, 1885
That next the walk was the old crimson China, the next Mrs. Bosanquet, and the back row the old blush or common China. ... The old blush or common China needs no description, being well known, but as a back row in such a border it was quite happy, and flowering in such profusion as only that old Rose can do. J. C. C.

The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening 28: 242; Sept 5, 1885
Has "J. C. C." ever seen Mrs. Bosanquet grown in a low-roofed house, intended merely to keep the frost out, and from which the roof was removed in summer? Grown in that way, the blooms are large and perfect and the growth vigorous. It is a very good Rose for small gardens, however, and should be more grown. Why has Rosa semperflorens come to be called the common China? Rosa bengalensis is not grown now, neither is it worth growing, as its profusion of flowers tumble all to pieces the moment they open; but that is no reason why the ever-flowering China Rose should usurp the old familiar name of its much more vigorous relation. J. D.

The Rose Amateur's Guide (1836)
Thomas Rivers

Indica major has, perhaps, a dozen names; for as "Rosa Bengalensis," "Bengalensis Scandens," and the "Walton Rose" of Essex, it is wall known; and last, but not least, as "Rosa craculatum,"— a name given to it by Mr. Wood of Maresfield. It is a fine robust variety, nearly evergreen, and makes shoots from ten to fifteen feet in length in one season. Its flowers are large, nearly double, and of a delicate pale rose-colour. This beautiful rose may be soon made to cover the most unsightly buildings or walls.

The Rose Manual (1844) p. 24
Robert Buist

Ruse [sic] Blanche, or Bengalensis Scandens, is apparently a hybrid between some of the Sempervirens and Tea family; its very large flowers, about three and a half inches in diameter, perfectly double, of a waxy blush colour delicately suffused with white, are objects of great attraction, and admired wherever seen; it is moreover a very early rose. Whoever has visited the celebrated Bartram Garden, near this city, about the end of May or first of June, must have been struck with its beauty there, spreading nearly over the whole side of the dwelling, and covered with thousands of pendulous blushing beauties. The variety of names under which it is cultivated (even by individuals that ought to see better) is really amusing. Rose and White Noisette, Striped Noisette, Indica Major, Walton Climber, a new rose from Natchez, and some others, of which I have no note.

The Gardeners' Chronicle, 3: 317 (May 13, 1843)

Budding Roses — As the plan which I adopt in budding Roses has been eminently successful, (scarcely one having failed out of a very large number of stocks operated upon last year,) perhaps you will allow me again to repeat it, for the benefit of my amateur brethren. I generally select the Bengalensis (or Blush Boursault, as some gardeners call it) in preference to the Wild Briar, which I find more apt to canker and become bast-bound. I commence my labours about the beginning of June, and continue till the middle of August; and I invariably leave a small piece of the wood, as a protection to the eye, using worsted for binding instead of bast. The rise of the sap is rapid and plentiful in the Bengalensis, which keeps the bud cool even in the hottest weather, which was satisfactorily proved last summer. Some of the stocks which I worked early in the year formed good ripe wood before the winter, and promise to produce a fine crop of blossoms this season. The propagation of the Bengalensis is exceedingly easy; and although it is rather capricious in flowering itself, it never fails to support a stranger in a most flourishing condition. The disappointment of amateurs in budding is occasioned too often by their attempting to deprive the bud of all the wood, which, unless it is very skilfully extracted, irreparably injures the bud. New wood must, of course, always be chosen in both cases.—W. W.

Gardening Illustrated and Rural and Suburban Home, Volume 6: 244 (May 31, 1884)

The China Rose (Rosa Indica) is a strong growing, climbing Rose, with glossy foliage and large bright pink flowers, almost scentless, which open quickly, and fall to pieces as soon as opened; the wood will not stand frost, but if cut down in the autumn it will make rods 4 to 6 feet high in early summer, which flower freely. Its blooming season is too short to make it worth growing. — J. D.