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'Sharastanek' rose References
Magazine  (2010)  Page(s) Vol 24, No. 1.  
 
Allyson Hayward. The Roses of Norah and Nancy Lindsay.
Graham Thomas wrote in a letter to me that he knew that Nancy Lindsay discovered and named (at least) three Persian roses, which were eventually forwarded from the Natural History Museum with Nancy’s blessing to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to be held and cared for during the Second World War. Nancy was unable at that time to provide a proper garden, nor did she have the time required to keep the plants safe due to the rigors of war combined with her personal commitment to her mother’s ailing health and failing financial status. Thomas acquired the roses from Kew while he was working as manager at T. Hilling & Co., Surrey. Thomas indicated to me that he then assisted in placing them into the commercial nursery trade. The roses that he referred to were Rosa Sharastanek, Rosa ‘Gloire de Guilan’, and Rosa ‘de Resht’.
....Rosa ‘Sharastanek’. Flora of Iran No. 465. “From a remote mountain wilderness in Northern Persia, perchance a relic of the great Iskhander, the Conqueror, it is an enchanting yard-high creature with ruby stems set with grey-green leaves and emblazoned with ravishing blossoms of bright red Chinese silk, intoxicatingly fragrant.” This rose was also re-introduced in the 1940s through Graham Thomas, but has all but disappeared from the nursery trade today. One of the last references found for it was written sometime in the 1950s in a letter Nancy Lindsay wrote to family friend and fellow gardener Vita Sackville-West:
“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. There was one tiny, lonely thicket over a trickle of water; the only patch of green for miles, where no garden has been for 2,000 years. Tradition ascribed the vast, tumbled boulders to the ruins of one of ‘Alexander’s Castles’ i.e. of one of Alexander’s generals who settled there on his return from India. I call it the ‘Sharastanek Rose’. It is very distinct, very elegant, not at all a wild rose, perhaps it is the last survivor of Alexander’s generals’ mountain Paradise? It is a graceful, three-foot bush with lacquered cinnamon bark and small, frosted celadon-green leaves. It has small clusters of medium-sized, very double, brilliant chemise pink, satin-petalled flowers. The pointed buds are lovely, with long, ferny sepals. It is the most deliciously and strongly fragrant rose I know.”
Book  (1997)  Page(s) 144.  
 
Prior to the war Nancy Lindsay had been on a plant collecting expedition to Iran (Persia), concentrating mainly on the Caspian province to the north of the Elburz Mountains. She brought back a number of plants to Kew, new to cultivation: ..... and several roses. These were numbered and named by her: N.L. 465 Sharastanek, which I have lost and should like to acquire again.
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