Monday, January 21, 2008

The Roses


The China roses were grown in East Asia for thousands of years and finally reached Western Europe in the late 1700s. Compared to the aforementioned European rose classes, the China roses had smaller, less fragrant, more poorly formed blooms carried over twiggier,
more cold-sensitive shrubs. Yet they possessed the amazing ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and into late autumn, unlike their European counterparts. This made them highly desirable for hybridization purposes in the early 1800s. The flowers of China roses were also notable for their tendency to "suntan," or darken over time — unlike the blooms of European roses, which tended to fade after opening. Four China roses ('Slater's Crimson China', 1792; 'Parsons' Pink China', 1793; 'Hume's Blush China', 1809; and 'Parks' Yellow Tea Scented China', 1824) were brought to Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This brought about the creation of the first classes of repeat-flowering Old Garden Roses, and later the Modern Garden Roses. Examples: 'Old Blush China', 'Mutabilis'.

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