American Banner (Tea) [Bon Silène sport]

Journal des Roses, 1880

The Gardeners' Monthly and Horticulturist, 22: 357 (1880)


In the introduction of new plants, there has been none of late years which excited more interest than the above-mentioned rose. And if we were to regard the various opinions which we have heard expressed, it is considered one of the most beautiful and marvellous of flowers by one side, and the other side pronounce it absolutely worthless. Concerning this rose I have been told that it is a "beautiful Bon Silene color," marked with white stripes, "and always appearing true to the markings." Having seen the rose, I must say I could not see anything beautiful about it. Indeed, I thought it as unattractive as it is possible for a flower to be. It is only the few outer rows of petals in which the "markings" are distinct, and the centre of the flower is so indistinct as to be almost colorless, —botanically speaking. And as to its constant marking, I would say it comes a pure "Bon Silene" color very often. But is this curiosity, so-called, original in this rose? In the "Amateur Rose Book," by Shirley Hibberd, you will find the following:

"In the Revue Horticole, 1870, appeared an article by M. Du Breuil, in which he suggested a definite way for ensuring the production of striped and spotted flowers of varieties that are normally self-colored." And also he said: "Having visited the garden of an amateur I was shown several standard roses, and among them "Geant des Batailles," of which, on some trees, all the flowers (which were of a fine, deep red), were marked with numerous spots of pale rose color. I observed the same peculiarity in other varieties of a light red, such as Gen. Jacqueminot. All these rose trees in other respects were in a very fine condition of growth, and presented all the other characters of the varieties to which they belonged." The "American Banner Rose" in this latter mentioned respect, most certainly is distinct from all other roses known to me. Indeed, the "thick, leathery" leaves are the only things especially remarkable about it. And it may be distinct, in that it was procured from a "sport," as M. Du Breuil tells us, that the roses seen by him were procured by budding, and explained it in this wise: "Being obliged, for want of a better, to take from the bottom of a shoot some shield buds which apparently had no eyes, he obtained from them a shoot which produced a rose bush, the flowers of which presented the peculiarity mentioned, and after repeated experiments always obtained the result named." The bud being in an immature state, in perfecting itself, partakes of the nature of the parent stock; this is how we understand it. For explanation by Shirley Hibberd, see page 217 of his Rose Book, and also see "Gardeners' Magazine," March 8th, 1873, a few extracts of which are given in the rose book, (page 218). In regard to their roses, will it be a success practically generally, that is, are its merits sufficient to make it a profitable rose to grow? I think not. The rose is a very free bloomer, but if all the flowers are allowed to open, they will be very indistinct, and many of them, as I said before, without any marking whatever. In my opinion it is only in large towns, where fashion reigns supreme, will this rose be in demand, and then only till the novelty wears off.