Rose--More than 100 Years Old

medaryville(5)June 12, 2005

A rose grows along the roadside near my childhood home. A 90 year old lady living nearby said her mother always called it Mrs. Alkire after the woman who planted it and lived there. A check of census records does indicate a Mrs. Alkire that lived there in the late 1800s.

It is a once blooming rose, very much resembling in size, shape, and color the pictures I have seen of the Apothecary's Rose. However, it does not have the strong scent that rose is supposed to have. Sometimes there is no scent, other times it has an "old rose" scent. There are usually two or three roses in a cluster, and it blooms one time.

The rose has survived annual mowings (it gains enough new growth to bloom the following year), and even being plowed. When I took cuttings and gave it a little TLC, I found it to grow three or four feet tall. It suckers far and wide. I've had suckers as far as six feet from the mother plant.

Does anyone have any idea which old rose this might be? I do have pictures.


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Officinalis is pretty distinctive, if it looks just like it then that's likely to be what it is. Try taking flowering specimens to where they can be held up next to examples of Officinalis for comparison, such as a collection, show or nursery.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 4:26PM
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davetree(6b- TN mountain)

Do you have a picture of your rose?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 8:49PM
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Yes, David, I have pictures. I posted one at another gardenweb site. I was checking the link this morning, but it doesn't want to come up. Those who have seen the picture seem certain it is Rosa gallica officinalis "The Apothecary's Rose." I didn't think the scent was all that strong, but I was comparing it with a nearby Rosa rugosa "Hansa." Some did mention that officinalis' scent becomes more intense when the petals begin to dry. That did seem to be the case. Below is the link for the picture. Thanks for your interest.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 10:15AM
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