[From The Quest for the Rose
, by Phillips and Rix, p. 106:] Tea Roses are like delicate Hybrid Teas and are the result of crosses between forms of the wild Tea Rose, Rosa gigantea
, and forms of the China Rose, Rosa chinensis
. Their original parents were two Chinese garden roses imported to Europe in the early years of the nineteenth century: 'Hume's Blush Tea-scented China'
and 'Parks' Yellow Tea-scented China'
. They were soon crossed with dwarf China Roses, Bourbons and Noisettes and formed a new, perpetual-flowering class with graceful growth and delicate scent. The years 1882 to 1910 were the great years of the Tea Rose, after which they quickly lost popularity to the more robust Hybrid Teas. Although yellow, pink and pale orange colours predominate. There were also whites and dark reds.
[From The Rose Garden, by William Paul, pp. 304-305:] Rosa Indica The Tea-Scented Rose and its Hybrids. In 1810 the blush Tea-Scented Rose was introduced from China, and fourteen years later the Yellow variety was received from the same country. They have given birth to a very numerous family, some remarkable for their large thick petals; others for possessing a strong tea-like scent; and others for the delicacy and bewitching tints of the flowers. It has been said, both by French and English writers on this subject, that the Yellow, although a fertile seed-bearer, never produces varieties worthy of notice. As if to redeem its character from this aspersion, a few years ago it produced, in this country, the Devoniensis, one of the handsomest of the group, raised by Mr. Foster of Plymouth, with others from the same parent, one of which was a Noisette of a yellow cast.
'Parks' Yellow Tea-scented China' was introduced as the original Tea rose.
[From Botanica's Roses, p. 321:] Since the color of the blooms can change from season to season, Tea Roses are practically impossible to identify, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century when well over 2000 varieties were available.
[From A Heritage of Roses, by Hazel Le Rougetel, p. 48:] developed concurrently with the Hybrid Perpetuals... less robust although some are hardy... yellow, peach, pink, and copper... do not prune until late spring...
[Ibid, p. 51:] 'Adam'... the first-recognized Tea Rose... Teas prefer California...
[From Growing Old-Fashioned Roses, by Trevor Nottle, p. 20-21:] These roses are the result of crossing the small and twiggy China roses with the much larger R. gigantea... [in 19th century Europe] these roses were too tender for outdoor cultivation except in Southern France and Italy, and so the Tea roses had to be grown in glasshouses. The usual method of culture was to train the roses along the walls, and up the roof in the case of climbers, the interior space of the house being used to grow some other shade loving plants...