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Variety confusion: please help disentangle

Posted by melissa_thefarm NItaly (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 18, 11 at 11:46

I'm looking with increasingly suspicious eyes at my double white Albas. I finally decided that my so-called 'Blanche de Belgique' was good old 'Alba Maxima'; now doubt has descended like a cloud on 'Princesse de Lamballe'. Can anybody tell me how it differs from 'Alba Maxima'? I haven't looked carefully at PdL when she was in bloom, but obvious differences haven't leaped out at me. I appreciate all assistance: 'Alba Maxima' is such a tough old gal that it would be easy for her to end up impersonating all kinds of other white Albas.
Another suspicious case is my 'L'Ouche', which to me looks all the world like 'Louise Odier', including the oval orange-red hips with persistent black sepals. Does anyone have 'L'Ouche'? know what it looks like? LO is another tough and attractive impersonator that I've received more than once as a different rose. I like it, but enough is enough.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Variety confusion: please help disentangle

Hi Melissa: I'm ignorant in OGR, but would like more info. on the Louis Odier that you have - since it's among my choices for next year. Does Louis Odier need full sun and well-drained soil? Does it tolerate alkaline clay soil? I grow Austin roses since my rainy climate, and less sun garden is more suitable for them. If you know any roses that don't do well in your dry & sunny Mediterranean climate, please let me know (they might be good in my wet & less sun climate). Many thanks.

RE: Variety confusion: please help disentangle

Our Swedish rose guru who wrote the final book on roses for the Nordic countries that we all keep on our bedside table, confesses that he cannot tell the difference between Maxima and Princesse de Lamballe. He is former curator of our largest rosarium and knows more about roses than anyone I know. I have only the Princesse so can't compare. Perhaps they are the same in commerce?

Louise Odier does well in part shade and definitely tolerates alkaline clay soil. It had better because that's what I can offer.

RE: Variety confusion: please help disentangle

If you had the chance to actually see both L'Ouche and LO together, it would be much easier to decide. Off the top of my head, the main differences I have seen (and this is only from memory and not ever both together), L'Ouche is more crinkly, especially around the edges of the petals whereas LO has a very symmetrical sort of feel with neater, not ripply edges. Oh sorry, Melissa, this is not really helping at all, is it?
As for the albas, my friend grows A.Suaveolens which is kinda halfway between Maxima and Semi-Plena - she also swears it is the most fragrant of the three. As a Lancashire lass, I have managed to avoid owning the Yorkshire rose - although this geographical tribalism reached new heights (or depths) when the father of my first child actually booked me into a nursing home 250 miles away in Leeds to give birth so the possible male child would qualify to play county cricket for Yorkshire - baby Rowan demonstrated a talent for contrariness by arriving 2 weeks early while we were still in Cambridge.

RE: Variety confusion: please help disentangle

Thanks, Marianne and Suzy; ANOTHER 'Alba Maxima' in my garden?!? Just what I needed! Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I would like to see a double white Alba that looked distinctly different from AM. Suzy, it appears your baby's dad didn't know much about giving birth: a place 250 miles away! with a scheduled date! sounds like he was making some unlikely assumptions.

Strawberryhill: I agree with Marianne: my one really good plant of 'Louise Odier' is in part shade, and all our soil is clay, neutral I believe. It's not a rose for blazing sun, at least not where I live.

I hope to hear from others. For a China, 'L'Ouche' has an awfully Bourbon look to it. The photos on HMF are all of the flowers, and show little of the plant.


RE: Variety confusion: please help disentangle

Ho, Melissa, yep, the dad continued to make unlikely assumptions which is probably why we failed to last more than a couple of years (and, no doubt, there were even more unlikely assumptions on my part) Still, the lad in question turned into a rugby player (but sadly, union, not league - although I realise I may as well be speaking in Serbian or summat to an American, when it comes down to yet more tribal and sports nuances)...but his dad and I are mates at least.

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