Souvenir de la Malmaison heritage rose

Rightfully in the Rose Societies Hall of Fame

Bred by Jean Béluze in France in 1843, a hybrid formed by Mme Desprez X Tea Rose.

Introduced in Australia and New Zealand by Hazlewood Bros. Pty. Ltd. in the 1920s.

Named for Empress Josephine’s famous home in Paris the chateau at Malmaison which she bought in April 1799.

This rose is included in the World Federation of Rose Societies Old Rose Hall of Fame.

Botanica’s Roses says: “This the most famous and possible the most beautiful of the Bourbon The fragrant flowers are large quartered (centre petals folded and packed into four distinct quarters) and very double. They are pale flesh pink, becoming paler with age.

“This rose caused such a stir that it is said that Mme Béluze used to hide at the window at night to watch for thieves who might try to steal cuttings. The climbing form (up to 1.8m high) should be kept out of the rain otherwise it will produce a great crop of balled unopened blooms.”

Specifics of the variety

Type of rose: Bourbon

Flowers: White, light pink shading, darker outer petals. Strong, tea fragrance. Average diameter 10cm. Large, very double, borne mostly solitary, in small clusters, cupped-to-flat, quartered bloom form. This rose blooms in flushes throughout the season.

Growth habit: Bushy, thornless (or almost).

Height 60 to 185 cm. Width 90 to 185 cm.

The repeat-flowering plant is low growing and bushy.

Growing notes: “The blooms ball in wet weather, a general complaint of Old Garden Roses and one from which the Modern Roses are a good deal freer.” – Botanica’s Roses

The climbing form (up to 1.8m high) should be kept out of the rain otherwise it will produce a great crop of balled unopened blooms.