Friday, May 24, 2013

Rosa hemisphaerica the sulfur rose

Rosa hemisphaerica put on a good show this year.

Of this plant, Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, in a chapter entitled "The Small Rose Garden" in the book The Gardener's Week-end Book (co-authored with Eric Parker; the edition I have was published by J.B. Lippencot Company, Philadelphia & New York, 1939) had this to say: "The far-famed yellow Provence, R. hemispherica (sic), surely the most beautiful of all yellow roses, is now exceedingly rare...Its rich color (unlike that of any modern yellow rose), the tasselled beauty of its centre, its habit of growth, are all arresting."

As proud as I am to have this rose, evidently thriving, in my collection, I don't think I would call it the most beautiful of all yellow roses. When Rohde wrote that, the rose world was swarming with Pernetiana roses and hybrid teas of Pernetiana ancestry, many of which did (and still do) yellow very well.

Surely she would have known those roses, too. Perhaps rarity and antiquity colored her opinion: few roses can compete with Rosa hemisphaerica on those terms.

The heavy, very double flowers of this rose hang down; indeed, entire branches laden with these blooms hang down. When the plant is in full bloom, the effect is that of a small shrub hung with yellow globes.

The flowers of this plant are sweetly scented and the foliage does not have the fruity scent of that of the so-called Austrian briars (the roses often called Rosa foetida).

Wayne took the top two images with his new camera.

No comments: