Judith Eckelmeyer presents Mozart's Roses
*Champneys’ Pink Cluster
Noisette, Recurrent; Champneys, 1802-1805.
Light pink; fragrant.
Antique Rose Emporium, 2012.
This is the first Noisette rose, named for John Champneys, its breeder; but the classification is named for a gardner, Noisette. Champneys was a wealthy rice farmer living outside Charleston, South Carolina; his neighbor, Philippe Noisette, was a French nurseryman with whom Champneys exchanged plant seeds. Champneys had crossed an antique Rosa muschata with a new strain of China rose, Old Blush. It was this product that he provided to Noisette, who bred it further and sent it to his brother, Louis, in Paris, who introduced the new roses from America as “Noisettes”. This was a new class of roses, and truly an American one.
Note: *Roses bred prior to 1867 are designated “antique”. The year marks the introduction of the first Hybrid Tea rose, “La France” (Guillot), from which the modern era of rose breeding begins. Hybrid Tea roses were quite different from other varieties in that they displayed a single rose at the end of a stem rather than clusters on a stem, and their flower shape was multi-petalled but well shaped and restrained in size. In developing these favorable traits, breeders ultimately sacrificed fragrance, distinctive colors, and the beautiful “cabbage-rose” shape of the blooms. Late in the 20th century, breeders such as David Austin introduced hybrids that integrate aspects of the Hybrid Tea with those of the old and antique roses; his varieties are a fine compromise for those who wish an antique-looking fragrant flower with greater disease resistance, long bloom, and interesting color.