Brier rose


These roses are distinguished by their small, rough foliage and brier habit. They include the Sweet-Brier, the Hybrid Sweet-Brier, and the Austrian Brier. The Sweet-Brier is found in various parts of this country and in Europe, and is distinguished by the peculiar delightful fragrance of its leaves. Its simple little flower, found among the hedges, has been long a favorite, and, under the name of Eglantine, has been often the theme of poets.

The Hybrid Sweet-Brier is allied to the preceding, but has larger foliage, and is of more robust growth. Many roses have been placed in this class and among the Sweet-Briers that have none of the peculiar scent of the Sweet-Briers; and hence, again, the necessity of classing together these and the Austrian Briers, respecting which there is much confusion. The true Austrian Rose is a native of the South of Europe, and is a clearly distinct rose; but some have been called Austrian which have scarcely any of the characters of the original rose. All three, however, are Briers, that is, they produce their flowers on short joints all along the stem, and have the peculiar rough, briery leaves. We therefore place them all together, attaching as before the name of the old class. The best are the following:

Celestial, S. B.—A small cupped rose, very double and fragrant, of a pale flesh-color and very pretty.

Copper Austrian, A. B.—A very singular looking rose, blooming well in this climate. The inside of the flower is of a coppery-red, and the outside inclining to pale yellow or sulphur. It is desirable for its peculiar color.

Double Margined Hip, H. S. B.—Of luxuriant growth, almost adapted for a pillar. Its form is cupped, and its color creamy-white, shaded with pink.

Double Yellow Provence  is the best of the two varieties which compose the species called Sulphurea. We have never seen its flowers, and English writers all speak of the great difficulty of making it bloom. Rivers recommends to bud it on strong stocks, and says that it blooms most profusely in the warm, dry climate of Florence and Genoa. The plant grows with luxuriance and produces plenty of flower-buds, which, with proper culture, would probably open in our warm climate, which is very similar to that of Florence and Genoa. Its small foliage and slender, thorny wood, place it fairly among the Briers. Its flower is so fine that it is well worth the trouble of repeated experiment to obtain a good bloom. It has long been admired and exercised the skill of rose growers, as is proved by the following passages from some old works, which give instructions for proper culture:

“Whereas all other roses are best natural, this is best inoculated upon another stock. Others thrive and bear best in the sun; this, in the shade: therefore the best way that I know to cause this rose to bring forth fair and kindly flowers, is performed after this manner. First in the stock of a Francfort Rose, near the ground, put in the bud of the single yellow rose, which will quickly shoot to a good length; then, half a yard higher than the place where the same was budded, put into it a bud of the double yellow rose, which growing, the suckers must be kept from the root, and all the buds rubbed off, except those of the kind desired, which, being grown big enough to bear (which will be in two years), it must in winter be pruned very near, cutting off all the small shoots, and only leaving the biggest, cutting off the tops of them also, as far as they are small. Then in the spring, when the buds for leaves come forth, rub off the smallest of them, leaving only some few of the biggest, which, by reason of the strength of the stock, affordeth more nourishment than any other, and the agreeable nature of the single yellow rose, from whence it is immediately nourished, the shoots will be strong and able to bear out the flowers, if they be not too many, which may be prevented by nipping off the smallest buds for flowers. The tree should stand something shadowed, and not too much in the heat of the sun, and in a standard by itself, rather than under a wall.” That which follows is from a book called Systema Horticulturæ, dated 1688:—“There is no flower-bearing tree that yields blossom so beautiful as the rose, whereof the yellow Provence Rose is the most beautiful where it brings forth fair and kindly flowers, which hath been obtained by budding a single yellow rose on the stock of a flourishing Francfort Rose near the ground: when that single yellow is well grown, in that branch inoculate your double yellow rose; then cut off all suckers and shoots from the first and second, leaving only your last, which must be pruned very near, leaving but few buds, which will have the more nourishment, and yield the fairer and more entire blossoms. This tree, or a layer from a rose of the same kind, delights most, and blows fairest, in a cold, moist, and shady place, and not against a hot wall.”

Harrisonii.—A fine yellow Brier of American origin, and is perhaps the best hardy yellow rose for general cultivation.

Persian Yellow, A. B.—This is the deepest yellow rose known, and is a highly improved edition of the Harrison. Its flowers are more double, and of a deeper yellow than that rose. It grows freely, blooms abundantly, and its small double flowers possess a richness of color unequalled by any other rose. No garden should be without it. It should be added, however, that it is exceedingly difficult to strike from cuttings, and is one of those few varieties for which budding upon another stock is preferable.

Rose Angle, S. B.—An excellent variety, with very fragrant foliage, and large double flowers of a bright rose color. It is one of the best of the true Eglantines.

Like the Moss Roses, the Briers will not bear much pruning, and require merely the tips of the shoots to be cut off.