Noisette Roses

Another family of roses to emerge at about the same time as the Portlands and Bourbons was that of the Noisettes. These had their beginnings in America. Here again the China rose was involved, this time mating with the Musk rose, R. moschata.

This is a class of garden roses native to the United States, for the first Noisette roses sprang from a seedling raised by John Champneys, a South Carolina rice planter, sometime around the year 1811. Known as 'Champneys' Pink Cluster', this rose was seized upon by a neighbor, Philippe Noisette, who sent it to his brother Louis, a nurseryman in France. And so the progeny of John Champneys' rose appeared under French names and were classed as Noisette roses.

Descendants from the first Noisette rose vary both in stature and floriferousness. Most start their flowering rather later than, for example, the Bourbons, and many repeat or flower virtually continuously throughout the summer. The noisette roses are less resistant to blackspot and mildew then the tea and China roses, and they should be reserved for open, sunny spots with good air circulation.

Vigorous and long limbed, the Noisette roses make fine climbers or sprawling shrubs. Their fragrant flowers tend to be small - 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 in (3.8 to 6.4 cm) in diameter - but are borne in clusters in late spring and intermittently on into fall.

'Celine Forestier' Roses (Introduced - 1842)
The flattened, very double flowers of 'Celine Forestier' are creamy yellow with darker peach or pink tones. Their petals form a quartered pattern and surround a green button eye. The intensely fragrant blooms usually occur in small clusters of three to four and are of very high quality. The plant is almost always in flower throughout the growing season. Foliage is light green.
This rose is not as vigorous or as large as most noisette roses, and it takes a while to become established. This rose performs best in southern climates, growing against a warm wall or trained as a small, free-flowering climber on a pillar or fence. This rose tolerates summer heat and humidity.

'Jaune Desprez' Roses (Introduced - 1830)
True yellows were rare among garden roses of the last century, because almost none of the species native to Europe bears flowers of that color. So the appearance of this yellow-flowered Noisette created something of a stir in gardening circles in 1830. The flat, semi double flowers are not a pure yellow, but instead a lovely soft apricot with slight rose shadings. Because they are very sweetly scented, try growing this rose on an arch where you can stand under it and let the perfume surround you.

'Lamarque' Roses (Introduced - 1830)
Though its parentage is identical to that of 'Jaune Desprez', 'Lamarque' produces large, fragrant double flowers. Borne in clusters, they are white with just a touch of pale yellow at their centers. This rose is known for blooming well into the fall and for quickly covering any support it is offered. It is also notably long-lived: one specimen recently discovered in San Antonio, Texas, has been reliably dated to the year 1890.
One of the best climbing roses for growing in the Southeast, 'Lamarque' provides almost year-round color where winters are mild. Despite its antique origins, this is definitely a rose with contemporary virtues.

'Madame Alfred Carriere' Roses (Introduced - 1879)
The 3- to 4-inch gardenia-like double blooms of 'Madame Alfred Carriere' rose are creamy blush white. Produced in clusters on upright stems, flowers are full, loosely formed, and globular, appearing in midseason and repeating well into fall. They are very fragrant. Leaves are large and light green, and canes are thorny.
Like most noisette roses, this rose is a climber, and a vigorous one. The nodding habit of the blossoms makes it a good choice for viewing from below, as on a pergola, arch, or wall. This rose can also be trained as a shrub for a bed or border. Tolerant of partial shade, summer heat, and humidity, it's also fairly disease resistant.

'Maréchal Niel' Roses (Introduced - 1864)
Long, pointed buds open into double 3- to 4-inch flowers of golden yellow that bloom profusely and repeatedly; strongly fragrant of a mixture of violets and tea. The flower stems have weak necks, making the blooms tend to droop. The very vigorous, climbing growth produces plants 10 feet high. Like most noisette roses, this rose is very tender where winters are cold.

'Nastarana' Roses (Introduced - 1879)
The semi-double blooms of 'Nastarana' rose are white tinged with pink and appear in large clusters on new wood. Each flower is about 2 inches across and bears a pleasant tea rose fragrance. Flowering repeats well throughout the season. Leaves are smooth, oval, and medium green.
Plants are very vigorous, with an upright habit. They prefer an open, sunny site but are tolerant of partial shade. They also tolerate poor soils, summer heat, and humidity, but may require winter protection. They may be susceptible to mildew and black spot.

'Natchitoches Noisette' Roses
The original identity of this found old rose is a mystery. Although definitely an old-timer, it was unknown until Bill Welch discovered it growing on an old gravesite in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The rose's parentage is unknown, but its medium-size, cupped, light pink flowers borne in clusters are typical of Noisettes, and so is its tendency to flower throughout the year. Accordingly, this foundling has been fairly securely labeled. Whatever its origins, 'Natchitoches Noisette' is an outstanding shrub with a neat, compact habit of growth, a light but pleasant fragrance, and exceptionally disease-resistant foliage.

'Reve D'Or' Roses (Introduced - 1869)
The pendulous, globe-shaped flowers of 'Reve d'Or' are buff yellow with a hint of salmon. Flowers become lighter as they age; stamens are dark yellow. The blooms are loosely double and fragrant. Flowering begins in the spring and recurs intermittently throughout the season. In some areas, flowering is best in fall. Leaves are coppery when young, maturing to a glossy, rich green.
Canes bear few prickles. This rose is a vigorous grower, suitable for a warm, sunny spot in the garden. This rose has a climbing habit and is a good choice for training on a wall or pillar. This rose tolerates summer heat and humidity.

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