'The Engineer's Rose' References
Article (newspaper) (Feb 2008) Page(s) 5. Includes photo(s).
Patricia Routley: This historic rose came from Japan, where it was grown in gardens under the name 'Soukura-Ibara', which translates to 'Cherry Rose'. It was common in Japan, especially around the port of Nagasaki, where it was used to make garden enclosures and had been known in Japan from 1840, No one knows definitely what the ancestry of' this rose is. It took 50 years to reach other countries. In China it was known as Shi Tz-mei, or Ten Sisters. In the late 1800’s Mr. R. Smith (quoted variously as a navy mechanic of a steam boat, and also Professor of Engineering at Tokyo), sent a plant from Japan to Mr. Jenner, a horticulturist in Scotland. Mr. Jenner named it the 'Engineer'. He subsequently gave the rose to Mr. J. Gilbert, a nurseryman of Lincoln, who exhibited some cut blooms in July, 1890, and received an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Soon after this, Gilbert sold his stock to Mr. Arthur Turner, near Windsor, who renamed it Turner’s Crimson Rambler and put it into commerce in 1893. The name was soon shortened to ‘Crimson Rambler’. People were disappointed to find that it did not ramble. It is the truest type of a pillar rose, with canes to 10 feet high, arching over at the top. Wood and the soft foliage are a light green and the rose’s signature feature is the very hairy stipules at the base of the leaf, a peculiarity often transmitted to its numerous progeny. The flowers are quite scentless, and a bright crimson red, a colour which had been lacking in roses prior to 1893 and bushes were planted by the thousands everywhere. The flowers are about three centimeters across, semi-double, and carried in clusters like bunches of grapes. They are almost identical to the rambler ‘Excelsa’ but the habit of the bush and foliage are vastly different. The flowers are long lasting and the last cluster on my bush was flowering on January 1, 2008. Because of the name, people treated it like a rambler and put it up against the walls of the houses where it felt smothered. It developed mildew in these situations and became known as a leper, a mildew-breeder. So, why do I pick an old mildewy old rose to write about? Well, this rose liked the “wide open spaces” of cool climates. It hated warm climates and was never quite happy in the Riviera, seldom bloomed in Florida, and was climatically unsuited to California. Are you getting the message Northcliffe? If you prepare a good root run right from the start, and plant it as a pillar or large shrub in the open, where it will receive air circulation from all sides, and with blooming wood removed right after flowering each year, then you will have a sight that will gladden your heart each November and December. Carefully preserve the young new growths, as it blooms on the previous year's wood. We can grow this rose here, and grow it well. There is nothing tender or delicate about ‘Crimson Rambler’. These days my rose gets no water at all over summer. It was cutting-grown from a rose I found in 1997 at the entrance gate to Anne and Oriel Smith’s old farm in Armstrong Road, just east of Northcliffe. That rose had been surviving there for a long, long time.
Book (2000) Page(s) 185-186.
Crimson Rambler/ Shi Tz-mei /Soukara-Ibara /The Engineer’s Rose /Turner’s Crimson Rambler = Grimpant liane. See ref Botanica's Roses.
Book (Dec 1998) Page(s) 124, 185-186.
Page 124: ['Crimson Rambler'] set the trend for ramblers at the close of the nineteenth century
Pages 185-186: Crimson Rambler ('Shi Tz-mei', 'Soukara-Ibara', 'The Engineer's Rose', 'Tuerner's Crimson Rambler') From Japan. Turner, UK, 1893. Rambler... the first red climber to be introduced to Europe from the Far East... mildew-susceptible... The British engineer, Robert Smith [NOTE: on p. 124, under the listing for 'Blush Rambler', his name is given as Albert Smith], saw it in a Japanese garden and sent it to friends in Edinburgh, Scotland; they called it 'The Engineer's Rose' because of Smith's occupation. In 1893, Charles Turner purchased the rose and sale were enormous; it was so popular that even Queen Victoria traveled to Slough to see it...
Book (1994) Page(s) 4, 73, 74, 75. Includes photo(s).
p. 4: [One of the 65 climbing roses Stephen Scanniello describes in detail in his book and that grows in the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. There are several pages devoted to this rose, including its history, cultivation, and a photograph. Here are some highlights, but please refer to the book for more details.]
[R. multiflora's] most remarkable offspring… a hybrid from Japan… which took the world by storm in 1893… the first climber with massive clusters of brilliant red flowers… hardy… long, pliable canes that could easily be used to achieve decorative effects not possible with earlier, stiffer climbers… the first of a group of roses that eventually came to be classed as ramblers.
Page 73: 'Crimson Rambler' is thought to be a sport of R. multiflora cathayensis... the first hardy red climber on the market... when it was introduced into the United States, 'Crimson Rambler' was an immediate and enormous success... roots easily from cuttings stuck in the ground... It was [also] popular as a cut flower... [it lacks fragrance]
p. 74: [Photo]
Page 75: 'Crimson Rambler' was brought to the United States [in 1895] by the firm of Ellwanger and Barry in Rochester, New York... when the more disease-resistant wichuraiana hybrids 'Dorothy Perkins' and 'Excelsa' appeared in 1901 and 1909, 'Crimson Rambler' fell out of favor... 'Crimson Rambler' has a number of hybrids. Its most successful rambler descendants are those that also have R. wichuraiana in their background; two examples are 'Hiawatha' and 'Bloomfield Courage'
Book (Apr 1993) Page(s) 118.
Crimson Rambler Hybrid Multiflora, medium red, 1893, ('The Engineers Rose'; 'Turner's Crimson Rambler'; 'Shi Tz-mei'; 'Ten Sisters'; 'Soukara-Ibara'); Turner, 1893. Description.
Book (1988) Page(s) 18, 118.
Page 18: ('Turner's Crimson Rambler' in Britain; 'Shi Tz-Mei or 'Ten Sisters' in China) red, cluster-flowering. 'Orleans Rose' descended from it.
Page 118: Hybrid Multiflora (OGR), medium red, 1893, ('The Engineers Rose'; 'Turner's Crimson Rambler'; 'Shi Tz-mei'; 'Ten Sisters'; 'Soukara-Ibara'); Turner, 1893; Ellwanger & Barry, 1895. Flowers bright crimson, fading toward blue, double, irregular blooms in large, pyramidal clusters; foliage light, leathery, disposed to mildew; very vigorous, climbing (15-24 ft.) growth; heavy, non-recurrent bloom.
Article (magazine) (1988) Page(s) 29.
[Colour description according to the CIELAB colour space (petal inside): L* = Lightness, a* = red-green axis, b* = yellow-blue axis]
'Crimson Rambler' (bright carmine), L* 38-39, a* 59-62, b* 0-11
Article (magazine) (1988) Page(s) 74-75.
Surprising is the clear Peonin content of ...Crimson Rambler,....
Book (1984) Page(s) 118.
Turner’s Crimson Rambler /Crimson Rambler /The Engineer /Ten Sisters /Sakura-Ibara (en japonais, rose du cerisier) / Shi-Tz-Mei (en chinois, dix sœurs) = Sans doute un hybride de Rosa multiflora x Rosa wichuraiana. Introduit en 1893 puis en 1895, trouvé dans un jardin de Tokyo… A son apparition… on n’avait jamais vu, réunies, de si belles inflorescences du type multiflora et cette couleur rouge sombre…
Article (misc) (1950) Page(s) 114.
R. cathayensis is considered to be the ancestor of the 'Crimson Rambler'