Gardening 13(6): 342-343 (June 1892)
THE RUGOSA TYPE OF ROSES
NEW AND PROMISING SPECIES
Prof. L. H. Bailey
Cornell University Experiment Station
MANY cultivators of flowers have not yet introduced into their grounds the Japanese strain of roses, of which Rosa rugosa—the wrinkled-leaved rose—is the type. This is the more to be regretted because, in these days when the complaint about the devastation of roses by insects is so wide-spread, this comparatively new type is, to a remarkable degree, free from the insects that infest roses.
The rugosa species has frequently been illustrated and described in this journal, (see AMERICAN GARDEN, Vol. XI, pages 182, 422, 665, and Vol. XII., page 755.) It first attracted the attention of Europeans when, in 1845, it was introduced from Japan. It is time that this species, and the varieties and hybrids arising from it, were known in every American garden, for all are hardy, handsome and desirable.
This wrinkled-leaved rose is very distinct in character, and at once attracts attention among other kinds by its rich, dark green leaves, conspicuously wrinkled, and by its peculiar habit of growth. In the engravings given of (pages 342 and 343) R. rugosa, as brought from Central Russia by Professor J. L. Budd, the handsome single flower, some foliage and fruit-vessels of the species are shown, all considerably reduced in size. The original flower of the engraving measured six inches across. The flowers of the typical form are large, solitary, of a beautiful rosy crimson, with the sepals reflexed and very narrow. There are new varieties in other shades of red and pink, even down to white, all possessing otherwise the characteristics of the original form.
But beautiful flowers and foliage are not the only attractions of Rosa rugosa. The fruit is generally considered even more ornamental than the bloom. It varies in color from orange-red to deep red, is very large and showy, adheres to the plants until autumn. The seed germinates easily, hence it is not difficult to increase the stock of plants to any desired extent. These roses grow in a mass in good soil, where they will receive full sunlight it forms an attractive object from blooming time in June until freezing weather in autumn.
The form of rugosa from Russia, illustrated in fig. 1, when grown side by side with the ordinary type is about two weeks later to bloom, and a little darker in color. Where the ordinary rugosa has only two or three buds and flowers in a cluster, this one averages about four or five. The buds show a rich dark red between the narrow sepals, and besides being very long, they are very pretty.
The double form of the rose shown in fig. 2 is also an introduction by Professor Budd from Russia. It seems to belong to the rugosa strain, and is known as R. cinnamomea. The blooms are six inches across, quite double, crimson in color, not quite so glowing as the type of rugosa, but more fragrant. The leaves are slightly serrated, bright green and leathery.
An interesting rose, possessing rugosa blood, is the new hybrid produced by Bruant in 1888, and called Madame G. Bruant. This is an exceptionally hardy and vigorous rose, which develops into a handsome bush. The flowers are pure white, fragrant, and are produced freely in clusters, at intervals throughout the summer: they are semi-double. The buds of Madame Bruant, as is usually the case with semi-double roses, are long, pointed and handsome.
There are good grounds for believing that some marked additions from the race of rugosa roses may be made to our list of hardy garden roses within a not distant period. The fact of their comparative immunity from insects is encouraging and in every way much in their favor, and their own peculiar beauty will give them increasing popularity as they become better known.