The Gardeners' Chronicle, 3: 100 (Feb. 18, 1843)
Bourbon Roses


Among the diversified families of autumnal Roses, none are, perhaps, more beautiful, or more deserving the especial notice of the Amateur, than those designated Bourbon Roses. A few years since two varieties only were known; at the present time more than 100 are named in catalogues. These seem to have divided themselves into three or four well-marked groups. The type of one of these is a most interesting variety, viz., Gloire de Rosamene, which I should imagine to have originated by crossing the common Bourbon, known in France as "Bourbon Jacques," with Rosa semperflorens; at any rate, it is a remarkable variety, with elegant laciniated foliage, and gorgeous clusters of semi-double brilliant crimson flowers. This Rose and its congeners by no means group well with other members of the same family. It will often in one season make shoots six feet or more in length, while its humbler relatives content themselves by remaining as dwarf bushes. It is therefore only as isolated plants, either as pillar Roses or on a trellis, that varieties of this group of Bourbons are cultivated with a happy effect. One of the best, and nearly the first, raised from the type, is well known as Le grand Capitaine, with flowers of equal brilliancy, but more double than those of its parent. It is to be regretted that it has not the same peculiar luxuriance of habit; but this we have in an eminent degree in Enfant d'Ajaccio, lately raised at Lyons, having flowers nearly or quite double, with the fine laciniated foliage and robust habit of Gloire de Rosamene, and, above all, possessed of fragrance in a high degree.

At Le Mons, a seedling, called La Bedoyére, with perfectly double flowers, has been raised. The colour is not, however, so brilliant as that of its parent. At Lyons, also, a seedling has been originated from the same source, with similar remarkable foliage, and described as of fine form, "et d'un effet superbe;" it has been named Comte d'Eu. This seems robust in habit, and will doubtless be an interesting acquisition. Madame Lucy Astaix is also a new Rose, belonging to this group, which was raised at Lyons; it is of a pale, but brilliant carmine. A pretty dwarf Rose, known as Bossuet, of this section, forms a most elegant bush.

The group next in interest to the foregoing is that which has Madame Desprez as its type. This fine robust Rose is a hybrid between the Bourbon and Noisette; from the latter it derives its large corymbs of flowers. The varieties of this section do not harmonise with other Bourbons in grouping; they form fine pillar Roses and admirable standards; in which respect they surpass all others in the family of Bourbons, uniting well with the stock, and annually increasing in beauty. In very rich soil, shoots of too great luxuriance will often make their appearance as standards, so as to destroy the proportions of the plant. These should be shortened as soon as they have made about half their growth; they will then produce numerous smaller flowering stems. The most remarkable and beautiful varieties of this group are—Triomphe de Plantier, Splendens, Crimson, Madame Desprez, Cardinal Fesch, Desgaches, Julie de Joynes, Comtesse de Colbert, Thiaffait, Comice de Seine et Maine, Paul Joseph, and a new white Bourbon, raised at Lyons, called Madame Lacharme. The latter may with justice be called "White Madame Desprez," as it has precisely the habit of that Rose; its flowers are described as "pure white." For pillars, as standards, and for planting in beds, with their shoots supported by a stake, these magnificent autumnal Roses may be safely recommended to the notice of the Amateur.

The third group of Bourbons worthy of particular notice is that containing those which have the Chinese and Bourbon Roses for their joint parents. The leaves of these will by the nice observer be seen to be more pointed than those of the generality of Bourbons; the lower part of their flowers more compressed, and not so exactly hemi-spherical as those of the true Bourbon family. One of the most remarkable and beautiful in this group is Proserpine, than which no Rose can be conceived more splendid, with its deep crimson flowers, shaded with glossy purple. Ceres is also exceedingly beautiful; its flowers are of a brilliant Rose, its petals thick and wax-like. Comtesse de Rességuier, Manteau de Jeanne d'Arc, Mademoiselle Rachel, Reine du Congrès, are all Roses of the most delicate blush, approaching to white. These, with Anne Beluze and Beluze, have all been raised at Lyons by Monsieur Beluze; and form a remarkable and interesting group; Pucelle Genoise and Armosa are two well-known varieties, also belonging to these Chinese Bourbon Roses. My remarks on other Bourbon Roses I will, with permission, give in another paper.

The Blush Boursault, Belle de l'Isle, Boursault Florida, or Rose de l'Isle, which, I believe, is also known under one or two other names, makes the best stock for budding on; it strikes readily from cuttings planted in the autumn. My practice in budding on the Boursault is perhaps an improvement on that given at P. 51. The strongest shoots are selected early in July for layering; flower-pots of the size 48 are taken, and the aperture at the bottom is enlarged so as to allow the end of the shoot to be passed through. After doing this, the shoot is tongued, the pot is drawn up till the tongue is about in the centre; it is then filled with a mixture of rotten dung and sand in equal parts, and well pressed down. The shoot may be budded at the time of layering or afterwards, accordingly as the buds are ready. The shoots should be headed down at the time of budding to within two eyes of where the bud is inserted. The buds of all the bourbon, Tea-scented, Chinese, and hybrid autumnal Roses will push immediately; these may be removed from the stools in August, potted into larger pots, and forced with great success the following spring.

The Gardeners' Chronicle, pp. 355-356 (May 27, 1843)

THE remaining group of Bourbon Roses comprises some fine varieties, remarkable for their dwarf and rigid habits. Of these, Augustine Lelieur is one of the oldest, and in its way, perhaps one of the most beautiful; its flowers are only semidouble, but they are so erect and so brilliant in colour, more particularly in autumn, that it always attracts notice. Latifolia is so much like it, as scarcely to be distinguished except by its petals being a little crimpled; Madame Nerard, Celimene, and Timocles, are also of the same rigid habit, with flowers of the palest silvery blush—a term which will perhaps convey that peculiar glossiness which seems to lay on the surface of the petals; Emile Courtier, Madame Margot, Ida Percot, and Madame Aude, are all beautiful rose-coloured varieties, of different shades; and last, but not least, the Queen of the Bourbons, which originated in cross with some fawn-coloured tea-scented Rose, as it is slightly tinged with fawn—a colour quite foreign to this family, and has a slight "Odeur de Thé," as the French say. All the Roses here named have a uniform growth, and are admirably adapted for a bed, either as dwarfs on their own roots, or on short stems; they are not so well calculated for tall standards, as they do not form large heads, unless in very rich moist soils.

To some of these Bourbon Roses, which bear seed very freely, we owe a new race, now distinguished as hybrid Bourbons, blooming but once in the summer; but their season of blooming is prolonged, owing to their origin in part from Roses that continue to bloom till autumn. Most undoubtedly these will form the finest of all standards, as their habit is so remarkably robust; one variety in particular I anticipate will, if budded on large stocks of the Dog-rose, soon form a large umbrageous tree. This unique and splendid Rose was raised by Monsieur Laffay from Celine, and has been named by him, the Great Western—laughably spelt in some of the French catalogues "Grande Wistern," a name the origin of which I have no doubt has puzzled many a French gardener. This Rose has leaves and shoots of astonishing luxuriance, and flowers of a deep and peculiar red, rivalling the largest Paeonies in size; a standard or a bush of this Rose, highly cultivated, will form one of the wonders of the Rosery. It should be budded on a very stout stock, otherwise the plant will soon become top-heavy: in mentioning this, I am reminded that cultivators often do not pay enough attention to the habits of their Roses when selecting stocks for them. Stout old stocks should always have some robust-growing varieties worked on them, for if a tea-scented or some delicate-growing Bourbon Rose is worked on a large stock, the sap is engendered faster than it can be taken away by the bud; many shoots are consequently repeatedly taken off; the producers of sap, the fibrous roots, then rot and die away; the sap-vessels close, and the plant, after languishing a season or two, also dies; therefore, on all large stocks the cultivator should bud the most luxuriant-growing varieties, such as the above and some of the following, which rival the Great Western in vigour of growth, and surpass most Roses in the beauty of their flowers. The first in beauty is Coupe d'Hébé, colour delicate glossy rose; form, perfection. This Rose has been called by a gentleman, a first-rate judge, "the most beautiful Rose in the world." Charles Duval is almost equally beautiful; in colour rather deeper. Capitaine Sisolat, Edward Delair, Paul Perras, Franklin, Lady Montgomery, and Henri Barbet, are all calculated to form standards of the largest size: there seems no limit to their growth. The following are of secondary luxuriance, but remarkable for the peculiar and brilliant red in their flowers; of these red Roses, Colonel Combes, Daphne, Ernest Ferray, La Esmeralda, and Dombrowski, are the most distinguished.

Of about the same range as regards habit are Richelieu (Duval), Belle de St Cyr, Hortense Leroy, with rose-coloured flowers of the most perfect shape, Sylvain and Legouve with flowers of brilliant crimson. Hortensia and Triptoléme are remarkable for blooming in very large clusters, having a fine effect on standards. Lord John Russel, Brillante, and Miss Chauncey, the same for their rigid flower-stalks which keep their brilliant flowers erect, even in the heaviest showers. The above, and indeed all the Hybrid Bourbon Roses, form first-rate standards, their habits are so exceedingly luxuriant and yet peculiarly compact, quite different from that tendency to make long straggling shoots so remarkable in most of the hybrid Chinese Roses. The Great Western will undoubtedly prove valuable for stocks, as, like its parent Celine, it strikes freely from cuttings planted in a shady border in October. The cuttings should be made about nine inches long, eight of which should be in the ground, leaving one bud out; the following autumn they should be potted or bedded out, cutting off all roots but the tuft of fibres, which will be formed at the bottom of the cutting, and potting or planting them only from one to two inches deep, so that the bud may be inserted in the stem close to the ground. Exactly the same treatment may be applied to the Boursault stock, which will strike readily under the same treatment; this is more simple and requires much less trouble than some other modes recommended.—Z.

No.   I. Moss Roses
No.  II. Hybrid Perpetuals
No. III. Rose Standards
No. IV. Bourbon Roses