Hybrid Perpetual Roses

As a result of a fusion between the Bourbons and, it would seem, any other parent that came along, a race of roses appeared which, following initial confusion, became known as Hybrid Perpetuals. They were accepted as a new group some time in the 1820s and many cultivars were later to fill catalogues. Their sheer numbers and very hybridity, however, proved to be the downfall of many, and only the best survived.

The hybrid perpetuals share the hybrid teas' essential flaw: in their pursuit of large, glamorous flowers and repeat bloom, the breeders of the hybrid perpetuals too often ignored the quality of their creations as garden shrubs. Still, among the 3,000-odd types of hybrid perpetual roses release onto the market in the last century, some are not only beautiful when in bloom but also make healthy, hardy, shapely shrubs.

Hybrid perpetual roses bloom heavily in the spring and again in the fall, with just a trickle of flowers during the intervening months. The flowers are large, ranging from 3 to 5 in (7.6 to 12.7 cm) in diameter, with a few cultivars bearing giant flowers 6 - 7 in (15.2 to 17.8 cm) across. The hybrid perpetual flowers are also full and fragrant, and at their best these flowers are among the most spectacular of any roses. Their color ranges from white to pink, rose, carmine, and scarlet; there are no true yellows or oranges in this class.

Cold hardy; these roses grow well far south. They are prone to fungal diseases where the summers are very hot.

'Baroness Rothschild' Roses (Introduced - 1868)
These stiff, erect plants are graced with large, fully double (40 petals), cupped, very fragrant 3- to 4-inch flowers of soft rose-pink overlaid with white. They bloom singly or in small clusters. Flowers are darker pink toward the center and appear profusely in spring and again in fall on 4- to 5-foot plants.

'Baronne Prévost' Roses (Introduced - 1842)
Though sometimes troubled by blackspot and mildew, 'Baronne Prévost' is possibly the most disease resistant of the hybrid perpetuals. For this reason, it is one of the few that flourish in the humid Southeast. Because this rose is also notably cold tolerant, it is a good choice for areas such as the lower Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, where a hard winter may be followed by a summer of heat and humidity, and for southern Ontario.
Its blossoms are luxurious: broad, flattened, pink rosettes with a button eye at the center. While not quite as big as those of 'Paul Neyron', the blossoms of 'Baronne Prevost' are borne more prolifically. This old-time aristocrat flowers heavily in late spring or early summer, then sporadically throughout the summer, with a heavier repeat in autumn. This is a tough shrub, one that works well in a mixed border of flowers and shrubs.

'Candeur Lyonnaise' Roses (Introduced - 1914)
'Candeur Lyonnaise' produces a continuous succession of flowers from early spring until the first hard frost. Its buds are long and pointed, opening to very large double flowers that are 5 inches across. Blooms are white, although they sometimes take on a pale yellow tint, and the petals are delicately fringed.
The plants themselves are vigorous, stately, upright, and of moderate height. Their extended flowering season makes this an excellent shrub for nearly any garden and a good source of cut flowers.

'Ferdinand Pichard' Roses (Introduced - 1921)
The cupped double blooms of 'Ferdinand Pichard' rose are fragrant and colorful. Ranging from 2 1/2 to 4 inches across, each flower bears pink petals splashed with white or crimson stripes, and as the blossom ages its pink fades to white and the crimson to purple. Flower clusters appear in abundance in early summer and again in the fall with sporadic blooms in between. Foliage is yellowish green, and canes are nearly thornless.
This rose has an upright, compact habit and is ideally suited to beds. This rose does especially well with regular fertilizing and copious watering and should be pruned heavily in winter. While fairly resistant to mildew, this rose is susceptible to black spot.

'Frau Karl Druschki' Roses (Introduced - 1901)
This rose produces a great abundance of double blossoms from high-centered buds in early summer and repeats the show in fall. The elegant white flower is 4 to 4 1/2 inches across with 30 to 35 rolled petals that display a touch of lemon yellow at their base. Canes are nearly smooth, supporting leathery, coarse, light green foliage.
The plant is vigorous and erect, with stout branches and long, strong stems. The color and form of its flower makes it useful in combination with other roses, both in beds and in indoor arrangements. Buds are reluctant to open in damp weather, and leaves are susceptible to mildew.

'Général Jacqueminot' Roses (Introduced - 1853)
Long cutting stems made this an early florist's rose. Blooms are 2 1/2 to 4 inches across, cupped, bright, clear red, and extremely fragrant. They have 25 to 30 petals, whose reverse side is overtoned in white. Often considered the prototype of the hybrid perpetual class, this variety blooms repeatedly on bushy; 4- to 5-foot plants with rich green foliage. Rose growers have dubbed this variety "General Jack."

'Henry Nevard' Roses (Introduced - 1924)
Double flowers of crimson to scarlet have 30 petals and are cupped, 4 inches or more across, and very fragrant. They appear throughout the summer on bushy; 4- to 5-foot plants with dark green, leathery leaves. Plants are susceptible to mildew.

'Mabel Morrison' Roses (Introduced - 1878)
The hybrid perpetuals tend to be tall and ungainly shrubs, but this relatively compact cultivar with its healthy, handsome foliage is a happy exception. 'Mabel Morrison' is not a common rose, but it is one that deserves to be better known. Its large cupped blossoms are extraordinary; they look almost like outsize water lilies. Opening a pale blush pink, the flowers then fade to a pure white throughout most of the season, though fall may turn them a deeper tinge of pink. Pleasantly perfumed, these blossoms make wonderful cut flowers. 'Mabel Morrison' also makes a good addition to a mixed border of flowers and shrubs, especially since it flourishes in a variety of soils.

'Marchesa Boccella' Roses (Introduced - 1842)
'Marchesa Boccella' (also known as 'Jacques Cartier') produces large, full flowers in repeat flushes throughout the growing season. Each very double bloom is delicate pink with blush edges. Borne in tight clusters on short, stiff stems, they are very fragrant. The petals are more numerous but smaller than those of most hybrid perpetuals. Foliage is dense and bright green.
One of the finest of the class, this rose is a robust grower with a medium to tall erect form and is somewhat spreading. Its recurring flowering habit and lush foliage are suited to large beds and borders.

'Marchioness of Londonderry' Roses (Introduced - 1893)
The huge, fragrant flowers of 'Marchioness of Londonderry' are ivory white with a pale pink to rose pink blush. They open from high-centered buds to cup-shaped, cabbagy double blossoms 4 to 5 inches across. Though not continuous bloomers, the plants produce a fine floral display in spring and fall. Foliage is leathery; canes are nearly thornless.
This hybrid perpetual is a very vigorous grower. The plants have a sturdy, upright habit and are suitable for use in large beds and borders. They can also be trained to a fence or trellis.

'Mrs. John Laing' Roses (Introduced - 1887)
Low growing for a hybrid perpetual, this 3- to 4-foot variety has soft pink flowers that are strongly fragrant. Blooms are 3 1/2 to 4 inches across, have 45 petals, and bloom recurrently during the summer.

'Paul Neyron' Roses (Introduced - 1869)
'Paul Neyron' is a giant among roses: it bears what may be the largest flowers of any rose in cultivation. The fragrant, rich pink, tousled blooms may measure 7 in (18cm) across, and they are exhibited proudly atop strong, upright canes. Even the leaves of this rose, which are large, glossy green, and bold, are remarkable.
This vigorous shrub needs room in which to flex its muscles. 'Paul Neyron' makes a strong statement at the back of a mixed border of flowers and shrubs and works well as a flowering hedge.

'Reine des Violettes' Roses (Introduced - 1860)
The 3-inch flowers of this hybrid perpetual are very double, opening rosy purple and fading to violet. The undersides of the petals are lighter and silkier than the velvety upper surfaces. Petals are quartered and surround a button eye. The blossoms are borne singly or in small clusters and bear a strong, complex fragrance. Flowers fade quickly after they have fully matured. Foliage is sparse and silvery green; canes are nearly smooth.
This bushy plant grows tall and spreads wide; hard pruning is necessary to maintain a compact habit. The long, flexible canes can be trained to climb. The rose is particularly attractive grown on walls. This rose requires rich soil to perform at its best.

'Roger Lambelin' Roses (Introduced - 1890)
The value of 'Roger Lambelin' is in the unique color pattern of its repeating double flowers: petals are bright crimson edged and streaked with white, so that blooms appear to be wearing petticoats. As they age, the blooms fade to maroon. Each flower has about 30 fringed, velvety-textured petals. They are extremely fragrant.
This vigorous hybrid perpetual has a full, bushy habit. It is finicky, though, requiring very good soil, and is susceptible to both black spot and mildew. 'Baron Girod de l'Ain', a similar rose in this class, has flowers that are a little less richly colored but is a more reliable performer.

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