related pages: photo gallery of noisette roses

R. noisettiana The Noisette roses can be traced back to the time when a rice farmer in Charleston South Carolina named John Champney received 'Old Blush', also known as 'Parson's Pink China', from his neighbor Philippe Noisette.

Philippe Noisette came to Charleston from France via Haiti in the early 1800's. Distinguished horticulturists made up his family in France. Philippe became the superintendent of the South Carolina Medical Society's Botanical Garden. A large tract of land was purchased on the outskirts of the city where there was room for gardens and a nursery. This became known as the Noisette farm.

John Champney received 'Old Blush' from his neighbor Philippe Noisette, and crossed it with Rosa moschata. This resulted in 'Champney's Pink Cluster' (1802), a major contribution from an American grower to the rose family. John Champney then gave Philippe seedlings of 'Champney's Pink Cluster' in return for Philippe having given John 'Old Blush'. Philippe sowed the seeds of 'Champney's Pink Cluster' and produced 'Blush Noisette', which he sent to his brother in France in 1814. This started a new craze to breed a group of roses known as the Noisettes. Thomas Rivers wrote about 'Blush Noisette' or 'Rosier Noisette' in The Rose Amateur's Guide, "Perhaps no new rose was ever so much admired as this. When first introduced its habit was so peculiar, and so unlike any other known variety, that the Parisian amateurs were quite enraptured with it." Redouté painted 'Blush Noisette' in 1821 under the name Rosa noisettiana (see illustration at the top of this page). The rose was also classified and described by the botanist Claude-Antoine Thory to accompany the Redouté.

The early Noisettes combined the broad, shrubby habit, and scented large clusters of the Musk Roses with the pink coloring, larger flowers and continuous blooming pattern of the Chinas. 'Blush Noisette' is blush colored, but other varieties come in a spectrum of colors ranging from pure white to crimson. Around 1825 French rose breeders started to try and obtain yellow Noisettes by crossing 'Blush Noisette' with 'Park's Yellow China'. This produced many great beauties. When the early Noisettes (Musk x China) were crossed with Teas they produced the Tea-Noisettes. William Paul in The Rose Garden once said that with the addition of the subtle tea colors, came a class that was more tender (not winter hardy) with smaller and less elegant trusses. Ethelyn Emery Keays wrote that the class of Tea-Noisettes received larger blooms of greater substance and a sweeter fragrance. These Tea-Noisettes are greatly prized as some of the most beautiful roses you will ever find in warmer climates that do not have frost or chill.

Reverend Douglas T. Seidel wrote an article, in The Quarterly Rose Letter of the Heritage Roses Group of August 1999, describing his Noisettes, which are mostly pre-1840. These original Musk-China types perform well in at his home in Zone 6 (Emmanus, Pennsylvania). This collection of early Noisettes is situated along a five-foot stone wall, which shelters them from North and West winds in winter. The wall also reflects heat needed to harden off new growth in summer. Reverend Seidel wrote that the crowns of his own-root roses only needed mounding for protection the first few winters. His list of Noisettes, which can be grown in Zone 6 include: 'Champney's Pink Cluster' (1802), the two different roses that are sold as 'Blush Noisette' in the United States, 'Mary Washington', 'Aimée Vibert' (1828) and 'Bouquet Tout Fait' (pre-1836). Some varieties that are more tender and require some extra care are 'Caroline Marniesse' (1848), 'Fellenberg' (pre-1835), 'Bougainville' (1822), 'Jeanne d'Arc' (Verdier, 1848?), and 'Princesse de Nassau'. There is more information on the Heritage Rose Group on my section on Rose Societies and Newsletters. I highly recommend joining.

List of Noisettes, Hybrid Noisettes and Tea-Noisettes Featured on this site:
Aimée Vibert (Noisette), Bouquet de la Mariée, Vibert, 1828 Jaune Desprez (Tea-Noisette), Desprez à Fleur Jaune, Desprez/Sisley, 1830
Alister Stella Gray (Tea-Noisette), Golden Rambler, Grey, 1894 Maréchal Niel (Noisette), (Illustrated by Hermann Friese) Pradel, 1864
Blush Noisette (Noisette), Noisette, 1817 Marie Dermar (Hybrid Noisette), Geschwind,1889
Bouquet d'Or (Tea-Noisette), Ducher, 1872 Mme Alfred Carrière (Tea-Noisette), Joseph, widow Schwartz, 1879
Céline Forestier (Tea-Noisette), Trouillard, 1842 Ophirie (Noisette), (Illustration from Le Livre d'Or des Roses, 1903) Goubault, 1841
Coquette des Blanches (Hybrid Noisette), (Illustration from Le Livre d'Or des Roses, 1903) Lacharme, 1867 Rêve d'Or (Tea-Noisette), Ducher, 1869
Gloire de Dijon (Tea-Noisette), (Illustrated by Hermann Friese) Jacotot, 1853 William Allen Richardson (Tea-Noisette), (Illustrated by Hermann Friese) Ducher, 1878

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