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Félicité Parmentier, breeder uncertain, c. 1834

Felicite Parmentier'Félicité Parmentier' is not typical of the Alba roses, in that it will usually remain under 5 feet in height, and is more densely upright than most. It is likely a hybrid with another class, possibly the Damasks. The blooms of 'Félicité Parmentier' are smaller than some others (2.5") and borne in clusters of 3 to 7. In form they are immaculate, quartered blooms, as double as you could want a rose to be. The bloom shown here is fully opened, at which point it reflexes somewhat, forming more of a pompon. The scent is as fine as any of the Albas....sweet and pure and light....unlike any other class. As the Alba class is thought to be descended from the Damasks, it seems likely that they have inherited their fragrance from those roses in combination with R. canina genes. This rose has one of the longest blooming periods of the once blooming roses. I have the impression that last year, 'Félicité Parmentier' was in flower for at least 6 weeks! There aren't many of the old French roses that remain in flower for that long. (I have the impression that R. alba maxima was in bloom for almost as long last season) 

The plant itself is very upright in growth habit, which, to me, is it's only real drawback....compared to the graceful arching growth of some of the taller Albas like R. alba semi-plena. For many people with small gardens, though, this is preferable, as 'Félicité Parmentier' will stay within bounds with some pruning. Disease resistance is pretty good, however, I have noticed that some of the Albas will occasionally get rust. I have seen that happen on 'Félicité Parmentier' sometimes in stressful weather, but only a few leaves here and there, so I just carefully pick them off. (I rarely resort to chemicals to control fungal diseases.)

ARS merit rating: 8.7
Personal merit rating: 9.0
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 4 to 8
Shrub size: 4 feet tall X 3 feet wide

Fragrance: 5.0, sweet scent


Alba Semi-plena Félicité Parmentier
Armide Great Maiden's Blush
R.alba maxima Konigin von Danemark
Crimson Blush Royal Blush

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2004