'Hippolyte', aka: Souvenir de Kean, early 1800's, likely France.
'Hippolyte' offers the kind of color in a rose that attracts me to the Gallica class as a whole. When the blooms first open, it is a deep crimson-purple hue, and as it ages, it softens to a more grape-like deep mauve color. The individual blooms are smallish, about 2.5 to 3 inches across, but there are usually several open at the same time, as you see here. The scent is mild, and typically Gallica.
The shrub itself is a bit taller than the average Gallica, reaching 5 feet tall eventually. It is also a bit more lax than some of the others, and may be best with some support. Hippolyte has good disease resistance, (the Gallicas do NOT get Blackspot!) but will occasionally suffer from some mildew. Otherwise, this is a healthy, vigorous rose that once established, will potentially survive for many decades with little or no attention. A fine ambassador for the Gallica class.
Note: according to some writers, this rose is most appropriately classed as a Hybrid China because of its lax growth habit, larger plant size and lack of other Gallica traits.
merit rating: none assigned
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