The Magazine of Horticulture 25: 354-357 (Aug. 1859)
THE ROSE.—No. 8.
PROF. C. G. PAGE, M. D., WASHINGTON, D. C.

NEW VARIETIES.—They pour in upon us so "thick and fast," that the new are soon old, and before we can fairly get a taste of the novelties of one year, the next holds up to us an array of beauties of irresistible temptation. When we consider that it takes from three to five years from the seed sowing to introduce a new rose, and all the difficulties of obtaining varieties sufficiently distinct from, or superior to, the gems already in our possession, we can form some idea of the zeal and extent of this kind of culture in Europe, whence nearly all our contributions come. The inquiry is now pertinent, for what qualities shall we accept a new variety? It is not necessary that, to meet our approval, a new rose should be perfectly full, very large, or even fragrant, although the absence of odor is hardly excusable in the rose. As a general rule, a new rose must be either unique or distinct in some one or more qualities, or it must have superior excellence over others of its kind. For example, Saffrano is distinct in the bud, in that only; and for that alone it is indispensable. Devoniensis is the Tea rose "par excellence," by its delicious odor, and is, withal, of beautiful appearance, though inferior in this and all other respects to some others of its class. Sombrieul is a rose of magnificent habit and appearance, and for these qualities a great favorite, although almost scentless; and so of the other groups of roses. But while we are content with a few distinct and superior traits, we nevertheless, in these days, desire something more in a new rose. We seek after an assemblage of all the good qualities, and the developments of each succeeding year seem to bring us nearer to the realization of our wishes. We want roses of good form, good color, good growth, good fragrance, good blooming habit— perpetual of course—good in the bud, good in the open flower, long stems, persistent flowers, good foliage, perfectly hardy, and we might exact even more, but these will do.

No rose of late years has found such extensive favor as Giant of Battles, but it is, nevertheless, to be improved upon. It is hardy, a truly perpetual bloomer, good form, splendid color, sufficiently fragrant at times, and although not what is termed a "vigorous" grower, yet it is full of life; for a bud inserted in almost any stock will push at once, and bloom in a few weeks from the time of insertion. The brilliant scarlet crimson of the Giant is however fugacious, lasting but a few hours, and the habit of the plant is not of the best, being of medium growth and liable to mildew, and the rose has short stems. We did hope to see in Lord Raglan the Giant repeated, with all the required improvements; but we are here disappointed, for, with all Raglan's magnificence of color, form and habit of growth, it has thus far shown itself a shy bloomer. We hope that age may improve it in this respect, and not without some reason, for we are told that when Margottin first "put out" Giant of Battles, he had a faint idea of its present splendor. I do not yet know the parentage of Raglan, but, as the Giant is a profuse seed-bearer, it may yet give birth to its own Conqueror. Prince de la Moskowa would seem by its foliage to have sprung from the Giant, and is by far the most magnificent color of any rose I have seen. It is of the richest maroon, with occasional flashes of fiery crimson, but lacks fullness, and is of moderate growth. It is a good seed-bearer, and from the double cross with the gorgeous and vigorous Jacqueminot (the prince of seed-bearers), we shall expect to fill up the measure of our requirements in this desirable class of roses, which Paul has aptly named "Bourbon Perpetuals." He catalogues Moskowa and Cardinal Patrizzi—another dark-colored gem—with the Remontants, but the foliage of both these roses is of the Giant stamp, and also of Arthur de Sansul, another rich production, and evidently a seedling from the Giant.

Thus far these deep colors seem to be confined to moderate or dwarf growers, with the only exception we believe of Leon des Combats which is a vigorous grower, and as it occasionally makes seeds, (and seeds of quick and positive germination), we have the materials for the new race of "Conquerors," and hope, ere long, to see our poles, pillars and trellises covered with the exuberance of Bourbon foliage, and garnished through the season with flowers of all the dazzling and gorgeous hues that now grace the humble individuals above named. Think of a Bourbon pillar, with roses vieing in color with Paul Joseph, and varying from this to the purple of Patrizzi or maroon of Moskowa, and never without bloom. The first I have already attained in a Bourbon seedling, and the second and third approximated. At present we have but two good hardy high colored Bourbons, that deserve the name of pillar, pole, wall or climbing roses, and those are Souvenir d'Anselme or Enfant d'Ajaccio and Paxton; the latter in fact may claim the entire honor. Fontenelle is a good grower, but has no title to a pillar rose, and if Paul Joseph or Purple of Tyre are "pillar roses" in England, they are not so here. Paxton is never injured at all in the winter here, and may therefore be trained to any height. From present indications we shall ere long be able to dispense with Detourville, Aurora du Guide, Deuil de Duc d'Orleans, Charles Souchet, Pourpre de Tyre, et id omne genus, and substitute for them perfectly hardy, vigorous pillar roses, with rival or even superior colors; and even the many-petalled Paul Dupuy may yet find a rival, climbing over our lattices and hanging in clusters withal.

It was not intended in this number to give a selection of choice roses, and we therefore specify only such as may be necessary to illustrate certain principles. I must take occasion, however, here to commend to general culture a rose which seems to have escaped all our English catalogues, and that is, Baron de Claparede, a Remontant with a slight admixture of Bourbon, and perhaps the finest-formed rose known, of a good rosy crimson color, very sweet and of beautiful foliage and habit of growth. In striped roses we are deficient. The French have recently sent us Belle Angevine, Mad. Desiree Giraud and Panachee d'Orleans, and had not the candor to tell us they were sports. Desiree Giraud is certainly a sporting Baron Prevost, and will sport back to that rose. Panachee d'Orleans is probably from the same source. Belle Angevine may be a genuine variety. Perhaps no varieties are more wanted now to make our bouquet perfect than a white and a yellow. We have no first rate white and yellow roses, and this is somewhat strange since we have so many approximations. Lamarque is too tender, except for the South; and Isabella Gray, which was at first so highly prized, is now almost discarded. Gloire de Dijon is the most princely donation we have had for years, and as it is hardy and makes seeds, there is hope of a splendid progeny from it. The new Noisette America, originated by myself, outgrows even the Dijon and is more profuse of bloom, but being perfectly full and mostly without stamen or pistil, there is no procreating help to be derived from this source. It is remarkable that both the Dijon and America grow with astonishing rapidity when budded upon a Manetti or other good stock, and that their powerful growth entirely suppresses all tendency to sucker in the Manetti stock.

A word upon stocks and I will close this number. The Celine and Boursaults, so much recommended in Europe for stocks, are utterly worthless in this climate. The old Maiden's Blush and Hundred Leaf are vastly better, and are indeed quite convenient to have about for occasional budding. The Eglantine or sweet briar is not a reliable stock, but when managed as previously directed, answers an excellent purpose for a standard. It is, however, too thorny for comfortable use, even should it be good in all other respects.

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