Rose Annual pp. 114-115 (1934)
Rosa Moschata or R. Brunonii?
Frank J. McCoy, Santa Maria, California
ABOUT 1907 or 1908 I bought some plant material from Dr. Franceschi, of Santa Barbara, who had introduced a good many things to the Pacific Coast, and he presented me with a rose which was tagged R. moschata. I planted it in front of the club-house at Betteravia, Calif., where it has grown and prospered all these years, and is still quite vigorous, although I believe it does not bloom now as profusely as in its earlier years.
This rose blooms in two different ways. Usually the terminal branches have a great many flowers on the stem—I could not say how many, but usually eight to ten. Then the smaller branches growing up the stem have usually just terminal blooms, one on each stem. Dr. Emmett Rixford, of San Francisco, thinks it may be R. Brunonii. He writes:
The picture does not give me information as to the size of the blooms, which in the Gigantea hybrid (Franceschi) are about four inches in diameter. I think that it is the true R. Brunonii, whose flowers are perhaps two to two and a half inches in diameter, and produced in corymbs, often as many as twenty on a stem. R. moschata (Hermann or Miller), according to Rehder, has but seven roses in a corymb, while R. Brunonii has up to twenty.
R. moschata nivea has much more wrinkled or crepe-like flowers, with a little suffusion of cherry. This rose is sometimes called R. Pissardii.
Father Schoener, at Santa Barbara, has a plant which he calls R. abyssinica, which is evidently R. Brunonii, or a hybrid of it, having very similar blooms of a typical musk-like odor, in many-flowered corymbs, but is one of the most vigorous-growing rose bushes I have ever seen. It completely covers Father Schoener's twenty-foot lath-house.
The flowers of my R. moschata are about two and a half to three inches in diameter, although some might be four inches.
In later years, when I built the Santa Maria Inn, I was very anxious to have some of these roses, and I went down to Santa Barbara and tried to secure some of them. Plants sold to me as R. moschata turned out to be quite different, in both leaf and blossom. I have tried many times to propagate this rose by cuttings, but I have never been successful until this year, when I have a very good specimen rooted, still in the pot. I am going to plant it out, and hope it will do as well as its parent.
The photograph reproduced on opposite page shows the character of the rose very well.