Paul Ricault , bred by Portemer, France 1845.
This rose is a vigorous, tall shrub with plenty of rich green foliage, has reasonable* disease resistance for me, and has a nice, somewhat arching growth habit. In particular, the blooms are so heavy in the spring as to weigh the plant down almost to the ground.
The 4" blooms are produced in clusters of 3 to 7 or more, and open sucessively over a long period. They are a deep crimson-pink hue, leaning towards purple as they age, and there is a very fine, strong scent of Old Rose and something almost fruit-like.
'Paul Ricault' is supposed to repeat in the fall, but has not yet done so, even though the plant is now fully established. It is possible (likely?) that this is not the original 'Paul Ricault' at all. So many Old Roses have lost their names over the many decades and people have done their best to match a plant to a name, with all the best intentions, usually just making guesses, often incorrectly. (Have you read 'In Search of Lost Roses', by Thomas Christopher? It is mandatory ready for all Old Rose enthusiasts!) This rose is sometimes classed as a Centifolia rose, as it bears a strong resemblence to others of that group.
This is a fine rose, and is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It flowers with such abandon that it is easy to gather literally armloads of perfect blooms for indoor arrangements. The perfume of 30 or so blooms will scent a house.
*This rose benefits from a few sprayings in early Spring to keep it clean until weather dries out.
merit rating: 7.3
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003