The Rose Amateur's Guide pp. 20-21 (1837)
HYBRID CHINA ROSES
Thomas Rivers

The superior varieties of this fine division give a combination of all that is or can be beautiful in roses, for not only are their flowers of the most elegant forms and colours, their foliage of extreme luxuriance, but their branches are so vigorous and graceful, that perhaps no plant presents such a mass of beauty as a finely grown hybrid China rose in full bloom. They owe their origin to the China, Tea-scented Noisette and Bourbon roses, fertilized with the French, Provence, and other summer roses, and also to the latter crossed with the former; the seeds of such impregnated flowers producing hybrid China roses. These have, in many cases, resulted from accident, but latterly from the regular fertilizing process, as mules or hybrids have been raised from well known parents.

In England, but few varieties have been originated; as the common China rose does not in general ripen its seeds sufficiently for germination. The parents of Brown's superb blush, which is an English hybrid, raised by the late Mr. Charles Brown of Slough, one of our most scientific and persevering cultivators, cut off in the prime of life, was the old tea-scented rose, Rosa indica odorata, impregnated with some hardy summer rose. Rivers's George the Fourth is also an English rose; but as this came by accident, its origin is not so well ascertained. Rosa Blairii is also English, and raised from the yellow China, impregnated with some variety of hardy rose. All these roses have the true characters of the family: leaves smooth, glossy, and subevergreen: branches long, luxuriant, and flexible. They give a long continuance of bloom, but they never put forth secondary or autumnal flowers. This is a most peculiarly distinguishing trait, and an interesting fact. Impregnate a Bourbon, China, or Noisette rose, all abundant autumnal bloomers, with the farina of a French or Provence rose, and you entirely take away the tendency to autumnal blooming in their offspring. They will grow vigorously all the autumn, and give a long, but not a secondary series of flowers. Some of these hybrid China roses, produce seed abundantly, which is rather a remarkable feature, as so few hybrid plants are fertile.

Hybrids produced from the French rose impregnated with the China rose, are not of such robust and vigorous habits as when the China rose is the female parent; but perhaps this is an assertion scarcely borne out by facts, for the exceptions are numerous, and, like many other variations in roses and plants in general, seem to bid defiance to systematic rules. By some cultivators the roses of this division have been much more divided than in my catalogue, forming "Hybrid Noisettes," "Hybrid L'Isle de Bourbons," &c. &c.; but as these all owe their origin to the common China rose, their offspring may with justice be called hybrid China roses.

Those that have been raised from noisette roses have a tendency to produce their flowers in clusters; those from Bourbon roses have their leaves thick, leathery, and round; those from the tea-scented have a delicate and grateful scent; but all have those distinguishing family traits as before given, and accordingly they group beautifully. As this is the grand object of the amateur cultivator, it seems far more preferable to arrange them as one family, than to make several divisions with but very minute distinguishing features. It is a difficult task to point out the best in this division, as they are nearly all well deserving of cultivation. However, by making a few remarks, such as cannot be given in a descriptive catalogue, I may perhaps be able, in some measure, to direct the choice of amateurs to those most worthy their notice.