From Brent Dickerson: "Chinas--selectively bred from R. chinensis--had been grown in Chinese gardens long before the Occident knew anything about them. The agent of their first appearance in the West is under some dispute, with claims being made for Sweden, Britain, and Italy. A pink form and a red form entered commerce in the West in the 1790's, and breeding quickly got underway, particularly in France and, to some degree, Italy. The reasons for their quick popularity were primarily their continuous bloom and, at least initially, the then-current rage for things Oriental. Their main difficulty was their lack of cold-hardiness.
Chinas typically make, bushy, twiggy plants, often quite irregular in outline, and range in color from deepest red and maroon through pink to white. Some hybridized with the Teas show warm tones of yellow, saffron, salmon, and orange. The China group has long been considered a refuge for "decoratives" as opposed to exhibition roses; cultivars of Tea parentage which did not show the blossom-form expected of Teas would be offered as Chinas. Some examples are: `Cramoisi Superieur', `Parsons' Pink China', `Eugene de Beauharnais', `Archiduc Charles', `Ducher', `Nemesis', `Mme. Eugene Resal', `Arethusa', and the green rose `Viridiflora'. "
Pictured here is Eugène de Beauharnais showing a single bloom, as it is known to do in the heat of mid summer. The color is usually darker during the hottest months of the year, and pinker in the spring and fall.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003