Jour. of Heredity 20:389-390 (1929)
The Carnation Rose: An Unusual Teratologic Variation
J H Nicolas

Research Department of the Conard-Pyle Co., West Grove, Pa.

It is a well-known fact that the wine of the western region of France (Province of Anjou) is identified by and sought for its aroma ("Bouquet") of strawberry. The natives attribute it to the century-old custom of cultivating strawberries between the rows of vines, claiming that both blooming at the same season, the pollen of one influences the other. Originally, the strawberries were grown only to get an additional revenue from the land, but the main object now is to impart that strawberry fragrance ("Le bouquet de fraise") so much appreciated by gourmets. Although this interinfluence of pollens of widely different genera is considered impossible by scientists, it is nevertheless recognized that when weather or other conditions cause an abnormal interval between the blooming of the two genera, the wine lacks the strawberry fragrance and is not considered of "vintage" quality.

Last summer, it was my privilege to visit Monsieur Cochet, the fifth of a dynasty of French Rose scientists, at his estate of Coubert about 35 miles outside of Paris. During a discussion of various heredity phenomena among roses, M. Cochet asked me this question: "Do you believe that a rose plant, perfectly normal, could be induced by the vicinity of carnation plants in a closed frame to produce carnation blooms?"

About 15 years ago, a woman, owner of a neighboring chateau, came to him to ask that question which seemed to him ridiculous as it did to me, but after she showed him the rose plants in bloom, he admitted at least a "Curious coincidence".

M. Cochet has published a paper in "Revue Horticole" which I have translated for the JOURNAL OF HEREDITY. I would like to hear comments and explanations of this teratologic phenomenon. The most unusual feature is that it was not one bud variation only but the variation occurred simultaneously on several plants. I saw the rose and it is exactly as described.

Rose Oeillet de Saint Arquey (Bengal) (Carnation Rose)
Translated from Revue Horticole, September 16, 1928

The carnation rose of Saint Arquey was found in 1912 at the Chateau of the Abbey of Saint Nicolas-aux-bois, near Saint Gobain (Aisne) belonging to M. Faure.

M. Vilfroy, then head gardener of the domaisne made in 1911 some cuttings of a horticultural variety of Rosa Chinensis (Jacquin) of which he did not retain the name.

These cuttings were placed in a cold frame containing also Carnation cuttings.

In 1912, Mme. Faure and M. Vilfroy noticed with surprise that by some strange coincidence several of the rose cuttings were bearing roses resembling exactly carnation blooms!

These cuttings were carefully preserved, the owners asked for my opinion as to the value of their new rose, and I declared it extremely interesting because of its absolutely unique form and coloring, nothing like it existing to my knowledge in genus Rosa.

Mme. Faure gave me some branches of her new rose with the mission of putting it in commerce after having fixed by budding and severe selection, that curious teratologic variation. She gave it the name of "Rose Oeillet de Saint Arquey", the Abbey of Saint Nicolas-aux-Bois having formerly been under the invocation of Saint Arquey.

Since 1913, that is for 15 years, we have, Mme. Cochet and I, selected and budded each year so as to accentuate and definitely fix the characters that distinguished it from its forbears. No reversion has occurred for several years. "Oeillet de Saint Arquey" makes a spreading bush, with thin, intercrossed branches, reddish purple when young and green with ripe, with few thorns.

FOLIAGE is of five leaflets, those near the flower only three, oval pointed, the end one being very pointed, serration variable, always purple as is also the underside of young foliage.

PEDICEL firm, bearing as also the calyx, glandular hairs. Flowers are small, with sepals sometimes leafy.

FLOWERS small with bracteas at times leafy, are of variable color, often maroon or blood red, at times crimson red with a darker edge and center almost white shaded carmine. The petals small, are plicate, deeply serrated and fringed. The general aspect of the flower is of the carnation and not at all of the rose.

FLORESCENCE is singly or a few, prolonged, as in all Bengals, throughout the season.

The Societe Nationale d' Horticulture de France awarded this new rose a certificate of merit at its meeting of July 26th, 1928.

This rose is expected to be put in commerce in the Autumn, 1929.