Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Crenshaw Musk

Since I was already in Richmond last Sunday, for a meeting of the Richmond Rose Society, I made a quick trip across town after the meeting ...  to cruise through Hollywood Cemetery to see some of my favorite roses that grow there.  One rose that I always visit is the beautiful Musk Rose in the Crenshaw plot near President's Circle.  (also known as 'Rosa moschata')

This rose was once believed to be extinct, until this plant was rediscovered years ago.  It has since been found in a few other locations, all related to the Crenshaw family.  Fortunately, cuttings were taken at that time and this rose is available at several nurseries throughout the country, so it is no longer in danger of disappearing.
The past two hot, dry winters have been hard on this rose ... and there is quite a bit of dead wood in it.  The live parts are healthy and vigorous, though.
Two different forms of flower grow on this plant, both double and single ... one being a mutation of the other.  Both forms were evident during my visit.  The flowers themselves are only about an inch across,  they are held upright in large clusters, and the fragrance is heavenly.
I didn't have time to wander much further through the cemetery, because I arrived too close to closing time.  Now that fall is here, with its cooler temperatures and softer light, I will definitely return soon to check on the rest of the roses.
I have a visit to another cemetery to show you next.  (What can I say ... I'm a history freak and I love cemeteries.)


  1. It is encouraging to hear that this rose has been saved from extinction, because it is very pretty. Interesting that you get the double and single blooms together.

  2. As a fellow history freak I can relate to the lure of old cemetaries. You have a lovely blog and I am in love with your greenhouse. I plan on stopping by often because my husband is passionate about roses and I think your site will inspire him.


  3. It would have been a crying shame to let this one become extinct. Glad that isn't the case.

    LOVE the first shot, with all the buds!

  4. Ohhhh I've missed these kinds of posts....and you are right the fragrance is out of this world!

  5. What a pretty rose. I did not know that both double and single flowers can occur on the same rose bush. The first image is very pretty with the tight buds.

  6. Thanks for the post about the Crenshaw Musk. As you know, I gave a lecture at the Southern Garden History Society's annual meeting in Richmond this past June, and I spoke at length about this rose and it's history. I used some of your web site images and gave you kudos to the audience at the Jefferson Hotel. Are you a member of SGHS? If not, I'll send you the recent issue with a review of the meeting. Let's get together sometime and tour Hollywood again.
    thanks for everything, Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants, Monticello

  7. Interesting that it is both double and single on the one plant. And I'm so glad that this rose was saved. I would love to smell it! Too bad blogs don't have smell-o-vision! :) Glad to know this rose made it through the dry winters.

  8. I haven't ever seen both double and single forms growing on the same bush. Very cool! I enjoy cemeteries a great deal because of the historical aspects in them. I love the idea that someone planted this rose as a memorial to a loved one and it continues to grow despite harsh winters and other elements.


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