'Crimson China Rose' References
Article (misc) (Jun 2007)
The ever blooming form of R. chinensis, R. chinensis semperflorens ,(Slater’s Crimson China) is commonly cultivated in Indian gardens. Some authorities consider that this rose has been cultivated in India for several centuries. Giant bushes could be found, almost growing wild, in the past.
A Mrs. Gore, who wrote ‘The Book of Roses – a Rose Fancier’ Manual’ in 1838 and which seems to rely heavily on Monsiuer Boitard’s “ The Manuel Complet’, 1836, says. “ in vast thickets of the beautiful Rosa semperflorens ( a native also of China) the tigers of Bengal and crocodiles of the Ganges are known to lie in wait for their prey”.
Article (magazine) (2007) Page(s) 404.
Table 1. Comparison of key volatile components in representative cultivated Chinese roses and species. [adsorption volume by Solid Phase Microextraction (peak area, x10')]
R. chinensis var. semperflorens
Article (magazine) (2007) Page(s) 401.
...a favorable volatile compound, dihydro-beta-ionone, was highly detected in R. chinensis var. semperflorens (Curtis) Koehne...
Book (2006) Page(s) 79.
"[Bermuda] Belfield". ['Slater's Crimson China']. Ch. Rapid rebloom., Moderate fragrance. Habit [diagram] 2. Introducer & date. [Provenance: Knopf; Bermuda]. Much has been said about this rose and many are now willing to consider this the original 'Slater's Crimson China' introduced to Europe in the late 18th century; we count ourselves among them. Small, deep red flowers saturated with color, only slightly paler in the very center of the bloom, where the yellow stamens appear.
Book (1 May 2003)
Rosa chinensis Jacquin, Observ. Bot. 3: 7. 1768.
yue ji hua
Shrubs erect, 1–2 m tall. Branchlets purple-brown, terete, robust, subglabrous; prickles abundant to absent, curved, stout, flat. Leaves including petiole 5–11 cm; stipules mostly adnate to petiole, free parts auriculate, margin entire, often glandular-pubescent, apex acuminate; rachis and petiole sparsely prickly and glandular-pubescent; leaflets 3–5, rarely 7, greenish abaxially, dark green adaxially, broadly ovate or ovate-oblong, 2.5–6 × 1–3 cm, both surfaces subglabrous, adaxially often shiny, base subrounded or broadly cuneate, margin acutely serrate, apex long acuminate or acuminate. Flowers 4 or 5 and fasciculate, rarely solitary, slightly fragrant or not, 4–5 cm in diam.; pedicel 2.5–6 cm, subglabrous or glandular-pubescent; bracts 1–3, linear, glabrous, margin glandular or entire, apex acute. Hypanthium ovoid-globose or pyriform, glabrous. Sepals 5, deciduous, ovate, sometimes leaflike, abaxially glabrous, adaxially densely villous, margin entire or few pinnately lobed, rarely entire, apex caudate. Petals 5, semi-double or double, red, pink, white, or purple, obovate, base cuneate, apex emarginate. Styles free, exserted, nearly equaling stamens, pubescent. Hip red, ovoid or pyriform, 1–2 cm in diam., glabrous. Fl. Apr–Sep, fr. Jun–Nov. 2n = 21*, 28*.
Native in Guizhou, Hubei, Sichuan; also widely cultivated in China [widely cultivated elsewhere].
Book (1 May 2003)
Rosa chinensis var. chinensis
yue ji hua (yuan bian zhong)
Rosa nankinensis Loureiro; R. sinica Linnaeus.
Branches robust, often with hooked prickles. Flowers double or semi-double, several, rarely solitary. Leaflets 3–5, rarely 7, abaxially dark green. Petals red, pink or white. Sepals often with a few lobes.
Cultivated in China [widely cultivated elsewhere, of cultivated origin].
A famous Chinese ornamental plant with many widely cultivated horticultural forms
Book (1 May 2003)
Rosa chinensis var. semperflorens (Curtis) Koehne, Deut. Dendrol. 281. 1893.
zi yue ji hua
Rosa semperflorens Curtis, Bot. Mag. 8: t. 284. 1794.
Branchlets slender, with short prickles. Flowers double or semi-double, often solitary, or 2 or 3 and fasciculate. Leaflets 5–7, thinner, often tinged with purple-red. Petals deep red or deep purple. Sepals often with a few lobes. 2n = 14*.
Cultivated in China [widely cultivated elsewhere; of cultivated origin].
Book (2003) Includes photo(s).
p138 Illustration from Botanical Magazine 284 1794), illustration by William Curtis. [?]
p139 Caption: R. chinensis var. semperflorens. ‘Slater’s Crimson China’. It is not hard to imagine the delighted reaction from Western rose enthusiasts when they first caught sight of this glorious bloom in the late eighteenth century. The rich red colouring of its petals was considered quite incredible, as no native Western rose had such pigment in its make-up. A description in 1811 refers to it as ‘the crimson or purple China’, an indication that ‘purple’ implied a more reddish tone then than it does today.
p139 Imagine the surprise of Western rose growers when they saw the beautiful bright crimson ‘everblooming China rose’ R. chinesis semperflorens. No Western rose could match its colour because none had such pigmentation in its genes. Nor could any Western rose sustain the long and repeated cycle of flowering, which led the Chinese to call it Monthly Rose. There seems no doubt it derives its rich red and general character from the climbing species R. chinesis var. spontanea, but as that species is summer flowering only, how could it have produced repeat-flowering offspring? One answer is that if it mutated into a bush form there is a good chance that the bush would repeat its flower, with its energy devoted to producing flower clusters instead of climbing stems and leaves. Monthly Rose was seen in the Botanic Gardens of Calcutta by a captain in the East India Company. He took it back to England and presented it to a director of the Company, Gilbert Slater of Leytonstone, near London. It flowered there in 1791, and though Slater died very soon afterwards, his name was on many lips because the rose was sold as ‘Slater’s Crimson China’. Its novelty made it irresistible despite its perceived tenderness and frailty in a cooler climate. In France they called it La Bengale because of the connection with Calcutta.
Many roses were raised from it in the nineteenth century, but the variety itself seemed lost. Then in 1953, an American rosarian named Richard Thomson visited Bermuda and was shown a mystery rose. After research he felt able to confirm that this was indeed the missing R. chinensis semperflorens. The Bermudians know it as ‘Belfield’ after the house where it grows against a wall.
p200 illustration from Botanical Magazine 284 (1794), illustration by William Curtis. [note prickly pedicels ]
200 Caption: Rosa chinesis var. semperflorens ‘Slater’s Crimson China’. In the Botanical Magazine for 1st Dec, 1794, William Curtis describes the ‘Ever-Blooming Rose’ as ‘one of the most desirable plants in point of ornament ever introduced to this country. This gives some idea of the impact the new import lfrom China was making, admired for its novel rich crimson colour and ability to keep on flowering in repeated cycles of growth and bloom. Curtis’ reference to its ‘most delightful fragrance’ suggestsd he got carried away in his enthusiasm, as does his expectation that it ‘will grow in so small a compass of earth, that it may be reared almost in a coffee cup’. He would soon discover that a greenhouse gave the best chance of seeing it through the winter.
p201. illustration from Die Rose (1802-20) pl 12, illustration by Carl Roessig. [note prickly pedicels]
Caption: Rosa chinensis var. semperflorens, ‘Slater’s Crimson China’. In describing the red China rose that bore the name of Gilbert Slater, recently deceased, the Botanical Magazine paid tribute to the man himself as ‘indefatigable…. There was no contrivance that ingenuity could suggest, no labour, no expence ][sic] withheld…. It is now about three years since he obtained this rose from China [viz. 1791]; as he readily imparted his most valuable acquisitions to those who were most likely to increase them, this plant soon became conspicuous in the collections of the principal Nurserymen near town, and in the course of a few years will, no double, decorate the window of every amateur.’
p202-203 illustration from The Genus Rosa 1914), Vol 1, plate 89, by Alfred Parsons. [note smooth pedicels ]
p202 Caption: This was the second China rose to come to the West, and was doubly sensational because, apart from its ability to continue flowering for many months, its rich scarlet crimson colour was a complete novelty. Although not completely hardy, it proved in time a fertile parent. All modern red roses and most others cultivated today can trace it in their ancestry. Its other names include Belfield, Crimson China Rose, Ever-blowing Rose, La Bengale, Monthly Rose, Old Crimson China and Semperflorens.
p210 The French rosarian Dr. Cartier grew seedlings of ‘Slater’s Crimson China’ in 1804 ………….. a reminder that the species name used for China roses was R. indica because many came via India, and more specifically from the Howrah Botanic Garden near Calcutta in Bengal.
Book (15 Oct 2001)
p37. Malcolm M. Manners. A Brief Explanation of DNA Analysis.
....It cannot identify a historic variety, if we don't have a known specimen of the historic variety to work with. For example, there are several candidates for the "true" 'Slater's Crimson China' in commerce. We can easily determine if those candidates are closely related to each other. But, lacking the original, guaranteed "true" 'Slater's Crimson China', we can never hope to prove that any one of the extant roses is the real thing.
p93. Marijke Peterich. The Preservation of Old Garden Roses in Bermuda.
In the logo is the rose 'Slater's Crimson China' as we now know, then only known by its local name "Belfield". It was designed by Lady Conyers in 1955 and appears on our stationary, our membership pin, etc. Mr. Richard Thomson, the well-known rosarian, came to Bermuda in 1953 to visit Mrs. Laura Pattisson. She showed him all the roses she knew and also this little red rose growing against a wall of a slave cottage, named Belfield, in Somerset. He was very excited and took samples home for scientific verification. when he returned in July 1956 for a lecture he confirmed that this little red rose was indeed 'Slater's Crimson China'.
Book (2001) Page(s) 449.
Rosa chinensis Jacq., Observ. bot. 3 (1768) 7, t.55.
Rosa sinica L., Syst Voy. ed. 13(1774) 394, Forma calyce monstr.; R. indica sensu Lour., Fl. cochinch. (1790) 323, non L. (1753); R. nankinensis Lour., l.c.323; R. semperflorens beta Lawr., Roses (1799) t.26; R. bengalensis beta chinensis Pers. Syn. Pl.2 (1806) 50; R. indica vulgaris Thory in Redouté, Roses 1 (1817) 51; R. indica var. bengalensis K. Koch, Hort. dendrol. (1853) 122.
China rose, Bengal rose; German Chinesische Rose; Chinese (tsiao mui hoa); kat gulab, kanta (Bengal); Korean wõlkyéhwa.
China, precise wild area unknown.
In many forms for a long time in cultivation as ornamental shrub in many countries of the world. In India cultivated for its fruits. They are used also as a drug.
Ref.: Ghora & Panigrahi 1995, 481 pp.; Hegi IV (2), 1923; Komarov 10, 1941, Wealth of India 9, 1972.