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Heirloom Roses order received -- ? about 'Reine des Violettes'

AquaEyes 7a NJ
11 years ago

On Monday I received the first of my Spring bands, from Heirloom Roses. I ordered the following:

Austins:
'Abraham Darby'
'Evelyn'
'Golden Celebration'
'Jude the Obscure'
'The Prince'
'Prospero'
'Tamora'

China:
'Louis Philippe'

Hybrid Perpetuals:
'Paul Neyron'
'Reine des Violettes'

Portlands:
'Indigo'
'Rose de Rescht'

I received an email a while back letting me know that 'Paul Neyron' wouldn't be available until June, so that didn't come. That's fine with me.

I received another email a couple weeks ago telling me that 'Louis Philippe' was unavailable, and asking if I'd like a replacement or refund. I responded with a replacement (their 'Francis Dubreuil', which is really 'Barcelona'). I didn't get a response to my response, but it's busy this time of year. No worries.

The plants came looking good.

{{gwi:248768}}

The invoice inside included the email about 'Louis Philippe' being unavailable, but not my response with the replacement. I guess it didn't get read, and so 'Francis Dubreuil' (aka 'Barcelona') didn't come.

Something strange, however, was the plant tagged 'Reine des Violettes'. This band has tiny prickles going up the main stem, somewhat resembling those on Gallicas.

{{gwi:248769}}

{{gwi:248770}}

{{gwi:248771}}

I know there are some "fakes" out there, so one possibility is that Heirloom doesn't have the real thing. Another possibility is that their "real thing" reverted back to 'Pope Pius IX'. A third possibility is that this is a freakish thing that happens sometimes with bands, and the plant will shed the prickles soon and be completely smooth. And finally, the rose could simply be mislabeled -- which makes me wonder what it will turn out to be.

I'm not complaining -- I'm very happy with how the plants look, and was happy with my order from them last year. Mistakes happen.

I called them today to 1) tell them that my replacement is 'Francis Dubreuil' and may be shipped together with 'Paul Neyron' in June, and 2) ask about this 'Reine des Violettes' which came. I was told that when the nursery people come back from a meeting, she would find out and get back to me. I said I'd take some pictures if they'd want me to send them.

Does anyone have any ideas about this? I remember the last 'Reine des Violettes' I ordered being completely smooth, but then again it was from a different nursery.

And in other news, I HAVE to share this pic of my first rose from last year to leaf out in its pot. 'Souvenir de Victor Landeau' came from Vintage Gardens last year as a band and grew vigorously (but did not bloom) when grown-on in its 2-gallon nursery pot. It spent the winter on my front porch with no added protection, and when I saw the first green leaves popping out, I put it (and the others) in my back yard to get more sun. This pic was taken today, almost a year to the day after receiving it in a tiny band-liner. Absolutely no die-back, save for a few buds which started swelling a few weeks too early and ended up shriveled. But they are now pushed off by new buds growing underneath them.

{{gwi:248772}}

:-)

~Christopher

This post was edited by AquaEyes on Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 12:53

Comments (33)

  • Kippy
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My band RdV from Burling (last spring) has tiny prickles (reminds me of a raspberry cane) They are not real thorns, but not smooth either.

    Hope that helps

  • zjw727
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've seen RDV growing at Heirloom...it's enormous, and ungainly.

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  • TNY78
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have two plants of Reine des Violettes (one from David Austin and one from Tractor Supply) and both have very gallica like small prickles. dont worry, I think you have the correct rose. :)
    I'll try to photograph mine tonight and post it.

    Tammy

  • jerijen
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've never seen RdV with prickles.

    But the "RdV-NOT" from Sam Kedem did have small prickles, as does Vintage's 'Pius IX'.

    Jeri

  • floridarosez9 Morgan
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tammy, Tractor Supply? We have a TS, but I have never seen roses there.

  • TNY78
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    yep...tractor supply :) this was the first year I saw them there. they didnt have too many varities but a few: Yankee Doodle, The Fairy, Cl Peace. they were bagged in those peat pots, but looked healthy. They were from Tyler Nursery in Tyler, TX.

    My RdV doesnt have big thorns, but very very small prickles...maybe I'm describing them wrong...its not smooth and shiney though...has a very dull look....similar to some of my albas...

  • Alana8aSC
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tammy,
    When you posted this I went and checked mine which I just received this year from Burlington, who has a big bloom about to open! She has smooth stems, not one single prickle did I see. Hope your mystery gets solved!

  • User
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I bought Reine des Violettes from Heirloom years ago, and what they sent me was NOT the correct variety. In the years following, this error has been documented many times by other buyers. I do not know if they finally addressed the problem, but your prickly-stemmed plant makes me wonder.

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So while I was potting up the bands today, I apparently had my phone on mute and missed their call. I just called back, this time speaking to someone else (but maybe some note was put on my account about my question).

    The answer I got is that many times, "thornless" roses are really just less-prickly, with wide-enough spaces between them so that one can grab a stem and not get stuck.

    :-/

    I got 'Reine des Violettes' previously as a gift for someone else, and grew the band up in a pot before passing it on. There was not one single prickle on it, anywhere. I guess if I really want this one, I'll have to look up where I ordered it last time -- I think it was RVR -- and put it on the list for next time.

    I did mention in my phone call "I know with a lot of the antiques, there are a few different versions passing around, similar enough to fit the original descriptions but not quite the same between them, so perhaps you have one of the slightly-thorny versions of 'Reine des Violettes' and the rose was tagged correctly."

    She replied "We definitely have the real Reine des Violettes, but it's not absolutely thornless."

    :-/

    Well, whatever it is, I'll put it to good use somewhere in the yard, but definitely not the spot where I needed the "real" RdV which needs to go to a truly prickle-free rose (near a path). I'd actually rather know that it's "their version" of RdV than be something with the wrong tag, and I'd have no idea what it is without watching it and trying to match it to something in their inventory.

    Meanwhile, my first round of bands has been potted up into 1- or 2-gallon nursery liners (smaller and/or wimpier ones in the 1-gallons, bigger and/or more vigorous ones in the 2-gallons). I went back and looked at what my original potting mix was. Whoops! I kept saying "Peters' topsoil" here, but it was "Scott's topsoil." And I've been reading some not-so-great reviews about that product recently, so I just skipped it.

    This time, I used equal parts by volume of shredded hardwood mulch, Canadian peat moss, and a composted cow manure product called Bovung. I lined the bottom of the pots with some newspaper to block the holes from letting soil come out, but allow water to drain. I used 1/2 cup Jobe's Knock-Out Organic Rose Food for the 1-gallons, double for the 2-gallons, and sprinkled it in layers as I added the potting mix. I slid the bands out of their liners carefully and didn't break up the roots, slipping the entire soil ball whole into center of the pots and filling in around them with my mix.

    I soaked all the bands last night when I took them out of the box, and left them on my porch in bright shade until I potted them up. Where they are now, they get late-morning dappled sun, bright shade from about 1pm-4pm, and full-sun from 4pm-7pm. When they were all potted up, I gave them each a slow drink with fish and kelp meal diluted to half the recommended strength. These 10, plus my 6 from last year, make 16 down -- 54 to go.

    {{gwi:248773}}

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • seil zone 6b MI
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My RdV has no thorns or prickles of any kind and never has had. I actually bought mine as a body bag rose from Home Depot about 6 years ago. Everyone said it would probably turn out to be a mislabel at the time but it has since turned out to be the real deal.
    {{gwi:248775}}

  • TNY78
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ok, I think I remembered the prickles larger than they actually are! I went out and took a couple of pictures of the canes on the one I received from David Austin last year, and while there are teeny tiny little bumps, they aren't even large enough to scratch your skin. It too early for new growth, but here's two pictures of canes that developed last year for you to use as comparison...

    Tammy

    {{gwi:248776}}

    {{gwi:248777}}

  • Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I went out and looked at mine today and checked the whole plant but couldn't find a single thorn or prickle. I got her from Greenmantle.

    Melissa

  • catsrose
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mine looks like Tammy's--no real thorns, but slightly fuzzy-- and I got mine from Vintage.

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Paul, thank you very much for that comparison photo. Mine is more clearly the one on the right leaf-wise. I couldn't put a finger on it, but something about the cane also "felt" different -- shade of green, the look of the new growth, etc. -- from the "real" RdV I got from Rogue Valley Roses last year. I'll put it back on the list for next time. But at least now I know what to expect when this one flowers. Is the general habit the same -- rangy, climber-like HP?

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • User
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    " Is the general habit the same -- rangy, climber-like HP?"

    The imposter is a much more coarse grower: much more "octopus" than the real thing. It tends to flop under its own weight. It is also much more Blackspot prone. I ended up removing it after several years because of its chronic disease problem. That and the fact that I didn't need yet another "Mystery Pink Hybrid Perpetual" in my garden.

  • Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's my RdV last year.

    Melissa

  • rosefolly
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My memory is that Heirloom Roses can be very defensive about misidentified roses. For years they sold a rose as the damask 'La Ville de Bruxelles' that repeated. The real 'La Ville de Bruxelles' is not remontant. However, they always insisted that theirs was correct despite numerous customers questioning them. If a vendor tells you he is offering a miracle plant, it is usually not true.

    Also, for years they sold a repeat blooming 'Climbing Cecile Brunner' that most people regard as 'Spray Cecile Brunner'. I had mine for years and it never got any more than 8-10 feet tall. The real 'Cl Cecile Brunner' can go about double that, climbing up into a tree or hiding a small shed. And yes, in my climate, it repeats lightly. Again, they insisted that theirs was correctly identified.

    On the other hand, they do sell some awfully pretty roses. I like them, I just don't regard them as the final word in rose identity.

    Rosefolly

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks, rosefolly, for echoing the sentiment I have come to learn about them. They DO have a nice selection of moderns, but for authentic antiques, I'm going to look elsewhere. It's sadly ironic, considering their name.....

    Now that Vintage is closing, my other trusted source for antiques will become my only trusted source for antiques -- Rogue Valley Roses. I'm sure there are others, but I have had great experiences with RVR and they've made me a loyal fan -- even if we are on opposite sides of the country.

    Sooooo......I was bad. I made another order with Vintage to get the REAL RdV before that source is gone. RVR has it as well, but it's not currently available. So, being as Vintage ships four to a box, that meant I'd be better off picking another three.....you all know the drill. I figured I'd look for something that would fit into either the garden or my little "collection" of fragrant dark-red or crimson HTs.

    I was doing a lot of yard clean-up today, and started thinking that I could stick something in the middle of each Gallica bed, toward the back, that would grow up and broad into the evergreens above (I limbed them up today, and took out a LOT of dead branches, leaving more room than I anticipated). So I noticed that Vintage had a VI version of 'Cornelia' and I went for it.

    My other two are somewhat obscure, not found elsewhere, and offered by Vintage as VID. So I added two "pot-pets" from the fragrant dark-red or crimson HT category -- 'Nocturne VID' and 'Rose of Freedom VID'.

    Then I noticed I got an email from RVR stating that two roses couldn't be included in my order shipping out next week -- "Pickering Four Seasons Rose" and the old HT 'Stadtrat Glaser'. They said they'd put me on a waiting list for them, which is fine. But that meant I could add two substitutes.

    One would be the 'Louis Phillipe' which Heirloom couldn't provide. The other is another broad, climbing Hybrid Musk for the larger Gallica bed, 'Bubble Bath'.

    I'm liking the idea of training it up and through the evergreens, blooming after the Gallicas growing below. And at each end of the beds, one of the four white singles trained the same way -- "Darlow's Enigma", "Secret Garden Musk Climber", 'Rosa moschata' and 'Reverend Seidel' (the last being the shortest will go in the corner of the smaller bed, against the house).

    Luckily I ordered more pots than I needed....but now there's no doubt that some of these babies will be going to my former roommate's new house -- and I know she'll love them.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • bluegirl_gw
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mine is smooth. A Pickering's plant from last year. It's having its first blooms & they are more pink than the Veilchenblau-blue blooms I had on an old plant from Chamblees (I think, maybe Wayside). But the first blooms on a young plant often aren't very characteristic of the variety, at least in my experience. Sorry, but I can't recall the relative smoothness of the canes on my old plant.

  • TNY78
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Christopher, you will LOVE Bubblebath! It actually my favorite hybrid musk and I'm surpised its not better known. Its blooms are very large for an HM and its clusters are massive! I have it in partial shade and it seems to do great!

    Tammy

  • Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Christopher, what makes you think Vintage has the REAL Reine des Violettes? Catsrose posted that hers isn't thornless, it is like Tammy's. I checked the Vintage Gardens Book of Roses, and it indicates Vintage got their Reine des Violettes from Pickering. Checking the Pickering website on RdV it says next to "foliage notes"--"well foliated, almost thornless" and next to "Extra note"--"few thorns".

    So if you question the rose you received from Heirloom because it has few thorns, why assume Vintage's is the real deal when it also has few thorns??? I wonder if Heirloom and Vintage have the same plant.

    Now since this subject came up, I looked up RdV on HMF and there appears to be differing descriptions of thorniness (or lack of) right from the very first reference. HMF indicates RdV dates back to 1860, and the first reference is from that year:

    L'Illustration Horticole, 1860, page 259 "The shrub has exceptional vigour and floriferousness. Foliage is ample, with red stipules, petioles and petiolules; also the prickles of the branches."

    According to this source, Reine des Violettes has colored prickles. Kind of hard to have a color if they don't exist!

    Then there is a reference from the following year that states the opposite:

    Pflanzen-Catalog der Laurentius'schen Gärtnerei zu Leipzig für 1861, page 91, "...extraordinarily vigorous variety without prickles".

    Then there are 3 more sources from 1861 which don't mention prickles at all, whether the rose has them or not. The next reference, from several years later, does comment on the issue.

    Hamburger Garten- und Blumenzeitung, 1864, page 155, "...the most magnificent and finest hybrid perpetual of this characteristic beautiful colouring, almost without prickles."

    So which is correct? Do I have the real RdV because it is thornless? Or not for the very same reason? Or is it possible the amount of thorniness varies from none to a small amount? Perhaps taking cuttings from different parts of the plant led to the variability of prickles/thorns on the plants in commerce.

    Melissa

    Here is a link that might be useful: Reine des Violettes at Pickering Nurseries

  • User
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One thing I can tell you for certain is that the imposter RdV I received years ago has cool pink (as opposed to a modern warm pink) blooms, as you can distinctly see in the image I linked. Thorns aside, the bloom will be a clear indicator. If it is "the real deal", you will see purple-lavender blooms that age to grey tints blended in. (Taking into account that RdV bloom color is quite variable, but it isn't pink!)

  • jerijen
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Trospero's correct about that color.- The Real RdV , in my cool, foggy, conditions, is as close as I've ever come to a 'Blue' rose. HOWEVER, in hot weather, it can go 'shocking' pink. Our RdV was completely thorn less. Of course, it was also virused.

    Jeri

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Vintage Gardens, to me, is more trusted with the identity of their antiques because they continue to investigate what they have, compare to old records, and have no problem issuing their identification as tentative by placing the name in double quotes.

    Tammy posted pics of hers, and that is the "thornless RdV" I remember from another nursery -- dull green color to the stems, leaves wider and more rounded, tapering suddenly. Tammy first said hers had thorns, then took the pics and came back saying what she thought were thorns were merely small bumps. My band is just as prickly as a typical Gallica -- no one seeing it would remark about its "smooth canes" because they're not. That's not what I would call the same "a few thorns" as found on Tammy's band -- I can't put my finger on the stem without touching a prickle.

    The first reference on HMF for RdV is clearly a translation from the French (as noted by both the French title and the text's awkward English). I would much prefer to read the original and translate it myself. It's very likely that the "also the prickles of the branches" which follows a semicolon (which denotes a separation of the second clause from the first, such that it could be its own sentence if grammatically correct, and that the translation isn't makes me wonder about the accuracy of the translation) is not connected to the comment about "red stipules..." It could very well be that missing from the translation is a negative, turning that last bit into a comment about "also the lack of prickles of the branches" which is less awkward of a clause than "also the prickles of the branches." But I can't tell for sure without reading the original French.

    Be careful about taking an awkward translation as gospel just because it's the oldest. If several descriptions beginning merely a year later describe the plant as without (or almost without) prickles, I'd take that over the claim that the first description (as translated on HMF) is noting "red prickles" which I really don't get even in that awkward translation -- the semicolon would not be used if the "prickles of the branches" were red like the stipules. A comma would be.

    Also remember that considering the time for a book to come out in print during those years that close together, it's very likely that both authors were writing without seeing the works of the others. Thus the descriptions are better trusted to be based upon actual inspection, rather than copy-and-paste from other authors -- because there wouldn't have been time to read the first description and write it again in a book coming out a year or two later.

    Ultimately, RdV has had notes in her description over the years about her relative thornlessness. The band which I received would not be called "thornless" any more than many other roses I've seen which never acquired that adjective in their description. Sure, my plant isn't overly thorny, and its prickles are small, but they are not sparse enough for me (or anyone else seeing it for the first time) to say "my, that rose is thornless." But others seeing the real RdV over the years have. That's why I don't think this one is the "real" one, and the one I grew previously (and gave as a gift) was.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • Alana8aSC
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Trospero, I may need you to send me a piece of your beautiful Right rose..or tell us who carry's the "real " one.

  • malcolm_manners
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    After reading this thread, I walked out to the college nursery to have a look at our plants. We recently potted up two grafted plants (on 'Fortuniana') for the college's new garden. Sure enough, one of the plants showed some prickles at the base.

    This 'Reine des Violettes' was purchased from Roses of Yesterday and Today in 1982 or perhaps 1983. Of course it had rose mosaic as all of their roses did, then, so it was among the very first roses we ever heat-treated. We've had it in the collection ever since. Other than the occasional cane like this one, with a few prickles at the base, it tends to be virtually thornless, in a big, vigorous, upright plant.

    The link below is for prickles. Here are some more of the way ours grows and blooms:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/2419037693/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/3466469571/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/3467142986/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/8662344942/in/photostream

    Sorry about the blurry prickle photos; I'm not good at focusing close-up with an iPhone.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Prickles on Reine des Violettes

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this. I can see differences in the shade of green to the canes and leaves, as well as the shape of the leaves, when comparing to mine. Also I notice that the prickles in your pics occur in patches between broad areas of smooth cane. On my band, there are no smooth areas on the cane large enough for me to place a finger tip without touching a prickle.

    I wonder if there are intermediate or partial reversions between RdV and Pius IX which might account for the sparse appearance of prickles. But I do see some other differences which lead me to believe we don't have the same plant. Being as I ordered Vintage Gardens' version as well, I'll just decide which I like better as they grow.

    Thank you everyone for the discussion thus far.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • Kippy
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    These are from today from my RdV.

    Purchased as a band last season from Burlington. FYI these upper leaves are sad looking from before I noticed the choriotic growth and fed her acid food. It is been warm and these are older blooms and more pink than they started out
    {{gwi:248781}}

    The canes with prickles (but just little ones)
    {{gwi:248782}}

    Sad growth, but looking better lower now
    {{gwi:248784}}

  • Alana8aSC
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a picture of mine I just received as a band from burlington. Do ya'll think this is the real one or no? smooth canes, no prickles.It is a band just potted up 3 weeks ago or so.

    This post was edited by Alana7bSC on Fri, Apr 19, 13 at 10:09

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Alana, I can't say for sure, but the leaves on yours more closely resemble trospero's 'Reine des Violettes' than his "Heirloom Violettes" in the image he posted here previously.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • zjw727
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This has been a fascinating thread. I never get tired of reading things like this. I'll be visiting Heirloom's display garden in a few weeks, and I'll be very interested in investigating the plant of RDV. The last time I saw it, it wasn't blooming.

  • Alana8aSC
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks Cristopher! And your right zjw727 this is a very interesting thread!