Centifoliæ

CENTIFOLIÆ.Hundred-leaved Roses.

Shrubs, all bearing bristles and prickles. Peduncles bracteate. Leaflets oblong or ovate, wrinkled. Disk thickened, closing the throat. Sepals compound. This division comprises the portion of the genus Rosa which has most particularly interested the lover of flowers. It is probable that the earliest roses of which there are any records of being cultivated, belonged to this section; but to which particular species those of Cyrene or Mount Panga are to be referred, it is now too late to inquire. The attar of Roses, which is an important article of commerce, is either obtained from roses belonging to this division indiscriminately, as in the manufactory at Florence, conducted by a convent of friars; or from some particular kind, as in India. It appears, from specimens brought from Chizapore by Colonel Hardwicke, that R. Damascena  is there exclusively used for obtaining the essential oil. The Persians also make use of a sort which Kæmpfer calls R. Shirazensis, (from its growing about Shiraz), in preference to others; this may be either R. DamascenaR. Gallica, or R. centifolia, or, perhaps, R. moschata. The species contained in the present section are all setigerous, by which they are distinguished from the following divisions; their thickened disk and divided sepals separate them from the preceding. To the section of Rubiginosæ the glanduliferous sorts approach; but the difference of their glands, the size of their flowers, and their dissimilar habit, prevent their being confounded.

R. Damascena.The Damascus, or Damask Rose.—Rose à quatre Saisons. Synonyms. R. Belgica, Mill. R. calendarum, Munch. R. bifera, Poir. Prickles unequal, the large ones falcate. Sepals reflexed. Fruit elongated. Native of Syria. Flowers large, white or red, single or double. The present species may be distinguished from R. centifolia  by the greater size of the prickles, the greenness of the bark, the elongated fruit, and the long, reflexed sepals. The petals of this species, and all the varieties of R. centifolia, as well as those of other species, are employed indiscriminately for the purpose of making rose-water. A shrub, growing from two feet to eight feet high, and flowering in June and July.

This species is extremely beautiful, from the size and brilliant color of its flowers. It is asserted by some writers to have been brought from Damascus in Syria at the time of the Crusades, but there is every probability that it came from Italy, since it is the same as the Bifera, or the twice-bearing rose of the ancient Roman gardeners, and is the original type of our Remontant Roses. The Roman gardeners could have produced a certain autumnal bloom only by a sort of retarding process; for, although the Damask Rose will, under peculiar circumstances, bloom in autumn of its own accord, yet it cannot always be relied upon to do so. During the early period of the French monarchy, when none of the Remontant Roses were known, and this species was common, it was considered quite a phenomenon to see them appear naturally in winter. Gregory, of Tours, speaking of the year 584, says, “This year many prodigies appeared, and many calamities afflicted the people, for roses were seen blooming in January, and a circle was formed around the sun.” And of the year 589 he says, “This year trees blossomed in autumn, and bore fruit the second time, and roses appeared in the ninth month.”

R. centifolia Lin.The hundred-petaled, Provence, or Cabbage Rose.Synonyms. R. provincialis, Mill. R. polyanthos, Rossig. R. caryophyllea, Poir. R. unguiculata, Desf. R. varians, Pohl. Prickles unequal, the larger ones falcate. Leaflets ciliated with glands. Flowers drooping. Calyxes clammy. Fruit oblong. Native of Eastern Caucasus, in groves. Flowers white or red; single, but most commonly double.

This species is distinguished from R. Damascena  by the sepals not being reflexed, and the flowers having their petals curved inwards, so as, in the double state, to give the flower the appearance of the heart of a cabbage, whence the name of the Cabbage Rose. Its fruit is either oblong or roundish, but never elongated. From R. Gallica  it is distinguished by the flowers being drooping, and by the larger size of the prickles, with a more robust habit. A shrub, growing from three feet to six feet high, and flowering in June and July. When this rose becomes unthrifty from age, it is renewed by cutting off the stems close to the ground as soon as the flowers have fallen; shoots will then be produced, sufficiently vigorous to furnish a beautiful and abundant bloom the following spring.

Varieties. Above one hundred varieties have been assigned to this species, and classed in three divisions:

Var. provincialis  includes the Provence, or Cabbage Roses.

Var. muscosa  comprises the Moss Roses.

Var. pomponia , the Pompone Roses. According to Loudon, we have made this a variety of R. centifolia, although some authors assert it to have been found growing wild in 1735, by a gardener of Dijon, in France, who discovered it while cutting wood on a mountain near that city. Many varieties of it have been obtained, among which, the most singular is the little dwarf given in the New Du Hamel as a distinct species. It does not grow more than twelve or fifteen inches high, and frequently perishes before blossoming.

Var. bipinnata Red, has bipinnate leaves.

R. Gallica L.The French, or Provence Rose. Red Rose.Synonyms. R. centifolia, Mill.R. sylvatica, Gater. R. rubra, Lam. R. holosericea, Rossig. R. Belgica, Brot. R. blanda,Brot. Prickles unequal. Stipules narrow, divaricate at the tip. Leaflets, 5-7, coriaceous, rigid, ovate or lanceolate, deflexed. Flower bud ovate-globose; sepals spreading during the time of the flowering. Fruit, subglobose, very coriaceous. Calyx and peduncle more or less hispid with glanded hairs, somewhat viscose.

A species allied to R. centifolia, L., but with round fruit, and very coriaceous leaflets, with more numerous nerves, that are a little prominent, and are anastomosing. Native of middle Europe and Caucasus, in hedges. The flowers vary from red to crimson, and from single to double; and there is one variety with the flowers double white. The petals of some of the varieties of this rose are used in medicine, which, though not so fragrant as those of the Dutch hundred-leaved rose, also one of the varieties of this species, are preferred for their beautiful color and their pleasant astringency. The petals of R. Gallica  are those which are principally used for making conserve of roses, and, when dried, for gargles: their odor is increased by drying. They are also used in common with those of R. centifolia, for making rose-water and attar of roses. This rose was called by old writers the Red Rose, and is supposed to have been the one assumed as the badge of the House of Lancaster. This, also, is one of the roses mentioned by Pliny; from which, he says, all the others have been derived. It is often confounded with the Damask rose.

Varieties. The varieties of this species are very numerous. One of the most distinct is Var. parvifolia . (R. parvifolia, Ehr. R. Burgundiaca, Rossig. R. remensis, Desf.The Burgundy Rose.—A dwarf, compact shrub, with stiff, ovate acute, and sharply serrated small leaflets, and very double purple flowers, which are solitary, and have some resemblance, in form and general appearance, to the flower of a double-flowered Asiatic Ranunculus.