Reading Eagle [PA]
(May 11, 1966) p. 10
The Passing Parade
Some folks have the impression that modern roses are not as fragrant as old-fashioned roses.
This is not true, according to Dr. Walter E. Lammerts who says some of today's varieties surpass the old standbys as garden perfumeries.
Many years ago there was just a limited variety of roses and most of them were fragrant, leading many to believe that today's great number of varieties are not as aromatic. Dr. Lammerts recently completed a study on this rather controversial subject. He should know the score. being the creator of such outstanding All-America Rose Selections as Charlotte Armstrong, Queen Elizabeth, Golden Showers, Starfire, Chrysler Imperial and American Heritage, the All-America winner for this year.
Additionally, Dr. Lammerts is recognized as the "father of scientific rose breeding."
His research indicates that in the Gay '90s, 50 per cent of garden roses were fragrant, compared with 56 per cent for modern roses, giving the latter group a slight edge. There is plenty of evidence, says Dr. Lammerts, to show that modern rose breeders are not losing ground as far as fragrance is concerned.
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Dr. Lammerts rates the fragrance of Fragrance, a 1964 introduction, as more pronounced than that of Chrysler Imperial, introduced nine years earlier and winner of the enviable American Rose Society award for fragrance, based on five years of testing. Here, in less than a decade, is one example of the progress being made by modern hybridizers.
Dr. Lammerts considered both Fragrance and Chrysler superior in the fragrance department to Marshall P. Wilder, one of the most fragrant old-fashioned roses.
The noted hybridizer is opposed to isolating a single factor, such as fragrance, as a basis for evaluating roses of different periods. He feels this often leads to one-sided decisions and tends to overlook recent improvements in bud form, profusion of bloom, resistance to disease, color, texture, lasting qualities, vigor and length of flowering season.
A case in point is Charlotte Armstrong which represents a major breakthrough in modern rose hybridizing. Its superb bud form, long and pointed, was a heritable trait and appears consistently in its offspring. In comparison, buds on the roses of the early 1900s, for example, seem awkward and clumsy.
Enjoying rose scents, says Dr. Lammerts, is an interesting gardening adventure and he recommends visiting a municipal rose garden, there to become intoxicated, perhaps, on dozens of diverse perfumes.
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Here is his "famous for fragrance" list of modern roses:
Chrysler Imperial, one of the most dependable fragrant roses of all times, carries a rose-clove flavor. Flowers are a deep red.
Queen Elizabeth is ideal for those who wish to capture an outdoors or woods-like fragrance inside their homes. This is the original grandiflora. Blooms are soft carmine to dawn pink.
The perfume of the rose Fragrance is reminiscent of the old-fashioned varieties.
Mister Lincoln combines tea and damask; Camelot is spicy; Tiffany, lemony; Granada, spicy-tea; Polynesian Sunset, fruity; Junior Miss, like a tea rose.
Other roses with distinctive fragrances are: Angel Wings, apple scent; Mirandy, rose-lemon; Golden Showers, orris; Sutter's Gold, quince; Charlotte Armstrong, lemon-nasturtium; Tickled Pink, delicate but long lasting.
Since you know the various fragrances, you can purchase them by your favorite scents. Wonder when they'll come up with one that smells like a banana split?