class: Hybrid Tea Rose
breeding: Archer, 1936
photographed by Daphne Filiberti in her garden
'Ellen Willmott' is a rose that dances, opening to light. In darkened or cloudy light, the rose's petals close over stamens as if in a prayer pose. Warmed by the sun, the petals open gracefully as if they were wings on a meditational butterfly. The opening of petals is in tune with the mysterious timing of nature, because it is just in time for the bees that unobtrusively parade to receive the pollen that she graciously provides on top of wine stained stamens. The plant is about 3 feet high and like an upright tea, with plum colored new foliage, which darkens to a matte green. Captain Thomas wrote that the rose had remarkably fine foliage, and the plant is blessed with good health. The ivory petals are scalloped and warm to shades of peach along the edges. The slender buds come in small clusters, sometimes singly. The parents of 'Ellen Willmott' are 'Dainty Bess' and 'Lady Hillingdon'. The rose was developed by Archer in 1936. The rose is strong on its own roots. 'Ellen Willmott' was an extraordinary artist, gardener, and writer of The Genus Rosa. If roses had eyelashes this one could certainly bat her eyes.
©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti