Looking for A Fragrant White Rose

Laurie(6)March 18, 2012

I had ordered 9 bare root roses to plant this season at my new (old) home. House is dated from 1915. A couple of the ones I purchased are more of the "old rose" varieties to keep in style of the house and I'd like to add more of that type. May as well make it an even 10 bushes this year :)

I don't have a lot of room to put many more, I may be able to squeeze in 4 or 5 additional if lucky. What I realized is I don't have an actual white yet. I bought "French Lace", one of my favorites but that isn't really white per se. Of course Cecile Brunner comes to mind but there has to be more out there which I'm not aware of.

So I would like to get a pure white this year if any are still available for shipment. I would like it to be fragrant, since this is a big criteria for me in everything I choose, and not a climber since my home is made out of terra cotta block and attaching anything into it is nearly impossible!

I belong to Help Me Find, but getting first hand advice here is a bit more helpful.

Thanks everyone :D


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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Cecile Brunner is pink, isn't it? not white, whenever I've grown it.

For roses from 1915 you could try the Antique Rose forum. Frau Karl Druschki is a very pristine white rose from that general era, and widely available from OGR suppliers, but no fragrance when I've grown it.

Mme. Hardy is a very pure white also, from the early 1800s, and very fragrant, but a once bloomer. In my cool-summer climate once bloomers give about as much color as repeaters, but maybe not in yours.

Modern pure whites that are fragrant are Maria Shriver and Pope John Paul II. I grow both and love both. Friends describe them as 'smelling like a rose is supposed to smell'.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:57PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Bolero (Bolero 2000), it is s short plant, but very fragrant.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 1:49PM
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You could try finding White Cecile Brunner, the white sport of the original. It is basically white, with cream to pink shadings depending upon climate, time of year, variability of mutation, etc.

For more "period piece" white HTs with fragrance, Vintage is listing the following:

Innocense single cream moderate to strong fragrance 1921

Edina white very fragrant 1934

Mainz cream strong fragrance 1930

Rex Anderson cream strong fragrance 1938 but this is often a rather shy bloomer from experience

Rogue Valley shows

Mrs. Herbert Stevens white good fragrance, 1910

Roses Unlimited shows

Edina white very fragrant 1934

K. A. Viktoria white very fragrant 1891

When checking them out, be sure to read all of the color descriptions because per the ARS "white" also includes green. Mint Julep and Table Mountain, neither of which could be considered "white" by anyone who has ever seen them, are both classed as "white or white blend". Polly, which is NOT "white", is also classed "white blend".

From what is currently listed at those three sources, if you want a true period piece appropriate to the vintage of your home, KA Viktoria or Mrs. Herbert Stevens are likely your best bets. Kim

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:19PM
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I'm adding the Hybrid Tea Sugar Moon to the garden this spring, supposed to be very fragrant, with pure white blooms. (it's a modern Hybrid Tea)

Clotilde Soupert is pinkish white, not pure white though...

Boule de Neige has white blooms, very strong, sweet scent.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Boule de Neige is lovely; although not exactly what I am looking for. However, I like it enough that it could be a strong possibility.

As for Cecil Brunner - I knew I'd seen a white version; I guess it's the sport I was thinking of.

A few others may fit the bill. I'm checking up on them. Thanks so much everyone!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Snowbird is lovely, gets HUGE in my climate, probably not so big in yours.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

How are rugosas in your area? There are some very fragrant white ones which are somewhat close in age to your house:

Blanc Double de Coubert (1892), it's a pure white, I've seen it and it is a stunning rose

Souvenir de Philemon Cochet (1900), a sport or seedling of BDdC and very similar but has a bit of pink in some blooms

Furstin von Pless (1911), very double flowers

Or a newer white rugosa from David Austin, Snowdon (1988), with an old fashioned look

If you like damasks and mossing, there is Quartre Saisons Blanc Mousseux (circa 1835) which is powerfully fragrant and repeats--it grows in an upright vase shape. It's been quite vigorous when I've seen it in nearby gardens and it shouldn't mind the colder weather in your zone

Blanc de Vibert (1846) a damask perpetual, similar growth habit to QSBM but shorter. Another with fragrance that packs a wallop!

If bourbons do well in your area, how about Kronprincessin Victoria (1888), she's very fragrant, white with just a hint of lemon in the middle.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 5:27PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Well, it is not old fashioned looking so it doesn't fit your criteria but my MOST fragrant white is Pope John Paul II. Gorgeous, huge white blooms too!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:03PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

David Austin has some white roses. Austin roses have the old fashioned look. How about Fair Bianca, Glamis Castle or Susan Williams-Ellis?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Thanks again everyone! Some great suggestions there. I'm not opposed to using a newer variety and I adore the David Austins so I'll look into those also.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:57AM
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littlesmokie(Portland z8)

Looks like Kim beat me to it above, so I will second the recommendation of Mrs Herbert Stevens. It is technically a hybrid tea, but has nodding blooms more like a tea rose. It is quite fragrant and here it is disease free without spraying.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Susan Williams -Ellis has yet to perform well for me. Tiny, floppy thing.. POpe JP II is a beautiful fragrant rose. Fragrant Wave has also been a good performer in my yard.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:20PM
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More to contemplate!

I actually found the white rose thread in the gallery last night. There's some lovely ones there, many of which were mentioned in this thread. I'm thinking that I may have to look at the more modern varieties to get what I want. Sugar Moon, Pope JP II and Maria Shriver seem like good choices.

When I get home tonight, I'm going to see if any of the online nurseries still have anything available for shipping for my area. It's getting a bit late in the season; and I know last time I looked for something else they were out of what I wanted already.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Oh, it's not that late! Clotilde Soupert is often white but also pretty often has a pink center. It is very charming and oh so fragrant, repeats so well and makes such an attractive, rounded, dense shrub with the nicest dark glossy leaves.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Rugosa Blanc Double de Coubert and R.rugosa alba, both are fairly large shrubs. Also Jackson & Perkins has a compact rugosa shrub called Wild Spice which is wonderfully fragrant.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Well, Clotilde Soupert might be one I'm interested in even thought it isn't pure white. I used to have a couple of antique print reproductions of roses, and that reminds me of one of them. It certainly doesn't look like anything I've ordered yet and it fits the bill in every respect other than it's pink tinge - which I don't mind at all. I am a bit concerned that on Help Me Find some people mentioned it may ball in the rain, but I'm not overly concerned with that.

Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:33PM
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