American Rose Magazine 5(7): 141-143 (Jan-Feb 1944)
Stephen F. Hamblin, Lexington, Mass.
Since some of the Large-flowered Climbers are both hardy and recurrent of bloom, it would seem possible to produce Ramblers with repeated bloom in summer and late autumn. So far the results of breeding have not been striking, and further work must be done. The two wild parents of our Ramblers are Rosa wichuraiana and R. multiflora, the first exemplified by Dorothy Perkins and the second by Crimson Rambler. But these bloom only once, and spend all summer in making enormous new canes for next year. Some of this energy should be turned into flowers.
Certain forms of the R. wichuraiana group do have a scattered flower or two in autumn, usually late in September in the North. The best of these is Lady Blanche (Walsh, 1913). This variety does give quite a quantity of very double white flowers in October. Of all the Walsh group it is most unusual in this character.
Of the R. multiflora type, several forms are advertised as "everblooming." Flower of Fairfield (Ludorf, 1909) is a sport of Crimson Rambler with supposed recurrent bloom. There are some dark red flowers in late summer, but not many of them. Hiawatha Recurrent (Sauvageot, 1931) offers the single carmine Hiawatha flowers in panicles, but not in any great quantity. There have been other "recurrent Ramblers," but they make little stir in the rose world. There are climbing forms of the Dwarf Polyantha sorts, as Cl. Gloria Mundi, Cl. Orleans, Cl. Rödhatte. Either these remain dwarf and bloom like a Polyantha, or climb vigorously and forget to flower a second time.
The Lambertiana Ramblers are truly everblooming and very hardy. They give elongated panicles of small single or semi-double flowers at the end of many new shoots from June to frost. The effect is like giant panicles of Summer Phlox. At least 25 named forms have been in the trade, but their popularity is waning, for the Large-flowered Climbers are far more showy. Perhaps the best of the Lambertianas are: Heinrich Conrad Söth (Lambert, 1919), single rosy red; Peter Rosegger (Lambert, 1914), coral-rose; Schiller (Lambert, 1913), clear pink; Von Liliencron (Lambert, 1916), white. Their parentage is very complex, but the plants are like Crimson Rambler with smaller flowers (usually single) in very large elongated panicles.
The next group shows some break from the R. multiflora plant. The flowers are larger with fewer in the cluster, and the foliage is slightly like that of the Hybrid Teas, but the plants not strong growers.
Each new shoot in summer terminates with a cluster of flowers, so the Tea character begins to show. Oldest of these is Trier (Lambert, 1904), which is a hybrid between Aglaia (a large yellow Multiflora climber of Musk parentage) and Mrs. R. G. Sharman-Crawford, HP. The flowers are quite double, pale pink, fading white, like a pale Dorothy Perkins, with some continued bloom. But the plant is not a strong grower, nor is it as hardy as the usual Ramblers. There are seedlings and sports, such as Louise Hopkins (Hopkins, 1923), a very double, white variety. Trier was used as a parent again and produced many Hybrid Musk forms, truly everblooming, but not hardy where the temperature drops to zero.
Phyllis Bide (Bide, 1923), which is a hybrid of Perle d'Or, HPol. x Gloire de Dijon, CT., is the one truly everblooming Rambler with small HT. flowers in terminal panicles. It flowers from June to the time of the first hard frost. The color is a variable yellow-pink, quite orange in bud, but fading to pale pink. It is the "Sweetheart" size of flower, and there are always some on the plant. Of course it is not quite as cold resistant as a true Rambler, because there is much Tea in its parentage. Souv. de Mme. Jules Pages (Reiter, 1937) is similar. This was obtained by crossing Phyllis Bide with the small red Polyantha, Eblouissant. It is very popular and free-blooming in California, where it originated, but must have some protection in zero winters.
Chiquita (Moore, 1937) is another California seedling of complex parentage. It was produced by crossing Sierra Snowstorm with Miss Barbara. It is a Rambler with Cécile Brunner flowers of orange tint, quite like Phyllis Bide in effect. It is a strong grower and continuous bloomer in California, but it is tender in cold climates. Of the trio, Phyllis Bide seems hardiest and best for northern states. A very similar variety is Carolyn Dean (R. S. Moore, 1941), which is also a hybrid of Miss Barbara x Sierra Snowstorm, and is thus a sister of Chiquita. It has single orange-flame flowers in clusters,—a Phyllis Bide with single flowers. But this variety is also for mild climates, for very cold winters slow it down to a weak grower. Sierra Snowstorm (Moore, 1936) a Gloire des Rosomanes x Dorothy Perkins hybrid, is of interest, for it is truly recurrent of bloom and of R. wichuraiana parentage. The flowers are small, white, single, much like the wild R. wichuraiana, and they appear in small panicles all summer. In New England it does not seem to he a very strong grower or very hardy even though it is very vigorous in California.
The climbing forms of Cécile Brunner and of Clotilde Soupert are strong and persistent bloomers in mild climates. In regions with cold winters they remain dwarf, or if they produce long canes these bloom only once. Now we have offered climbing forms of some of the larger Polyantha sorts, as Auguste Kordes (Cl. Lafayette) (red), Comet (salmon) and Cl. Eva Teschendorff (white). These bloom well in June (if not winterkilled) and make strong canes for the next year, but produce little summer bloom. In addition there are offered such varieties as Wilhelm, Robin Hood, Eva and Schwerin, all red in color, and showing some summer bloom. However, because of their Musk ancestry they are tender in very cold winters.
Apparently, as yet, the recurrent type of Rambler is not entirely hardy, and the truly hardy varieties have little summer bloom. The first real union of these two characters of hardiness and repeated bloom is in Phyllis Bide, and this climber is worthy of a place in every northern garden because of its summer bloom.