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'Ispahan' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 117-983
most recent 30 MAY 21 SHOW ALL
Initial post 12 AUG 19 by scvirginia
I was just looking at the references, and I wonder if it can be agreed that the references from 1936 and earlier belong to R. centifolia, and not Nancy Lindsay's Damask rose?

If this can be agreed upon, the date should be changed from 'before 1827' to "before 1954".

Reply #1 of 6 posted 12 AUG 19 by jedmar
Most references say before 1832. I think you can add "introduced by Nancy Lindsay ca. 193x" but I would leave the year bred. I am not sure that we are really dealing with two different Ispahans even if earlier references speak about a centifolia. There are actually some People who doubt that Nancy Lindsay brought found roses back from Iran. They believe she created a romantic story with some existing roses.
Reply #3 of 6 posted 12 AUG 19 by scvirginia
From looking at the references, I felt that 'rose d'Ispahan' was a description (as in 'rose from Ispahan') of R. centifolia, rather than a varietal name.

If you think this isn't a case of Lindsay naming a found damask she had after the city of Ispahan, we can leave it as is. I was under the impression that was what she did, regardless of whether she actually got the rose in Ispahan, but who knows?

Reply #4 of 6 posted 29 MAY 21 by Ambroise Paré
A rose almost or identical to ’ Ispahan ’ has been found in 2 old, derelict places in italy, snd one in states .This rose is in commerce in italy since the late 80’ s of the 21 st century, therefore I tend to agree with the fact That this rose has been named out of the fantasy of Mrs Lindsay
Reply #5 of 6 posted 30 MAY 21 by scvirginia
I think she deserves credit for recognizing the good qualities of an old, obscure rose whose name was lost, for coming up with an incredibly romantic name, and for marketing the rose with an exotic origin story.

Her strategy worked, too... how many excellent old roses are extinct because they didn't have such a savvy rescuer?
Reply #2 of 6 posted 12 AUG 19 by jedmar
Another line of thought for discussion: In Thomas Hogg's 1823 "A Practical Treatise on the Culture of Carnation, Pink, Auricula..." on p. 208 are listed following hyacinths (full text of 1839 Edition can be found):
Rex rubrorum
Rose agréable
Rose d'Ispahan
All of these names are listed by Sweet in 1827 and Don in 1832 as names of garden roses. There may be more.

I have a hunch that Sweet resp. Don just ballooned their listings with names they found published somewhere. These names are not found in contemporary French catalogues. Later in 1842 /1849 Bosse mentions these as Centifolia or Gallicas and gives colour descriptions. Others repeat and hey presto! we have a centifolia 'Ispahan'.

In the German Newsletter "Allgemeiner anzeiger" of 1824 is a description of the rose-coloured double hyacinth:
Rose d'Ispahan, with dark stripes, very double, multi-bells, perfect.
Reply #6 of 6 posted 30 MAY 21 by scvirginia
I tried to reply to this last night, and wondered why I hadn't seen it in 2019. Now I'm wondering if I tried to respond then, also, and have failed twice? Maybe third time's the charm...

It seems very plausible that the name in the earler references was a centifolia (a once-blooming, full rose) whose name was accidentally borrowed from a rose-colored hyacinth. It also occurred to me that 'rose d'Ispahan' could have been the name of a pink dye? I can't (quickly) locate any evidence that this is the case, however.

I did find a druggists' 'recipe book' in which the author told how to make standardized preparations of medicines, cosmetics, etc. In it there is a recipe for Eau d'Ispahan, which is a scent with no rose oil or rose water, but essential oils of bitter orange peel, neroli, mint, cloves, if I recall correctly. I wonder if there wasn't a tendency for the English/ europeans of the early 19th century to append the name 'd'Ispahan' to anything they wanted to market as of exotic origins.

Also, did you know there is a Fauré song (with lyrics by Leconte de Lisle) from the 1880's called "Les Roses d'Ispahan"? I wonder if Nancy Lindsay was an admirer of Fauré?
Discussion id : 86-559
most recent 20 MAY 19 SHOW ALL
Initial post 14 JUL 15 by Patricia Routley
It is feasible that Nancy Lindsay brought back this rose from Persia between 1935-1939. Was she the person who named it 'Pompon des Princes' and did Graham Stuart Thomas rename it 'Ispahan'?
Reply #1 of 6 posted 23 JUL 16 by Hardy
I've read that the book, 'Rosen - die große Enzyklopädie,' states that it was brought to England by Norah Lindsay, but don't have that book, can't vouch for its alleged contents, and wonder about it giving credit to the wrong Lindsay. Google Books informs me that GST mentions it as Ispahan, Rose d'Isfahan, and Pompon des Princes on p. 157 of 'The Old Shrub Roses' (1955), but I gather that no origin is specified there. Since he credits Nancy Lindsay when mentioning Rose de Rescht, Gloire de Guilan, etc., I'd wonder at his not mentioning her in relation to Ispahan.
<edited to update>
Pages 143-8 of GST's 'Cuttings from My Garden Notebook' have much to say about Nancy Lindsay and her roses, and the relevant points I noticed were:
She felt at perfect liberty to name found roses which she could not identify, though all but a few were later identified by others as already known and named cultivars. (I just added a comment at 'Empress Josephine' giving GST's main quote on the subject.)

She was very jealous and protective of her roses, and flew into a rage when she discovered that GST had obtained budwood of them from Kew, as she had let Kew have them only because she had been unable to care for them for a while, and believed she had an agreement that Kew would not share them with anyone. While she didn't feel too strongly about garden cultivars she found in cities, like Rose de Rescht and Gloire de Guilan, she was livid that Rose d'Hivers had been shared. She said that she'd risked her life in the wilds of Persia to get it, and considered it her very personal baby. She also did not consider its name to be final; she said that before Kew shared it, "I ought to have had stock of it first, and had it named and shown it myself... I'd always hoped that my rose would be named after me..." In her rant against Kew, she says she'd agreed "that none would be passed on until they had been named, shown and recorded and I'd given my permission." (GST consequently removed Rose d'Hivers from commerce, and unless Kew still has Sharastanek, her jealous guarding of her roses may have resulted in its extinction.)

All this leads me to believe that the names attached to NL 292 'Ispahan,' NL 465 'Sharastanek,' NL 849 'Rose de Rescht,' NL 1001 'Gloire de Guilan,' and NL 1409 'Rose d'Hivers' were tentative working names. Apparently Rose d'Hivers was supposed to be named 'Nancy Lindsay,' so 'Pompon des Princes' may have been what she finally chose for NL 292. Other than 'Sharastanek,' whose etymology escapes me, all of the names first used are descriptive, i.e., named after the city or province where they were found, or from the fact that Rose d'Hivers was dried for use in winter. I suspect that what we now know as Ispahan may not have had that name (or Pompon des Princes) before the 1940s, and while 'Mogul Temple Rose of Persia' points to the country of origin, I'm left wondering what it was called in Farsi or Arabic before Lindsay collected it and stuck her tag on it. Alas that we seem to have no Iranian rosarians here.
Reply #2 of 6 posted 24 JUL 16 by Patricia Routley
Thank you so much Hardy.
It was Nancy, and not her mother, Norah, who bought back the roses.
We actually have that reference under 'Ispahan' centifolia. As the Ispahan' damask also has references to centifolia, I feel that perhaps these two files should be merged. But I would need to do more homework on this and take any advice.....
I actually found the 1967 and 1974 references (in the damask file) of interest. ....and the 1829 one as well.
Reply #3 of 6 posted 25 JUL 16 by Patricia Routley
No advice forthcoming from anyone, so despite the differences of class in the two files, I have moved any reference of a double rose to the damask 'Ispahan' file, leaving references to a single rose in the centifolia 'Ispahan' file. They are probably the same rose, but I am a little cautious.

Probably the reason that Mr. Thomas did not mention Nancy in relation to 'Ispahan', was that for once, she gave it a responsible name and one that it had been known by beforehand (as well as adding her study number N.L. 292).

Taking a shortcut here - Virginia, does the 1877 p84 reference belong in the single 'Ispahan' centifolia file?
Reply #4 of 6 posted 15 JUN 18 by Hamanasu
Hello, Norah Lindsay wrote of the moss rose of Ispahan as early as 1929. In her article ‘Roses of Long Ago’ she describes it very definitely as being mossed (3 times in a single line): ‘... the moss rose, ‘les roses d’Ispahan dans leurs gaines de mousse’. Those furry buds...’
Also, her daughter Nancy appears to have gone to Persia and brought back roses from there between 1935 and 1939. (This is all based on this source:,%20Allyson%20Hayward,%20Rosa%20Mundi,%20Vol.%2023,%20No.%202,%202009%20-%202010_djvu.txt)
Is it not possible, then, that the centifolia Ispahan was an old moss rose known in France (and to Norah), and different from the the damascena Ispahan known to us, which shows no mossing? And assuming Nancy introduced the damascena Ispahan from Persia, it seems unlikely it was she who named it Ispahan, knowing (as she must have done) that her mother’s favourite rose was a muscosa by the name of Ispahan (Norah described it as ‘the most lovable of all roses’).
As to Sharastanek, could this be Quatre Saisons (or Trigintipetala)? The source mentioned above quotes two descriptions by Nancy, one frome her own catalogue and one from a letter she wrote to Vita Sackville-West. The descriptions diverge in the flower colour they give, but the inconsistency disappears if the catalogue refers to the bud (which can approximate red in quatre saisons) and the letter to the fully open flower (which can fade to pale pink). Otherwise the descriptions seem consistent with Quatre Saisons (grey-green leaves, small clusters of double flowers, delicious and intoxicating scent, etc). The main feature that may give Sharastanek away as Quatre Saisons, though, is the description, in the letter to Vita, of the “lovely pointed buds with long ferny sepals”. (Intriguingly, Nancy also reported to Vita that she found the rose in an area now completely deserted, famed to have once been the place where one of Alexander the Great’s generals settled and built his residence, so that the rose might have been introduced by him; which tallies with the idea that Quatre Saisons has been known since Graeco-Roman times). Also, if Sharastanek is Quatre Saisons, it would explain why Sharastanek has, unlike Lindsay’s other introductions, disappeared from commerce as a distinct variety in its own right. Yes, a lot of speculation, but...
Reply #5 of 6 posted 15 JUN 18 by Andrew from Dolton
Whatever Ms (Nancy) Lindsay says should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Reply #6 of 6 posted 20 MAY 19 by true-blue

According to reference page, it's a name of a valley in Guilan province...

“Another rare and distinct rose is the Persian I found at over 9,000 feet in the boulder-strewn wastes of the Elburz beyond the Sharastanek Valley towards Quilan."
Discussion id : 86-238
most recent 22 JUN 18 SHOW ALL
Initial post 26 JUN 15 by scvirginia
I can't find a clear reference to this rose that predates the 1950's; the 1827 and 1832 references merely mention a rose from Ispahan, with no classification or description given. It may even be that these references to la rose d'Ispahan refer to R. moschata:

"Olivier, who travelled in the first six years of the French republic, mentions a rose-tree, at Ispahan, called the "Chinese Rose Tree", fifteen feet high, formed by the union of several stems, each four or five inches in diameter. Seeds from this tree were sent to Paris, and produced the common Musk Rose."

from Thomas Rivers' 'Rose Amateur's Guide', 1840, p.158

If these references do 'belong' to the rose (or roses) called 'Ispahan' today, the complete lack of mention of any rose called 'Ispahan' (or 'Pompon des Princes') from those early mentions until the mid-20th century is baffling.


Edited to add that the following reference, which seems to refer to R. moschata, as referenced above, is listed in the references section for the Centifolia 'Ispahan'. It clearly says that the rose came from Ispahan, and was a single flowered rose:

"Rapport sur les Rosiers d'Europe de l'herbier de Linné" par M. J-G. Baker... (notes de septembre 1864)...
R. centifolia L. ...Aucher-Eloy, no. 4486 [Theodor Kotschy, "Plantae Perse bor"., 1843], a distribué un rosier venant d'Ispahan, à fleurs presque simple, mais rien ne dit s'il est pris dans les cultures ou à l'état sauvage. M. Boissier, dans sa flore d'Orient, ne fait aucune mention de ce no. d'Aucher-Eloy."
Reply #1 of 2 posted 23 JUL 16 by Hardy
<deleted by author>
Reply #2 of 2 posted 22 JUN 18 by Hamanasu
Norah Lindsay in 1929 wrote of an old moss rose by the name of Ispahan, which seems to have been a favourite of hers. See my comment in Discussion id : 86-559.
Discussion id : 104-030
most recent 4 AUG 17 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 4 AUG 17 by Sambolingo
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