The Garden: an illustrated weekly journal of gardening in all its branches. 86: 554-556 (Nov 4, 1922)

UNDER this heading it is possible to arrange a large number of wild or quasi-wild species, hybrids and varieties of Roses that appeal to many garden lovers on account of the beauty of their flowers, fruit or foliage, or the fragrance of their flowers or leaves. The list could be extended indefinitely, but a selection will afford variety sufficient to meet! the requirements of most gardens, except those of the specialist. No class of plants is more variable in the wild state, and when brought under cultivation their possibilities are unlimited when subjected to crossbreeding or hybridisation.

The White Rose (Rosa alba) has been cultivated from time immemorial, although it is recorded in some books as having been introduced in 1597. Various countries of Europe and the regions of the Caucasus have been given as its native habitat, but most botanists are agreed that it is a hybrid. It has been found wild in France and elsewhere. It appeals by the fragrance of its white or blush flowers, one variety being largely cultivated for extracting attar of rose. In one form or other it is the glory of many a cottage garden, the varieties being represented by Rose Celeste or Celestial, Maiden's Blush and Jacobite White. A closely allied hybrid is R. macrantha, which enjoyed considerable popularity some thirty years ago. The blooms are blush fading to white, and measure 3ins. to 4ins. across. Another that figured prominently in floral decorations some years ago is R. Andersoni, with bowl-shaped rose pink flowers.


The Musk Rose (R. moschata) is represented in this country by the vigorous climber best known as R. Brunoni, which many rosarians term the Wild Briar of the Himalayas. This is seen at its best when given an old tree, of considerable height, over which it can ramble and spread out its compound clusters of flowers, at first pale yellow, but soon changing to white. In a wild state it extends from South Europe to the Himalayas and China. Very numerous hybrids exist in gardens, a goodly proportion of which are of recent origin. The Macartney Rose (R. bracteata) would be more often seen in gardens than it is were it only somewhat hardier. It is quite suitable for the South and West of England but, about London, is better for the protection of a wall. The leaves are dark green, leathery and evergreen, the latter character being, no doubt, the chief reason for its tenderness. The white flowers measure 3ins. to 4ins. across, and are surrounded at the base by several large, deeply cut bracts that invest the orange-red, woolly fruits. Most wild Roses have these bracts, but their size, structure and arrangement constitute a striking feature of this species, which in leaf and flower is unique in cultivation. Several hybrids have been produced in gardens, of which Mermaid is one of the most recent and striking on account of its large, pale yellow flowers. It can be grown as a bush or climber.

The most popular of the recently introduced yellow Roses is R. Hugonis, named after Father Hugh Scallan, who sent seeds of it from Western China to Kew, where it was reared in 1889. It forms an upright self-supporting bush for the first few years, and produces a profusion of bright yellow flowers about the middle of May onwards. It never becomes rampant, though it will ultimately get 8ft. high and as wide, if not restricted. The leaves are not unlike those of the Scotch Rose, but larger, and produced in such quantity as to form a delightful bush. The Scotch Rose (R. spinosissima) is the first of our native Roses to open its creamy white, fragrant blossoms in May. Rare specimens are deep red, one having been found recently in Cheshire by Major Wolley Dod, who monographed the British Roses. The variety R. s. lutea bears buttercup yellow flowers 3ins. across. Larger in every way is R. s. altaica, with creamy white flowers sins, in diameter. All these forms make self-supporting bushes of great beauty. They are perfectly hardy and of the easiest cultivation. The first coloured variety was found in Perthshire, and that gave an impetus to the cultivation of this race till a very large number, probably hundreds of varieties, single and double, were named and put into cultivation. This gave rise to the name Scotch Rose, for the wilding is common to Britain. The beauty of the Austrian Yellow (R. lutea) cannot be overlooked, though so well known that a mention may suffice. The species is closely allied to the Scotch Rose, but differs in the absence of the bristly prickles that clothe the stems of the latter. It is the yellow parent that has given the Pernetiana Roses their most striking characteristics. The Austrian Copper (R. lutea punicea) has given its two remarkable colours to Juliet and The Queen Alexandra Rose. All the above group only require thinning occasionally, but no regular pruning, for they bloom profusely on very small twigs.

The thornless Roses are not particularly common, although they have been long in cultivation. The bright pink flowers of R. alpina are followed by narrowly pear-shaped, deep red fruits. It has given rise to the Boursault Roses in cultivation. The Pyrenean variety (R. a. pyrenaica) is notable for its dwarf habit, sea-green hue and long, bristly yellow fruits. It takes up little space and is suitable for the rock garden. The Smooth or Meadow Rose is thornless, though it may have a few bristles on the stem occasionally. Many visitors have been charmed by its rose and deep pink flowers growing along the sides of the street or in the small front gardens of a central Highland village, often quite unprotected. It makes an upright bush about 4ft. high.

The long, bright red and pear-shaped fruits of R. macrophylla are preceded by clusters of large light red blossoms, and accompanied by beautiful foliage. This leads up to R. Moyesii, one of the most striking and interesting of recent introductions. The colour of the large flowers is difficult to describe, and has been called rosy red, reddish crimson, lurid dark red, deep red and terra-cotta red by various people who have attempted to define it. The bottle-shaped, red fruits are glandular and rough at the base. The species was accorded an award of merit by the Royal Horticultural Society when shewn by Messrs. Veitch in June, 1908.

A really splendid companion to this variety is R. Fargesii, which was honoured by an award of merit on October 17 when shewn by Mr. J. C. Allgrove. The fruits are 2ins. to 2 1/2ins. long, bristly all over, and have longer necks than those of its relative. Even the sepals are fleshy and scarlet like the rest. In clusters of two or three, the pendent fruits resemble the tube and sepals of a scarlet Fuchsia.

The four-petalled Roses are notable for their tall, slender, upright growth and profusion of white flowers, produced singly and closely wreathing the long stems in May in advance of most other Roses. The best known is R. sericea, but this was followed by the Mount Omi Rose (R. omiensis) in 1901. The pear-shaped, red fruits have a thickened deep yellow stalk. The stems vary greatly in armature, and the most remarkable in this respect, R. o. pteracantha, has recently been placed under the Mount Omi Rose instead of under R. sericea. The young and growing stems are more or less covered with large, flattened, translucent blood red spines that make them appear winged and unique among Roses.

Many other Roses are noted for their large and handsome fruits, particularly the Ramanas Rose (R. rugosa) and the Burr Rose (R. microphylla), both with flattened, globular fruits, the last named resembling a burr in its bristly character, and green colour, to which fragrance is added. The Apple-fruited Rose has the largest of any, and is related to the British R. mollis, which is much dwarfer, perfectly upright and usually loaded with its handsome, globular, deep red fruits. The wild Sweet Briar has a variety with orange-scarlet fruits that are bristly all over; this is R. rubiginosa echinocarpa, that is, hedgehog fruited. R. rubrifolia is unique in its purplish red and sea-green foliage, reddish stems and deep rose flowers. It should certainly find a place in collections. The fruits, which are produced in bunches of some little size, are also attractive.