Many of our best varieties have been redistributed under another name a few years after their grand merits had caused them to be extensively grown, with the natural result that the majority of gardens possessed them under the original and true name. The National Rose Society have done their best to check such proceedings by bracketing them together as being synonymous with older varieties, while at the same time they very fairly state that some of them may be different in habit of growth and foliage. At present there are forty names in this list representing only seventeen genuine varieties, two of them having no less than four names, and the same number possessing three each. I do not think this list is quite complete; certainly there are many more which come far too close to be called distinct. Still, on the whole, it is well to be quite sure before placing any of the recent introductions upon this list. Soil and district also have some influence upon Roses.
We will take the varieties that are bracketed together in the National Rose Society's catalogue, viz., Exposition de Brie, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Maurice Bernardin, and Sir Garnet Wolseley. The above is the order in which they are given in the National Rose Society's schedule, but I will now place them in the order in which they were introduced. Maurice Bernardin was sent out by Grainger in 1861; this was followed by Exposition de Brie, by the same raiser, in 1865; Ferdinand de Lesseps was sent out by E. Verdier in 1869, and Sir Garnet Wolseley by Cranston in 1875. This is a very good example of what I allude to when saying that it is the good Roses which get sent out a second and even a fourth time. To my mind the first three are identical in every way, but I do not call Sir Garnet Wolseley so large a flower or quite so good a grower as the three others. It will be noted from the dates of introduction that are given above that there are from four to six years between the sending out of each. It is certainly very peculiar that the three first (which are undoubtedly synonymous) should have been sent out at intervals of four years.
Then, again, I will take the other instance of four synonyms that are bracketed by the National Rose Society, with a parenthetical remark that this variety might well have five. The National Rose Society gives it Alba rosea, Josephine Malton, Mme. Bravy and Mme. de Sertot, but if the best foreign Rose list is to be depended upon, it was known previously as Danzile. Later on it was sent out by Guillot as Mme. Bravy in 1848, by Pernet as Mme. de Sertot in 1859, by Lartey as Alba rosea in 1862, and later still as Josephine Malton. I do not know the introducer of it by the last name, but believe it was sent out in 1870 or 1871, that being about the date it first came under my notice. I think we may take it that both Mme. Bravy and Maurice Bernardin are among the very best of their respective classes, and hence the inducement to send them out among other new (?) varieties. The whole list might be gone through in the same manner and would yield very similar results.
In the schedule for 1892 the National Rose Society have not got Duke of Wellington and Rosieriste Jacobs among their synonymous Roses, but on reference to the supplement of their catalogue published in 1890, I find these two varieties are bracketed. I presume it was an oversight its not getting put into their schedules as such during the following years, otherwise it is not very consistent, seeing they have added others of the new synonymous Roses which were decided upon as such when drawing up this supplement to their very interesting and remarkably accurate catalogue. A new catalogue is being drawn up now, and when the new schedules are prepared I trust this omission will be rectified.
All of the bracketed Roses are very similar in all ways, if not identical with one another. There are also many Roses that as a general rule are quite distinct, but from which it is often possible to cut blooms that would puzzle anyone to decide as to which variety they really belonged. Thomas Mills and General Jacqueminot may be given as examples. Ordinarily these two varieties are very distinct, but one may often select a deep-coloured Thomas Mills that would seem identical with a pale or light-coloured General Jacqueminot. Yet as a general rule they are quite different, General Jacqueminot having a deep velvety shade and most exquisite scent, neither of which is found in Thomas Mills. General Jacqueminot also flowers far more freely than Thomas Mills, and is in every way far superior to it.
Mabel Morrison and White Baroness are not bracketed, but I would like to be sure of the difference. Mme. Bérard and Beaute de l'Europe I have grown side by side, both indoors and out, and fail to distinguish the slightest difference. Of those that are very changeable in colour, such as W. A. Richardson, Jean Ducher, Anna Ollivier, Mme. Lambard, &c, it is often easy to cut blooms from them (and at the same time) which would seem distinct varieties. One may cut blooms of three or four different colours from these, and in some instances they would seem more like another variety. Anna Ollivier, for example, often produces a flower that would pass as Mme. Hoste, while at the same time there are blooms on the plant that are as distinct as it is possible for two Roses to be.
The following is a list of Roses not mentioned by the National Rose Society, and which are very much alike, if not identical in my soil, although they may come distinct with other growers: America and Isabella Sprunt, Mme. Dennis and Marie Opoix, Mme. Bérard and Beauté de l'Europe, Rêve d'Or and Tour Bertrand, Reine du Midi, La Reine and Reine des Français. While this further list may often be had alike when growing on different soils: Mrs. Baker and Countess of Oxford, Paul's Reynolds Hole and Sultan of Zanzibar, Mme. Rival and Auguste Mie, and occasionally Auguste Rigotard and Dupuy Jamain. Then, again, Roses have their peculiarities. I cannot grow Dr. Andry in my present ground nearly so fine as in a former soil. Nor can I grow Countess of Oxford, Senateur Vaisse, Marquise de Castellane, Jean Pernet, and Rubens with such heavy blooms as formerly.