The Garden June 26, 1897 p. 462
Our knowledge of the ''reason why" various plants give off sports appears as distant at the end of the nineteenth century as it did at the commencement. It seems to me very evident that Roses which have been cross-fertilised are much addicted to sporting. There can be no doubt that the variety Victor Verdier possesses this hybrid nature in a marked degree, and it certainly contains a large proportion of Tea blood in its wood and foliage. A glance at the list below will show how much we are indebted to this Rose for some of our best sports. It must not be assumed that because no pedigree has been retained of some of our Roses they are devoid of a hybrid nature; indeed, the reverse appears evident. Strong heat and abundant propagation are very influential agents in inducing Roses to sport. Take, for instance, the varieties Catherine Mermet and Perle des Jardins. These two Roses are grown by millions each year under glass in the United States. Is it to be wondered at that they have produced such gems as The Bride, Bridesmaid, Waban, Sunset, White Perle and Climbing Perle des Jardins?
I am afraid we have hitherto lost some beautiful sports through the absence of watchfulness. Here is a splendid opportunity for amateurs and gardeners. I would say to them, keep a sharp look-out for variations in colour. Have some stocks planted each year, so that if anything worthy ne found it may be budded. Frequently a small plant, anything but vigorous, will give off a good sport, and I could mention several such cases. Mr. John Brown (gardener to Mrs. Waterlow, of Reigate) has already been very successful—first by finding that beautiful striped Rose Pride of Reigate, and quite recently Muriel Grahame, which obtained the National Rose Society's gold medal last year.
A word of warning to amateurs is necessary. Do not be misled by highly-coloured flowers in the autumn. Roses are much given to come highly coloured at this season. I would also urge upon all the need of careful observation. A friend of mine nursed up some buds which he declared were those taken from a sport of La France, but which afterwards turned out to be the variety Baron Gonella. It is well known that the habit of growth of a sport and that of the variety from which it emanates seldom differ, excepting in the case of climbing sports. The difference nearly always has been in the colour or form of the variety. I have great faith in what one might term "selection" among Roses. If buds are taken from shoots yielding a specially fine blossom, the chances are that the variety in course of time will be much improved. The same theory applies in regard to these sports. If a sport were carefully watched for highly-coloured flowers and buds taken from these shoots, the high colour in course of time would become as it were fixed. Take, for instance, the variety Waban, a highly-coloured sport from Catherine Mermet, but much inclined to revert back to the type. I have seen buds of Waban almost crimson in colour, and my opinion is that if we carefully propagate from such shoots, we should in the course of time obtain the long-looked-for crimson Catherine Mermet.
I have (in the list of sports given below) grouped together certain varieties and the sports which have sprung from them, and a glance will show the tendency to sport which the offspring of some varieties manifests. Those varieties marked with an asterisk are supposed to have been hybridised either artificially or by insects.
SEEDLINGS FROM VICTOR VERDIER.*
Countess of Oxford has given as sports Pride of Waltham, Pride of Reigate; Pride of Waltham, Climbing Pride of Waltham; Etienne Levet, Duke of Fife, Climbing Etienne Levet; Mlle. Eugénie Verdier, Climbing Mlle. Eugénie Verdier; Henri Ledechaux, Climbing Henri Ledechaux; Captain Christy, Climbing Captain Christy; *Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, White Lady, Lady Alice, Maid of the Mist; Susanne Marie Rodocanachi has produced a pretty soft pink sport at present unnamed; Victor Verdier has also given us a Climbing Victor Verdier.
SEEDLINGS FROM JULES MARGOTTIN.
Abel Grand has given as a sport Bessie Johnson, which has given off a climbing sport; Edouard Morren, Climbing Edouard Morren; Jules Margottin has also produced a climbing form of itself.
has given us some good sports, viz.: Merveille de Lyon, White Baroness, Merveille des Blanches, Mabel Morrison.
By cross-fertilising Mabel Morrison with E. Y. Teas we have obtained that fine Rose Heinrich Schultheis, and from the latter we obtain as sports Merrie England and Paul's Early Blush, syn. with Mrs. Harkness.
To this grand Hybrid Tea we are indebted for the following sports: Augustine Guinoisseau, Duchess of Albany, Climbing La France; and from Caroline Testout, said to be a seedling from La France, our American cousins have obtained a sport which they have named in honour of Dean Hole.
A most wonderful sport originated from this lovely variety, viz., The Bride, and it is most constant in its colour. As before remarked, Waban, Bridesmaid, and Muriel Grahame have all sported from this variety, and in addition we are promised a Climbing Bridesmaid.
PERLE DES JARDINS
has given as sports the rich coloured Sunset, White Perle, and Climbing Perle des Jardins.
Other Rose sports generally in cultivation are as follows:—
From Devoniensis we have obtained Climbing Devoniensis; Gloire de Dijon, Kaiserin Friedrich; Niphetos, Climbing Niphetos; *The Meteor, Climbing Meteor; Papa Gontier, Rainbow; Mme. Cusin, Mrs. Pierpont Morgan; *Souvenir de Wootton, Climbing Souvenir de Wootton; White Pet, Climbing White Pet; Souvenir d'un Ami, The Queen or Souvenir de S. A. Prince; Rubens, Climbing Rubens; Charles Lefebvre, Sir R. Hill; Mme. Falcot, Mme. Chedane Guinoisseau; Countess of Rosebery, Duchess of Fife; Rose du Roi, Panache de Lyon; Mme. Clemence Joigneaux, Wm. Warden; Souvenir de la Malmaison, Kronprinzessin Victoria, Climbing Malmaison, Malmaison Rouge; Duchesse de Morny, Ellen Drew; Maréchal Niel, White Maréchal Niel; Mme. Willormoz, Letty Coles ; Mrs. G. Dickson, Mrs. Rumsey.
We have during recent years witnessed the introduction of many splendid Roses of a hybrid nature, such as Mme. Abel Chatenay, Fiammetta Nabonnand, Souvenir du President Carnot, Charlotte Gillemot, Mrs. W. J. Grant, Earl of Pembroke, La Fraicheur, Mme. Jos. Bonnaire, Antoine Rivoire, Mlle. A. Furon, Margaret Dickson, Souvenir de Mme. Sablayrolles, Gustave Piganeau, Her Majesty, Caroline d'Arden, Princess of Wales, and many others.
As I think there is ample evidence of this hybrid nature tending to the production of sports, I would urge upon all Rose lovers the careful watching of such varieties, and I am confident some good kinds will be gained thereby.