Cramoisi Pictoté, bred by Vibert, France, 1834.
This is one of the mottled Pompon or "Ranunculus" type Gallicas. (So named because of the resemblance to the Ranunculus blossom form) Blooms are produced singly and in small clusters and are about 2" in diameter each.....small for the Gallicas group, but stilll very showy because of the volume of bloom. As you can see here, each blossom is very fully packed with wavy layered petals, each one splashed and spotted with a paler pinkish crimson. The overall color effect is a medium crimson with splashes, not unlike some of the mottled Camelias. There is a very pleasant fragrance as well, and the blooms areproduced in great numbers, and are long lasting.
This is also one of the more compact of the Gallicas, with very tidy, almost dwarf growth and very small dark green foliage. It has shown absolutely no disease in my garden and is certainly completely hardy to at least zone 5. It does sucker somewhat, but with restraint and not reaching too far from the mother plant. It forms a tidy thicket in time and is a good choice for a limited space.
There is very little surviving historical information about 'Cramoisi Pictoté', and so all we know is that it came from J. P. Vibert's breeding work. It is a testament to its uniqueness and gardenworthiness that it is still extant in commerce. While it may not be the most striking of all its kind, it is a very nice, well-behaved rose of unique character. It is certainly worth seeking out and adding to a collection.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 2006, All Rights Reserved.