Is Hallie's Rose High Country Banshee?

kaylahOctober 19, 2009

Most of you have read about Hallie's Rose, which I got from my brother's neighbor. I never met Hallie Nesbit, and don't know if I've spelled her name right. My brother doesn't know either. Hallie or Haley had a lot of vintage roses long before they were fashionable. She said they came from her husband's ranch. Hallie's Rose was there at the ranch when she married him. Hallie had an acre long hedge of Harison's Yellow, so I got that one, too.

I never met the lady. My brother and her were neighbors in a Montana town originally settled by Germans who emigrated to the Volga River in Russia, then left there to escape persecution a hundred years later.

She also gave me some purple geranium which I never saw in commerce around here until the last couple years, though it turned up in books about England.

Now, Hallie's Rose has unusual leaves, mostly round and sometimes pointed. If you go around looking at your rose leaves they all mostly have a point. Until I collected Quatre Saison Damask, I never got a match to the leaves, which are oval. Quatre Saison Damask is pretty tender, though, losing its canes down to a foot high around here and growing back to about three feet and blooming like crazy all summer.

Hallie's Rose gets ten feet tall, and blooms once a year. Its flowers can vary from double to really double on the same bush. It is completely cold hardy.

I suspected rosa setigera for the other parent, but the leaves are pointed, and so are the crosses I have obtained, like Captain Kidd and Doubloons. They have big, tough looking canes, like Hallie's Rose, though.

Rosa d'Amour is tall in Jon's pictures, but the flowers and leaves are nothing alike.(rosa virginiana plena.)

Rosa Eglanteria is really tall, but most of the crosses are singles.

Hallie's Rose has wonderful scent. For years and years I've looked at pictures and every time High Country Banshee, which was collected from Fairmount Cemetery, was the one that rang a bell.

There are Nesbits buried in Fairmount Cemetery. If you do a search a website turns up.

This year I finally sent off for a High Country Banshee and I looked at it in wonder, when it came in the mail. These two roses seem to be a match for leaves and long canes.

Guess we'll know when it blooms, which could be a couple of years.

Now, the name of Nesbit/Nesbitt/Nesbeth turns up in England, Scotland, Canada, India, and the Americas. They were not German.

I like to drive around the north side of town in the spring,checking out the lilacs until the same ones turn up. The old ladies called them French lilacs, and it was good voodoo if you could talk somebody out of a sucker.

There's a really special double white that turns up around town at very old houses. I begged a sucker once, but it died. I'll get one sometime. And I like to think about that, the tracks of our ancestors, from house to house, or farther.

Yeah, we'll never know how many places Hallie's Rose has traveled or how it was cross bred, but it has been a long journey.

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treebarb Z5 Denver

Kaylah, sounds like you have a winner there. I pulled this off the High Country Roses website:
"Banshee, High Country", Shrub, Alba or Damask (very old). Weve called this shrub Banshee for years, but Denver rosarians tell us itÂs something else. For now, weÂll call it "High Country Banshee". Exceptionally fragrant, clear pink, very double blooms cover this bush in early summer. Small, dark red hips and purple foliage add interest in fall. Height 6 to 10 feet, even in light shade, with excellent hardiness. (Zone 4, nr, fff)
I wonder if they have to do DNA testing to figure this out?
Enjoy your very special rose!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 9:03AM
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I hope you know that I've been talking about Hallie's Rose on the antique rose web for a long time, over 10 years, and didn't even know about High Country Banshee when I began. HCB is not Banshee, but that is what they originally thought so, that is what they called it.
I went out to look for dark purple foliage and small red berries on my rose, and they were there.
This is a Halloween rose mystery, I guess.
I've collected albas, centifolias, damasks, eglantines, rosa xanthina, rugosas, hybrid perpetuals and none of them have the cane hardiness nor the scent and grandeur of Hallie's Rose in full bloom. She still is my most beautiful rose.
Gosh, I would love to know the story, if roses could talk.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 1:02AM
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