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most recent 14 MAR SHOW ALL
Initial post 20 JUL 09 by Patricia Routley
How does one tell the difference between 'Louis XIV' and 'Nigrette'?
Reply #1 of 15 posted 4 NOV 15 by AquaEyes
I realize this response is REALLY late, but I was thinking about this after posting two pics of my 'Nigrette' today. Here in the US, every pic I've seen of either 'Nigrette' or 'Louis XIV' -- whether on here, on the Antique Rose Forum, or on nursery websites -- show the same cultivar. It wasn't a big deal to me, since I just wanted a fragrant near-black wimpy rose for a pot-pet. I knew that if a nursery didn't have 'Nigrette' but had 'Louis XIV' that I'd still get what I wanted.

Later, I wondered if 'Nigrette' was simply 'Louis XIV' reintroduced under a new name, but then I saw the 1936 reference for 'Louis XIV' which describes it as "...dark crimson, shaded, edges white..." Huh? White edges? I've never seen that on my plant -- nor on any pic for 'Louis XIV'. I then see later references from the 1990s onward describing 'Louis XIV' in about the same way as references describe 'Nigrette'.

So I think what happened is that some unnamed plants of 'Nigrette' were found, and subsequently identified as being 'Louis XIV'. This to me seems rather likely, being as 'Nigrette' was being wildly promoted upon its introduction as being "The Black Rose of Sangerhausen", and as such there were probably many planted back then. And interestingly, it came out about the same time as that old 'Louis XIV' reference which mentioned the white edge. If the two were so similar, surely there'd have been something about that noted upon the introduction of 'Nigrette'. But the only comparisons I find between the two are more recent, by which point I think the same rose was being grown under two names -- and thus the comparison was then warranted.

Of course, this is just my interpretation. Is there any source for 'Louis XIV' with a provenance that dates from before the introduction of 'Nigrette'? Or what about one from before the earliest reference from the 1990s? Since 'Nigrette' didn't seem to live up to the hype, it seems not implausible that it could be forgotten as a possibility when trying to identify an old unknown dark red fragrant rose.


Reply #2 of 15 posted 4 NOV 15 by Kim Rupert
That sounds perfectly plausible to me, Christopher.
Reply #3 of 15 posted 11 AUG 19 by Patricia Routley
I have just added a Peter Beales Rose Catalogue reference from 1982 which mentions the rose he was selling as ‘Louis XIV’ had “a good fragrance which is unusual in the China roses”. Beales listed no provenance and repeated his entry through to at least 1986. In that same year Krussman mentions that ‘Nigrette’ ....” is only found in specialized collections today.”
Reply #4 of 15 posted 11 AUG 19 by AquaEyes
There were some roses that were called "Chinas" simply because they were of that growth and bloom habit, but were clearly showing "blood" of Bourbon, HP, or even HT. If the true 'Louis XIV' really was a seedling of 'General Jacqueminot', then it'd be of that sort of "China" -- a wimpy Hybrid Perpetual that bloomed often. So that Beales' 'Louis XIV' had an atypical fragrance for a China doesn't necessarily discount it as being 'Louis XIV'. But I still think that what's going around as 'Louis XIV' and 'Nigrette' today are both the same rose, and that because the latter was seemingly more heavily marketed, it's the one of the two which survived to this day.


Reply #5 of 15 posted 11 AUG 19 by jedmar
In Halfeti, southeastern Turkey, grows the so-called "Black Rose of Halfeti", which was apprently identified by Martyn Rix as 'Louix XIV'. This rose apparently only keeps it black colour in the soil of the area, blooming dark red in other locations. It is presumed that it was originally imported by Armenians living in the area prior to World War I, so it cannot possibly be 'Nigrette'. It might be valuable to make a DNA comparison with the roses in commerce.
Reply #7 of 15 posted 11 AUG 19 by Kim Rupert
Wow, that impresses me as being an only marginal job of photo shopping the flower.
Reply #8 of 15 posted 12 AUG 19 by jedmar
The photos on that website are photoshopped, however, I have a description of this rose as being very dark red in a publication by late rose expert Turhan Baytop from 1997. The question is whether this rose, be it black, near black or very dark red is the real 'Louis XIV'.
In the article below is a photo showing true colours:
Reply #9 of 15 posted 12 AUG 19 by AquaEyes
Martyn Rix said that the Halfeti roses were of the 'Louis XIV' family, not that it actually was that rose -- remember, those roses are often seed-grown. And in any case, that was just a comment of comparison, not a set-in-stone deduction. Also, what Martyn Rix knew as 'Louis XIV' was almost certainly the same that's sold under that name today, which is 'Nigrette'. Note the 1936 reference for 'Louis XIV' that mentions lighter edges to the petals -- that feature is not seen in the rose sold under its name today.. And look at the plant -- would you expect a seedling of 'General Jacqueminot' from 1859 to have such pointed buds?

I'm still holding that the rose going around as 'Louis XIV' is 'Nigrette', which is also sold under it's correct name. If you can find differences in pictures between them, please point them out to me.


Reply #10 of 15 posted 12 AUG 19 by Patricia Routley
Utterly fascinating Jedmar. Many thanks for that link. I am afraid my tongue is firmly in my cheek at this stage though.
“This rose apparently only keeps it black colour in the soil of the area, blooming dark red in other location.” As does ‘Nigrette’ in Lexington - refer Karl’s photos.
I have peered closely at the tomato tin photo and see similarities with the Conard-Pyle 1935 illustration of ‘Nigrette’. The long straight thorns seem the same, as do the buds on the left of the tomato tin photo.
Reply #6 of 15 posted 11 AUG 19 by Andrew from Dolton
My plant came from Beales, it's only mildly scented.
Reply #11 of 15 posted 25 MAR 21 by JJS
There are several accounts of Louis XIV before 1936 and none of them mentions white edges. And they certainly would if it actually had white edges. So my guess is that the 1936 description is just wrong. There are some reports that Nigrette is being sold as Louis XIV and since I just bought Louis XIV from a renowned old rose nursery here in Denmark I am very eager to see whether it will develop into an HT or an HP.
Reply #12 of 15 posted 12 MAR by Seaside Rooftop
JJS, I completely agree.
Perhaps the rose in commerce *in the USA* as Louis XIV is a renamed Nigrette (understandably since I can imagine it would be very difficult to sell a rose with a name like that over there), but here in Europe the two roses are district, and many reputable nurseries offer both varieties.
As for the notion that there are no references to Louis before Nigrette's introduction, this is very obviously incorrect.
Adding to the references already listed on the references page here, see the extensive list of references for Louis XIV on the Roseraie de L'Haÿ website's page for this variety. Many 19th and early 20th century mentions, always as crimson, velvety, NEVER a mention of a white edge.
Also, I would like to remind that the introducer of this rose is still operational (Guillot), a family run business since the 19th century. They still sell Louis XIV. I doubt they are confused about whether it's their own heritage rose or not!
Reply #13 of 15 posted 12 MAR by Margaret Furness
Unfortunately the Guillot firm, like many, didn't keep all of its productions, or lost some in the vicissitudes of time. Some of what they have now has been given or sold to them relatively recently, so it can't be assumed that everything they (or other breeders) have is correctly named.
Reply #14 of 15 posted 14 MAR by Seaside Rooftop
Thank you Margaret,
As I understand, there are two separate points that were being made in the discussion above. One was the possibility that the original Louis XIV had white edges, based on a single 1936 german reference. I think this one can safely be considered incorrect, in view of the many, many sources from the pre-Nigrette period that all consistently describe Louis XIV as a crimson rose, with no mention whatsoever of white edges. If the current list of references is considered insufficient to outweigh the Rozenlexicon one, I would be happy to translate a few more to add to that list.
The second point is about the possibility that the two roses have been confused. After all they are both small wimpy crimson roses, with very similar foliage, but there are a few differences; perhaps the most important among them is that Nigrette sets OP hips whereas real Louis XIV does not.
Louis XIV has consistently been in french rose catalogs since it's introduction (again see L'Haÿ's references page for this rose), so there doesn't seem to be a point when the rose would have been lost to be found again and confused with another.
Of course I could be mistaken, but it seems to me the confusion between the two in commerce is mainly something that happened outside of Europe.
Reply #15 of 15 posted 14 MAR by Kim Rupert
I don't know if it may help, but Bob Edberg, who created and operated Limberlost Roses in Van Nuys, California for a number of years, allowed me to add to his importation from Rosenhof Schultheis in the early to mid 1990's. I ordered Tawny Gold (which arrived as a medium red HT) and Nigrette (which is the rose sold by Sequoia Nursery and most others since that time) as I HAD to see "The Black Rose of Sangerhausen". Until that import order came out of quarantine and I began spreading the rose around to whomever would sell it, there was no listed source in the US for Nigrette. I had been purchasing and digesting The Combined Rose List since 1984 and searching for every oddball, esoteric and "extinct" rose I could find.
most recent 21 FEB SHOW ALL
Initial post 8 JUL 19 by AquaEyes
Available from - Foundation Plant Services, UC Davis
Reply #1 of 1 posted 21 FEB by Beckareckarickerack
That's only the budwood that is available for growers.
most recent 14 NOV SHOW ALL
Initial post 26 NOV 18 by Darrell
You list no nursery for this rose, but according to Combined Rose List 2018, 'Pasadena Tournament' is sold by Burlington Rose Nursery in Visalia, CA.
Reply #1 of 3 posted 27 NOV 18 by Patricia Routley
Thanks Darrell. I have added them to the list of nurseries that stock this rose. Actually the file for Burlington Rose Nursery was showing it was last updated in 2009. (Now updated as of today’s date after my addition). Surely Burling updates it on a regular basis? All nurseries should of course. Unfortunately it is a task that is well beyond the scope of the HelpMeFind volunteers.
Reply #2 of 3 posted 6 NOV 21 by Anita silicon valley
Greenmantle Nurseries in Calif 707-986-7504 has it on their list.
Reply #3 of 3 posted 14 NOV by AquaEyes
I realize this is very late, but as I'm going through Burlington Roses's list, I see that while they have 'Pasadena Tournament', they class it as "Climbing Floribunda", which leads me to believe they don't have the bush form.
most recent 19 JUN HIDE POSTS
Initial post 19 JUN by AquaEyes
This is not a Gallica. Perhaps it is one of the 'William Shakespeare' roses by David Austin.
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