'Duchesse de Montebello', bred by Laffay, France pre-1826
This is another of the rare pale pink Gallicas, and it is a very fine rose! It is of hybrid origin, some have suggested that it is a China-Gallica hybrid, while others believe it to be a Gallica-Noisette hybrid. David Austin has used this rose in his breeding program and it is capable of producing some repeat blooming progeny, indicating that it is in fact a hybrid with another repeating rose. It is named after the wife of Maréchal Lannes, one of Napoleon's soldiers who was honored with the title of Duc de Montebello.
The beautiful fully double and quartered blooms are of the softest flesh-pink hue bearing a sweet, haunting fragrance. It is a fairly compact rose in habit, and well covered with matte grey-green foliage. 'Duchesse de Montebello' is one of the sweetest of the soft pink Gallicas, and has certainly earned its place in the history of its clan. For me, it is the epitome of what the Old Garden Roses are all about. I am currently using this rose in my own breeding work, as it produces seed with great ease, and they germinate very readily.
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