Moss rose


The Moss Rose was introduced into England from Holland in the sixteenth century, and is first mentioned by Miller, in 1727, by whom it was supposed to be a sport of the Provence Rose, which opinion has been confirmed by modern botanists. Its peculiarities are the delicate prickles which crowd its stem, and the beautiful mossy covering of its calyx. This mossy appearance has been deemed by some a mere lusus naturæ, and by others the work of an insect similar to that which produces the bédéguar, or rose-gall. The former opinion, however, prevails; and this freak of nature cultivators have succeeded in fixing and perpetuating in a great number of varieties. The first Moss Rose known in France was said to have been introduced there by Madame de Genlis, who brought it with her on her return from England. In 1810, scarcely more than one variety was known, and now there exist more than a hundred. Of these, the best and most distinct are the following:

Alice Leroy.—Light rosy-pink, free blooming, and of good habit.

Baronne de Wassenaer.—This has a good form, bright red color, and flowers in clusters.

Captain Ingram.—Flowers of a dark, velvety purple.

Comtesse de Murinais.—A vigorous habit. Its color is pale flesh, changing to pure white, and it is one of the best of the white Mosses.

Common.—This is the old rose-colored Moss, which has been generally cultivated in gardens. It grows well, blooms freely, is well covered with moss, and is one of the best of the old varieties.

Cristata.—A very singular and beautiful variety, said to have been discovered in the crevice of a wall at Friburg, in Switzerland. Rivers classes it with the Provence Roses, and when open, it is merely a variety of that rose; but when in bud, it is more properly a Moss, although its calyx is not covered with a fine moss, but has more of a crested appearance. In a rich soil this fringe-like crest most beautifully clasps and surmounts the bud, and gives the rich clusters a truly elegant appearance. Its form is globular, and its color rose. It is one of the few that do not grow well on their own roots, but require to be budded on some strong-growing stock.

Etna.—Brilliant crimson, tinted with purple.

Eugene Verdier.—Light red, deeper in the center, large, full, and of fine form.

Gloire des Mousseuses.—A large and handsome flower, with a clear, pale rose color.

John Cranston.—Crimson and purple shaded, of medium size, full.

Louis Gimard.—Bright red, large and full, vigorous.

Little Gem.—A miniature Moss Rose, forming compact bushes densely covered with small double crimson flowers, beautifully mossed. It is of charming effect in the garden and most valuable for bouquets or vases.

Laneii.—A vigorous grower, and has large and thrifty foliage. The buds are large and well mossed, and it is beautiful both in bud and expanded. Its color is bright rose.

Luxembourg.—Like the last, of vigorous growth. Its flowers are a purplish crimson.

Madame de Rochelambert.—This has large and full flowers, of an amaranth color.

Madame Edouard Ory.—This was described among the Remontant Mosses.

Nuits de Young.—Plant of a dwarf habit. Its flowers are small, with a deep, velvety purple color.

Princesse Adelaide.—A remarkably vigorous-growing variety, with large and handsome foliage, and would make a good pillar rose. Its regularly formed flowers, of a bright pink or rose, are produced in clusters, and open well. It does not bear close pruning. This is one of the most desirable of its class, and owes its origin to Laffay.

Princess Royal.—A very robust rose, almost equal to the preceding in vigor. Its young leaves and branches have a red tinge, and its cupped flowers are of a deep crimson purple, marbled and spotted with red. Although not quite double when fully open, they are very beautiful when in bud. A moss rose, however double, is peculiar only in bud, for, when fully expanded, the mossy calyx must inevitably be hidden.

Perpetual White.—This was described among the Remontant Mosses, as also were

Reine Blanche.—Pure white, large and full.


White Bath.—Paper-white, beautiful, large and full, one of the best.

Like all other roses, and even in a greater degree, the Moss Rose requires a light and very rich soil, with a dry bottom. Many of them make very beautiful beds and patches, when planted in rich soil, and kept well pegged down. A good supply of stable manure should be given them in the autumn, to be washed down about their roots by the winter rains. They do not generally require or bear so much pruning as other roses, but their bloom may sometimes be prolonged by shortening part of the shoots close, and only the tips of the remainder. When properly cultivated, few objects can be more beautiful than these roses, either singly or in masses. Without making so brilliant a show as some other classes, the moss which envelops them imparts a touch of graceful beauty belonging to no other flower.