'Scarlet Four Seasons' Rose' References
Book (2012) Page(s) 42.
(R. de Portland s.d. Angl.
(R. Damascena coccinea Thory
(R. Bifera portlandica Dum Cours. [Dumont de Courset]
[Brackets denote synonymity]
Book (2005) Page(s) 131. Includes photo(s).
Portland rose André Dupont, gardener to Empress Joséphine, received this rose from England in 1803 and was calling it Rosier de Portland by 1809. It reached him despite the continental blockade, perhaps given a fair wind by the duke of Portland who held high government office. For a rose with Damask and Gallica parents its red colour is unusually bright. There was speculation that this was due to genetic input from a Chinese red variety, but this has been discounted by DNA tests. A pinky red 'Portland' known since the 1770s appears to be a different rose.
Book (2005) Page(s) 132-134.
A relative of Centifolia, Gallica and damask is the Portland Rose, which is something of an enigma as it has acquired eight different names: R. Paestana, R. 'Portlandica', 'Duchess of Portland', Portland Crimson, 'Monthly Rose', 'Portlandia', 'Portlandica', and 'Rosier de Portland' as well as Portland Rose itself. Descriptions of this rose in literature do not tally. It is said to originate in Dorset, or in Beaconsfield, or perhaps in Naples, in the 1770s or 1790s. Its parentage has been said to involve Gallicas alone, or a Damask and a Gallica, or a China and a Damask.
These inconsistencies could be explained if in fact there were two different Portlands. The first Portland very likely originated at Bulstrode near Beaconsfield, England in the gardens of the ducal Portland Family. It was readily available in 1775 when it was being sold both as 'Portland Crimson Monthly' and 'Portlandica'. in 1782 it was catalogued as 'Portland' and was relatively inexpensive at a Price of one shilling, suggesting it was not a recent novelty. The plants formerly at the gardens of the Royal National Rose Society under the Label 'Duchess of Portland' were almost certainly this very rose. Their deep, reddish pink flowers, leaves and general habit showed affinities to Gallica, and their modest extended period of flower reflected Damask influence.
Another Portland rose, grown at Bagatelle as R. paestana, has a different aspect. The colour has tones of crimson, a smaller flower and prominent yellow Stamens. Its origins are uncertain. One Story says that the third duchess of Portland brought it from Italy to England in about 1800, which cannot be true because she died in 1794 and there was no duchess until 1809. What is known, is that André Dupont, gardener to Empress Joséphine, received a plant from England in 1803, and by 1809 was calling it Rosier de Portland. Rose Illustrator P.J.Redouté depicted it under that Name. The brightness of its colour led some to suppose that one parent was a red rose from China, though in general aspect, foliage and hips it shows more relationship to Damask. Biochemical and DNA analysis of five Portland roses by Olivier Raymond at the Claude Bernard University in Lyon, France, Shows the Portland roses relate to Damask, Gallica and Centifolia, but not to China roses.
Website/Catalog (Jun 1998) Page(s) 35. Includes photo(s).
Book (1997) Page(s) 176, 177. Includes photo(s).
Duchess of Portland ('Portland Rose') Portland. Italy c. 1790. Parentage obscure, said to be 'Quatre Saisons' x 'Slater's Crimson China'. Description and cultivation... flowers: cerise-red with pronounced golden stamens... important as the progenitor of its race..
Book (1995) Page(s) 36. Includes photo(s).
The Portland Rose, 'The Scarlet Four Seasons Rose'. Likely the results of a China rose-gallica cross. Resembles gallica 'Officinalis'. Originally known as 'Paestana', taken from the Italian town of Paestum, a centre of rose propagation for the insatiable Roman market -- for which roses were even grown under glass to lengthen the season when blooms would be available. Dupont named it 'Duchess of Portland' and it became the founder of the Portland rose line -- though many people continued for some time to refer to it as a damask perpetual in reference to its long and comparatively continuous flowering period. It was listed in a nursery catalogue in 1782. Redouté pictured it under the title Le Rosier de Portland.
Book (1995) Page(s) 157. Includes photo(s).
Book (Nov 1994) Page(s) 44.
The Portland Rose Redouté did a portrait of 'Le Rosier de Portland'. Description... flowers: in clusters, bright crimson, rather darker and more intense than the Red Rose of Lancaster, but smaller and semi-double. In hot dry seasons there is a long pause without flowers after the first flush at midsummer, but with good cultivation and reasonable moisture there are further flowers in autumn. Not strongly scented. Hips are long and are of true Damask shape.
Book (Sep 1993) Page(s) 152. Includes photo(s).
'Duchess of Portland' ('Paestana', 'Scarlet Four Seasons', 'The Portland Rose'). Portland. Flowers: carmine-red with golden stamens, fragrant... the bush is Gallica-like... [it] will, if it is treated generously, flower a second time in the autumn... a rose of great historic importance, being one of the first fruits of the marriage of the Old French Roses and the China Rose.
Book (Apr 1993) Page(s) 146.
Portland (OGR), medium red, ('Duchesse de Portland'; 'Portland Rose'); About 1800. Flowers bright scarlet. The first of the Portland class (Damask hybrids with some recurrence).