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'La Reine' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 114-023
most recent 15 MAY SHOW ALL
Initial post 13 NOV 18 by Nola Z5a WI
Heirloom Roses lists La Reine as Zone 4-10.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 25 MAR 22 by Le_Not
I suspect that is overly optimistic! We had an average winter here in Zone 5b, and my 'La Reine' suffered a good deal of dieback, despite being given the most mild spot I could give her. (She's right next to the related 'Mrs John Laing', which was nearly tip-hardy.) I think 5b is an accurate estimation.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 15 MAY by StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
She needs fast drainage. Has been in my zone 5 garden for 6 years with more than 1 foot of green cane. My 1st La Reine died due to poor drainage, and my current 2nd La Reine: I put it in a raised bed and it's winter hardy.
Discussion id : 118-558
most recent 3 OCT 19 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 3 OCT 19 by Margaret Furness
This was a very popular rose, and it's likely that it survived in many places. Does anyone have a plant with continuity of the name, rather than a found rose assumed to be La Reine?
Discussion id : 105-972
most recent 12 DEC 17 SHOW ALL
Initial post 11 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Please can someone tell me when and where La Reine was rediscovered? And, not that I am casting doubt on its identity, but how do we know that the plant we have today is the original La Reine?

I haven't been able to find out anything about its rediscovery - all I know is that Graham Thomas mentions in his book "Shrub Roses of Today" ,first published in 1962, that "It is sad and inexplicable to me that how such a famous pink rose as La Reine (1842) can have disappeared. In its heyday it was in every catalogue and its portrait in every book. Perhaps it may yet be retrieved." Yet it seems to have been around for quite a while now. If anyone can enlighten me, I would be very interested to know the story.

Edit: I have just noticed in the references that the discovery was made somewhere in East Germany, but I would still like to know where and when, and the circumstances behind it.
Reply #1 of 23 posted 11 OCT 17 by Margaret Furness
I can't tell you anything about its history in Europe. In Australia, a rose (or roses) similar to it is a survivor in old gardens and cemeteries. We've tried to work out if it's La Reine or its offspring Anna de Diesbach, because a found rose was circulated under the latter name in the 1980s, but early descriptions and pictures weren't distinct enough. I went through a stage of calling it "Anna-La Reine". It's further complicated by mix-ups between La Reine and John Hopper, apparently soon after they reached Australia. John Hopper is also a survivor, and there appears to be a form which is more scented than the usual. Now in listing the foundling collection at Renmark, I just use "La Reine family" for those whose outer petals stay curved upwards, and "John Hopper family" for those whose outer petals eventually turn down.
Reply #2 of 23 posted 12 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Thanks Margaret, I appreciate your answer.

I am always interested in stories about roses that are lost in one or more parts of the world, and how they can turn up in another, or how their histories can diverge in different countries.

I remember reading somewhere of two American guys supposedly finding “La Reine” in amongst a number of old varieties growing in an old cemetery in the States in the late 60’s, but I don’t know which “version” it was, or how it was corroborated other than through comparing it to old prints. A shame that no original early photos of La Reine seem to exist from the time before it was lost from sight.

Yes, I thought I had heard once before about the mix up with John Hopper in Australia. I haven’t seen “La Reine” in the flesh, but having seen John Hopper (at least in the guise for sale in this country!) and having compared it to the photos of La Reine, I can see how the mistake could have taken place, even though I still find it strange. I too thought I had seen a couple of different “John Hopper” roses just from the pics here on HMF compared to the one I saw for sale (not helped by being a very changeable rose by all accounts), and to be honest I thought that there might be two different “La Reine” in the pics on here. Some seem to have more thorns/prickles than others, and some don’t match too closely with the original drawings and paintings to my eyes, although I am happy to be proved wrong! What ever it is, it seems from what I have heard to live up to the name, even if it isn’t it’s own!

Would be interesting to know about the different forms of “Anna de Diesbach” that are out there, and how they might differ from La Reine. I personally have never seen “Anna” for sale in this country, but I could be mistaken. I like your name of “Anna La Reine”! When I was first into roses, whenever I came across this rose in a book, I was always reading it wrong, as "Anna de Diesback", which would be a rather unfortunate name wouldn't it! It always makes me smile when I come across it now.

Another reason I was asking, other than just general interest, was because I would like to use “La Reine” in my breeding work, and wanted to know if the plant we have today matches the historical fecundity of the original. Having said that, as long as it is an original H.P. from the 19th Century with good seed production, I don’t suppose the name is too important in that particular matter! I have heard good things, but what is your experience with the various “La Reine” in Australia?

From a cool but sunny UK autumn!

Kind regards, and thanks once again,

Reply #3 of 23 posted 12 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
p.s. another thing I wanted to ask you about - I have often wonderd whether La Reine could in some way be related to Coupe d'hebe, as they seem quite similar in many ways, and both are from the Laffay stable from around the same time. Any thoughts?
Reply #4 of 23 posted 12 OCT 17 by Nastarana
See the reference from 1974, which has 'Rose de la Reine' being rediscovered in East Germany. Be aware that Mr. Wyatt does have a certain...reputation...among American rose growers.

Vintage Gardens Book of Roses states as provenance for their plant: "Robinson, found", VGBOR, 2006, p.72.
That might possibly have been at the Korbel Winery, where Mr. Robinson seems to have discovered quite a number of roses which had been lost to commerce.
Reply #5 of 23 posted 12 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Thanks for that, Nastarana.

I was just wondering if the 1974 reference could be indicating that it was found in Sangerhausen then? (as that was in East Germany at the time). And if it had been rediscovered by 1974, then why does my reprint of Shrub Roses of Today from 1980, which has plenty of amendments from previous editions, not mention the rediscovery? Curiouser and curiouser!

The VGBOR reference sounds good, at least so far as an American discovery is concerned; I have been wondering all day after Margaret's message whether it is possible that there are at least three different sources for rediscovering La Reine, or multiple "La Reine"s - i.e. in East Germany for Europe, somewhere (am right in thinking California with the Korbel Winery?) in the States, and an Australian/Australaisian source. Personally, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Australian or US La Reine were the original, and the East German one, if different to the others, was a post WW2 mislabelling of something else.

I'm intrigued to hear about these discoveries by Mr Robinson. I will look at getting the VGBOR - is it a book you would recommend?

Thanks again,

Kind regards,

Reply #6 of 23 posted 12 OCT 17 by Margaret Furness
Yes re VGBOR!
I haven't tried planting seeds from what we have, or pollinating it, but it certainly sets hips. We have it from 8 gardens, each with its own study name.
Can't help with Coupe d'Hebe, sorry, as I haven't grown it.
John Hopper is at times the brightest-coloured rose in my garden. It is taller-growing than the other one/s.
Reply #11 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Thanks Margaret, those pics are great!

Edit: for what its worth, here is a photo I took of the pot label of the John Hopper that I saw was for sale last year. Unfortunately I don't seem to have taken one of the actual plant! I just wondered if it might help in any way with identification or something. It looks quite different from the La Reine that is for sale in the UK, but that doesn't say much does it?
Reply #14 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by Margaret Furness
Difference in climate maybe - mine reaches 1.8m without difficulty. But Austins can get very tall here too.
Reply #7 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by Nastarana
Absolutely you should acquire VGBOR. You might have to try the second hand markets. I don't think it has been reprinted since the nursery closed.
Reply #8 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by Patricia Routley
Nastarana - At my desk, Wyatt has a fine reputation for his efforts to save old roses.
He edited The Complete Rosarian by Norman Young in 1971 and I have added a reference in which he says 'La Reine' has been preserved in cultivation.

I have added the Vintage Gardens Book of Roses reference.

Virginia - I have also added the majority of your references which were in Comments. You might like to check I have chosen the correct Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener please.

Steve - you might like to give us the exact reference from Shrub Roses of Today (edition and page number) and we'll add that as well. Sorry, I only have The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book in which there is no mention of 'La Reine.

Margaret - There should be no mix-up between 'La Reine' and John Hopper'. I believe the form of the bloom is different (see my comment Oct 13, 2011 ) and the habit of the bush is different. 'John Hopper' being upright, and 'La Reine' being more shrubby. (Compare Vintage Gardens 2006 diagrams 1 and 2 on page 67.)
Reply #9 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by Margaret Furness
Agreed. But John Hopper was sold as La Reine early after its arrival in Aus, and there are still people who tell me firmly that they have La Reine, and show me what I see as John Hopper.
Reply #10 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by Andrew from Dolton
Wouldn't an original 'La Reine' have been in the collection at Sangerhausen?
Reply #13 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Hi Andrew. I would always hope that there might have been, and if I had to plump I'd say chances were that was where the East German example came from, but who knows! No specific reference for where in East Germany has appeared yet. And even then, even if from Sangerhausen, it could be wrong, as I believe someone once told me that some of the roses lost their labels, even though the majority are what they say - however the person who told me could be misinformed.
Reply #22 of 23 posted 28 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
When we were discussing this 2 weeks ago, I sent messages to a few nurseries, both in the UK and abroad, to see whether they knew the source of their 'La Reine' plants. I've received a reply from Peter Beales today, in which they state they cannot say for sure, but they think their plants probably originate from either Sangerhausen or the Humphry Brooke collection.

As well as the information, they thank all of us, and the HMF website for being the vital resource that it is.

I was wondering whether any of you in other parts of the world might be able to send messages to nurseries in your areas to see what they have to say, and how their answers compare. It might not tell us anything, but it might be worth a shot.
Reply #12 of 23 posted 13 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
I'll try and find it, but searches so far seem to suggest its going to hurt my wallet!

Edit: I was meaning the book, but yes, the rose is pretty expensive too!
Reply #15 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by Andrew from Dolton
Yes Steve, I know exactly what you mean. Every time I look at what roses are grown in Europe I end up buying plants like 'Erenningrung an Brod' or 'Gloire des Rosomanes', (which inexplicably aren't grown by British nurseries), at forty quid a shot!
Reply #16 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by Margaret Furness
How about joining a Heritage Roses group, whose members are willing to share cuttings around. I do believe in supporting the remnant nurseries that sell old roses, but paying postage as well isn't on. I don't think any rose is worth 40 quid.
Reply #17 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by Andrew from Dolton
Oh yes, I did join the Historic Roses Group at Patricia's recommendation and very interesting they are too, however they don't have any of the Q and A forums or resources found on HMF. In the future when we finally Brexit it will become more difficult and expensive to buy plants from Europe.
Reply #18 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
That's it exactly - and I'm particularly glad you mention Gloire des Rosomanes; why that rose, which is so ubiquitous in other countries, is not available from one, single seller in this country is really beyond me!

Edit: Hmmm...... maybe I should go into business and sell it!
Reply #19 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by Andrew from Dolton
I buy a lot of roses from Trevor White Roses, they have a good range of unusual roses and are cheaper than Austin's and Beale's too.
Reply #20 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by thebig-bear
Me too,....sort of! What I mean is that I haven't ordered any from them directly (but I'm thinking I will) but the plant centre at the gardens I often visit have a really good range of roses for sale, and other than English Roses, everything else they sell is from Trevor White. They are superb plants, and really good value for money. What is your experience with their service direct? I only wish their range was just a little wider.
Reply #21 of 23 posted 14 OCT 17 by Andrew from Dolton
They are very good and the plants are good quality. I have also bought plants from the nursery at Perryhill in Hartfield, Sussex but I can only visit that on trips to see my family in Sussex 250 miles away.
Reply #23 of 23 posted 12 DEC 17 by NikosR
I have very good experience with Trevor White's e-commerce. Very good and reliable service and all the bare root roses I have received in Greece have been first class. Unfortunately but understandably their range of warm climate roses is limited but whenever a rose I want is produced by them I prefer them to Beales.
Discussion id : 80-128
most recent 5 APR 17 SHOW ALL
Initial post 23 AUG 14 by StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
I got La Reine as a band-size from Burlington Roses, much less thorn than Rose du Roi. Within 1 month, it gave me 4 buds. Pinched them off. Second flush with 3 buds. Pretty good for a tiny band. I'm impressed with its repeat & less thorn nature.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 5 APR 17 by Jerilin
Do you still have La Reine? Did it survive more than one winter? About how big does it get? How much dieback? Also does Burlington Roses sell own root or grafted? I am also zone 5a. Thanks.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 5 APR 17 by StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
La Reine survived FIVE zone 5a winters, but I accidentally killed it late fall when I dug it up to fix the hardened clay, I put too much acidic organic matter in the planting hole and that burned the root. La Reine prefers alkaline and is quite drought-tolerant. It stays small 1' x 1' as OWN-ROOT after many years. It gives 3 flushes a year, if given enough moisture & fertilizer. I got La Reine from Burlington Roses, all her roses are own-roots, and the shipping is cheap since she can fit 6 roses in a medium-size flat-rate postal box ($13). La Reine bloomed 1 month ahead of hybrid teas in spring-time.
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