Baron Girod de l’Ain Hybrid Perpetual, recurrent; Reverchon, 1897.
Crimson edged in white; fragrant. Antique Rose Emporium, 2007.
Baron Louis Gaspard Amédée Girod de l’Ain (1781-1847) was active in the courts of the French Empire and of Louis XVIII. He served, among other things, as prefect of Police in Paris, then as Councilor of State, President of the Chamber of Deputies, and finally as Minister of Public Education. He was a Knight of the Legion of Honor.
*Reine des Violettes Hybrid Perpetual, recurrent; Millet-Malet, 1860.
Mauve to cerise to lilac; fragrant. Antique Rose Emporium.
*Souvenir de Dr Jemain Hybrid Perpetual, single blooming; Lacharme, 1865.
Deep crimson-maroon; very fragrant. Antique Rose Emporium, 2005.
*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, while multi-petaled, was well-shaped and restrained in size. In developing these favorable traits, breeders ultimately sacrificed fragrance. 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.
Old roses have usually been named for a famous or influential person, or someone for whom the breeder has a special regard or affection. One of several books about the namesakes of old roses is Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses, by Molly and Don Glentzer (New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2008).