The Florist and Pomologist pp. 82-83 (Jun 1879)
ROSA POLYANTHA AS A STOCK
A. Caille
Chief gardener, Botanic Garden, Bordeaux, (in Journal des Roses.

The attention of Rosarians is called to a new stock for Roses, one which is remarkable for its freedom of growth and its facility of reproduction. This stock is the Rosa polyantha, Siebold and Zuccarini, a shrub of recent introduction from Japan, which bears single white odoriferous flowers, thirty or forty in a panicle, succeeded by obovate fruits of the size of a cherry-stone. M. Carrière had already recorded of this Rose (Rev. Hort. 1876, 253) that it makes sterile shoots of 6 ft. or upwards in length. Some seeds received from Japan in 1873, at the Botanic Garden of Bordeaux, produced young plants of fine growth, in which, after the second year, an exceptional vigour was noticed, and since then multiplied trials have proved that this Rose may be advantageously substituted for the briar as a stock. To provide these, strong bushes of the Rosa polyantha should, in November, be carefully taken up, and the stems separated, so as to preserve to each a piece of the heel, provided or not with roots. The larger stems should be planted at proper distances apart, and budded in July or August, to make tall-stemmed roses. The more slender or shorter stems, being more or less cut back, will make half-standards or dwarf trees.

The branches and pieces of stem up to the smallest sprigs should be put aside to make cuttings, which will take root as readily as the couch-grass, and will supply during the next and following years a multitude of vigorous stocks, which may be annually replaced by new plantations of cuttings. The larger roots obtained in the process of dividing the stump can also be grafted and potted, and then placed on a hot-bed, where the grafts will not delay to push vigorously. These grafts on pieces of roots take at the rate of 80 per cent.

The common briar (Rosa canina, L.) is but sparingly reproduced from cuttings, and is hopelessly slow to raise from seed. I cannot therefore too strongly advise horticulturists and amateurs to adopt the Rosa polyantha, of which a cutting of medium strength will give, after the first year, a stock fit to work as a dwarf, and in the second year one for a half or full standard.

Rosa polyantha Bibliography