Gloire des Rosomanes
Translation: "Glory of the Rose Maniacs"
Pierre Lauwers

related pages: ellwanger's hrs · pembertons's hps · pierre's hps
Gloire des Rosomanes

class: Hybrid China
breeding: Plantier/Vibert 1825
photographed at Ralf Berster's Rosenhang in Karben, Germany by Daphne Filiberti
another photo of Gloire des Rosomanes

This rose is one of the most important milestones in the history of rose breeding. It has been the ancestor of the vast majority of red repeat-flowering roses up until now.

The French first recognized the Bourbon Rose in 1817. They believed the rose resulted from an accidental cross between 'Old Blush' and a Quatre Saisons on the Bourbon Island, now La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. However, we have known for some years that the Bourbon Rose, 'Rose Edouard', existed in India far before the French settled on the Bourbon Island*. The rose's parents, of which we know very little, were actually ancestors of the China and Damask roses.

The first Bourbon Rose was indeed a pink one. Despite the fact we tend to believe that the 19th-century breeders "relied solely on Mother Nature", there seems to have been a definite aim in the breeding of 'Gloire des Rosomanes': The wish to have a red version of the Bourbon rose. As a result there was a duplication of what was believed to have given the Bourbon rose: A cross between a China and a repeat-flowering Damask. I, along with some others, believe that 'Gloire de Rosomanes' could have been the cross between R. chinensis semperflorens (we of course don't know which one) and The Portland Rose.

The result was a rose of very high value, combining the sheer remontancy of the Chinas with the hardiness of the Portland rose. From Gloire des Rosomanes arose all the red Hybrid Perpetuals; crossed with 'Rose du Roi', another Portland or one of its sports or cultivars, it gave 'Géant des Batailles' (Nérard 1846). When 'Géant des Batailles' was back-crossed with 'Gloire des Rosomanes' it gave 'Général Jacqueminot' (Roussel 1853), which may be seen as the first classic red Hybrid Perpetual, a progenitor that contributed vastly to the red Hybrid Teas.

'Gloire des Rosomanes' isn't a Bourbon, but something else, which gave rise to a completely different class, the red Hybrid Perpetuals or Rosomènes. As long as DNA-testing has not been done, I consider this rose to be a repeat-flowering Hybrid China. The majority of Hybrid Chinas are once-bloomers, because their pollen parents are Gallicas. The pollen parent of 'Gloire des Rosomanes' is also Gallicanae; however, it is a repeat-flowering one.

*I asked Pierre how he could be certain Rose Edouard existed in India before the French settled the Bourbon Island. He referred me to this article written by Ivan Louette (in French).
text ©2005 Pierre Lauwers
photo ©2005 Daphne Filiberti