'Marjorie W. Lester' rose References
Website/Catalog (2017) Page(s) 42. Includes photo(s).
Laure Davoust.....Thought to be the Velvet leaf rose.
Article (newspaper) (Dec 2008) Includes photo(s).
Patricia Routley: There are few other roses in Northcliffe that I would like to write about and therefore I will head into other towns to tell you of my foundling roses. In Pemberton there grows a very pretty rose, wonderfully round and fully double with sweet little flowers. But while it has a small flower, it can grow into a large and rambling rose. In 1997 after a visit to the Fine Woodcraft Gallery, I was strolling, looking at the gardens and about two or three blocks uphill, I saw a smidgeon of a pink rose peeping out from a thicket of kikuyu, bracken and tall grass. When you get a site like that, there is obviously the risk of snakes and a great deal of stamping and loud muttering and pleas to “go away snake, go away. I’m coming through”. The risk was worth it with this rose as it is truly charming and now one of my favourites. This rose is a survivor and outlives all its owners. In California the hybridiser, Francis E. Lester, found it in an abandoned garden in the Gold Country before World War 2 and he gave it a name to honour his wife, “Marjorie Lester”. In 1998 I read an article about an Italian lady who had found the same rose at an abandoned estate, and had given it the study name of “Rosa Abbandonata”. This article included a most breathtaking and clear picture and I instantly recognised my foundling rose. The author went on to give its true name of Laure Davoust, a rambler bred by Mons. Jean Laffay in France in 1834. Various authors have called it a multiflora, a noisette and a sempervirens rose. Because of its perfume, I lean towards it being one of the synstylae (fused styles) multifloras. The flowers come in large graceful clusters of up to 50 and each flower opens into a perfect little flat and quartered rosette with a tiny green pointel in the centre of the bloom. They last for about three days, fading from a lilac pink to white, and all the while yet more little rounded buds keep opening in the cluster to give a perfumed multi-coloured bouquet. That’s the good part. The canes can climbing 16 feet or more and and in a wet spring the blooms hang down with the weight of the rain and it is a joy to look up into this exquisite picture It is tolerant of poor soils and shade but only flowers in November and December. There is no mildew and no black spot and the only thing which stops it in its tracks, are heavy frosts. What’s the bad part? Well this old rose bred in 1834 retains its petals until they are brown, and the clusters become ever more congested as successive flowers try to push their way through before dying and hanging on like dirty washing. This bothers me not a bit and I have two plants of ‘Laure Davoust’.
Magazine (1998) Page(s) 27. No. 15.
Odile Masquelier: ‘Laure Davoust’- no one knows who she was, perhaps the daughter or the grand daughter of Marechal Davoust, Duke of Auerstaedt, hero of the first Empire. It was around 1838 that Laffay introduced this multiflora hybrid, very close to R. multiflora carnea. According to Simon and Cochet, authors of the Nomenclature of all the Names of Roses in 1906, the heavy corymbs are a light carmine; to Lachaume, author of ‘Le Rosier’ (1887), the small, round and full flowers are a bright flesh pink. Personally, the incredible profusion of flowers that Laure Davoust displays reminds me of certain Japanese flowering cherries, a lively rose pink, touched with lilac. But there the comparison ends, as our beautiful Laure flowers for a full four weeks if she is well sited and sheltered from the wind. Also, if she has the right spot, her flowers, which are almost quilled and quartered, will hold their colour and only fade at the very last minute, just before petal fall. Laure Davoust, a vigorous rambler, will easily grow to 4 or 5 metres (13-16 ft). In a sheltered position, if she is allowed the freedom, she will roam around a lot further. At La Bonne Maison, her support leans against an evergreen hedge, while not far away a Judas tree provides light shade during the hottest part of the day. Laure flowers only once, at the beginning of summer, but her fragrance, typically multiflora, is exquisite.
Magazine (1998) Page(s) 21, Vol 92. Includes photo(s).
Bill Grant. Rosa Abbandonata … the limp canes drooped to the ground with the round, pink blossoms…. Soon after our arrival, I noticed our mystery rose was growing as a shrub. Well! Someone else 'knows' this rose, and I asked Robinson what he called it. 'Lauré Davoust' was his reply. Fred Boutin, who helped to establish the old rose collection at the Huntington Botanic Garden in California, and who had been puzz1ed by the label at Sudeley (or Rosa Abbandonata) said, 'Of course! Once you gave the name, I realised I'd seen it before but had forgotten'. My memory went into gear and I remembered that this rose unti1 recently was sold under another name, 'Marjorie Lester', who was the wife of Francis, famous hybridiser who created his roses at a garden only a few minutes from my home in Aptos, California. He had found the rose in an abandoned garden in the Gold Country before World War 2. He named it to honour his wife
Book (Nov 1994) Page(s) 231.
'Laure Davoust'. Laffay, France, 1843 or 1846. Smooth stems and long-pointed mid green leaves, with abundant flowers, leaning more towards Rosa sempervirens than to R. multiflora, with which it is usually grouped. From magenta-pink buds the flowers open almost flat, yet with cupped formation, quilled and quartered petals, and green pointel in the centre. They are soft lilac-rose fading to lilac-white. Sweetly scented. Jager says it will grow to 15 feet or more, but my plants have not exceeded 8 feet.
Book (Nov 1993) Page(s) 48.
Laurè Davoust One of the oldest of the Multiflora [Ramblers]... old-fashioned looking, pale lilac-pink...
Book (Apr 1993) Page(s) 305.
Lauré Davoust Hybrid Multiflora, clear pink, fading to flesh, then white, 1834, ('Marjorie W. Lester'); Laffay. Description.
Book (Feb 1993) Page(s) 143.
Lauré Davoust ('Marjorie W. Lester') Multiflora rambler. Parentage: Seedling x R. multiflora. France 1834. Description and cultivation... small, double, lilac-pink flowers which open flat and are quartered. They have a green pointel in the centre...
Book (1992) Page(s) 233.
'Laure Davoust'. Marjorie W. Lester. Laffay, France 1934. Flowers which are small, cupped and double change with age from bright pink through to soft pink and then white. Foliage mid-green. Growth fairly upright and healthy. A useful, lesser known small rambler or tall shrub. Summer flowering only. Tolerant of poor soils. Tolerant to shade. Moderately fragrant. 10'x 8' 3 x 2.5m.
Magazine (1987) Page(s) 8. Vol 9, No. 3.
Shirley Stevenson, NSW:
One of my Macquarie University cuttings proved to be Laurie Davoust, lovely little fragrant pom-poms in lilac. It must strike easily; at least six have taken. I have one on a wheel, and it had over 300 blooms at the one time last November. H.R.A. members Michael and Marin from Foxground told me of a huge bush of this rose at an old, abandoned schoolhouse at Meroo Meadow. In the summer, this rose was 20’ high and 25’ across with hundreds and hundreds of blooms. What a picture.