After working in the greenhouse tending cuttings all day earlier this week, I've been thinking about all the really rare roses that grow here. It's the type that I'm most attracted to ... ones that have virtually disappeared from gardens and commerce, that come here to be preserved.
Today, I'll concentrate on some of the rarest early Hybrid Tea roses in my collection. Before you get your hopes up, let me tell you that I don't expect to have any of these available in inventory this season. Most of them are very hesitant to grow roots, and the few rooted cuttings I do have will be used for back-up plants in the garden ... to make sure that I don't lose the variety if something happens to my original plant.
If you read American rose literature from 1916 to 1920-or-so, this rose is highly praised for its unusual color. They also say that it is prone to blackspot (which it is), that it performs better on rootstock rather than on its own roots, and that is almost impossible to propagate from cuttings (which I have found to be true). I hope to bud this rose onto multiflora rootstock this summer to see how a budded specimen will perform.
Feu Joseph Looymans
In the early 20th Century, many rose hybridizers were trying to produce a yellow hybrid tea rose that grew well and was not plagued by disease. Feu Joseph Looymans was introduced in 1920 by a Dutch company to compete with the 'yellow' roses that were coming from Pernet in France. None of these are what we would consider yellow, but they were revolutionary for their time.
Introduced in 1907 by Joseph Pernet-Ducher, the hybridizer of Soleil d'Or, the first yellow hybrid tea. Lyon Rose descends from Soleil d'Or, and it improves a bit on its parent's disease resistance and garden suitablilty.
Introduced in 1919 by Walter Easlea, an English hybridizer. Lulu has the most beautiful long, pointed buds ...which open to loosely semi-double flowers that show gracefully on a fairly open shrub.
This rose was introduced in 1913 by Samuel McGredy in Ireland. You can see that the quest for a yellow hybrid tea rose was taking place all over the world at this time. McGredy came pretty close with Old Gold. the orange buds open to an apricot-orange-gold, and the flower fades to yellow.
Shades of Autumn
This was introduced in 1943 by Robert Brownell, an American hybridizer (and one of my favorites). This rose opens with dark coral petals, backed in bright yellow, and fades to a soft coral pink. The flowers are facinating from every angle.
Nellie E. Hillock
Introduced the US in 1934 by Verne Hillock. This is a stout, upright rose, with leathery foliage and huge flowers. The flowers are the perfect shade of warm pink, and it's fragrant. I would be happier with this rose if it bloomed more. My plant is still fairly small, so perhaps I will get more flowers once it is more mature and established.
Ophelia, a parent of Golden Ophelia, was one of the most popular florist roses of its day. People found that it also performed very well in the garden, which is unusual for roses bred for greenhouse production of cut flowers. Golden Ophelia has Ophelia's graceful shape and lovely foliage, in beautiful ivory yellow.
(Written by Hartwood Roses. Hartwood Roses blog)