Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Rosa 'Cloth of Gold'

Photographed last week at the Madeira rose garden of Miguel Albuquerque. Cloth of Gold has been grown at Monserrate since before 1885.

R. Chromatella or Cloth of Gold. - A grand Rose, so rarely seen now that it should not be forgotten. Its individual blooms are unsurpassed in size and colour by any yellow Rose, and its December flowers are most beautiful of all when in a rich soil and sheltered position. The fact that its lovely buds bruise so easily, and that it is a special prey to mildew, are the reasons why it is now only to be found in a few gardens where it is extra happy. This is one of the Roses for which this coast was famous until the advent of Maréchal Niel entirely displaced it.
'Chromatella' syn. 'Cloth of Gold' [Coquereau, 1843]. 'Lamarque' seedling. The pendulous, scented flowers open golden yellow but quickly fade to cream, while remaining slightly darker at the centre and paler on the petal-backs. They are quite variable in the depth of their colour -- sometimes there is just one yellow patch on an otherwise nearly white flower. The petallage also varies, although the flowers are usually fully double and quatered. 'Chromatella' dislikes cool conditions, but there are records of plants in warm, dry climates producing more than ten thousand flowers in a season.

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