Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Rosa Maréchal Niel

Ill. Hort. 1866 Nº 477
Rosa Maréchal Niel Pradel, 1864
(Tea) Noisette Rose
Grown at Monserrate and mentioned on various occasions. In 1890 it was described on an archway amongst camellias growing over the steps that lead down from the Chapel path to Mexico.

'Maréchal Niel' was raised from a seedling of another yellow noisette 'Isabella Gray' sown in 1858 by M. Pradel. It was named after a hero of Sebastapol and later Minister of War, Adolphe Niel. One of the first truly deep yellow repeat flowering roses. It needs a greenhouse or southern climate to thrive, slow to establish, resents hard pruning. Grown as a cut flowercrop underglass. (Paul Barden). Quest Ritson says that Tea Roses grown as cut flowers in New York were worth up to One Dollar a bud in 1871.
Comme tous ses congénères, ce Thé, peut-étre cultivé dans le nord, à l'air libre, à la condition d'ètre protegé, seulement contre les grandes gelées, au moyen d'un peu de mousse ou de foin, qu'on assujétit à l'entour avec un morceau de toile grossière.
L'établissement A. Verschaffelt le tient à la disposition de ses honorables clients. (Ill. Hort., 1866)

Fragrant, golden-yellow flowers emerging from shapely, pointed buds, highly scented. Needs a greenhouse or a warm sheltered position to thrive. (Peter Beale)

The Amateur Gardener's Rose Book, 1905
Illustration by Hermann Friese

Algernon: "Might I have a buttonhole?"

Cecily: "A Marechal Niel?" [picks up scissors]

Algernon: "No, I'd sooner have a pink rose."

Cecily: "Why?" [cuts a flower]

Algernon: "Because you are like a pink rose ... "

Oscar Wilde The Importance of being Earnest 1893
Some Buttonhole!

Fashionable Conservatory Rose.. the largest Tea-scented Rose in existence ; perfectly double ; finest pure chrome yellow, very fragrant ; excellent for the conservatory and desirable for the garden but requiring very careful culture when young ; the buds are of immense size.
Home Florist 1888
Marechal Niel rose is the latest and most magnificent of all the yellow roses. It was produced by M. Pradel of Montauban, France, and was introduced last year. It is vigorous in habit, well branched ; the leaves are of good size, and the flowers, which are of very large size, and quite full, double, are of a beautiful yellow. It has attracted great attention at the late London exhibitions, and is pronounced the finest, in all respects, of the yellow Tea roses.
The Magazine of Horticulture, Botany and all useful discoveries and improvements in Rural Affairs, 1866
Tea Roses are still the best roses for hot climates, including California, Argentina, and Australia. Francis E. Lester (1942) maintained that "under average conditions they require no spraying. They rather resent pruning and, indeed , are at their best when left unpruned. The Tea roses and their near relatives the Noisettes, formerly called Tea-Noisettes, were the backbone of the rose gardens of the Pacific coast and the South a few generations agoi. So easy to grow, so readily started from slips, they were passed on from one garden lover to another. And when you note these old rose treasures, so indifferent to neglect, you find yourself asking whether any mosern Hybrid Tea rose possesses the same keen will to live."

More from Charles Quest Ritson, Climbing Roses of the World, 2003, p. 73.
'Maréchal Niel' [Pradel jeune; distributed by Eugène Verdier, 1863]. Seedling of 'Chromatella' (either selfed or crossed with 'Isabella Gray'). This rose was immediately recognised as something quite exceptional and the most yellow of all Tea roses. It was extremely strongly scented (of tea, but some said of raspberries), floriferous, and vigourous, with large pale green leaves. A plant of 'Maréchal Niel' planted at Whitby in Yorkshire in 1865 carried more than three thousand blooms in 1885. The colour is variable, paler in warm climates, richest in cool ones like England, where its huge, elegant, pendulous flowers tend to ball. Two white forms of 'Maréchal Niel' appeared during the 1890s, one from Hungary called 'Franz Degen Junior' and the other from Russia, still grown at Sangerhausen, named 'Alupka'.

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