The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste, 4(3): 147-148 (Sept 1849)

A New Yellow Climbing Rose — Dear Sir:

As you have repeatedly requested that notices of new and rare plants, &c., should be forwarded to you, I have taken the liberty to bring to your notice the following magnificent fragrant double yellow running Rose, raised by Hon. JAMES MATTHEWS, of Coshocton, Ohio. I extract from his letter of June 7th, some account of this valuable acquisition to the Rose family:

"I would be glad if you could be with me a week hence; as by that time I will have some roses in bloom on a seedling of my own raising. It bloomed with me last year for the first time, and is truly not a common or ordinary variety of Rose; but a very splendid new variety. You know I have seen some of the best roses in cultivation, and I assure you I have not seen its superior, either when partly or fully expanded. As I fear you will not be here at the afore-mentioned time, I will attempt to give you some idea of its characteristics by description — though I am not much versed in such matters.

First, its history. Sometime in January, 1844, the Hon. A. P. STONE and Lady, of Columbus, Ohio, together with Mrs. MATTHEWS and myself, on a remarkably mild day for that season of the year, visited Mount Vernon, the former residence of WASHINGTON, and while wandering through the garden, I plucked quite a number of seed vessels from the great variety of Bourbon, Noisette, and Tea Roses which arc there growing. These, on my return home in the spring, I planted, but not knowing how to manage them, but few vegetated. Of those that did grow, 1 gave away four the following season and retained two; one of the latter presents a very common appearance, and has never as yet bloomed; the other, which was a favorite from the first, showed great signs of being a very remarkable grower, and is now fully proved to be of vigorous and healthy habit. This plant has, for at least two seasons, thrown up shoots 16 to 18 feet in height. It is, I think, of the Noisette character, and for comparison in growth and appearance, more nearly resembles the Lamarque, than any other rose I am acquainted with, but is a much more vigorous grower, the leaves much larger, decidedly more ruddy and dark in hue, and very glossy and handsome; young wood of a very reddish cast, full of short rugged thorns, similar to Lamarque, but much more numerous; old wood, large, coarse and thorny; the roses very large and very double, and in colour a light, pure yellow, much deeper yellow than Devoniensis, perhaps, indeed, more the colour of La Pactole than any other I have seen, but quite twice as large as the latter named variety; the bud is shaped like the Lamarque, but is larger; the rose when expanded is also much larger. It is perfectly tea scented, quite as fragrant as Devoniensis, and more fragrant than any other variety with which I am acquainted. These are the substance of its good qualities. It is tender, (like the Noisette) and will, if exposed to the winter, freeze. without protection. I laid it down last winter, and covered it slightly with earth, and as far as protected in this manner, it is perfectly sound, and from the young shoots coming out from the old stock, the roses are produced. I do not as yet know whether it will be 'perpetual.' Since this rose bloomed last year, (it then had two flowers only,) it has been my determination, should it prove a valuable acquisition to the rose family, (as I then thought and still think it may) to present it to you as my most intimate, floricultural friend, and by you to propagate and disseminate it in whatever manner you please. The original plant has now fourteen good healthy buds, all of which will be expanded within a week or ten days. I have never given a cutting from it and will not do so if it will benefit you. These roses hang on in their perfection three days after expanded."

Under date of June 20th, I received the following from Mr. MATTHEWS in reply to some inquiries of mine:—

"In haste, I put up and directed to you according to your desires, a few branches and one rose of my seedling. This is the last of the blossoms, and of course inferior to the average. I also send you a shoot of last year's growth, two or three shoots that have just homo roses, and a specimen of the growth of the present season. This rose has been the admiration of all who have seen it, being greatly preferred to all of my pretty large collection; and it fully realizes my most sanguine expectations. It is in my opinion one hundred per cent better than Lamarque."

With the rose and specimens of wood and growth before me, you must allow me to give you my opinion of this truly fine rose. Chromatella and Solfaterre are, I might say, pigmies in growth to this seedling. I have at this time a fine plant of Solfaterre and also of Chromatella in bloom, and I have made a careful comparison. In growth, flower and leaf, they are greatly inferior. This seedling flower is very much larger and much more double — the leaf far finer and half as large again. Chromatella is a better grower than Solfaterre, but bears no comparison with the seedling; the leaf of Chromatella is smaller and not so deep a green; that of Solfaterre is also much lighter in colour; the bloom of Chromatella is not so large as the seedling, although this was the poorest blossom on the seedling. The old growth of the seedling resembles more nearly the Beauty of Prairies, as regards thickness, thorns, bearing spurs, &c, than any rose I have in my collection; the under surface of the new leaves is very red, upper surface handsomely tinged with red; old leaves of the very deepest green. The cuttings of this season's growth sent me, are three feet long, and which I should judge to be only part of the growth of this spring; in thickness a little greater than a common pipe stem. The roses bloom at the termination of the first growth of the winter buds, and were in clusters of three and four upon the branches sent me. I send you one of the largest leaves upon this season's growth; the terminal leaves all have two small leaves (or stipules) at the base, which neither Lamarque, Solfaterre nor Chromatella possesses. As you may think that the largest leaf is not a fair criterion to judge from, I send you one of common size, and send it enclosed so that you may see the colour, if it does not dry up before you receive this. I also send one of the smallest leaves, all from the new growth of this spring's shoots sent me. As to its habit, think of a rose putting up shoots 16 to 18 feet in a season, the flower double, yellow and fragrant as any Tea Rose. Is it not an acquisition to the rose family? This rose will hereafter be known and designated by the name of "Augusta," in compliment to Mrs. MATTHEWS and her second daughter. Yours, with respect. A. Fahnestock. Lancaster, Ohio, July. 1849.

[This, judging from the foliage and the description of the flowers, is no doubt a valuable aquisition. Ed.]