About Noisette Roses
A common rose trivia question is to name the only rose class that originated in the US. The answer is the noisettes around 1811. An American rose with a French class name. John Champneys was from South Carolina and liked to tinker with hybridizing. Allegedly he crossed the musk rose, Rosa moschata with a china, possibly Old Blush. From this he got a repeat blooming climber with clusters of pom-pom like blooms that was named Champneys' Pink Cluster. He soon lost interest in the rose, but a gentlemen (a friend or worker at his plantation) named Noisette sent seeds of this rose to his brother Philip in France. Philip bred several roses from the seedlings of Pink Cluster and the new roses caused quite a stir. They honored him by naming the class noisettes.
The noisette roses were cross-bred with tea roses creating the tea-noisettes, a climbing plant with larger blooms. Due to the weight of the blooms, they tend to nod from the stem. Noisettes are not winter hardy, and grow vigorously in the southern US. They are generally climbers to 12 feet, have good repeat bloom, especially in the fall, are and disease resistant.
Some of my favorite noisettes:
'Aimée Vibert' (1828) A large growing plant with huge clusters of pom-pom white blooms. Took 3 years to bloom, but now blooms most of the season. Gives a great flush of blooms in the fall.
Alister Stella Gray (1894) An excellent member of the noisette rose family that should be better known. One of the shorter noisettes, the loosely full blooms are medium to light yellow. Has an excellent fragrance.
Blush Noisette (1817) One of the first of the French bred noisette roses and still one of the best. The soft pink blooms come in clusters and have a nice perfume.
'Céline Forestier' (1858) One of my personal favorite tea-noisettes. I love the mostly yellow, very full, strongly fragrant blooms that tend to nod due to the weight of the blooms. People often think the blooms from this rose are English roses. Grows to 12 foot in my yard.
Jeanne d'Arc (1848) Janice Goetze, a member of our society turned me onto this wonderful noisette. Grows to about 10 feet, the semi-double white blooms are produced in small clusters. Has an excellent display of hips in the winter.
Lamarque (1830) One of the best tea-noisettes. This 15-foot plant produces large, full, white blooms with a touch of yellow in the center during cooler weather.
'Mme Alfred Carrière' (1879) Probably the best of all the noisettes. This plant is more shrub-like, growing to 8 feet, more if trained as a climber. The plant never seems to be out of bloom. The loosely double light pink blooms have a great fragrance. I highly recommend this rose.
Narrow Water (1883) This noisette is said to be a sport of Nastarana. It is a much taller growing plant with medium to deep pink blooms.
Nastarana (1879) Another "short" member of this family, to 8 feet. The blooms are more musk like than noisette. Mostly white, single-petalled small blooms that come in clusters.
'Rêve d'Or' (1869) The first noisette to bloom in my yard. Full, large buttercream blooms on a 12-foot plant.
Originally published in "Rose Ecstasy," bulletin of the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society, Kitty Belendez, Editor.
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