FUTURE ROSES OF THE PRAIRIES
Prof. J. L. Budd of the State Agricultural College, Ames, Iowa, is evidently doing good work in his experiments We quote some abstracts of his letter to the Iowa State Register.
In the spring of 1892 we began the work of crossing the blossoms of the beautiful Russian Rosa rugosa with pollen of General Jacqueminot, Lamarque, La France and other fine tender roses. We now have quite a large plantation of the resulting hybrids. The vigor and luxuriance of the plants is a surprise to all visitors, and the same is true of the singular variations of the foliage, habit of growth, and the flowers. A large per cent. of the flowers are single, but in size and color they have a wide range. In size they range from the button rose to those with a spread of petals of five inches and in color from white to the brightest red and the darkest crimson. The hybrids with double flowers number about twenty-five, ranging in number of petals from twenty to over one hundred. The colors of the General Jacqueminot crosses are brilliant to an unusual extent, as they combine the rich color of the Jacq. with that of the rugosa petals. As an example, the hybrid we have named "I. A. C." has 66 petals—20 more than Gen. Jacq.—is bright dark crimson in color, and the petals are thick, firm and stand out like those of a perfect dahlia. This peculiarity of the petals, derived from the rugosa, is peculiar to most of our hybrids, and to those produced so far in Germany and the United States.
In addition to our hybrids we have from the great nursery of J. C. Smith [Spath], of Erfurt, Germany, several hybrids of the Russian rugosa and the best German roses. The four best of these are Charles Frederick Worth, Empress of the North, Thusnelda and Rosa rugosa fl. pl. Of these the C. F. Worth retains most perfectly the rugosa leaf, and its forty brilliant crimson petals stand out in bold relief as in the dahlia. Of the hybrids produced in this country from rugosa, Mme. Georges Bruant is the best. It has the rugosa leaf and the pure white petals come out perfectly every season. It is only half double, but the petals close well over the center.
Why do we say these are the future roses of the prairies, homes and gardens? (1) They are all very hardy. (2) They stand drouth perfectly. (3) Their foliage is free from the attacks of the rose slug, fungi, etc. (4) They are free bloomers well through the season. (5) Their color and fragrance are not excelled by any of the tender roses. At present none of these are obtainable, except Madame Georges Bruant, but the best of them will soon be on the market.
Other rose hybrids: We also crossed, in 1892, the blossoms of our native wild rose (Rosa blanda) with pollen of the best tender roses. Most of the hybrids are single, but in leaf, habit, and blossom they are exceedingly varied. Some of them have double flowers, but have an ordinary pink color. They are hardy, free bloomers, and really pretty, yet they lack in many respects the beauty and perfection of foliage, the rich shades of color and the rich fragrance of the rugosa hybrids.