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Damask Roses
[From The Rose Garden, by William Paul, p. 237:] The Damask are readily distinguished from others by a robustness of growth, in conjunction with rough spinous shoots, and downy coriaceous leaves of a light green colour... The flowers are mostly of fair size; some are large, and all are showy... The Damask Rose is allowed to be of great antiquity... For two hundred years this Rose underwent but little change; but modern Rose-growers have improved and varied it to such a degree, producing through it, first, Damask Perpetual, then Hybrid Perpetual, that the favourites of so long standing are threatened with oblivion... The Damask Roses are very hardy... rather more rambling than the French Roses. They flower abundantly; in some instances the flowers rest among the leaves and branches which surround them; in others they are elevated above. It is chiefly from the petals of this species, in common with those of the Provence (R. centifolia)), that Rose-water is distilled. Acres of Roses are grown in some parts of the world expressly for the purpose.
Hips are slender
[From The Charm of Old Roses, by Nancy Steen, p. 42:] Typically, Damasks have large curved prickles and their leaves are large, round, and of a soft green.
[From Classic Roses, by Peter Beales, p. 87:] the fragrance of damasks is spicy, somewhat lingering.
[From Gardening with Roses, by Judith McKeon, p. 19:] Damasks form vigorous, upright or lax shrubs and have very thorny canes that are covered with downy gray-green foliage. Robust, disease-resistant, and free-flowering, damask shrubs are taller than their compact gallica parents. Flower colors include shades from pure white and soft tints of blush pink to clear and
[From The Rose Bible, by Rayford Reddell, p. 24:] The original Damask rose is believed to be a natural hybrid between a Gallica rose and R. phoenicea... In general, Damask roses grow taller than Gallicas, often to 5 feet... powerfully fragrant... typically clear pink...
[From the June/July 1999 issue of Garden Design magazine, which has several articles/notes of interest to rose growers. One of these is an article by Stephen Scanniello, formerly curator of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cranford Rose Garden, about roses Josephine grew at Malmaison and that are still available today, p. 104:] Damask roses were often grown around taverns and inns -- their petals were collected as room fresheners...
[From Roses of America, by Stephen Scanniello and Tania Bayard, p. 62:] Damask roses, the most fragrant of the old garden roses, are nearly as ancient as the gallicas, to which they are closely related... There really is no such thing as a true species called Rosa damascnea: all the damask roses appear to be hybrids that show the influence of R. gallica, R. canina, and R. phoenicia... Damasks usually grow much larger and taller than the gallicas, and they have lighter colored foliage.


[From The Old Rose Informant, by Brent C. Dickerson, p. 76:] The Damasks and the Quatre-Saisons have only a few sports, of which the pompon of the Quatre-Saisons is the most notable... [writing in 1826, Jean-Pierre Vibert said that he had] not been able to make it last more than three years...

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