Hybrid Remontant Types by Henry B. Ellwanger
Characteristics which are Common to Certain Varieties
Henry B. Ellwanger 1882
Henry B. Ellwanger is still considered my many to be the final authority on Hybrid Perpetuals. He was born in Rochester, New York, October 8, 1850, the son of George Ellwanger. George emigrated from Würtemberg Germany in 1835 and became a founding partner of the Ellwanger and Barry Mount Hope Nursery of Rochester, one of the very large and diversified nurseries in the U.S., which offered a superior list of roses of all kinds. Henry kept meticulous records of the world of roses, and his documentation is particularly valuable to anyone wanting to study the class. The Hybrid Perpetuals, known as the Hybrid Remontants at that time, were in their heyday when he wrote The Rose.
To know the peculiarities which pertain to certain families of Hybrid Remontant and other roses, would be advantageous to different people in many ways. There are some types, such as La Reine, Jules Margottin, Victor Verdier and the Giant of Battles families, which are quite marked in their characteristics. If all new roses were classified or described as being of such and such origin, or as belonging to a certain class, it would be of great value. The nurseryman is unwilling, with some exceptions, to undertake the propagation of a kind which will not root and grow freely; he also desires such as are of healthy habit and good constitution, in addition to excellence in color and form of flower. The amateur, perhaps, would not knowingly purchase a variety devoid of fragrance, or one which is not a free autumnal bloomer. The florist require that a variety should be of steadfast color, one that does not quickly fade; or that should be useful to force, yielding flowers in abundance, etc. If, therefore, new roses were described as belonging to the La Reine or Victor Verdier type, we should have some very important knowledge of their qualities, since these roses have imparted to their progeny certain distinct attributes by which they may readily be distinguished from others. A consideration of the different prominent types found among Hybrid Remontant and other classes of roses may be studied with interest and profit.
Baronne Prévost Type
The year 1842 ushered in to rosarians what is now the oldest type of roses in the class, viz., Baronne Prévost. It is not a numerous family, and it is also of less importance to us than many of the others, but we can well imagine what pleasure it gave in years gone by, to the rosarians of the day. This type makes long, stout shoots, fortified with red thorns of unequal length, but generally short; foliage rather oval, somewhat crimpled; flowers large, or very large, of flat shape, very fill, fragrant, of some shade of rose. It is the most hardy we have. The varieties commonly grown are Boieldieu, Colonel de Rougemont, Madame Boll, Oderic Vital. They are all free bloomers in autumn.
La Reine Type
In 1844, Laffay introduced what he loyally named Rose of the Queen (Rose de la Reine). This variety bore royal sway for many years; it not only still sells well and is to be considered a useful rose, but it should also have our esteem as being the parent of the most useful family. The wood is light green, furnished with occasional thorns; of strong growth; foliage pale green and crimpled. Flowers various shades of rose, generally of semi-globular form, large, somewhat fragrant; free in the autumn, quite hardy, enduring more cold than any of the other families except Baronne Prévost. The leading sorts are: Anne de Diesbach, Antoine Moutin, Auguste Mie, Belle Normande, François Michelon, Gloire de Vitry, Laelia, Louise Peyronny, Alice Dureau, Mme. Nachury, Paul Neyron, Reine du Midi, Ville de St. Denis.
Giant of Battles Type*
The founder of this family was introduced by Nérard in 1846, and doubtless has Bourbon blood in its veins. The colors are various shadings of crimson, very rich and effective when in perfection, but very fleeting; the sun soon gives them a muddy hue. The flowers are well shaped, but small, and have slight fragrance; they are freely produced in the spring and the summer months, but, as a rule, not in autumn. The shoots are of moderate or short growth, short jointed, erect, very stiff, and covered with numerous reddish thorns. The foliage is of lustrous dark green, very subject to mildew. They are difficult to propagate from cuttings, and liable to injury from frost. The leading sorts are: Arthur de Sansal, Cardinal Patrizzi, Crimson Bedder, Empéreur du Maroc, Eugène Appert, Evêque de Nîmes, Lord Raglan, Louis Chaix, Mrs. Standish, Vainqueur de Solferino.
General Jacqueminot Type
In 1852, the head of what is now considered the most valuable type now made his bow to an admiring world; clad in rich crimson livery he still commands respect and admiration, and marshalled under his generalship is the army of dark red roses which so excite and please our senses by their charms and loveliness. This family probably originated from the old Hybrid China Gloire des Rosomanes; they are moderately hardy, but less so than those of the Baronne Prévost, Jules Margottin and La Reine types. The flowers are invariably shades of red and crimson, generally high perfumed, freely produced in the spring, but varying greatly as to their autumnal bloom. As a family they are much more shy in the autumn than any of the others.
The shoots are of vigorous growth, not very thick, generally upright, with quite numerous light green spines; the foliage handsome, rather pointed. It is now the most numerous of the families, popular taste demanding crimson roses and those of dark shades. Leading varieties of the type are: Beauty of Waltham, Camille Bernardin (see first plate on page), Dupuy Jamain, Léopold Premier, Marie Baumann (see plate above, left), Marie Rady, Maurice Bernardin, Pierre Notting, Prince Arthur. There are also Charles Lefebvre, Alfred Colomb, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Camille (see lower plate), and Sénateur Vaisse, which are supposed to be seedlings of Jacqueminot, but they cluster about them other varieties of the family, and are worthy of separate mention and consideration.
Victor Verdier Type
The head of this family originated with Lacharme, of Lyons, and was sent out by him in 1852. It is doubtless from one of the La Reine type crossed with some monthly rose, probably a Bourbon. The descendants are very numerous, and in spite of their rather tender habits form a valuable group, being the most free flowering of them all; had they but fragrance they would be unrivalled; but, alas! they are devoid of scent, and therefore cannot rank as high as the others. Fine feathers alone do not constitute fine birds, and surely fragrance is to the rose what song is to the bird. The shoots are of moderate growth, stout, upright, nearly smooth, of a reddish green, with an occasional reddish thorn; the foliage is very large, of a deep lustrous green, very attractive. The flowers are large, well built up; generally shades of rose and pink prevail. It is the best adapted for forcing in winter of all the families.
The leading varieties grown as André Dunand, Captain Christy, Charles Verdier, Countess of Oxford, Etienne Levet, Hippolyte Jamain, Julius Finger, Mme. Geo. Schwartz, Mme. Dévert, Mme. Eugène Chambeyran, Mme. Louis Donadine, Mme. Maxime de la Rocheterie, Mlle Eugènie Verdier, Marie Cointet, Marie Finger, Mrs. Baker, Oxonian (somewhat fragrant), President Thiers, Pride of Waltham, Rosy Morn, Souvenir de Président Porcher.
Jules Margottin Type
In 1853 Jules Margottin, of Bourg-la-Reine, near Paris, sent out a fine rose, which he called after himself; though he has been raising seedling roses ever since, none of them have quite come up to this in worth. Wood, light green; sharp, red thorns, somewhat numerous; shoots rather stout and generally of vigorous growth. Crimpled foliage. Flowers of large size, very full, somewhat flat shape, mostly shades of rose and carmine, almost without perfume; generally free in the autumn. They are very hardy; as a rule difficult of propagation from cuttings, but making very vigorous plants when budded,
Abel Grand, Achille Gonod, Bessie Johnson (quite fragrant), Claude Bernard, Countess of Serenye, Duchesse de Vallombrosa, Edward Morren, Egeria, Emily Laxton, John Hopper, Magna Charta, Madame Gabriel Luizet, Madame Lacharme, Madame Louis Lévêque, Mademoiselle Thérèse Levet, Marchioness of Exeter, Marguérite de St. Amande, Marquise de Castellane, Miss Hassard (scented), Monsieur Noman, Paeonia, Peach Blossom, Princess Mary of Cambridge, Rev. J. B. Camm (very sweet), are the leading sorts.
(Plate of Jules Margottin left)
Sénateur Vaisse Type
Sénateur Vaisse was introduced in 1859. In this family we find what are perhaps the most perfectly formed flowers. The varieties are of moderate growth, with smoother wood than most dark roses; the foliage, too, is more round and of a deeper green. Anicet Bourgeois (new), E. Y. Teas, Madame Adelaide Côte (new), Madame Victor Verdier, and Mrs. Laxton are members of this group.
Charles Lefebvre Type
Lacharme introduced Charles Lefebvre in 1861. He believes that it is the result of a cross (I infer by natural agencies) between Victor Verdier and General Jacqueminot; it certainly shows many of the characteristics of these two sorts. The wood and foliage are light green; occasionally armed with pale red thorns, but as a rule the wood is very smooth. The flowers are more waving in outline than any of the other families; the habit of growth is free, intermediate between Victor Verdier and General Jacqueminot. Glory of Cheshunt, Harrison Weir, Henry Bennett, Madame Anna de Besobrasoff, Marguérite Brassac, Paul Jamain, President Léon de St. Jean, and W. Wilson Saunders are marked members of this type. Dr. Andry, Horace Vernet, Lord Macaulay, Mrs. Henry Turner, Rev. W. H. Stomers and Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, also seem to find a place in this group.
Prince Camille Type
In 1861 E. Verdier sent out Prince Camille de Rohan (see plate left). In this type we find the darkest, most velvety roses. It would seem as though this family must have been produced by the blending of General Jacqueminot with Giant of Battles. The varieties are of vigorous or free growth; the wood is somewhat darker, the spines less numerous, the habit more spreading than those in the Jacqueminot type. None of them bloom freely in the autumn, but in the spring their wondrous rich crimson shades gain more admirers than any others. Baron Chaurand, Baron de Bonstetten, La Rosière, Monsieur Boncènne, are prominent members of this family. Abel Carrière, Jean Liabaud, Jean Soupert, and Souvenir d'Auguste Rivière can also be classed with these; though they show more of the Giant of Battles character then the former, and might therefore not appropriately be placed by themselves.
Alfred Colomb Type
Alfred Colomb, sent out in 1865, has a somewhat similar habit of growth to General Jacqueminot, but the thorns are much more numerous, and with a more yellow hue; the flowers are also fuller and more globular, and blossom much more abundantly. A. K. Williams, Madame Alphonse Lavalle, and Wilhelm Koelle, may be grouped under this head.
Duke of Edinburgh Type
The only English rose which is the head of a type was sent out by George Paul in 1868. The habit of growth is much like that of Jacqueminot, but the foliage is generally longer and larger. The flowers are not permanent in color, burning very quickly in the sun, and are sparsely produced in the autumn. It is a very beautiful family when grown in a moist, cool climate; but there are few of the members that will do well in under our hot sun. The varieties best known, mostly of recent origin, are: Brightness of Cheshunt, Dr. Hooker, Duke of Connaught, Duke of Teck, Robert Marnock, S. Reynolds Hole, Sultan of Zanzibar, The Shah.
It is worthwhile to compare how others have grouped the Hybrid Perpetuals. Jules Gravereaux, creator of the famous and extraordinary rose collection at l'Haÿ, categorized the Hybrid Perpetuals into twelve groups. Gravereaux's classification is documented in Les Roses cultivées à l'Haÿ, 1903, twenty one years after Ellwanger's. La Reine, Baronne Prévost, Géant des Batailles, Victor Verdier, Général Jacqueminot, Jules Margottin, Madame Récamier, Triomphe de l'Exposition, Madame Victor Verdier, Charles Lefebvre, and Baronne A. de Rothschild were prototypes for the first eleven groups. The twelfth group was named Hybrides Remontantes non classés, or Hybrid Perpetuals that could not be classified into one of the other eleven groups.
Ellwanger and Gravereaux agreed on seven of the prototypes for the groups: Baronne Prévost, La Reine, Géant des Batailles (*Ellwanger called the rose Giant of Battles), Général Jacqueminot, Victor Verdier, Jules Margottin and Charles Lefebvre. Ellwanger placed Sénateur Vaisse at the head of a class; whereas, Gravereaux chose Madame Victor Verdier to represent the same class. Gravereaux grouped Prince Camille with the Général Jacqueminot group. Gravereaux grouped Alfred Colomb and Duke of Edinburgh with the Madame Victor Verdier class. Gravereaux had three distinct groups, which Ellwanger did not have: Triomphe de l'Exposition, Baronne A. de Rothschild and Madame Récamier. Ellwanger grouped Madame Récamier with Hybrid Noisettes. Ellwanger did not specify where Baronne Rothschild and Triomphe de l'Exposition should be placed. He did say, however, that Baronne Rothschild was a very distinct and beautiful rose.
It is also interesting to look at the way Reverend Joseph H. Pemberton grouped the Hybrid Perpetuals in comparison. Each author has an interesting point of view. It is hard to understand the class without exploring each in some detail. Text from The Rose by Henry B. Ellwanger, 1882
*Top plate of Camille Bernardin (General Jacqueminot Group) from Le Livre d'Or, by Hariot 1903
*Second plate of Marie Baumann (General Jacqueminot Group) from Le Livre d'Or, by Hariot 1903
*Third plate of Jules Margottin (Jules Margottin Group) from Le Livre d'Or, by Hariot 1903
*Lower plate of Prince Camille de Rohan (Prince Camille Group) from Le Livre d'Or, by Hariot 1903
©2005 Daphne Filiberti