The Garden: an illustrated weekly journal 35: 209-210 (Mar 9, 1889)
MINIATURE ROSES
T. W. GIRDLESTONE

At one time the term "Miniature Rose" appears to have been employed as an equivalent for Miss Lawrence's Rose, Rosa Lawrenceana, the diminutive form of the China Rose which first came to this country nearly eighty years ago, but though the term has now been extended to include all Roses which are short of stature and tiny in flower, whatever may be their race or origin, it is rather a pity that the original miniatures should have been so generally neglected.

Formerly, in addition to the type, there were several varieties, of which Mr. Rivers describes Gloire des Lawrenceana as one of the prettiest, with flowers of a dark crimson colour; La Desiree and Bijou as two bright-coloured and pretty Roses; and Pallida as having flowers that on first opening are nearly pure white, but soon change to pale flesh colour. Where, however, these little Roses are now to be met with, it would probably not be easy to say, as in spite of the fact that their compact habit and freedom in blooming rendered them available for bordering groups or beds of larger Roses, and also made them singularly pretty subjects for growing in pots, they have somehow practically disappeared from gardens.

There are, however, other diminutive Roses easily obtainable, among the most generally popular being the pale pink Spong, the Rose de Meaux, and its mossy counterpart, Moss de Meaux. Mr. T. Smith in his note on p. 172 about the Rose de Meaux would appear to have just transposed the names of this and the Burgundy Rose. The Rose de Meaux has flowers of a tolerably full rose colour, deeper than those of Spong, but paler than those of Burgundy; they are also smaller and perhaps less flat and circular than the Burgundy flowers, which open quite flat, though very double, the outline then forming a perfect circle. Moreover, of the Spong Rose there is but one variety, while the White Burgundy is a very distinct and attractive little thing, though, unfortunately, of delicate habit.

The Burgundy Rose is, perhaps, the best of all the summer-flowering miniatures, the flowers being the richest in colour, well displayed, and freely produced, and the plant, although diminutive, being perfectly hardy and a free and sturdy grower. In addition to the Moss de Meaux there is one other little Moss Rose, which, though not quite so lowly in stature, has perfect miniature flowers. This is Little Gem, a variety that produces in abundance its rich crimson and well mossed flowers, and is one of the prettiest of its race.

The Scotch Roses are sometimes included amongst miniatures, but some of the varieties have flowers of considerable size, and their habit of growth also lacks the compactness of the best of the little Roses. In the same way the flowers of the yellow Banksian, the Musk Roses, and many cluster Roses are often described as miniature, as indeed they are; but the climbing habit of growth of the plants precludes the addition of such varieties to the miniature Roses.

An entirely modern race of little Roses has, however, now sprung up, which bids fair to supersede altogether the old fashioned summer-blooming miniatures. No one, probably, would have prophesied that the offspring of one of the most rampant climbers would prove to be veritable pigmies of the Rose garden. It is one of the most curious facts in Rose raising that the crossing of Rosa multiflora and the Teas should have resulted in a tribe of Roses retaining the myriad-flowered inflorescence of the climbing species practically unchanged in form and dimensions, but produced on a plant rarely exceeding 1 foot or 18 inches in height.

The first of these diminutives was sent out in 1875 by Guillot, under the name of Pâquerette. Pâquerette is the French name for the white Easter Daisy, a point only worth mentioning in the hope of securing the right spelling of the word, generally much too varied and overdone in the matter of r's. Guillot has, so far, sent out the best of the Polyanthas, as these dwarf offspring of Rosa multiflora are called, Pâquerette being followed in 1881 by Mignonette, the best of all the pinks, until surpassed by its own seedling, Gloire des Polyantha, in 1887. All these varieties make the most beautiful masses of flower throughout the season, throwing up immense trusses of bloom literally "from June to November." They are not troubled by mildew or red rust, and for planting on the margins or foreground of Rose beds they are unsurpassed. When grown in pots, too, they are very charming, and may without difficulty be had in bloom comparatively early. Perle d'Or (Dubreuil, 1883) has very gracefully shaped, tawny orange buds, which are attaining great popularity for employment in bouquets, the freedom and facility with which they are produced under glass rendering the variety especially valuable. It is also the best of its colour for cultivation out of doors, unless Golden Fairy (Bennett, 1888), which much resembles it in flower, should surpass it in compactness of habit. Another very good white variety is Anne-Marie de Montravel (Rambaux, 1880), every blossom of which is a perfect rosette; and pretty coloured sorts are Floribunda (Dubreuil, 1885), of a pale rosy shade; Georges Pernet (Pernet fils, 1887), bright rose with yellow base, very fresh and distinct; and Cecile Brunner (Ducher, 1880), light pink, and, except in colour, very like Anne-Marie de Montravel.

In the current issue of the Journal des Roses a coloured plate is given of Blanche Rebatel (Bernaix, 1888), which appears likely to prove the deepest coloured variety of the kind yet raised, the flowers being described as "bright carmine shaded darker." Hitherto white and pink have predominated among these Polyantha Roses, and a brighter coloured variety will be a welcome addition.

There are two other Roses which must not be overlooked amongst miniature Roses, namely, the small-flowered Chinas White Pet and Red Pet. Both are vigorous of their stature, both bloom with amazing freedom and persistence, and both, like their cousins the Polyanthas, are most pretty and easily flowered in pots. The one, as its name implies, is white, but the other — its exact counterpart in everything but colour — is a good deal more than red, the petals being of a rich crimson, shaded, in autumn particularly, with velvety maroon.

Rosa polyantha Bibliograply