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17 MAY 21
A Seven Sisters Phenomenom

Darrell Schramm, Editor of the HRG's The Rose Letter, invited me to visit his garden where I saw this rose and he asked me if I knew it's identity? It wasn't in bloom but the distinctive frilled stipules and light green rugose leaves looked identical to my 'Seven Sisters' rose. Sometime later he told me it bloomed small single red flowers, I was astonished!
From cuttings of his plant I grew it in my garden and indeed the first flowers were single. But within a year or two semidouble ones began to appear but so far none like the double flowers on my original 'Seven Sisters'. What was happening here? A chimera, sport or reversion? Of the many photos of 'Seven Sisters' posted at HMF, none show single or semidouble flowers, so it seems pretty rare.
In the 'Seven Sisters' references I learn the rose was also passed around by seed in the 1800's so possibly this is simply seedling variation. And among the six pages of HMF references I only find two sources mentioning single to semidouble flowers, August Jäger's Rosenlexikon [1936] and Robert Buist's The Rose Manual (1844). So, I shall keep you posted whether my plant eventually produces the typical double flowers but in the meantime I'll continue to enjoy my phenomenal "Fourteen Sisters".
12 AUG 20
And Now There Are Three!
I had suspected eventually Edward Lee Greene's Rosa rudiuscula would be confused with Nuttall's foliolosa. It's another short Prairie Rose with a much wider range from Texas to Ontario in Canada east to the Atlantic Ocean. Called the "ruddy little rose" because it's shiny green leaves blush with a reddish brown or ruddy color often spreading over the whole plant as the season progresses. [Photos attached].
While surveying the illustrations of Rosa foliolosa in rose books I discovered the watercolor by Alfred Parsons from Willmott's Genus Rosa depicts a species with ruddy leaves and other botanical details identifying it as Greene's Rosa rudiuscula. [Illustration attached]
23 JUL 20
Foliolosa follies

It follows that if the Rosa foliolosa in commerce since at least 1890 is an imposter, then all hybrids from it would not be true foliolosa either. There are only two I know of, ‘Basye’s Purple’ and ‘Ann Endt’.
Dr. Robert Basye, Professor of Mathematics at Texas A.& M. University also hybridized roses and created ‘Basye's Purple’ in 1968. He reported this hybrid as pollen of Rosa rugosa rubra crossed with seed parent Rosa foliolosa (2n=14). The resulting Rose was full of drama, with pallid foliage, dark brooding canes and flowers having a funeral aspect like their petals were cut from some purple velvet shroud, truly an American Gothic rose!
The rugosa rubra in its parentage was obvious in leaf texture, dark very prickly canes and flower color and size. But where was foliolosa? Nowhere that I could find but there was one clue to the other parent. ‘Basye’s Purple’ has curled, tubular stipules. So Rosa palustris (2n=14 or 28) or some palustris hybrid was the seed parent. Likely, Basye’s seed parent was the foliolosa imposter that’s been around for at least 130 years. Some form of palustris which I’ve named “Hilliers Foliolosa” because that’s where my plant originated via Pat Cole, past Editor of The Rose Letter.
The Canadian hybridizer, Percy Wright reported he received a plant of Rosa foliolosa from “a Texas mathematician” but whether he hybridized with it I don’t know.
The other Rosa rugosa x foliolosa hybrid ‘Ann Endt’ was discovered in New Zealand, given to Nancy Steen author of The Charm of Old Roses as an unknown foliolosa. Nancy already had the true Rosa foliolosa Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray growing in her garden and this was not the same. So she thought it was possibly M. Maurice Vilmorin’s rugosa x foliolosa hybrid illustrated in Les Plus Belles Roses but unfortunately she gave no date or other reference for the publication. Everyone loved the rose and eventually it was given a name in 1978 by Ken Knobbs in honor of their beloved Auckland gardener Ann Endt. In a photo taken by K.K. Ziarnek in the Auckland Botanic Garden stipules of ‘Ann Endt’ are barely visible but they appear to be flat! (Now I discover Patricia Routley posted an excellent photo of the leaf with stipule clearly visible on February 13, 2015.) Nancy likely is correct, this maybe was Vilmorin’s hybrid using the true Rosa foliolosa Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray with rugosa as the seed parent but there is some confusion about the flower color, Nancy only saw a black and white illustration.
Therefore ‘Basye’s Purple’ and ‘Ann Endt’ are not the same cross but worthy roses in their own right as is “Hilliers Foliolosa” with its vivid red flowers and most neglected of all but certainly not least, the lowly White Prairie Rose, Rosa foliolosa Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray, 1840!
22 JUL 20
General Vallejo’s
Rose of Castile”
Planted in several places along the “Alameda” [avenue] leading from West Spain St. to “Lachryma Montis” the home of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in Sonoma. The “Alameda roses” were contemporary with the General and also an extensive collection of climbing roses that extended from the house to the west but these are now gone. Both the State Parks staff and myself believe this is the ‘Rose of Castile’ the General mentioned and held close to his heart. I do not believe the ‘Autumn Damask’ passing as the ‘Rose of Castile’ is correct for several reasons.
First, the President of Spain's Rose Society answered my email inquiry for the identity of the ‘Rose of Castile’ with historical references in Spanish identifying it as Rosa gallica. Second, the rose is important to the people of Mexico because of their national tradition of the Virgin of Guadalupe. In that tradition Juan Diego in 1531 (just 10 years after Cortez conquered the Aztecs) obeying a request of the Mother of Jesus who miraculously appeared to him climbed a mountain to pluck roses to present to the Bishop of Mexico City. Previously the Bishop had secretly specified a sign from God which was “Roses from Castile” which Juan Diego now brought wrapped in his serape and presented to the Bishop.
Third, the Franciscan Father Junipero Serra wrote effusively of the “Rosales de Castillo” he encountered traveling north into Alta California in 1769 with Gaspar de Portola. Later these roses were identified scientifically as Rosa californica but the key point is both they and “Rosales de Castillo” to the 16th century Spanish of Mexico were single flowered pink roses, not mistakenly double like the ‘Autumn Damask’
And finally that roses grew wild on the mountains surrounding Mexico City was confirmed by Alexander von Humboldt and Aime’ Bonpland in 1803-1804 when they collected and named Rosa montezumae, a single pink species painted by P. J. Redoute’ from the Humboldt and Bonpland specimen. Though I’ve not been able to locate a living specimen of Rosa montezumae for reference, I see a resemblance between Redoute’s illustration and “General Vallejo’s Rose of Castile”. And the description mentions R. montezumae is “very sweetly scented” as is “General Vallejo’s Rose of Castile”. I know of no dog roses with such a scent and believe the comparison spurious.
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