Souv. d'Elise Vardon (Tea)

Sustainable Rose Garden (2010)
Edited by Pat Shanley, Peter Kukielski, and Gene Waering

A Close Look at Tea Roses pp. 21-22
Lynne Chapman, Hillary Merrifield and Billy West

A Tea is in commerce around the world today as 'Souvenir d'Elise Vardon'. a rose which early colour descriptions tell us was light straw yellow or yellowish white to delicate light pink.

The rose often sold under this name seems too brightly coloured to match these descriptions, but we know that the colours of Teas can vary. So we needed more to go on, and Paquet and Rouillard provided more in the year it was introduced, describing the peduncles of 'Souvenir d'Elise Vardon' as "showing little brownish hairs along their whole length' and the receptacle also as 'sprinkled with little brownish hairs."

Glands or hairs or both, they are not present on the shiny, smooth pedicels of the rose sold as 'Souvenir d'Elise Vardon' today, so careful observations from the 1850s gave us proof that this rose was misidentified. But what was it? Fortunately, the same rose is also in commerce under another name, its correct name, 'Mlle Franziska Kruger', 1879 and, as well as early descriptions matching, we have the proof of identity from a colour sport, 'Blumenschmidt', which occurred in Germany and was released in 1905. Like its parent, it can show a hard green centre which occasionally contains many tiny buds. 'Blumenschmidt' is not available in Australia at the present time, so we were delighted to see fine plants at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas.