'Tricolore de Flandre', bred by Van Houtte, Belgium. Pre-1846.
This is one of the nicest of the striped Gallicas, in my opinion. ('Camayeux' is another favorite of the Provins - Panachés, or, striped Gallicas) I have not made a place for 'Rosa Mundi' in my garden because I feel it lacks sophistication, whereas I feel this rose, to me, is more refined. The blooms are not large for a Gallica, no bigger than 3 inches in diameter, but as Suzy Verrier so accurately puts it: "A very charming little rose - so much character packed into its small blossoms!" I couldn't agree more. As you can see, the blooms are more fully double and shapely than 'Rosa Mundi', and the colors are more intense, with the bold crimson stripes which fade to parma violet (grayish-mauve) with age.
'Tricolore de Flandre' is not a large plant, remaining within the three foot range. On its own roots it will sucker but not outrageously so. The foliage is typical Gallica and in my experience is quite disease free. (Gallicas rarely have trouble with Blackspot)
There is a wonderful quote from the 'Journal d'Horticulture Pratique et de Jardinage' (1844-1867) reprinted in Brent Dickerson's The Old Rose Adventurer: "This rose, which - to the eyes of certain people - has but one fault, that it doesn't rebloom - if the blossom is as beautiful, as regular, as striped as the illustration would have us believe - this rose will reawaken the interest of fanciers in growing roses which, though they bloom but once, give us charming, graceful, ravishing blossoms."
This grand praise takes on greater meaning when, some 150 years later, we realize that the rose of which the writer speaks is still very much alive and well in our gardens today. A fine rose of distinct charm and allure.
merit rating: 7.7
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 2006, All Rights Reserved.