Illustrated 28: 29-30 (Mar 17, 1906)
Rosa rugosa, its seedlings and hybrids
This very valuable race of hardy Roses has all sprung from R. rugosa, introduced by Thunberg, from Japan, over 100 years ago. Lawrence gave the type the name of R. ferox, and Andre R. regeliana; it is also known as the Ramanas Rose of Japan. Considering the many years that have elapsed since its introduction, it has not made any very rapid strides. In its wild state it does not, apparently, produce double forms. Mr. Goldring says he only saw one double form in Japan, and that was in a private garden. If one were to sow a bushel of seed the chances are there would be only rose-coloured and white forms, and both single, although the rose-coloured forms vary considerably in their richness of tint. R. rugosa has yet a valuable part to play in our gardens, and I am sure there are great possibilities that may be reasonably expected from it. I cannot see why in time we may not have a cream or yellow variety, and surely we shall have a rich crimson—a colour still wanting in this group. Hybridisers have obtained some very beautiful results by crossing R. rugosa, perhaps one of the most remarkable being that grand Rose, Conrad F. Meyer. Excepting for its wonderful vigour, one would take this Kose for an Hybrid Perpetual. There are at Kew Gardens some most interesting crosses from R. rugosa. One of the most beautiful was a cross between R. Wichuriana and R. rugosa. It had the procumbent habit of R. Wichuriana, but its foliage, although glaucous, was leathery, resembling that of R. rugosa. The colour of the single flowers was a soft satin pink, suggesting to one's mind a creeping Penzance Brier. This came from the Arnold Arboretum, and I would advise all who love these single Roses to get a plant if they can. Another beautiful variety to grow as a fountain Rose was R. rugosa x General Jacqueminot. From its intensity of colouring and the mass of single blossom it produces, of a lovely rich crimson shade, the variety is well worth any small trouble to procure. The type R. rugosa and its pure white form, R. rugosa alba, are noted for their splendid fruits, which are produced very freely in the autumn. As the plants increase in age they will attain a remarkable size, if unpruned. I have seen quite massive shrubs some 10 feet to 12 feet in height. If such a size be objected to, the plants may be severely pruned each year; in fact, by cutting them down nearly to the ground both the blossom and the fruit are finer.
There are not many of the other forms other than R. rugosa and R. rugosa alba that produce such fine fruit; in fact, none of them do that, but Rose Apples and R. calocarpa are very interesting when the plants are aglow with the seed-pods. One pretty feature of these Roses is the exquisite tint of the autumn foliage—quite a beautiful golden colour, very noticeable even when Nature is very attractive with its many-tinted leaves. Those who have large areas of game covers under their charge find R. rugosa a very valuable plant, and pheasants are specially fond of the seed. Seedlings, of course, are used for this purpose, and they can be purchased very cheaply. Standards of the sorts marked with an asterisk make very handsome trees when well isolated, and even if the type and alba were grown as standards they would surely be very interesting when in fruit.
Rose Blanc double de Courbet.
Perhaps it will be advisable to give a short description of the more worthy sorts, and I will name them in alphabetical order, omitting the hybrids mentioned above:—