Roses - Best Varieties With Their Characteristics
( Originally Published 1914 )
THE rose has been the Queen of Beauty among flowers as far back as records go. Down the ages she has held her position unchallenged. India, Persia, China, Japan, Greece, Italy, and the rest of Europe all pay her homage in verse and story. The rose is a native of all these countries, and those of the twentieth century are the gradual evolution from the original types to our almost perfect flower. At first this evolution was slow and greatly due to chance. Hybridization was neither understood nor practised. New roses came from seed, or from some new variety thrown out by an old stock and noticed and propagated. Nature's friend, the bee, did most of the crossing of varieties, but such progress did not suit rose growers, and from the gambling methods of chance seeds systematic hybridization became the order of the day. At once the rose list increased by, leaps and bounds, for the field was of extreme fascination and boundless possibilities.
Without going into the history of all the various steps, it is sufficient to say that about 1825 the Hybrid Perpetual began to take first place in the rose world. Perfectly hardy, of fine growth, having a longer period of bloom than its , predecessors of equal growth and beauty, it became more and more popular, and held its sway until about 1890. Its disadvantage was its short period of bloom compared with Teas and Chinas which, while very much smaller in growth, were more constant bloomers and, as a general rule, superior to the Hybrid Perpetuals in foliage.
Tea roses had existed in England and France from early in the nineteenth century, and yet after the cross of the Damask and Hybrid China, which gave the rose world the first Hybrid Perpetual, it was not until 1867 that the first cross of merit between the Teas and the Hybrid Perpetuals made its appearance. At once the rose world obtained what it had so long desired, combining in a seedling the best of both parents, a rose as hardy, or nearly as hardy, as the Hybrid Perpetuals—a rose that bloomed practically as often as the Tea and that had fine foliage and perfume. This rose, the first of the great army of Hybrid Teas which was to follow, was La France, introduced by Guillot Fils, its parents being Madame Victor Verdier and Madame Bravy. Madame Victor Verdier was a Hybrid Perpetual, introduced by E. Verdier in 1863, and Madame Bravy was a Tea raised by Guillot, of Pont Cherin, in 1848.
The next Hybrid Tea that appeared and stood the test of time was Reine Marie Henriette, raised by Levet, in 1878, from Madame Berard (of Gloire de Dijon) and General Jacqueminot; the first of Tea blood, and the second a Hybrid Perpetual. This rose is listed in English catalogues of today in the climbing section as a Hybrid Tea, although still considered by some as a Tea, and so listed in the Dutch Rozennaamlijist of 1909.
After the introduction of these two roses, the work went on still further and cross breedings of hybrids obtained by hybridization soon began to swell the list of new roses.
Roses so obtained are known as pedigree roses and very seldom is their breeding given, although it seems an open secret that three generations are often required before a new rose of merit is secured. The breeders and introducers of new roses have guarded their breeding secrets with the greatest care in the past, and little or no information as to their special methods is obtainable. This secrecy has seemed eminently proper, but for the future improvement of the rose, the pedigrees of all new roses should be given to the world so that other breeders may try like combinations. The professional breeders would still be able to make their profit from their new roses, and the rose world would be greatly benefited by this knowledge.
While it is impossible, therefore, to give the breeding of the various pedigree roses, nevertheless a few examples of roses discovered by hybridization and cross breeding of one generation may be of interest.
In looking over the obtainable data it is at once noted that certain roses stand out as having been the most successful parents, and of these Madame Caroline Testout ranks among the first; bred with Souv. de M. Verdier, Aimee Cochet was obtained; with Merveille de Lyon, Frau Karl. Druschki was obtained; with Fisher Holmes, George Laing Paul was obtained; with Viscountess Folkstone, Konigin Carola (was obtained; with Bridesmaid, La Detroit was obtained; with Ferdinand Jamin, Madame Edmée Metz was obtained.
In addition to this Caroline Testout has produced quite a number of sports, most noted of which are Admiral Dewey and Mrs. Longworth.
Another rose which stands out prominently is Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, a pedigree rose introduced in 1882, and one of the parents of Caroline Testout. In 1894 this rose with Dr. Grill produced Antoine Rivoire, a rose that is holding its own among the newer Hybrid Teas of today, and is still by far the best rose of its shade in this country. Crossed with La France, in 1894, Lady Mary Fitzwilliam gave Mrs. W. J. Grant (syn. Belle Siebrecht), a rose still popular; Kaiserin Augusta Victoria resulted when she was crossed with Coquette de Lyon. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria is unique in color and must be included in any large collection.
Ellwanger's chapter on "Seed Parents of Leading Roses," in his book, "The Rose, " gives some very interesting data on this subject.
About 1890, owing to its longer period of bloom, the Hybrid Tea had pushed the Hybrid Perpetual out of first place in popularity, and from that time on has held sway as the premier class. While at first much was to be desired in some of the Hybrid Teas, gradually they have become improved, until today there is no question about their being the best for the outdoor garden; yet, in so deciding on them as the most useful class, many must be discarded as worthless in the climate of the Middle Atlantic States. The best of the Teas, and some others, must be included in a list which purports to include the best outdoor roses.
In addition to the hardy growth and long period of bloom common to the best of the Hybrid Teas, many of them have the long double bud on the stiff erect stem so much desired in roses, and the best varieties open slowly and keep well after being cut.
During the past two years a new class has come into existence—Pernetianas, introduced by the great French hybridist, Pernet-Ducher. The first were crosses between Lutea and the Hybrid Perpetuals, and have been classed as Hybrid Teas and Hybrid Austrian Briars in many catalogues. While possessing many such characteristics, they are, nevertheless, often distinct as to foliage, and on account of their breeding should be classed separately. Many have the fault of losing their foliage early, Lyon Rose being a great offender in this respect. The new introductions vary greatly in value, but the best, Madame Edouard Herriot, is indispensable; and from the improvement shown it is evident that this new class will have great bearing on the future of the outdoor rose. Already traces of the new cross may be noticed in many of this year's introductions, especially in the foliage and color. Many seedlings with Pernetiana blood are so distinct that they may be readily picked out from other seedlings. The foliage is beautiful and distinct while it lasts, and undoubtedly a cross will soon be made which will show even greater improvement than Madame Edouard Herriot over Lyon—the latter rose is already nearly obsolete.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find roses well suited to our climate. The winters are more severe and the summers hotter than the conditions to which imported roses and their forbears have been accustomed, so that many of the roses which flourish in Europe are worthless with us.
The main classes are grown in two ways, as dwarfs and as standards. Standards differ from dwarfs or bushes (ordinary form) in that they are generally budded on strong Briar and other stocks from two and one-half to four feet from the ground. They are most attractive and some are more easily reached than the dwarfs, as the blooms grow about the level of the eye, while all of them are adapted to formal gardens and landscape work. However, they can-not be recommended unless absolute winter protection is given, and this is best accomplished by placing boards around the plant, encasing it from the ground to above the bud and filling in with earth.
In the case of some of the climbers, which are used as standards, an attractive effect is produced by allowing the trailing shoots of such plants to grow downwards, more or less like the weeping willow tree, and these are called weeping standards, otherwise they are the same as the regular standard. In the case of some of the Teas, which are grown very close to the ground in this way, they can be more thoroughly protected in cold winters than they could be if grown as the usual standard. It is believed that Teas are especially prolific when grown in this manner. One well-known writer states that he has seen such a Tea with seventy-five blooms on it at one time.
Standards usually require more room than dwarfs and this is another reason why they are not planted so extensively. If used, the varieties contained in the main list are strongly recommended. Dwarfs are budded close to the root of the stock and the bud is planted below the ground level, hence they are hardier and much more easily handled in winter than standards. In experiments with standards they have been found to be most uncertain; some-times they last for several years and again fully fifty per cent. die. An average of ten per cent. would be a conservative estimate for winter loss, unless most thorough winter protection is given.
Every year the commercial rose growers in England and the Continent bring out their new varieties; before a satisfactory verdict can be reached as to their adaptability to this country they must be tried for at least two years. In many cases new varieties are shipped as such small grafted plants that for the first year it is almost impossible to test them properly, and a year later larger plants must be procured. Very probably these small plants would do well abroad, but here they run the risk of being passed upon as worthless when many may be first-class varieties.
Owing to the difference in our climate, even the color of imported roses may vary somewhat from the European catalogued description. The average rose is generally somewhat lighter in color, owing to our extreme heat in summer. Killarney is an exception which proves this rule. This rose is catalogued in the European lists as "Flesh-shaded white, suffused pale pink"; in this country it is a solid light pink, the shade depending on the sunlight, being deeper in bright, hot weather. In the early spring and in the autumn the color of most roses is darker than in the summer, some varieties that usually have a slight yellow tint becoming almost pink under frosty nights and warm days. Mainly for the first reason given it is a lottery for the average rose grower to order new varieties; the greater part will prove utter disappointments, a waste of money, space, time and care, and the catalogued description must be more than discounted.
This book should guide the American purchaser to order those roses which will give him the best results. To secure a perfect list of such roses, every variety found in the best catalogues has been carefully tested, and in the lists at the end of this chapter there have been included all which have come up to a certain standard. Those excluded have not proved successful after a test in which all had the same chance.
During the fall of 1914, when the list of the sixteen best all-round varieties was selected, the roses included were by all odds the best sixteen varieties for general cultivation. Since that time, however, the situation has greatly changed owing to the number of new roses introduced. Not only have many Hybrid Teas been brought out, but the new race of Pernetianas has further complicated the problem. In these two years during which all these domestic and foreign roses have been put on the market it has been very difficult to make comprehensive tests as to the value of each new introduction; nevertheless every new rose has been or is on trial, and information from other sections of the country carefully considered. Furthermore, it was most important to try as many roses as possible on different stocks, and to this end careful experiments were made to learn the best stock for each variety. In many cases the Multiflora has greatly improved certain roses; in many others there is little difference between Briar and Multiflora, while in a few instances the Briar is the best. Another valuable phase of the work has been the cultivating of weak growers and poor bloomers in special beds; and here again no absolute rule was discovered, but it was proved that by the use of such beds remarkable results could be obtained in certain cases. Where of value, special stocks and beds are recommended hereafter.
There has been a great deal of kindly criticism and comment regarding the old sixteen, much of which is strictly to the point, and many of the suggestions received have been very valuable. It is therefore better to give a list of the forty-eight roses which have stood out as the best instead of making an arbitrary list of sixteen roses. In following out this scheme, twelve roses have been selected in the lighter shades, twelve in the pink, twelve in the red, and twelve in the yellow, the latter including the orange and copper colorings. It will be appreciated that the roses given under each main color will, to some extent, overlap from one section to the other; the darkest color under the lighter section will approach the lightest color under the darker section. By placing twelve roses in each list there will be little doubt that the best are included, and from the careful descriptions given the reader will be able to secure the roses most suited to his needs.
It will be noted that the original first sixteen have been displaced in some cases by other roses. This is not because they have not lived up to their reputation, as they have continued to do as well as they did formerly, but newer roses brought out and tested during the past few years have been improvements over them.
No Hybrid Perpetuals are included in the list of the forty-eight best garden roses because the Hybrid Teas, where they may be grown, are far superior. As an illustration of this, Frau Karl Druschki, tested near Philadelphia by Dr. Huey with two exception-ally fine plants, gave an average of thirty-eight blooms during 1916, and the blooming season was over in July. In very damp seasons Druschki will give scattering blooms in the early fall. Madame Jules Bouche gives more blooms than Druschki throughout the season, with better perfume, and is therefore considered of more value than Druschki except in the North.
LIGHT COLORED SECTION
There are many light-colored roses, and it is so difficult to know where they verge into the lighter pinks or lighter yellows that no arbitrary line can )3e drawn. The roses selected are placed in the order of personal preference.
The most beautiful of this class for cut flowers are Madame Jules Bouche, Ophelia, Souvenir du President Carrot, Antoine Rivoire and Mrs. Harold Brocklebank, although other roses are of fair enough form to do quite well in this respect. For garden decoration Madame Jules Bouche, Jacques Porcher and La Tosca, on account of their growth and number of blooms, excel. The perfume in light-colored roses is not as distinct as in the pinks and reds, the best being Ophelia.
MADAME JULES Bouche; Hybrid Tea; Croibier & Fils, 1911. White center shaded primrose or lightest blush—varies.
Novelty In color, growth and blooming qualities.
GRANGE COLOMBE; Hybrid Tea,; Guillot, 1912. Cream white with salmon yellow and fawn center.
Novelty In color and blooming.
OPHELIA; Hybrid Tea; Was. Paul, 1912. Salmon flesh, center shaded light yellow at base of petals.
Novelty In color, shape and lasting.
JACQUES PORCHER; Hybrid Tea; Guillot, 1914. Passing from white shaded carmine on saffron center, to clear yellow with a darker center.
Novelty In color, foliage, blooming qualities and growth.
SOUVENIR DU PRESIDENT CARNOT; Hybrid Tea; Pernet-Ducher, 1895. Flesh shaded white. With us, flesh to light shell pink center.
Novelty In color and shape.
PHARISAER; Hybrid Tea; W. Hinner, 1903. Rosy white, shaded salmon.
Novelty In color.
GaUss AN AACHEN; Polyantha; Geduldig, 1909. Delicate flesh pink and yellow, with deeper center; darker in bud form. Color quickly fades in hot weather, becoming almost white.
Novelty In color and blooming qualities.
MRS. HERBERT HAWKSWORTH; Tea: Alex. Dickson & Sons, 1912. Deeply zoned delicate ecru on milk white, becoming silky creamy white.
Novelty In color.
ANTOINE Rivoure; Hybrid Tea; Pernet-Ducher, 1896. Flesh to cream yellow peach center, sometimes with lilac shading.
Novelty In color, unique form, distinct foliage and stem.
MRS. HAROLD BROCKLEBANK; Hybrid Tea; Alex. Dickson & Sons, 1907. Creamy white, center buff; base of petals soft golden yellow; outer petals frequently tinted salmon rose.
Novelty In color and shape.
MDLLE. SIMONE BEAUMEZ; Hybrid Tea; Penet-Ducher, 1907. Salmon white, sometimes tinged with Japan yellow in center.
Novelty In color.
LA. TOSCA; Hybrid Tea; Vve. Schwartz, 1901. Silvery pink with deeper center.
Novelty In growth and hardiness and blooming.
This class comprises the largest of all colors, but many are so similar that it is not necessary to include any but the best and most distinct which have stood out here and also with other growers in different sections of the country. In this connection Lady Ashtown is omitted because this rose has not tested well either on Multiflora or Briar. Grossherzog Friedrich is a lighter salmon pink and Frau Margrethe Moller is a darker salmon pink, and both far exceed Ashtown in blooming; but if unable to secure these newer roses, Ashtown is suggested.
Madame Maurice de Luze and La France are most distinct in perfume. For beauty of cut flowers Lady Alice Stanley, Madame Segond Weber and Mrs. George Shawyer are recommended; but this whole class is an all-round one, and practically all the roses in it are useful to a great extent for cutting.
RADIANCE; Hybrid Tea; John Cook, 1912. Light silver flesh to salmon pink.
GROSSHERZOG FRIEDRICH; Hybrid Tea; Lambert, 1908. Carmine rose pink; with us, light pink.
Novelty In color, blooming qualities, fragrance and lasting.
MADAME SEGOND WEBER; Hybrid Tea; Soupert Sr Notting, 1908. Rosy salmon.
Novelty In color, shape and lasting.
FRAU MARGRETHE MOLLER; Hybrid Tea; Poulson, 1912. Dark rose with clearer edges of petals.
Novelty In blooming qualities.
MADAME LEON PAIN; Hybrid Tea; Guillot, 1904. Light silvery salmon, center orange salmon.
Novelty In color.
LADY Amen STANLEY; Hybrid Tea; McGredy, 1909. Deep coral rose on outside of petals; inside pale flesh.
Novelty In color and lasting.
MADAME MAURICE DE LUZE; Hybrid Tea; Pernet-Ducher, 1907. Deep rose pink, carmine center, reverse of petals paler in color.
Novelty In fragrance, which is wonderful, and growth.
JONKHEER J. L. Mock; Hybrid Tea; Leenders, 1910. Carmine changing to Imperial pink.
Novelty In color, size, stem and lasting.
MRS. GEORGE SHAWYER; Hybrid Tea; Lowe & Shawyer, 1911. Brilliant clear rose.
Novelty In color, lasting and stem.
KILLARNEY; Hybrid Tea; Alex. Dickson & Sons, 1898. With us, a soft clear light pink to light rose pink.
Novelty In color.
MADAME CAROLINE TESTOUT; Hybrid Tea; Pernet-Ducher, 1890. Satin rose with brighter center.
Novelty In color and fragrance.
LA FRANCE; Hybrid Tea; Guillot, 1867. Bright pink.
Novelty In blooming qualities and fragrance.
There are very few roses to choose from in this section, the trouble being that nearly all the good ones are of practically the same shade, and it is impossible to secure twelve reds without including shy bloomers. Beyond question, a perfect red rose, comparing with the best of the pinks and light-colored roses, has not yet been discovered; they "blue" or "purple" more quickly than any other color, and many ,varieties have the same faults. however, Comte G. de Rochemur has stood out as the best for all-round purposes; it gives a large quantity of bloom, and if carefully disbudded is well worth cutting.
Heretofore this place has been held by General Mac-Arthur, but Rochemur exceeds it so much in blooming qualities, and in form and size in hot weather, that it is the preference. For cut flower varieties, Laurent Carle, Robin Hood, and George C. Waud, are the best. Robert Huey is the best hot weather red rose and holds its form under these conditions. Its fault has been that it does not give enough bloom. General MacArthur, Lieutenant Chaure and Cardinal are good all-round varieties. Chateau de Clos Vougeot is included for its distinct color, although it is in reality a collector's rose on account of its very shy blooming qualities. For decorative varieties Teplitz is supreme, not only among the red roses, but for any color. The trouble with Teplitz is that the stem is weak and the form of the rose is not good. It is absolutely the best rose for hedge purposes. The experiment of disbud-ding has been tried to increase the beauty of the bloom, but it does not succeed to any marked degree. A Teplitz, three years old or over, disbudded, will give close to a hundred blooms during the season, and not disbudded the amount will be at least double. Ecarlate is another splendid decorative rose, blooming constantly but being of little use for cut flowers. Mrs. Cant is the best of the red Teas and does well for Mr. H. J. Staples in Maine.
A MAIN LIST OF ROSES
In the main list the numerals 2 and 3 appear in column marked "List."
The roses listed No. 2 are those which have stood the tests very well; they have surpassed the great main body of varieties which have been discarded as not coming up to the requisite standard. No. 2 is a list of honor and is for good, all-round roses, with the faults plainly noted under the various headings. Before putting these roses in this No. 2 list hundreds of roses have been carefully tested, and these are the ones which have been found most suitable for our climate and conditions as all-round varieties.
For a person wishing a greater variety of all-round roses than is included in the first forty-eight, No. 2 is recommended.
The roses listed No. 3 are special roses and should be mainly ordered either for large gardens or collections, or by persons thoroughly understanding their failings, all of which are noted under the various headings.
It would be easy to make list No. 3 very much larger, but it is cut down on the theory that every rose contained therein should be the very best of its kind, or have some special merit. For this reason there may be some roses which it will be thought should have been included, but for average conditions, and particularly for the amateur rose grower who does not wish a very large number of roses, this list will be found more than sufficient, and this book is written for such persons.
In list No. 3 are included some weak-growing roses with beautiful blooms; they are not perfectly hardy and, in addition, are weak growers, but are so distinct in their beauty that they should be included in any large collection, particularly by a person under-standing their failings. In list No. 3 some single roses are placed which, while good bloomers and of robust habit, are so much below the average in the form of their blooms that they should not be included in any list but No. 3.
It has been aimed to cover, under the columns of the main list, the principal points of each rose. Under the greater number of headings the letters "A"—very good, "B"—good, "C" fair, "D"—poor, " V "—varies, are used to describe each variety.
Under the heading "Form of Rose" the abbreviation "Si" indicates that the rose is single.
Under the heading "Size of Bloom," "L "large, "M "—medium, "S "—small.
It will readily be understood that under "Growth," for example, all the roses marked "A" are not absolutely the same in growth, but for all practical purposes they form an approximate class under "A," all of which come up to a certain standard. This principle applies to all headings. Growth is marked, not only for the height and strength, but also for the number of canes and uniformity.
Under "Hardiness" the system is changed to give the number of inches of good wood left in the spring. Where a rose kills down to the ground level the letter "G" is inserted in the column, and where a certain percentage winter kill, the letters "W K" have been added. Last year, with a new shipment of a thousand roses, chiefly new varieties, about twenty plants, or two per cent., have been lost, and some of the new plants were very small and weak. This immunity from deaths is due to the fact that the roses are "hilled up" every autumn, as described in the chapter on "Cultivation."
On account of the number of new roses constantly being planted in the testing beds from all parts of this country and Europe, it is impossible to entirely eliminate disease, but in a way this has its valuable side, because the roses tested are brought in contact with disease and the varieties which are immune, or nearly so, stand out. It may therefore be that certain roses marked down for "Foliage" will do better with the average amateur than they will here. To receive "A," the foliage must be practically immune from mildew and spot, and must hold well throughout the season.
In marking for "Stem" a long strong stem is marked "A," short stems and those not able to sustain the weight of the bloom are marked "B, " etc.
In "Size" a rose is considered "Medium" which runs from three and a half to four and a half inches in the spring. Smaller roses are marked "S" and larger roses marked "L."
It seemed best to give the actual number of blooms on all the varieties so that a grower would know the number of flowers he might expect. In this connection, it will be understood that the number of blooms varies greatly under different climatic conditions. As a usual thing the rose season here commences about the twenty-fifth of May, but testing beds in which the records have been made are about five hundred feet above sea level. In Southern Philadelphia, where the altitude is less, the bloom commences at least ten days earlier. Of course, in all localities the time of blooming is affected by the sea-son. A month which gives cool weather and much rain increases the blooming of a rose, and a month of great heat and drought will naturally reduce the number of flowers; but as the records are taken from a number of years in the majority of cases, an average should be reached which is exact enough for all requirements. In a short test a rose may do well in one bed and badly in another. This has been insured against as far as possible by planting a number of roses of each variety, and having a test of never less than two years.
"Form" has been marked for the length and beauty of the bud and also for the substance of the open flower; petallage and size have both been considered; short buds and blooms which open singly or flat are marked "B, " etc.
"Lasting" refers entirely to the keeping qualities both before and after cutting.
"Color" is marked for the clearness and beauty of the color; "B" or "C" are used if the rose is either somewhat muddy or verges on a solferino shade, which is not considered of the first beauty in roses. The color descriptions of the blooms in the Main List are mostly taken from the catalogue of Alexander Dickson & Sons, Ltd. It is noted where there is a very marked difference between this and roses tested here.
Where two letters are used, it will be understood that the description in question will range, for in-stance: from "B "—good to "A "—very good, etc.
The last two right-hand columns are a handy reference for planting and pruning, and the distances for planting may be followed implicitly. These have been changed in many places because during the last year experiments with spacing have proved that roses do better with more room. Therefore, while the marks given could be shaded to a slight extent, for general garden work they should be closely followed. They are based on the cultivation afterwards advised. It is most important that with these distances a mulch be used to protect the rose roots from the heat, otherwise they are too great. This is especially true in localities with open porous soil, or where local conditions cause quick drainage. As a rule, a rose will require more space on Multiflora than on Briar, on account of its greater growth on this stock.
The pruning column will be understood after the chapter "Pruning" is read; the number of eyes given for pruning being for the strongest wood, weak wood being cut lower down. "D.W." in this column stands for dead wood.
Nearly every rose has some slight perfume, but in very many cases it is so mild that it is hardly noticeable. A column is therefore not added for per-fume, but with roses in which the perfume is distinct, the same is noted under the description of the variety.
Where Multiflora is suggested in the left-hand column, the plant is marked for growth on Multiflora, and where special bed is noted, the rose is marked for special bed.