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Centifolia Roses
Provence rose

[From The First Gallicas Raised in France: 1804-1815, by Prof. Francois Joyaux, and published in the February 1999 issue of the quarterly rose letter of the Heritage Roses Group, p. 1:] Roses de Hollande a cent feuilles = R. centifolia and the garden varieties that had arisen from it...

[From The Rose Garden, Tenth Edition, by William Paul, p. 239:] The Provence Roses are deliciously fragrant; their habit is for the most part branching or pendulous. The foliage is bold and handsome; the leaflets broad and wrinkled; in many instances obtuse, the edges deeply serrated. The prickles on the branches are very unequal; some are fine and straight, others large at their base and falcate. These points, with the drooping habit, and usually globular flowers, serve as marks by which we distinguish them... To ensure complete success plant them in a rich soil, and water them occasionally in Spring with liquid manure. All, except the vigorous growers, which are in many instance hybrids, should be subjected to close pruning.

[Ibid, p. 14: Holland] possessed the richest collections in Europe down to 1815, and it was from that country that the most beautiful of the tribe, the Moss Rose, was first introduced to England, from whence it found its way to France...

[From The Charm of Old Roses, by Nancy Steen, p. 42:] Typically, Centifolias have short and long straight thorns. Their leaves are large, rough, and often coarsely serrated, even puckered and wrinkled in some cases.

[From Ibid, p. 44:] Monsieur Dupont, who was in charge of the gardens at Malmaison in the days of the Empress Josephine, was particularly interested in the foliage of roses, and he bred two astonishing varieties of centifolias. These were the 'Lettuce-Leaved Rose' and the 'Celery-Leaved Rose'. The latter, with deeply cut and serrated leaves, has not survived the passage of time, though the former is still available. One of Redoute's finest paintings was of R. centifolia bullata, or the 'Lettuce-Leaved Rose' -- the 'Rose a Feuille de Laitue', which has extra large, puckered and wrinkled leaves.

[From Gardening with Old Roses, p. 24:] The Centifolias were originally thought to be exceedingly ancient because of references to hundred-petalled roses by Greek writers like Theophrates (372-287 BC). Scientific analysis has revealed, however, that they are of complex lineage and probably occurred by chance and were then developed and refined by Dutch breeders in the seventeenth century ... [called Cabbage Roses] because of the way the numerous petals curve inwards, hiding the centre.

[From Classic Roses, by Peter Beales, p. 87:] the fragrance of centifolias is almost intoxicating.

[From Gardening with Roses, by Judith McKeon, p. 21:] Prized for their full, very double, and extremely fragrant flowers, centifolia roses were considered the most beautiful of all flowers at their zenith in the eighteenth century ... the centifolia rose reached its pinnacle of fame as a florist flower in Holland, largely through the efforts of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch breeders. Often featured in the Dutch Masters' paintings of the period, the centifolia rose came to be known as "the rose of the painters"... At Munstead Wood, Gertrude Jekyll's home in England, centifolia and damask petals were collected by the pound for her biannual potpourri production... hardy and robust, and resist disease moderately well... nodding flowers typically in shades of pink.

[From A Heritage of Roses, by Hazel Le Rougetel, p. 13:] Centifolias are the most substantial of [the] old roses.

[From Fifty Favourite Roses, by Michael Gibson, p. 53:] Research seems to indicate that the centifolias we know originated somewhere in eastern Europe with both damask and alba blood in them and first appeared in Holland in the sixteenth century... as a race they are largely sterile. On the other hand, they throw out bud-sports with considerable freedom and it was these that the Dutch breeders concentrated on until the group expanded enough to become widely known as Holland roses... in the 1600s the name changed to 'The great double Damask Province' rose... then it became the Provence Rose... it is also known as the Cabbage Rose...

[From Roses of America, by Stephen Scanniello and Tania Bayard, pp. 67-68:] it was the most popular in Holland, where it became a favorite rose of painters in the seventeenth century. It is often called the Holland Rose, and sometimes the Provence Rose... subject to blackspot and mildew...

[From Growing Old-Fashioned Roses, by Trevor Nottle, p. 18:] Three mutant groups of roses have been developed from the Centifolias; they are the Mosses and Crested rose, and the Dwarfs.

[From The Old Rose Informant, by Brent C. Dickerson, p. 70:] the Centifolias... often tend to turn back into the variety which sported them

[Ibid, p. 72: Jean-Pierre Vibert wrote in 1826:] Generally, the seedlings of the Centifolia produce speciments only varying in the degree of intensity of their pink color; it is only by cross-fertilization with other sorts that we possess, in hybrids, some paler colors.

[From The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book, p. 16: Thomas believes] all the purplish varieties listed under R. centifolia probably owe their intense colouring to [the Gallica]

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