REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE ON GENETICS (1906)
ON THE DERIVATION OF SOME RECENT VARIETIES OF ROSES.
By ARTHUR WILLIAM PAUL, Waltham Cross, Herts.

Fig. 123.—Hybrid Perpetual Rose 'Frau Karl Druschki.'
H.P. 'Merveille de Lyon' x H.T. 'Caroline Testout'.
Fig. 124.—Hybrid Brier Rose 'Gottfried Keller.'
({H.P. 'Pierre Notting' x Tea 'Madame Bérard'} x 'Persian Yellow') x ('Madame Bérard' x 'Persian Yellow.')
Fig. 125.—Hybrid Rugosa Rose 'Conrad Ferdinand Meyer.'
(Tea 'Gloire de Dijon' x H.P. 'Duc de Rohan') x rugosa germanica
Fig. 126.—Hybrid Multiflora Rose 'Lady Gay.'
A seedling from 'Crimson Rambler.'
Fig. 127.—Hybrid Wichuraiana Rose 'Alberic Barbier.'
R. Wichuraiana x Tea 'Shirley Hibberd.'
Fig.—Hybrid Wichuraiana Rose 'Jersey Beauty.'
R. Wichuraiana x Tea 'Perle des Jardins.'

ON the occasion of the last Conference on Hybridisation held by this Society in 1899, it was remarked at the opening of one of the sessions that the great value of these meetings is that they connect together the scientific aspect with the practical. It is my desire in the present paper to deal more particularly with the latter, or practical aspect, as regards the derivation of some of the most striking and remarkable roses for garden ornamentation that have appeared in recent years, and in so doing I propose to select for consideration those varieties that exhibit especially distinct traits of colouring, form of flower, habit of growth, and floriferousness, in preference to those remarkable only for the size and regularity of their blooms.

I think it will be conceded that in no other flower have we so many garden varieties as in the rose, and no other flower has enjoyed for so long a time an equal degree of popularity and extended cultivation both in this country and other lands. The rich materials which Nature has provided in a large number of wild species, and their widely differing characteristics and forms of beauty, have placed within the reach of hybridisers and crossbreeders opportunities for the variation and improvement of old forms and the evolution of new ones which I believe exist in no other single genus of ornamental plants, whilst the appreciation on the part of lovers of gardons of the results of successful labours in this field have proved a worthy recompense for the expenditure of time and skill involved therein, and a cheering incentive to fresh efforts.

From a very early period in the history of raising roses from seed, the wide variation in the character of the seedlings has been remarked. A French writer, seventy years ago (Boitard "Manuel de Roses," 1886, quoted in "The Rose Garden," 10th edition, p. 115), calls attention to this fact, and cites in illustration the experience of more than one well-known raiser of that time who constantly obtained plants of R. spinosissima among seedlings raised from carefully selected seed of R. indica, and also the presence of plants of R. ferox among seedlings of R. rubiginosa. My father, the late Mr. William Paul, always preferred to employ, when possible, plants on their own roots for the purposes of crossing and seed-bearing, so as to avoid the possible influence of a foreign stock on the progeny.

Looking back upon the rose as a garden flower one hundred years ago, we gather from the literature of that period that the number of garden varieties, apart from the botanical species, was comparatively limited, and their origin for the most part was a matter of speculation; but from that period onwards they have increased with marvellous rapidity, and the various sources from which they were derived are better authenticated. The first in the field as raisers of new varieties were the French rosarians, and for many years they held almost the monopoly in this branch of horticulture, such raisers as Hardy, Desprez, Prevost, Vibert, Souchet, Laffay, and Portemer earning well-deserved distinction in their day. With the march of events, however, nearly all their introductions have now disappeared. The large collections of R. centifolia (Moss and Provence Roses), R. gallica (French or Provins Roses), and other summer-flowering hybrid varieties gave way to the Damask Perpetuals and Hybrid Perpetuals, many of which in their turn are now yielding place to the Hybrid Teas, the 'Rambler' roses and other classes, and at the present time, although we still receive many good roses from France, some of the most valuable introductions are raised in the United Kingdom or reach us from Germany or the United States. So large has been the number of fresh introductions that have appeared during the past fifty years that collections have become unwieldy in extent, and I fear that not a few good roses have been consigned to oblivion for want of space. We have, however, without doubt preserved the best of them and abundantly sufficient for our purposes. There is, nevertheless, one class of older roses whose gradual disappearance, I think, is to be deplored from the present standpoint of rose-growing, and that is the stronger-growing hardy Noisette roses which are so valuable as autumn-blooming climbing roses. Some of these still exist in old gardens, but they have lost their names, and it does not appear possible to identify them with any degree of certainty.

As regards the particular rules that might be expected to govern the successful hybridisation and cross-breeding of the various species and families of roses, it may be said that the conditions vary. In some, such as the Sweet Briers, Rosa multiflora, and Rosa Wichuraiana, where the species or types are clearly defined and the ground comparatively untrodden, the obtaining of fresh varieties of merit has hitherto been a direct and comparatively simple matter. In the case of other classes, however, such as the Hybrid Teas, where the materials are more complex and the ground already occupied with established favourites, some of the leading raisers find it necessary for the attainment of their desired ideals to make successive crosses through two or more generations. Thus the distinct and beautiful decorative rose 'Gruss an Teplitz' was obtained by crossing in the first instance 'Sir J. Paxton' (Bourbon) with 'Fellenberg,' (Noisette), the seedling so obtained was again crossed with 'Papa Gontier' (Tea), and the progeny of this latter union was finally crossed with 'Gloire des Rosomanes' (Bourbon); and at the recent rose show of the German Rose Society, the seedling provisionally selected for the special prize of 8,000 marks (£150) and to bear the name 'Otto von Bismarck' was stated to have been obtained by a cross between 'Caroline Testout' and 'Grossherzogin Maria Dorothea,' the progeny being crossed again with 'La France.' In the grounds of a leading French raiser I was recently shown a considerable collection of intermediate forms, possessing various desirable qualities of colour, form, or size of petal, which the proprietor had selected from his various seedlings for the purpose of crossbreeding and seed-bearing, and which are in no one else's hands but his own.

It must, however, be admitted that many beautiful roses have been obtained by sowing naturally fertilised seed gathered at hazard, and some excellent new varieties of roses have also been obtained from branch sports of existing varieties. In the latter connection may be mentioned the Tea roses 'The Queen,' 'Rainbow,' and 'Madame Chédane Guinoisseau,' the Hybrid Teas 'White Lady' and 'Augustine Guinoisseau,' the Hybrid Perpetuals 'Duke of Fife' and 'Mrs. Sanford,' and many climbing forms, in some of which, such as Climbing 'Belle Siebrecht' and Climbing 'Captain Christy,' the additional vigour of growth adds greatly to the value of the variety for garden decoration. These dimorphisms or dichroisms seem, as perhaps might be expected, more prone to occur among varieties of those classes which by successive hybridising and crossbreeding have become furthest removed from their original source.

As a result of the intercrossing of so many varieties of different species and sections, the proper classification of many of the new introductions is becoming a matter of increasing difficulty, as the offspring is often found to possess the characteristics of more than one parent so evenly balanced that it might with equal propriety be referred to more than one class. This is especially the case with the Hybrid Tea roses, at present kept in a class by themselves, some of which might for horticultural purposes be appropriately classed with the Hybrid Perpetuals, whilst others might without violence to existing ideas be classed with the Tea roses. Again, in the case of some of the newer varieties of 'Rambler' roses it is difficult to determine whether they should be referred to the multiflora or Wichuraiana groups, which, although botanically closely allied, are horticulturally distinct.

Of recent years the varieties of Rosa lutea have been used as pollen-bearing parents with good effect. To the crossing of the Hybrid Perpetual variety 'Antoine Ducher' with the 'Persian Yellow' we owe the hybrid brier 'Soleil d'Or,' a rose which, although somewhat uncertain, is capable of giving flowers of great splendour and richness of colouring both in summer and autumn, and which cannot be otherwise regarded than as an acquisition of considerable interest and horticultural merit. As the result of further crosses of somewhat complex nature on the part of another raiser we have 'Gottfried Keller,' a very distinct hybrid of delicate and rich colouring, which also blooms in autumn, and which will be highly appreciated as a garden rose when it becomes more widely known. The first step in obtaining this variety was the crossing of the Hybrid Perpetual 'Pierre Notting' with the Climbing Tea 'Madame Bérard,' the offspring being crossed with 'Persian Yellow' and the progeny therefrom again fertilised with pollen from a direct cross of 'Madame Bérard' with 'Persian Yellow.' Flowers of 'Gottfried Keller' fertilised with pollen from the Hybrid Perpetual 'Charles Lefebvre' in the Waltham Cross Nursery matured their seed and have produced seedlings which resemble 'Gottfried Keller' in their brier-like foliage and habit of growth. On the occasion of a recent visit to the grounds of M. Pernet-Ducher of Lyons I saw a large breadth of the new hybrid rose named "the Lyons Rose," which he has already publicly exhibited at Lyons. This rose, which has flowers of a rich shade of salmon-pink, shaded with yellow at the base of the petals, is a seedling from a Hybrid Tea fertilised with pollen of 'Soleil d'Or.' Following on the introduction of so many excellent varieties of an earlier date, M. Pernet-Ducher has earned by his later crosses a distinction which entitles him to the congratulation of all lovers of roses.

The Hybrid Tea roses, which at the present time stand second to now in general estimation as garden roses, are as a class of comparatively recent introduction, the series having commenced with 'La France' and 'Captain Christy,' introduced by Guillot and Lacharme in 1867 and 1873 respectively. In a general way it may be said that they are the results of crosses between varieties of the Hybrid Perpetual and Tea-scented classes; but although we are given to understand that the earlier introductions were the results of direct crosses made between these two classes, more extended experience tends to show that in order to obtain the greatest percentage of successful results successive or indirect crossing must be employed. The origin and successive development of this most beautiful class of roses are exhaustively treated of in a paper read last year by M. Viviand-Morel of Lyons at the Rose Congress at Paris, and subsequently published in the Journal of the Lyons Horticultural Association. In this field British raisers have been eminently successful, some of the earliest varieties having been raised by the late Mr. Henry Bennett, who showed the potentialities of the cross by the introduction of a numerous series, including 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam,' 'Grace Darling,' 'Viscountes Folkestone,' and others which, although introduced some twenty years ago, still remain in general cultivation. 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' — itself the result of crossing the Tea rose 'Devoniensis' and the Hybrid Perpetual 'Victor Verdier' — has been largely used as a factor in obtaining new varieties, and we have it on record that two well-known roses, 'Caroline Testout' and 'Antoine Rivoire,' were the results of crosses in which the pollen of 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' was employed, the seed-bearing parent in the case of 'Caroline Testout' being the Tea rose 'Madame de Tartas,' and in the case of 'Antoine Rivoire,' the Tea rose 'Dr. Grill.' I have also seen it stated that 'Madame Abel Chatenay' was a cross between 'Dr. Grill' and 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'; but the raiser's description at the time of its introduction gave 'Victor Verdier' as the pollen-bearing parent. Of recent years a large number of most valuable additions to this class have been obtained by various raisers on similar lines, but a distinct break was obtained a few years ago in 'Gruss an Teplitz,' alluded to above. As a decorative rose this variety is in the first rank, and it is to be hoped that it may prove a starting point for further crosses of a similar nature with a view to obtaining a series possessing similar characteristics of freedom of habit and blooming, with flowers of different shades of colour. Another very fine rose of recent introduction which, although generally classed with Hybrid Perpetuals, possesses some of the characteristics of the Hybrid Teas, is 'Frau Karl Druschki.' This rose, which is probably the finest white rose for general purposes at present in cultivation, is stated to be a cross between the Hybrid Perpetual 'Merveille de Lyon' and the Hybrid Tea 'Caroline Testout.' Some other noteworthy Hybrid Teas of recent introduction with whose parentage we are acquainted are: 'Earl of Warwick' (Tea 'The Queen' x H.T. 'Belle Siebrecbt'); 'Pharisäer,' a seedling from H.T. 'Belle Siebrecht' (the pollen-bearing parent not stated); 'Richmond' (H.T. 'Lady Battersea' x 'General Jacqueminot'); 'Königin Carola' (H.T. 'Caroline Testout' x H.T. 'Viscountess Folkestone'); in the flowers of this variety the colour and characteristics of each parent are clearly discernible; 'Madame Jules Gravereaux' (Noisette 'Rêve d'Or' x H.T. 'Viscountess Folkestone'); 'Etoile de France' (H.T. 'Madame Abel Chatenay' x H.P. 'Fisher Holmes'); 'Madame Léon Pain' (H.T. 'Caroline Testout' x Tea 'Souvenir de Catherine Guillot'); 'Billiard et Barré' (H.T. 'Alice Furon' x Climbing Tea 'Duchesse d'Auerstaedt'). In the case of M. Pernet-Ducher's later series of Hybrid Tea roses which include 'Madame Ravary,' 'Le Progrès,' 'Prince de Bulgarie,' 'Joseph Hill,' 'Mélanie Soupert,' 'Marquise de Sinety,' 'Instituteur Sirdey,' 'Paul Ledé,' 'Madame Philippe Rivoire,' and others, I have seen no authoritative statement of the crosses employed, but I think we shall not be far wrong in assuming that the rich yellow and orange tones of colour in the flowers may be due to the direct or indirect employment of pollen from varieties of R. lutea. With the ever-increasing store of material available, there are surely possibilities of further distinct and valuable advances in the Hybrid Tea and Hybrid Perpetual classes.

Although botanically closely allied, from a horticultural standpoint the Chinese or Bengal and the Tea-scented roses have been regarded as distinct classes; but of late years, by the crossing of varieties, we have obtained a class of Chinese roses which are approximating in size and form of flower as well as in shades of colouring to the Tea roses, whilst in the Tea section we have a new series of decorative varieties which combine the stronger habit of growth in the Tea roses with the excessive freedom of flowering of the Chinese. To the former category, which may be termed 'Tea-Chinas,' may be referred such varieties as 'Madame Laurette Messimy,' 'Madame Eugène Résal,' 'Irene Watts,' 'Queen Mab,' 'Aurore,' 'Comtesse de Cayla,' and others, whilst to the latter, which may be termed 'China-Teas,' belong 'Corallina,' 'Souvenir de Catherine Guillot,' 'Souvenir de J. B. Guillot,' 'Enchantress,' and others possessing similar characteristics. All these are most valuable for garden ornamentation, especially in the late summer and early autumn months, and further distinct introductions will be most welcome. A new hybrid Chinese rose, possessing traits peculiar to itself, is 'Petrus Donzel'; in the colour of the flowers and the habit in which they are produced there appears to be some affinity with 'Gruss an Teplitz,' but the growth of the plant is not so vigorous.

A remarkable example of the variations to be obtained by hybridisation in roses is afforded by the dwarf-growing Polyantha or Multiflora roses now so largely used for massing and edging in gardens as well as for pot culture. This series commenced some years ago with 'Pâquerette' (Guillot), 'Perle d'Or' (Dubreuil), 'Anne Marie de Montravel' (Rambaux), 'Gloire des Polyantha' and others, which were obtained by crossing R. multiflora (polyantha), a strong-growing summer-flowering species, with the dwarfer-growing R. indica or other autumnals, the result being quite a new class, possessing the floriferous habit and large corymbs of flowers of R. multiflora combined with the autumnal-flowering qualities of the other parents and a dwarf and regular habit of growth. Later introductions in this class have been the result of success sive and more extended crossings, and in some instances have led to the production of larger individual flowers, although in smaller bunches. A recent variety, however, which possesses to a remarkable degree the original characteristic of producing its flowers in handsome corymbs, is 'Madame Norbert Levasseur'; its rich masses of crimson blossoms recall those of the 'Crimson Rambler,' and its period of flowering would appear to extend from earliest summer until late in autumn. I have been unable to obtain any authoritative information as to the parentage of this variety. Some distinct dwarf autumnal-flowering Polyantha roses of recent introduction are:

It is remarkable that in the case of 'Eugénie Lamesch' the union of two strong-growing climbing varieties should have resulted in a progeny of dwarf habit of growth. There is, I think, in R. multiflora always a tendency to give dwarf forms from seed; and in the case of 'Waltham Rambler,' raised in the Waltham Cross Nurseries, the original seedling plant was quite dwarf in habit and the variety did not develop its climbing form until budded on various stocks.

For town gardens under unfavourable climatic conditions, and for hedge planting and other bolder purposes in the rose garden, the Rugosa roses have proved most valuable acquisitions, and some very distinct and handsome hybrids have been introduced of late years : these, while retaining the vigour and hardiness of the type, have lost some of the roughness of contour which is sometimes objected to in the latter. Commencing with 'Madame Georges Bruant' (Rosa rugosa x Tea 'Sombreuil'), which was introduced from Poitiers in 1887, we now have a series of large double-flowered varieties of various shades of colour produced on strong-growing shrubs of absolute hardiness. A distinct variety with fringed petals, called 'Fimbriata,' was the result of a cross between R. rugosa and the climbing Hybrid Tea 'Madame Alfred Carrière.' One of the most beautiful of recent introductions is 'Conrad Ferdinand Meyer,' raised in Germany as the result of a cross between 'Gloire de Dijon' and 'Duc de Rohan' (H.P.), the offspring being again crossed with the Rugosa variety 'Germanica.' Other new varieties that have reached us from the neighbourhood of Paris are 'Souvenir de Philémon Cochet,' a naturally fertilised seedling from 'Blanc double de Coubert' and a distinct advance on the latter variety and 'Rose á parfum de l'Hay' (R. damascena x 'General Jacqueminot' x R. rugosa germanica). The last, as its name implies, is remarkable for its fine perfume. I think that as the newer varieties of this group become more widely known, their fine decorative qualities will receive wider recognition, and the thanks of rosarians are due to Monsieur Gravereaux of Paris for directing attention to this section.

Probably no class of rose is more in evidence in gardens at the present time than the strong-growing varieties known as 'Rambler' roses. These owe their popularity as well as their current appellation to the 'Crimson Rambler,' a variety of Rosa multiflora, which reached our shores from Japan, unheralded and unknown, about twenty years ago, and had already been in cultivation here for several years and under more than one name before its merits were finally demonstrated in the Slough nursery, where the magnificent effect of the established plants in full bloom procured for them the honour of a visit from her late Majesty Queen Victoria. I have never seen the parentage of this variety stated with authority, and it is probably unknown, but it was easy to foresee from the first that hybridisers would soon attempt to obtain counterparts of it in other shades of colour. The first to reach us were the yellow, pink, and white 'Ramblers' from Germany known as 'Aglaia,' 'Euphrosyne,' and 'Thalia,' raised from the type R. multiflora crossed with 'Rêve d'Or,' 'Mignonette,' and 'Pâquerette' respectively, and which are still valuable climbing roses. Many other seedlings of varying degrees of excellence, and with both single and double flowers, have been raised and introduced since; some the result of natural fertilisation, others by hybridising or cross-breeding, R. Wichuraiana either as pollen or seed-bearer having been employed with good effect in some instances. Some of the best and most distinct of these may be particularised as follows

Special mention must be made of the three American varieties 'Dorothy Perkins' (Rosa Wichuraiana x H.P. 'Madame Gabriel Luizet'), 'Lady Gay' (a seedling from 'Crimson Rambler,' other parent not stated), and 'The Farquhar' (R. Wichuraiana x 'Crimson Rambler'), These gorgeous decorative roses possess a certain family likeness, and under varying conditions of cultivation, soil, and climate are apt at times to resemble each other, although in the trials at Waltham Cross the points of difference have been apparent, especially when the plants have been grown under glass. Probably 'Lady Gay' will be found to be the finest of the three for general purposes of garden ornamentation.

Two most valuable properties of R. multiflora are the prodigious quantities of flowers the plants produce, and the long period during which the flowers remain in beauty on the plants. Even the single-flowered varieties maintain their beauty in the garden for five or six weeks if the weather is fine at the time of flowering. In the progeny of crosses with R. Wichuraiana we have obtained in addition the glossy and almost persistent foliage of that species, as well as the tendency to produce strong prostrate or lateral shoots, which render such varieties valuable for carpeting rough ground and banks as well as for climbing.

I have previously alluded to the autumnal-flowering dwarf forms of R. multiflora known as Polyantha roses, which have been obtained by hybridising this species with others of a low-growing nature and perpetual-blooming qualities, and I think that the facility with which R. multiflora produces its seeds, and the strong tendency to variation shown by the progeny resulting from artificial fertilisation, render this species one of the most promising for obtaining further distinct variations for out gardens. By judicious and persevering hybridising with autumnal-flowering species of a strong habit of growth, there seems no reason why we should not obtain climbing roses that will be as effective in the autumn as in the summer, in the same manner as are the dwarf Polyantha roses; and, by further crosses with varieties of persistent foliage, a new class of evergreen, climbing roses might be evolved which would surpass the older varieties of Sempervirens and Noisette roses.

By the hybridising of R. Wichuraiana with varieties of the Tea-scented and Noisette classes we have also obtained some distinct and valuable additions to our climbing and running roses, some with single flowers, whilst others have double blossoms. They commenced a few years ago with a small series from America, and subsequently some valuable additions have reached us from France. Some of the most distinct are the following:

With the exception of Wichuraiana rubra, these will all be found to vary from the type (R. Wichuraiana) in flowering earlier in the summer, whilst, notwithstanding the crosses with autumnal-flowering varieties, none of them can be described as autumnal bloomers.

My notes would not be complete without a reference to the hybridisation of the sweet brier, which in the hands of the late Lord Penzance yielded some beautiful decorative forms, the early summer being their especial season for blooming. Mention should also be made of R. laevigata, the 'Camellia rose' of the south of Europe, already reputed to be one of the parents of the hybrid Banksian Fortuneana, and which has given us of late years the beautiful single pink hybrid known as the 'Anemone rose' (not to be confused with R. anemoneflora), which appears to be hardier than R. laevigata. Attempts at fertilising flowers of the Anemone rose at Waltham Cross have hitherto failed to result in the production of seed. Some handsome single-flowered seedlings from R. macrantha — itself of hybrid origin — have also been recently added to the effective varieties of garden roses blooming in early summer. Of the many interesting crosses of other species and varieties of roses now being carried out and tested in various botanic and private gardens and nurseries it is too early to speak from a horticultural point of view, as the results are not in general cultivation; but it is reasonable to suppose that, when the time arrives for the next Conference of this Society on hybridisation and cross-breeding, substantial progress will have been recorded in the evolution of valuable new forms for the ornamentation of our gardens.

List of some hybrid roses exhibited by Wm. Paul & Son, Waltham Cross, at the Royal Horticultural Hall, July 81, 1906:

Tea-China Roses:
'Madame Laurette Messimy' 'Cardinal'
'Arethusa' 'Comtesse de Cayla'
'Cora' 'Queen Mab'
'Petrus Donzel' 'Irene Watts'
'Madame Eugène Résal' 'Alice Hamilton'
'Aurore'  
China-Tea Roses:
'Souvenir de Catherine Guillot' 'Margherita di Simone'
'Sulphurea' 'Princesse de Sagan'
'Madame Renée de St. Marceau' 'Corallina'
'Madame L. Poncet' 'Dainty'
'Enchantress' 'Souvenir de J. B. Guillot'
'Fairy Queen'