Welcome to the June 2002 edition of my web site! The roses I write about are the Old Garden Roses and select shrub and miniature roses of the 20th century. For tips on rose culture, pruning, propagation and history, see "Other resources on this site". To return to this page, click on the "thorn icon" in the margin at left. Articles from the previous months are archived and can be viewed by clicking on the listings in the left margin. Oh, and please don't write to me for a catalog or pricelist.....this is an information site only.....not a commercial nursery. If you wish to buy roses, see my sponsor, The Uncommon Rose. Thanks!
A Check-List of Lawrencianas
Above; Rosa indica pumila, from Redoute's illustrated Les Roses. This rose is mentioned in the text of the volume and is supposedly Colville's 'Pompon'.
At right; Another of Redoute's roses illustrated is R. flore simplici, which is very close to 'Miss Lawrance's Rose', varying from it only in tecnhical character.
Addendum, from conversations on the Internet:
Pierre Rutten wrote: About Lawrencianas; they were not lost but disappeared from rose nurseries. Difficult to grow when rose disease became prevalent and so easy from seeds that one can grow them as annuals; they became a Lyon's seed speciality maintained more or less continuously and up to now by the german company Benary. Rediscovery by Correvon appear from ignorance of this fact.
Paul Barden wrote: This doesn't surprise me in the least. The story about Correvon has the smell of Great Mythology in the making. This could explain the fact that we currently have what appear to be at least two different strains of 'Rouletii' available to us; they may simply be seed strains, and may not be related at all to the original 'Rouletii', when you consider how easily this strain reproduces from seed.
is good furtune to have other similar Miniatures in our collections,
and I am most grateful for 'Oakington Ruby' above all others.
Sometimes touted as a sport of 'Rouletii', it is clearly a different
shrub altogether, with more pointed foliage of a redder coloring, and
the bloom is MUCH fuller than 'Rouletii'. I have often wondered
if 'Oakington Ruby' might in fact be one of the Lawrencianas
rediscovered, but that's wishful thinking more than anything.
For a glimpse into Ralph Moore's opinions on the dwarf Chinas, check out http://www.rdrop.com/~paul/moore_chinas.html Excerpted from that article:
"All these (referring to his own early modern Miniature hybrids) derived their miniaturization not from rouletii but from 'Oakington Ruby'. So of today's miniatures, probably as much as half then trace back to 'Oakington Ruby'. Though quite different, both Rosa rouletii and 'Oakington Ruby' are pure china. Also, many years ago I grew, in two separate years, quite a population of self 'Old Blush' seedlings. From the lot I got several dwarf or miniature types. These ranged from 6 inch to about 14 inches in height with small 3/4 - I inch double flowers. Colors ranged from near white through several shades of pink to the lavender, 'Mr. Bluebird'. One was almost an exact duplicate of my 'Pink Joy' which along with 'Centennial Miss' and 'Patty Lou' were grown from self seeds of 'Oakington Ruby'. Thus all these varieties of pure china origin should rightly be classed as chinas (OGR or Old Garden Roses) as proposed by Scott Hanson of Arizona. What we know today as Miniature Roses are a hybrid lot - a totally new form of the rose."
may also be of interest to know that Ralph Moore has also drawn on the
genes of the seed grown "Fairy Roses" (Likely Parks Seed Company strain)
for his breeding work. He refers to the strain as R. polyantha nana,
which I believe is also how Parks Seeds refers to it. 'Green Diamond'
(1975), 'Snow Magic', (1976) and more recently, 'Fair Molly'
(2001) all have R. polyantha nana in their ancestry. The seed
parent of each of these was an un-named seedling from R. polyantha
nana, likely open pollinated, and possibly simply grown from a packet
of the Parks seeds 'Fair Molly' is the most Lawrenciana-like
of the three, and is a veritable bloom machine, the flowers often obscuring
the foliage! It came from the cross "R. polyantha nana seedling"
X 'Fairy Moss'. Tha plant is dwarf and very densely shrubby and
rarely grows more than 15 inches tall. The blooms are a kind of Apple
blossom pink fading to near white, semi double (2 rows of petals) and
opens flat to show stamens. I thought you might be interested in this
extra little bit of information, albeit of much more recent historical
"BCD" wrote: > A Check-List of Lawrencianas > > by Brent C. Dickerson
Paul Barden Wrote: Brent, et al; Curiously, in her 1964 volume, 'The Miniature Rose Book', Margaret Pinney goes into some detail about the Lawrencianas, making use of what catalogs and references she had access to at that time. This includes William Paul's 'The Rose Garden', 1848, among others, and Robert Buist's 'The Rose Manual', 1851. In the latter volume she found a reference to 'Master Burke' that is quite amusing:
"Master Burke when three years old, had fine, full-blown and very double flowers, and the half of a common hen's egg-shell would have covered the whole bush without touching it - it is now 7 or 8 years old, flowers regularly every year and has never yet attained two inches in height - the rose is about the size of a buck-shot".
The color of 'Master Burke' is not mentioned here either, frustratingly, and surely the description of the rose is at least somewhat fictionalized! It seems unlikely that a rose like any that we currently know could reach the age of 8 and yet fit fully under half an egg shell! Even 'Si' and 'Hi' can attain a height of 12 inches in a few short years. I think such a description must be taken with a grain of salt (a very TINY grain of salt), in the same way that we must interpret modern "catalog speak" in our current age. It comes from a school of describing a product whose mantra is "say anything about it as long as it sells the thing!"
Brent also made a remark about reviving the Lawrencianas by sowing quantities of China seed to obtain dwarf cultivars. I expect Monsieur Dickerson is aware that Ralph Moore did this very thing in the 1950's and 1960's using 'Old Blush' seed. From his 1967 volume, 'All About Miniature Roses' Mr. Moore states:
"More recently several lots of self-set seeds obtained from a plant of the China rose 'Old Blush' (Parsons' Pink China) supposedly in cultivation before 1759, were planted and the seedlings observed. In all three lots, gathered in different years, the germination was only fair to poor. But 'Old Blush' produces hips readily and each hip contains several medium size seeds. From the first lot quite a number of the seedlings were very definitely of the miniature type. One plant which has grown no taller than 10 inches in seven years has tiny leaves and tiny miniature pink buds opening to one-inch pink flowers (same color as R. roulettii) with seven or eight petals. It has on occasion set a few seed hips.
"From the same lot also came other miniature roses ranging in height from 10 to 12 inches. Most of these were very bushy with double one- to one and one-fourth-inch flowers ranging in color from pale pink to medium rose-pink.
At left: One of Ralph Moore's seedlings from self seedings of 'Old Blush'.
"One of these produces orange colored hips containing one to three seeds none of which appears to contain an embryo. Another grew into a dense free blooming plant with flowers almost duplicating 'Pink Joy' (which is a self seedling of 'Oakington Ruby') . Cuttings of this plant were difficult to root. Still another one of these seedlings grew not over 8 inches high and bore soft pink double flowers resembling 'Peggy Grant'. Cuttings of this were also difficult to root.
"The only seedling of the lot to be introduced was one which has slightly larger foliage and lavender-blue (or magenta) colored semi-double flowers. This selection, 'Mr. Bluebird,' grows readily from cuttings and has proven quite cold hardy. Some seed hips are produced, carrying up to five seeds, but germination is very poor. However, among its self seedlings have been several growing not more than 6 to 8 inches tall with miniature leaves and tiny double flowers usually not more than one-half to one-inch in size. Petals are usually very narrow (lance shaped) . No seeds have been observed on any of these seedlings but some pollen is produced."
As you can see, it is quite possible to produce Miniature Chinas in this manner. This year I have decided to breed one of my large plants of 'Oakington Ruby' to see what kinds of very dwarf offspring I might get. I will likely use 'Old Blush' and possibly 'Rouletii' as pollen parents, among others. This is purely an experiment to replicate some of Ralph Moore's early work with 'Oakington Ruby' so that I can see for myself the variety of seedlings that result.