E. G. Hill, Richmond, Ind.
Your correspondent S. S. P., is at a loss to know why American florists persist in classing this rose among the H.P.'s, and affirms that Van Houtte has it in its proper place. I can see no valid reason for classing it as an H. Noisette, for it certainly shows no characteristic of the Noisette class, that I can discern. No one can doubt, on comparison, that Boule de Neige, Coquette des Alpes, Perle des Blanches, are very near relations of Aimie Vibert, and Caroline Marniesse, and others of the Noisette class, and so we find them properly classed as Hybrid Noisette in many of the catalogues. But La France is either a cross between the Tea and H.P., or between the China and H.P. One might fancy there was considerable of Clara Sylvain (china) in the form of the flower; but undoubtedly it is a cross between the two classes mentioned.
There is as much propriety in placing it among the H. Bourbon as among the H. Noisette, or H. Perpetual, for in appearance it is not very unlike S. Malmaison.
But if we must have separate classes for the varieties that are so fortunate as to get Tea, Bourbon, and Noisette blood in their veins, let them be placed in classes where their character and parentage may be readily understood by the name designating the class, or else throw them all into one class to be known as Hybrids of Noisette, Bourbon, China, or Tea. The firm by which I am employed, and many others, give as their reason for not doing so, the fear of multiplying the number of classes, thereby tending to confusion, for the complaint is of too many classes already. My observation fails to discover any very prominent "types" as suggested by your correspondent. Cheshunt Hybrid is no doubt a cross from the Tea section, but it is very unlike La France, being of climbing habit.
Notice Triumph d'Anjers and Mlle. Descamps, the last named having apparently as much of the Hermosa about it, as it would dare take and still retain its identity as cross between the H.P. and Bourbon classes; the first named is undoubtedly a Bourbon as far as habit and freedom of bloom are concerned, and yet it retains much of the H.P. character in the leaf and form of flower; but I can not recall any others that might be called types of La France.