Knight's Yellow China (Tea) [Self-seedling of Hume's Blush Tea-scented China] The "other" yellow Tea-scented rose, from 1823, has often been confused with Parks' (White and) Yellow China, especially in the reported ancestries of later roses. It was sometimes mistaken for Smith's Yellow Noisette. It also picked up some other names as well:
Rosa odorata lutea Loddiges (1826)
R. odorata flavescens Sweet (1826)
R. indica sulphurea Andrews (1828) (below)
R. odorata lutescens
Rollisson (1831)

I think this was the 'Bengal Jaune' raised by Dr. Cartier in 1817 and introduced by Cels the same year. This new variety was discussed in the 1821 Le Bon Jardinier. This would have given Knight time to import the new rose and introduce it to England by 1823, the date Sweet (1826) gave. Alternatively, Knight may have raised a yellow seeding of the 'Blush Tea-scented' of his own. He did raise self-seedlings of the 'Crimson China', as well as a probable cross of the Crimson and the Tea-scented.

See Time-line of Yellow China Roses.

Bean: Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles: Ri-Z p. 70 (1980)
cv. 'Sulphurea'.—A seedling of 'Odorata' ('Hume's Blush'), figured by Andrews in Roses, t. 86 (1826); raised by Knight, the Chelsea nurseryman, it had pale yellow, semi-double flowers. Andrews called this rose R. indica sulphurea, and it is probable that the rose portrayed in the third edition of Redouté, Les Roses (1828-30), under the same name is the Knight seedling and not 'Parks' Yellow', as usually supposed.

Redouté: Les Roses vol. 3 t. 173 (1835)
Indica Sulfurea.
Bengale Jaune-Soufre.
(Vulgairement Thé Jaune).


Arbrisseau plus rustique et plus vigoureux que le précédent; tiges de vingt à trente pouces; écorce glabre et vert-foncé; aiguillons courts, épars, dilatés à la base et presque droits; feuilles composées de trois ou de cinq folioles allongées, aiguës au sommet, vert d’eau et luisantes en dessus, moins en dessous, et glabres sur les deux faces; bords unis ou très légèrement dentés et marginés violet-pourpre; pétioles à stipules assez larges, peu longues, et terminées en pointes courtes et réfléchies en dehors de chaque côté; tube de calice ovoïde, comprimé; divisions les unes simples, les autres légèrement pinnulées sur les bords, mais toutes terminées en folioles presque linéaires; fleurs terminales souvent en ombelles de trois et plus, dont les pédicelles à la base sont accompagnés de bractées inégales; pétiole général muni de petits aiguillons; corolle de deux à trois pounces de diamètre; pétales de quatre à cinq rangs, plus ou moins bien disposés, légèrement échancrés au sommet, jaune-ocre en dehors avant la déhiscence, et jaune-soufre en dendans, mais passant bientôt au blanc soufré lorsque la fleur est épanouie; cependant l’automne, quand l’atmosphère est moins chaude, la fleur conserve bien son premier coloris; les fruits, assez caducs, sont globuleux et rougue-pourpre du côté du soleil à leur maturité.


Ce charmant et précieux rosier a été importé d’Angleterre à Paris par M. Hardy, en 1825 ou 1826. Plusieurs amateurs et commerçans l’ont également tiré des cultures de M. Loddiges, la même année. Il est maintenant assez répandu, mais toujours précieux par son coloris aussi rare que recherché. Malgré la caducité des ses fruits, cependant beaucoup réussissent; déjà des semis en ont été faits dans l’intention d’en obtenir des variétés dont les fleurs soient plus constamment pleines et mieux faites que celles du Bengale dont nous donnons ici la description avec la figure. On désire aussi une teinte jaune plus persistante et plus prononcée. On a déjà réussi dans plusieurs tentatives dont les succes étaient bien moins probables. Espérons que celles-ci finiront par n’être pas plus malheureuses. Pirolle



Shrub hardier and more vigorous than the last; stems from twenty to thirty inches; bark smooth and dark green; short prickles scattered, enlarged at the base and almost straight; leaves of three to five elongated leaflets, acute at the top, sea green and shining above, less underneath and hairless on both sides; edges plain or slightly toothed and margined violet-purple; petioles with stipules rather large, somewhat long and completed in short spikes and reflected from each side; calyx tube ovoid, compressed; sepals, one simple, the others slightly pinnulated around the edges, but all terminated in almost linear leaflets; terminal flowers in umbels often three or more, the stalks at the base are accompanied by unequal bracts; petiole usually equipped with small prickles; corolla of two to three inches in diameter; petals four to five rows, more or less well disposed, slightly indented at the top, yellow-ocher outside before opening, and sulfur-yellow inside, but soon fading to sulfur-white when the flower opens; However, in the fall when the air is cooler, the flower keeps its first color well; fruit, quite deciduous, and are globular purple-red from the sun at maturity.


This charming and valuable rose was imported from England to Paris by Mr. HARDY, in 1825 or 1826. Several amateurs and merchants have also received specimens from Mr. LODDIGES the same year. It is now quite common, but still valuable for its colors as rare as desired. Despite the falling of its fruits, however many are successful; seedlings have already been raised with the intention of obtaining varieties whose flowers are more consistently full and better constructed than those of the Bengal which we give here the description with the figure. One also wants a yellow tint more persistent and more pronounced. We have already been successful in several attempts whose successes were far less likely. Hopefully they will eventually be no more unhappy. Pirolle

Roses; Or, A Monograph of the Genus Rosa - Volume 2 (1805-1828)
Henry Charles Andrews


Rosa germinibus ovatis, pedunculisque glabris: floribus sulphureis: foliis pinnatis: foliolis oblongis, acutis, glabris, marginibus serrulatis: caule glabro.


Rose with ovate seed-buds, and smooth peduncles: flowers sulphur-coloured: leaves winged: leaflets oblong, pointed, smooth, with finely sawed edges: stem smooth.

The rosa sulphurea, known by the appellation of the Yellow China Rose, was raised at the Nursery of Mr. Knight, from seed of the R. odorata. We have seen it paler, but never deeper in colour than we have represented it.

CybeRose note: I am still not sure whether to believe that Knight raised this rose, or imported Cartier's, which was raised from seed of the Blush Tea-scented.

Cels listed a Bengale Jaune in his 1817 catalog. Knight might have imported it by 1821, the date that Loudon (1830) for the introduction of 'Flavescens'.

The Beauties of Flora (1839) t. 4
Eliza Eve Gleadall
Yellow China Rose (Rosa odorata var. flavescens)

Annalen der Blumisterei, 5: 216 (1829)

Rosa Thea Lutea
Die gelb Theerose

Diese wunderschöne Rose sah Referent in der reichen Pflanzensammlung des Herrn von Lowenig zu Erlangen, wo dieselbe im Mai auf der Stellage im Freien ganz mit den lieblichen großen Blumen über, deckt war.


Das Laub ist wie jenes der Theerose, nur mehr glänzend. Die Blumen eben so flatternd, die Blumenblätter aber 1 3/4 Zoll hock, 1 1/2 Zoll breit, die äußern länglichbreitrund, die innern mehr als die Hälfte schmäler, oval, mehr aufrecht. So hält die Rose 4 Zoll im Durchmesser; die Färbe ist gar lieblich blaßhellgelb, der Geruch der echte liebliche Theegeruch.


The foliage is like that of Tea rose, only more shiny*. The flowers just as fluttering, the petals but squatting 1 3/4 inch, 1 1/2 inches wide, the elongated express oblate, more than half of the inner narrower, oval, upright. Thus the Rose holds 4 inches in diameter, and the coloring is very pretty pale light yellow, the smell of real sweet tea odor.

*Lindley noted that the leaves of Ochroleuca were "not shining".

The Magazine of Horticulture, Botany, and All Useful Discoveries and Improvements in Rural Affairs, 12(9): 331 (Sept 1846)
Garden of Mr. Monck
In the rose house, the roses were in fine bloom, and among the new ones, Ophire was a prominent object. Noticing some very fine specimens of the old yellow tea, Mr. Monck informed us that he had succeeded in producing these fine specimens by budding on the yellow Banksian rose, which we some time since alluded to. No other stock seems to suit it; on its own roots it is always a weak growing plant, and on the Boursault, Indica major, or Dog rose, it does not grow freely; but when worked upon the yellow Banksian, it pushes up shoots with the kindness and vigor of the strongest growing Bengals. The same remark may be made with the Tea Compte de Paris; though a most superb variety, it is rarely seen in collections; this is owing to its constitutional weakness, which it retains until worked on the Banksian. We doubt not there are many others which might be greatly improved in the same way. Tea Elize Sauvage, Belle Allemande, Saffrano, and others, are well worth the trial. These are the important objects of the gardening art; we all know that there are many kinds of pears which will not grow on the quince, or, at least, so as to produce any good results. No doubt the same causes which produce this, are equally applicable to the rose, as well as all other tribes of plants. To ascertain these results is one of the triumphs of the gardener's art, — to make them known should be his pride and aim.

Knight's Yellow China (Flavescens) vs. Parks' Yellow Tea-scented