Stanwell Perpetual

Stanwell Perpetual

class: Hybrid Spinosissima
breeding: Lee, 1838
photographed by Daphne Filiberti in her garden

The parents of 'Stanwell Perpetual' are an Autumn Damask and a Scotch Burnet. The perpetual habit and floral style can be attributed to the Autumn Damask. The foliage with small grayish leaves; the prickles and hips come from the scotch burnet side of the family. Gertrude Jekyll wrote in Roses for English Gardens that the hips look like exaggerated black currants, flattened at the poles, half to three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Perhaps the rose gets its softly intoxicating scent of rose, lemon, and sweet lavender from both parents. In A Fragrant Year, Helen van Pelt Wilson and Léonie Bell wrote that the scent is reminiscent of an old fashioned sachet including rose petals, lavender buds, leaves of lemon verbena or rose geranium. They commented further that the scent is comparable to the double white scotch rose, a relative through Scotch blood.

'Stanwell Perpetual' has a lax, arching, and somewhat straggly habit. Gertrude Jekyll recommended planting three a foot apart, which I have done. The plants look like one full, very well armed shrub. The plants can tolerate some shade.

Helen van Pelt Wilson and Léonie Bell describe early May when many semi-double flowers with little scent open blush then fade white. New canes come in, the new buds are larger, and open fully double with pouffed centers. As I am writing this in mid January, I have picked a rose from 'Stanwell Perpetual'. It is extraordinarily fragrant. As the flower dried it scented my room. The dried scent is angelically sweet like a baby's lullaby riding on the crests of sleep.

©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti