'James Mason', bred by Peter Beales, England, 1982.
Breeding: A cross of 'Scharlachglut' X 'Tuscany Superb'.
This is one of only a few new introductions to the Gallica class since the late 1800's! Peter Beales is to be commended for having the foresight to introduce a new Gallica 100 years after the class had fallen from favour. This is truly a wonderful addition to the group, and deserves to be more widely grown.
'James Mason' is a bit larger than most other Gallicas, having been bred from the Kordes hybrid, 'Scharlachglut', which is known to achieve a massive size of 10 feet or more. In most climates, this rose will grow to about 5 feet tall, perhaps 6 in warmer regions. The blooms are large, about 5 inches across, highly scented, and a rich scarlet-crimson hue. The blooms start out a bright red, and age to a more crimson-purple color. Having grown this cultivar for a few years now, I can safely say that it is one of the most spectacular of all the Gallicas I grow. When it is in full flush, there is not a single visitor to my garden who does not rush to it wanting to know its identity. I cannot recommend a rose more highly.
I will be including this rose in my own breeding program. Mr. Beales has personally told me that it posesses qualities that are worth passing on in breeding. For those of you who may not be aware of the name James Mason, he was a British actor who died in the 1980's.
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