'Erlkönig' rose Description
Photo courtesy of Cliff's High Desert Garden Archival Dec, 2011 last updated 101812
Hybrid Multiflora, Shrub.
Carmine-red - purple. Medium, double (17-25 petals), cluster-flowered, cupped-to-flat bloom form. Once-blooming spring or summer.
Arching, armed with thorns / prickles, climbing. Dark green foliage.
USDA zone 4b through 9b. Hardy. vigorous.
"Erlkönig" is a ballad by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1782). Last strophe: "Dem Vater grauset's; er reitet geschwind..." (The father shudders, he rides swiftly)
The French synonym Roi des Aunes (or Aulnes) translates as King of the Alders (Erlen in German). The original ballad was in Danish and called "Ellerkonge" (King of the Elves). The translation in German to "Erlen" was erroneous.
According to Erich Unmuth, it is questionable whether 'Erlkönig' in gardens and in commerce is the original Geschwind rose - see References.