Rose Types

Hybrid China Roses

The introduction of China Roses in the late eighteenth century brought about a great change in the world of flowers. These dynamic changes were nothing short of revolutionary. Some of these are given below:

* A China gene is supposed to contribute to repeated blooming. Before their advent, the Autumn Damasks were the only variety of roses which showed any sign of repeated blooming. An increase in the productivity of blooming was a huge contribution to the gene pool.

* The Chinas contributed significantly to the range of colours that can be found in roses. Unlike other varieties, the hues on the Chinas darken with time (instead of fading away, which is a common feature of other kinds of roses). A China rose could be yellow when it first blooms, and then turn to crimson after passing through hues of orange and pink. This is a typical characteristic of the 'Mutabilis'. The China Roses thus expanded the colour palette to include yellow and crimson which was hitherto unknown in roses grown in European gardens.

* The Chinas also expanded the range of scents. Once the Chinas were hybridized with other roses, new combinations of scent became evident. Helen van Pelt Wilson and Leonie Bell state in A Fragrant Year, that Chinas have a mild scent by themselves. However, the authors could detect traces of a nectarine fragrance in 'Old Blush', and a pepper fragrance in the offspring of 'Old Blush'. In other varieties a fruity fragrance was detected. According to the duo, 'Parson's Pink', and 'Slater's Crimson China' have mild scents. Blending them with European fragrances produced a rich fruity fragrance, usually nectarine or raspberry, which can also be detected in Bourbons.

* The China Rose also contributed to changes in the form of the flower. The main effects of the China gene can be noted in the high centered exhibition rose. It also gave us the slender buds which unfurl when blooming.

The origin of the China rose remains unknown. Although nothing is known of their development, they were certainly created by extremely cultured and intelligent people. They were first seen in Art in the tenth century and we know nothing of their history before that. This is because Chinese art or myth or folklore mentions nothing about the rose. Although it has been known that they were cultivated for centuries in China, they played second fiddle to chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemums were obviously a favourite among the Chinese. Chrysanthemums have been liberally represented in their art for many centuries, much before the rose finally made its presence felt in the tenth century.