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'Ellen Tofflemire', by Paul Barden, 2002 (official release date)

This is a Gallica hybrid that has become one of my favorite roses in my collection. 'Ellen Tofflemire' is available in limited quantities through The Uncommon Rose now.

This is my favorite Gallica from my own breeding program so far. It is the result of a cross of 'Tuscany Superb' X 'Othello'. (I'm not certain about that, because some tags got mixed up that spring!) The bloom you see here is approximately 3.5 to 4 inches across, and the color is reasonably accurate. (It will vary depending on screen calibration)
un-named Gallica hybridIn the first year I was aware that this seedling was somewhat different from the rest of the Gallicas. It has brighter green foliage that is somewhat rumpled looking, like the Centifolia 'Bullata'. (The technical term for this type of leaf texture is "savoyed") I had a feeling that this one may stand out amongst the seedlings I had produced. It turned out that I was correct! This is a Gallica that is as beautiful as any other Gallica I have, and I am pleased to be able to name it for my friend Ellen, who got me started growing OGR's.

It is now getting to be a large plant, and it is showing very typical Gallica chracterictics: it is forming a thicket type structure by suckering, is remaining below 3 feet in height, (so far) and is quite sturdy and upright.

Click here for a larger versionAs you can see, the bud opens a rich crimson color with perfect quartered form. It quickly unfolds into a flat, crimson and purple quartered bloom. As it ages, the color softens to purple and greyish mauve, and reflexes to a flat form. The color varies greatly depending on weather conditions. There is a typical Gallica scent, but like its parent, it is mild. Isn't that color wonderful?! Thats what Gallicas are all about! It produced only 5 blooms in its first year, but by its third year, it was producing clusters of 5 to 7 blooms on a stem, with a total of well over 150 blooms on the shrub! As it happens, in 2001, it was the first Gallica to begin blooming, and it was the last one to finish, a trait that should make it well worth having in any clooection of European type roses.

Click on the thumbnail at right to see another photo.

ARS merit rating: None
Personal merit rating: 8.5, but under assessment.
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 4 to 8, zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: unknown, likely 3 to 4 feet tall X 4 feet wide at maturity.

Fragrance: 3.0, mild Gallica scent.

Alain Blanchard seedling,
(see Song of the Stars)
Chianti Gloire de France Sissinghurst Castle
Alika Complicata Henri Fouquier Song of the Stars
Allegra (new 2003) Cramoisi Picotee Hippolyte Surpasse Tout
Belle de Crecy "Deep Purple" James Mason Tricolore de Flandre
Belle Isis Désirée Parmentier La Belle Sultane Tuscany
Belle sans Flatterie Duc de Guiche Marianne Tuscany Superb
"Brooks Purple" Duc de Fitzjames 'Mécène' Tuscany Superb X Othello
Camayeux Duchesse de Montebello Nestor Un-named seedling
"Carol's Favorite" Ellen Tofflemire Orpheline de Juillet "William Grant"
Charles de Mills Empress Josephine Rosa Mundi Ypsilante
Cardinal de Richelieu Gallicandy "Rush Family Rose"  

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 2006, All Rights Reserved.