Floricultural Cabinet 19: 150-154 (May 1851)
REMARKS ON THE INDIGENOUS ROSES OF AMERICA, &c.
An Ardent Admirer

*\Quoted from The Rose Fancier's Manual by Gore, 1838.

In a recent number of this Magazine, I observed some observations upon an American Rose, discovered by a female, and named the Maanga Rose. Having seen in an American publication, some extended remarks on the national (indigenous) roses of that portion of the world, I have transcribed* a few short particulars of some of the most beautiful:—

"North America: there, in the glaciers of the most northerly provinces, grows the Rosa blanda, which unfolds its bright pink corolla, always solitary on the stem, immediately on the melting of the snows. This shrub is peculiar to the frozen deserts between 70° and 75° N. latitude. Within the polar circle, on the shores of the Hudson, is found the Rosa rapa, or Hudsoniana, covered during spring with clusters of double flowers of a pale colour. Newfoundland and Labrador possess, in addition to the two species above named, the Rosa fraxinifolia, or ash-leaved rose, a small red blossom with heart-shaped petals; the Rosa nitida, the small cup-shaped, deep red flowers and fruit of which abound under the stunted shrubs dispersed over the coasts. The Esquimaux are fond of decorating their hair, and the seal-skins and skins of rein-deer in which they are clothed, with these beautiful blossoms.

"The United States, and adjacent Indian settlements, possess a great variety of roses, of which a few striking species may be enumerated. In the marshes of Carolina grows the Rosa lucida, the bright clusters of which rise above the reeds and rushes; beside the waves of the Missouri, the Rosa Woodsii; and in the adjoining marshes, the Rosa Carolina, and Rosa Evratina, whose double flowers of a pale pink, perish if transplanted to garden ground from the marshy banks of the rivulets of Virginia, of which the shrub is a native.

"Quitting the borders of streams and marshy savannahs, there is in the forests and stony districts the Rosa diffusa, of which the pink flowers blossom in pairs early in the summer. On the rising grounds of Pennsylvania, grows the Rosa parviflora, a diminutive shrub, of which the small, half-blown, elegant double flowers, slightly tinged with the most delicate pink, constitute one of the most beautiful species of North America, but extremely difficult of culture and propagation. On the outskirts of the Pennsylvanian forests, grows the Rosa stricta, with flowers of a pale red; the Rosa rubifolia, flowers small, pale red, and flowering in clusters of three; and, in South Carolina, the Rosa setigera, the petals of whose red blossoms are shaped like a reversed heart. The Creoles of Georgia adorn their hair with the large white blossoms of the Rosa laevigata, a climbing plant, whose long tendrils are found interlaced among the most majestic forest trees.

"The last Rose adorning the Flora of America, is the Rosa Montezuma; sweet-scented, of a pale pink, solitary and thornless. This shrub abounds on the most elevated heights of Cerro Ventoso, near San Pedro, in Mexico, where it was discovered by Messieurs Humboldt and Bonpland. The town of San Pedro is situated in 19° of latitude; in direct refutation of those botanists who pretend that Roses are not to be found under 20°. But the Montezuma is not the only Mexican Rose. History attests that Roses were abundant in the province, at the Spanish conquest; witness the apostrophe of the Emperor Guatimozin to his favourite minister, when extended on beds of burning coal, intended by the conquerors to torture them into the discovery of their hidden treasures.

"But though the species already cited are the only ones we are at present authorized to attribute to America, it is probable that more will be discovered; the greatest variety of Roses being assigned by botanists to such countries as have been most minutely herborized. The insufficiency of our researches, is probably the only cause that so large a portion of the American continent is held to be unproductive of Roses. It seems unlikely, indeed, that France should possess twenty-four species of native Roses, and the whole continent of North and South America, only fourteen; nor is it to be credited that the Rose-tree ceases to flourish within the 20° of latitude, when we remember that we are indebted to Mr. Salt for the discovery of a strongly characterized species of Abyssinia, at 10° of latitude.

"It is a curious fact, that all the Roses of America, with the exception of the Montezuma and stricta, might be classed under the name species as the European cinnamon Rose.

"Asia has to boast a greater variety of species of the rose than the rest of the earth united; thirty-nine, that admit of accurate definition, having been already established. Of these the vast empire of China, where both agriculture and horticulture are arts in high estimation, has a claim to fifteen.

"First, the Rosa semperflorens, the leaves of which have sometimes three leaflets, sometimes only one; whose flowers are scentless, of a pale dull pink, producing a pleasing effect when half-blown. The Rosa sinensis, confounded by some botanists with the preceding, but blowing at all seasons, of a far more brilliant colour. The Rosa Lawranceana is a beautiful little shrub, from three to five inches in height, but, unlike most dwarfs, whether of the vegetable or animal creation, perfect in symmetry and proportion. The Rosa multiflora attains, on the contrary, a growth of fifteen or sixteen feet; having small, double, pale-pink blossoms, united on a single stem, so as to form beautiful bouquets on the tree. The Rosa Banksiae extends its flexile branches over rocks and hillocks, bearing a profusion of small, very double, yellowish white flowers, remarkable for their violet-scented fragrance. The Rosa microphylla is a favourite garden-shrub of the Chinese, under the name of Haitong-hong; having small, double, pale-pink flowers, and a foliage of peculiar delicacy.

"Cochin China, situated between the tenth and twentieth degrees of latitude, possesses all the roses of China, and in addition, several indigenous species; among others the Rosa alba, found also in Piedmont, in France, and various other parts of Europe, and the Rosa spinosissima, bearing flesh-coloured flowers. Japan, between the 30° and 40° of latitude, has all the roses of China; besides a peculiar species, the Rosa rugosa, the solitary flower of which bears some resemblance to the Kamschatkan rose.

"The southern provinces of Asia, comprehending those of India, offer many curious species to our observation. The north of Hindostan possesses six; two of which are also found in China, and two in Nepaul. The Rosa Lyellii, which bears transplantation to our own climate, and is remarkable for the profusion of its milk-white flowers during the greater part of the summer; and the Rosa Brunonii, whose petals are of the same snowy whiteness, rank high among the Roses of India. In approaching the southern provinces, we find the Rosa macrophylla, somewhat resembling the Alpine Roses of Europe; the flowers whitish, but streaked with pink towards the extremity of the petals; the Rosa sericea, of which the surface of the leaflets has a satin texture, and the flowers are solitary and drooping.

"The parched shores of the Gulf of Bengal are covered, during the spring, with a beautiful white rose found also in China and Nepaul. The flowers of the Rosa involucrata are white, solitary, surrounded with a collar of three or four leaves, out of which they seem to emerge; while in vast thickets of the beautiful Rosa semperflorens, (a native also of China,) the tigers of Bengal and crocodiles of the Ganges are known to lie in wait for their prey.

"In the gardens of Kandahar, Samarcand, and Ispahan, the Rosa arborea is cultivated in great profusion by the Persians. This shrub, which attains a considerable size, is covered during the spring with an abundance of white and scented blossoms. The Rosa berberifolia is also common in these provinces. This shrub, differing so completely from every other species of rose, that botanists experience some hesitation in classing it among the number, has simple single leaves, and yellow star-shaped flowers, variegated like a cistus at the base, with spots of deep crimson. The Rosa Damascena, transported to Europe from Damascus, by the Crusaders, affording to our gardens an infinite number of beautiful varieties, adorns the sandy deserts of Syria with its sweet and brightly tinted flowers. At the extremity of Asia, towards Constantinople, the Rosa sulphurea displays its very double flowers of a brilliant yellow.

"The north-west of Asia, which has been signalized as the fatherland of the Rose-tree, introduces to our admiration the Rosa centifolia, the most esteemed of all, and celebrated by poets of every age and country, with which the fair Georgians and Circassians adorn their persons. The Rosa ferox mingles its large red blossoms and thorny branches with those of the hundred-leaved; and the Rosa pulverulenta is also observed on the peak of Narzana, one of the Caucasian chain.

"In the north of Asia, Siberia boasts the Rosa grandiflora, of which the corolla bears the form of an antique cup; the Rosa Caucasea, the fruit of which is of a pulpy substance; and, still adjoining the Caucasian provinces, we find a yellowish variety of the Caucasea, of a dingy, unattractive appearance. Advancing towards the Frozen Ocean, and beyond the Ural Mountains, grows the Rosa rubella, of which the petals are sometimes of a deep crimson, but often pale and colourless as the surrounding country. Still further north, flourishes the Rosa acicularis, bearing solitary flowers of pale red. Ten or twelve other species grow in the Russian provinces of northern Asia; in particular, the Rosa Kamschatica, bearing solitary flowers of a pinkish white.

"In Africa, on the borders of the vast desert of Sahara, and more especially in the plains towards Tunis, is found the Rosa moschata, whose tufts of white roses give out a musky exhalation. This charming species is also to be found in Egypt, Morocco, Mogadore, and the Island of Madeira. In Egypt, too, grows the Rosa canina, or dog Rose, so common throughout Europe. In Abyssinia, we find an evergreen Rose-tree with pink blossoms, which bears the name of the country, as the Rosa Abyssinica. Other species are, doubtless, to be found in the unexplored countries of Africa.

"In Europe, commencing to the north-west with Iceland, (so infertile in vegetation, that in some parts the natives are compelled to feed their horses, sheep, and oxen on dried fish,) we find the Rosa rubiginosa, with pale solitary, cup-shaped flowers. In Lapland, blooming almost under the snows of that severe climate, grows the Rosa Maialis, small, sweet, and of a brilliant colour; and the same beautiful species, as if in enlivenment of the cheerless rudeness of the climate, is to be found in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. In Lapland, too, under shelter of the scrubby evergreens, among which the natives seek mosses and lichens for the nourishment of their rein-deer, they find the Rosa rubella, already mentioned, the flowers of which are sometimes of a deep red colour.

"The Rosa rubiginosa, the pale flowers of which grow in clusters of two or three; the May Rose, the Cinnamon Rose, the small pale red flowers of which are sometimes single, sometimes double; as well as several other hardy species, may be found in all the countries of northern Europe.

"Six species are indigenous in England. The Rosa involuta exhibits its dark foliage and large white or red flowers amid the forests of North Britain, the leaves of which, when rubbed, giving out a smell of turpentine, as if derived from the pine-trees among which the shrub takes root. In the same neighbourhood is found the Rosa Sabini, the Rosa villosa, the flowers sometimes white, sometimes crimson, blowing in pairs; and the Rosa canina.

"The environs of Belfast produce an insignificant shrub, known as the Rosa Hibernica, for the discovery of which Mr. Templeton received a premium of fifty guineas from the Botanical Society of Dublin, as being a new indigenous plant; though since discovered to become the Rosa spinosissima in poor soils, and the Rosa canina in loamy land.

"Germany, though unproductive in Rose trees, boasts of several highly curious species. Among others, the Rosa turbinata, of which the very double flowers spring from an ovary in the form of a crest: and the Rosa arvensis, with large flowers, red and double, in a state of cultivation.

"The Swiss mountains, and the Alpine chain in general, are rich in native Hoses, besides the field Rose, just mentioned, they have the Rosa Alpina, an elegant, shrub, with red solitary flowers, furnishing many varieties in cultivation; the Rosa spinulifolia, having pale pink flowers of moderate size, with thorny leaflets that exhale a scent of turpentine. It is remarkable that two mountain roses, the Swiss spinulifolia, and the Scottish Rosa involuta, should be thus alike characterized by the smell of turpentine. There remains to be cited among Alpine Roses, the Rosa rubrifolia, of which the red -tinted stems and leaves, as well as the pretty little blossoms of a deep crimson, form an agreeable variety to the verdure of the surrounding foliage.

"In the eastern and southern countries of Europe, Rose-trees abound; of which a considerable number remain to be examined and classed. The Crimea, for instance, is not acknowledged to afford a single species, though travellers describe the country as very productive in roses. In Greece and Sicily we find the Rosa glutinosa, of which the leaflets produce a viscous matter: the flowers being small, solitary, and of a pale red. Italy and Spain has several distinct species; among others, the Rosa Polliniana, with fine, large, purple flowers, growing in clusters of two or three, and found in the neighbourhood of Verona. The Rosa moschata and Rosa Hispanica flourish in Spain; the flowers, of a light pink colour, appear in May. The Rosa sempervirens, common in the Balearic Islands, grows spontaneously throughout the south of Europe and in Barbary. Its foliage of glossy green, is intermingled with a profusion of small, white, highly scented flowers.

"For France, nineteen species are claimed by the Flora of De Candolle. In the southern provinces is found the Rosa eglanteria, whose golden petals are sometimes varied into a rich orange. The Rosa spinosissima grows in the sandy plains of the southern provinces, having white flowers tipped with yellow, which have furnished many beautiful varieties. In the forests of Auvergne and the departments of the Vosges, we find the Rosa cinnamomea, wliich derives its name from the colour of its branches; the flowers being small, red, and solitary. The Rosa parvifolia, or Champagne Rose, a beautiful miniature shrub, adorns the fertile valleys in the neighbourhood of Dijon, with its very double, but small, solitary, crimson blossoms. The Rosa Gallica is one which has afforded varieties of every hue; more especially the kind known as Provins Roses, white, pink, or crimson. In the eastern Pyrenees, grows the Rosa moschata, a beautiful variety of which is known in our gardens as the Nutmeg Rose. The Rosa alba is found in the hedges and thickets of various departments; as well as the Rosa canina, or eglantine, the stock of which, straight, elegant, and vigorous, is so valuable for grafting."