From Brent Dickerson: "As the breeding work continued in the late 1820's with the Hybrid Chinas, Hybrid Bourbons, and Hybrid Noisettes, they were crossed with the hardiest re-blooming roses they had on hand, the Damask Perpetuals. Thus was born the race of Hybrid Perpetuals, which soon grew to encompass as well any re-blooming progeny of the Hybrid Chinas, etc.
A first, very obscure, reblooming hybrid, `Hybride Remontant a Bois Lisse', peeks at us from 1829, another eight or so show up over the next decade, and soon the floodgates opened, thousands being released over the next sixty years. They were crossed with each other and with the Bourbons and Damask Perpetuals until a nearly full range of color from blush white to deepest red and purple was obtained; only purest white and yellow eluded them for a time, spurring interesting experiments (as we shall see).
Typically, a Hybrid Perpetual will have big, cabbagey blossoms at the top of a long, often arching cane. As HP's were developed simultaneously with the rise of rose shows and competition, the forms became increasingly refined over the years from the original muddled or quartered look (now back in fashion!) to a rather fulsome version of what we might expect in a rose of today.
Many HP's show a tendency towards fungal diseases, requiring a careful program of spraying. The thrill of a garden full of big, fragrant HP's in full bloom is something not to be forgotten; many will think of this and be quick to forgive them their often miserly rebloom. They began to fade from the scene with the advent of the Hybrid Tea."
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003