La France, bred by Guillot, France 1867.
This is considered by current mythology to be the "first"* Hybrid Tea, and as such has been designated the rose to mark the start of the era of "Modern Roses".
I have to admit that while I do not like the modern Hybrid Teas for their exaggerated style and overly large blooms (and often, scentlessness!), roses like 'La France' have a great deal of charm, both in growth habit and bloom. The bush remains shapely and rarely exceeds 5 feet in height, branching nicely like its Tea ancestors, and the blooms are very full and beautifully scented, more in the Old Rose style. While this rose cannot compare to its modern relatives for vigor, polished apperance and hardiness, it remains a beautiful rose, well worth a place in any collection that wishes to illustrate the scope of rose breeding through the years. A lovely thing even now, it must have been an impressive rose in its time. I also grow the climbing sport of it, and it is a reliable repeater, unlike many climbing HT sports.
I got mine from The Uncommon Rose.
*In fact, there were other roses that preceeded this one that are considered to be Hybrid Teas in pedigree. Preceding this rose were two others: 1872's 'Cheshunt Hybrid' and 'Mme. Lacharme'.
merit rating: 6.3
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