[From Sean McCann's column, Roses Abroad
, in the March 1999 issue of the American Rose
magazine, p. 22:] a class that was introduced in 1875 with the introduction of 'Paquerette'
. They can all be identified by clusters of small blooms. The bushes are low and carry numerous flowers in great profusion from July to October.
[From Roses by Jack Harkness 1978, p156] The Polyantha class collected a number of names as it proceeded, of which Baby Ramblers was one. They were Fairies, Pets, Daisies, Dwarfs and Pompons. The two most commonly in use were Polyantha Pompon and Dwarf Polyantha.
p158 'Gloria Mundi' marks the climax of the Polyanthas, because in the 1930s their shortcomings became obvious with Floribundas beside them; they faded out of the rose catalogues soon after 1945. The neat little flowers were seen to be small beside
'Else Poulsen' and 'Donald Prior'. Their tendency to succumb to mildew contrasted with the health of Kirsten Poulsen' and 'Dainty Maid'. Their leaves were outdone by the handsome influence of the Indicae upon Floribunda foliage. And worst of all, they were not stable. The series of sports had one great drawback, that they were even happier to revert than they had been to sport. Thus a carefully planned bedding scheme was spoiled, because half the flower, or a stem, or complete bushes reverted to one of their originals, or part way back. That the nursery trade could have done more to keep the stocks pure is probable, but only as a delaying measure. Henceforward the Polyantha class, with all its beauty, was to be represented by roses of different character, such as 'Ballerina', which follows.
[From Phillips & Rix, The Quest for the Rose, p. 98:] Polyantha Roses were formed by crossing a China Rose with a dwarf, repeat-flowering form of Rosa multiflora. The first hybrids were once flowering but repeat flowering appeared in the second generation. 'Pâquerette' and 'Mignonette', introduced by Guillot (fils) in 1875 and 1881, were pretty, dwarf roses with stiff heads of small, double, short-petalled flowers, like dwarf Ramblers. Numerous roses of this type were introduced in the later nineteenth century. It was only when Tea Roses were introduced into the parentage that more elegant, dwarf roses appeared. 'Mlle. Cécile Brünner' and 'Perle d'Or' both have loose sprays of miniature, Hybrid-Tea-shaped flowers and are still familiar roses; 'Clotilde Soupert' is another of the same type. Polyanthas, which reached their pinnacle of success in 1909, never achieved the popularity of Teas or Hybrid Perpetuals, but have continued as a minor group until today, although completely overshadowed by their successors, the Floribundas.
[From Gardening with Roses, by Judith McKeon, p. 32:] Polyanthas behave much like herbaceous perennial drifts, and should be sheared after each flowering period... hardy to Zone 5.
[From A Celebration of Old Roses, by Trevor Griffiths, p. 129:] Many of the polyantha class were created by their ability to sport, both in colour and in form.
[Ibid>, p. 130:] There is no doubt that ['Mme. Norbert Levavasseur'], more than any other, helped to establish the class firmly... and was used many times, directly and indirectly, as a parent...
[From Miniature Roses: Thei Care and Cultivation, by Sean McCann, p. 16:] Polyantha roses are distinguished by clusters of smallish blooms and by lighter than usual green foliage, which can look a little rough at times.
[From Botanica's Roses, p. 140: Mildew] is one of the reasons why the Polyanthas faded away in favor of the healthier and bigger Cluster-flowered Roses from the 1940s onwards.
[From Growing Old-Fashioned Roses, by Trevor Nottle, p. 21: Polyanthas are] a race of dwarf shrubs... They were mostly used for 'bedding out' to make colorful displays in parks and gardens... They have been replaced by Floribundas...