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'May Queen' rose References
Newsletter  (May 2012)  Page(s) 10.  Includes photo(s).
[From "Sudeley Castle: Roses among the Ruins", by Anne Belovich, pp. 8-11]
The rambler planted at one side of the pond raised some questions for me that have caused me some thought. Although unlabeled so far as I could see, the garden plan indicated that it should be 'May Queen', but it looked different from the 'May Queen' I grow and those I have seen elsewhere. In the past, there were thought to be two roses with this same name, both bred in 1898, one by Dr. Walter Van Fleet (introduced by Conard and Jones) and the other by W. A. Manda. The parentage and descriptions of both were said to be the same, but only the descriptions of Van Fleet's rose are available now. In The Old Rose Adventurer, Brent Dickerson makes the case that there was never more than one variety, that of Van Fleet, but 'May Queen' is still listed for sale by many nurseries as Manda's rose. The rose that we usually see as 'May Queen' in this country and in Europe has a full, flat bloom form with some quartering of the petals. The color was originally described as coral pink, but the present rose is just clear pink, fading a little on the edges as roses of this sort usually do. The rose on the pond at Sudeley Castle is on the lilac side of pink, and rather than having a quartered petal arrangement, the petals reflex at the tips. My first thought was that it might be the Manda rose, but now that seems unlikely. Perhaps it is a different variety entirely
Book  (2007)  
'May Queen' Hybrid Wich., light pink, 1898, Van Fleet.
R. wichurana x Mrs DeGraw
Book  (Nov 1999)  Page(s) 101.  Includes photo(s).
May Queen A free-flowering rambler with masses of medium-sized rich pink flowers with a swirling arrangement of petals. The dainty appearance of this rose belies its vigour and hardiness, and its twiggy nature and pendulous habit offer a number of different planting uses, especially on pergolas and arbours. Introduced by Manda, USA 1898. 15ft (4.5m)
Book  (Apr 1999)  Page(s) 314-315.  
May Queen Wichuraiana. Van Fleet/Conard & Jones, 1898.
Quotes at length from Conard & Jones Co. 1898 Spring Catalog.
Rosa wichuraiana x 'Mrs. DeGraw' (Hybrid Bourbon)... clear Coral pink... early... Fairly large, double coral-pink flowers... Good, healthy foliage... This will do well in almost complete shade provided this is open, as on the north side of a house. Good glossy foliage... clusters of five to seven... entirely hardy...

[Notes errors by other authors attributing 'May Queen' to Manda instead of Van Fleet.]
Book  (Dec 1998)  Page(s) 405.  Includes photo(s).
May Queen Rambler. Manda, USA, 1898. Rosa wichuraiana x 'Champion of the World'... short-stemmed, rosy pink flowers with a hint of lilac... a modest fruity fragrance... The leaves are plentiful, glossy and dark...
Website/Catalog  (Jun 1998)  Page(s) 65.  Includes photo(s).
Magazine  (1997)  
p83. 3rd Nat Conference Proceedings. . Hillary Merrifield - ‘What is That Rose’ workshop.
Visit rose gardens which have identified specimens. I have had the experience, almost a revelation, of seeing one of my problem roses in front of me, eg May Queen at Pinjarra. I found this rose at the old Whittaker’s Mill site at North Dandalup in WA. It had these smallish very double lilac-pink flowers with a button eye of infolded petals on a bush with arching branches. I couldn’t be sure it was a climber, because its growing conditions were harsh, but I thought it might have been. I went through all of the above steps (on identifying). The flowers most resembled the Hybrid Bourbons Hermosa or Champion of the World, but were neither. My cuttings grew well and smothered themselves with flowers in spring. The leaves looked something like those of a rambler, and in my kinder conditions began putting out long sinuous branches. I simply couldn’t make up my mind and put it in the too hard basket. Then, one day in Spring I saw my rose at the Pinjarra Heritage Rose Garden, where it was labelled as May Queen. Now, I’d looked briefly at the possibility of its being May Queen, but had discarded it as so many authors said it was semi double, and smelt of apples. Mine was very double, and did not seem to have much fragrance at all, let alone of apples. On further search I discovered some authors such as Graham Stuart Thomas did say it was double, and gave a similar growth habit and flower colour. May Queen’s lineage is given as R. wichuraiana x Champion of the World and it was introduced by Manda in 1898. The interesting part of this is the connection of Manda’s May Queen with Champion of the World, which had Hermosa as one of its parents. So my first tentative relationships were correct.
Book  (1996)  Page(s) 56.  
May Queen Rambler. Description... quartered double rose pink blooms, 3 in (8 cm) across...
Book  (1996)  Page(s) 56.  
May Queen . Rambler; quartered double rose pink blooms, 3in (8cm) across, appear in clusters on arching stems to 12 x 10ft (3.6 x 3m), with ample glossy foliage in summer; pleasing scent. R. wichuraiana x 'Champion of the World'. Manda, USA. 1898. Rambler. Not repeating.
Book  (1994)  Includes photo(s).
photo p48b

p62. May Queen (Rambler, 1898). This is an under-rated rose. After a flush of flowers in early summer, it repeats intermitently and you can almost always pick a pretty crumpled muddled double, deep pink at the centre, paling on the outside. The glossy healthy leaves often stay on all winter. It will form a very large sprawling mound, useful for covering banks, tree stumps, etc. or it can be trained over a fence to form a hedge. It does grow rapidly, so allow it plenty of space.

p91. If you have a bank to cover, nothing could be prettier than a rambler. I have used 'May Queen' for covering a steep bank in a hillside garden. It formed a dense thicket, kept its glossy leaves all winter, and always provided a flower or two to pick.

p95. The full-petalled muddled blooms of the rambler 'May Queen' nestle in rich green leaves so glossy they almost sparkle in the sun. 'May Queen' will hold its leaves all year where winters are not too cold.
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