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'Souvenir de la Malmaison, Cl.' rose References
Article (newspaper)  (Nov 2009)  Page(s) 3.  Includes photo(s).
 
Patricia Routley: Souvenir de la Malmaison. Synonym: ‘Queen of Beauty and Fragrance’. That synonym for this 1843 rose says it all. A visitor here in mid October nearly fainted from delight when he smelt the rose. Conversely, the scent has been described as spicy, peculiar, faint, and unusual and once in 1920 as “a kind of beery smell”. Beauty it has in abundance – most of the time! There are periods in warm, moist springs that the outer petals rot and stick together, allowing no room for the bloom to expand and open. Then the bud swells in a puffy unopened mass until it breaks away from the rim and the rot really sets in and it ends up a grey, mouldy mass of spores and looks revolting. The only thing to do is quickly clip them off and wait for dry weather. In dry springs and autumn, this is a superb rose. There are many petals and each one is nestled and arranged in a flat and immaculate quartered swirl, making a large flower of perhaps 10cm. The colour is pure, a soft and tender pale pink with no other colours, but fading with age to almost white. How I love it in dry times. I have three plants of the climber, all on their own roots. I never did buy posts so one is leaning on a hazlenut tree and another’s 10’ canes arch over about 4 feet from the ground. This is a good way to grow this rose as blooms are seen closely and horizontal canes produce more blooms than upright ones. It is a rose for a shallow bowl arrangement as the four-inch stems are so short. Or perhaps for a young lady’s décolletage – now there is a memory for you! Part of an 1861 description was “Its beauty suggests a blending of the finest sculpture and the loveliest feminine complexion.” The name of the rose is a mouthful, but interesting. It was named after the large house that Napoleon purchased in 1799 for his wife Josephine, and which had previously been used as a leper hospital in the 15th century. Souvenir de(of) la(the) Mal(bad) maison(house). We forget about the bad part and these days, just take in the beauty. The bush is a bourbon rose and was bred in 1843 by Jean Beluze at Lyon, France. The seed parent was ‘Mme. Desprez’(an 1831 bourbon) and the pollen parent was an unknown tea rose (possibly ‘Devoniensis’). Graham Stuart Thomas says the bush repeats more than the climber and I must seek it out. The climber, discovered 50 years later (that seems a long time for a sport to surface!) in 1893, was discovered by a Mr. Henry Bennett in Surrey, England, so say the books. I have been able to bring that date back to 1891 and there is some evidence that it may have been discovered in Australia (Sydney possibly) by his son, Charles Bennett. More proof is needed. ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ has been inducted into the World’s Old Rose Hall of Fame.
Book  (2003)  Page(s) 208, pl. 141.  
 
'Souvenir de la Malmaison (Climbing)' (Bennett, 1893).
Website/Catalog  (4 Jan 1999)  Page(s) 15.  Includes photo(s).
Book  (Nov 1994)  Page(s) 137.  
 
Souvenir de la Malmaison, Climbing Bourbon. Bennett (UK) 1893. Description... flowers: soft flesh-pink... a peculiarly soft and unusual perfume, probably derived from a Tea ancestor...
Book  (Apr 1993)  Page(s) 566.  
 
Souv. de la Malmaison, Climbing Climbing Bourbon, light pink, 1893, Bennett.
Book  (Feb 1993)  Page(s) 149.  
 
Souvenir de la Malmaison Climber Bourbon climber. Parentage: Sport from bush form, 'Mme Desprez' x a tea rose. England 1893. Description and cultivation... Flowers are blush-white with pink shadings and are fragrant. Blooms open to a flat, quartered shape...
Book  (1993)  Page(s) 190.  
 
The Rose in the Southern Hemisphere. ....For a long time the traffic in roses was one way, from North [hemisphere] to South [hemisphere]. Then the climbing sport of 'Souvenir de la Malmaison', for many years more popular than the original bush, was discovered in a Sydney garden in 1893 and sent in triumph to Europe.
Book  (Jun 1992)  Page(s) 326.  
 
Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison Bourbon. Henry Bennett 1893
Book  (1991)  Page(s) 224.  
 
Souvenir de la Malmaison, Cl. Bennett, 1893. Bourbon. Sport of 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'. [Author cites information from different sources.]
Book  (1990)  Page(s) 40.  
 
Henry Bennett 1890. Unlike the bush form, the climbing variety only flowers twice and the early blooms are usually poorly shaped.
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