Queen of Bourbons (Bourbon) []

The Botanic Garden No. 887 (1824)

The Rose now under notice, known as the Queen of Bourbons, is a hybridized plant, derived from the original Bourbon Rose, and of course recognized as belonging to the Bourbon section. We have called it Rosa Bourboniana; it should, however, be stated that it is not, botanically speaking, entitled to rank as a distinct species. Although it is impossible to trace the pedigree, of the original Bourbon Rose, it can only be received as a variety of canina. The present variety is an exceedingly desirable one, both for the beauty of its flowers, and its long-continued production of them; it is, indeed, rarely without flowers from June to November. Its shoots are short, and on standards they form a compact head. It is worthy of a place in every collection, notwithstanding it possesses very little fragrance. It should be budded or grafted on stocks of the wild Rose; or it may be grafted in spring, on the Boursalt, for dwarfs. It is an admirable plant for forcing.

Respecting the introduction to notice of the original Bourbon Rose, we quote Mr. Rivers's account, as given in his Rose Amateur's Guide; who is a good authority on this subject. He says "A beautiful semi-double Rose, with brilliant rose-coloured flowers, prominent buds, and nearly evergreen foliage, made its appearance in this country, under the name of the L'Ile de Bourbon Rose, said to have been imported from the Mauritius to France, in 1822, by Mr. Noisette. It attracted attention by its peculiar habit, and more particularly by its abundant autumnal flowering. Still, such was the lukewarmness of English Rose amateurs, that no attempts were made to improve this pretty imperfect Rose, by raising seedlings from it, though it bore seed in large quantities. This pleasing task was left to our Rose-loving neighbours, the French, who have been very industrious, and, as a matter of course, have originated some very beautiful and striking varieties."

Its introduction to France is stated as follows. At the Isle of Bourbon, the inhabitants generally enclose their land with two rows of Roses, one of the common China, the other of the red Four Seasons. Amongst these, sprung up the Rose in question, which attracted attention. Monsieur Breon, (now a seedsman in Paris) who arrived at Bourbon, in 1817, as botanical traveller for the government of France, propagated this Rose largely; and sent plants and seeds of it, in 1822, to Monsieur Jacques, gardener at the Chateau de Neuilly, near Paris, who distributed them among the Rose cultivators of France; who have proved industrious propagators of this pleasing section.