William Lobb heritage rose

Deservedly popular in New Zealand

Also known as Duchesse d’Istrie and Old Velvet Moss, this rose variety is widely grown in New Zealand.

It was bred in 1855 by Jean Laffay, and named after William Lobb (1809 - 1864) a Cornish plant collector, who introduced to England the monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) from Chile and the massive sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) from North America.

William Lobb is “Deservedly one of the most popular Moss Roses,” says Botanica’s Roses.

Jean Laffay (1794-1878), who developed this rose, also bred the first Hyrid Perpetual. He had worked at Neuilly for the Duc d’Orleans as head gardener, before marrying in 1829 and setting up his own nursesry in Auteuil. He bred about 40 cultivars, many of them moss roses. In 1859, he suddenly and without explanation left for Algeria, where he remained for nearly 20 years. He returned to Paris in 1877 and died there one year later.

Specifics of the variety

Type of rose: Moss rose

Flowers: Mauve or purple blend displaying the centres of golden yellow stamens. Strong fragrance. Large, very full (up to 50 petals) old-fashioned, quartered bloom form. Average diameter 8cm. Mossed buds. Flowers appear in mid summer in great profusion

Growth habit: Tall, arching shrub. Matte, medium green foliage.

Height of 1.85m to 2.45m. Width up to 1.50m.

Long firm stems, covered in greyish brown moss have many stout thorns and are overlaid with dark grey green medium sized and coarse well serrated foliage. The buds have a soft mid to dark green moss.

Growing notes: Useful as both a tall shrub or small climber on walls, trellises and arches. It will need support.