This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Some time ago a discussion took place in my neighborhood between some horticulturists, about the merits of the new varieties of roses sent out since two or three years, and amongst them some advertised as climbing roses, when one of the party exclaimed: "But there are no climbing roses." A very judicious remark in my opinion; because, what constitutes the quality of climbing? The natural faculty possessed by some plants, like the ivy, ipomeas, melons, lagenanias, etc., to take hold of trees, walls or any other object, and cling to them by the special organs of which nature has endowed them for that purpose; while no roses possess them, and not any of them would be able to rise against a tree, or a wall, or a trellis if it were not fixed to it by the hand of man.
All vegetables to which nature has given the faculty of climbing have the tendency, if placed in an open space, on one side of which are either a wall, a trellis or trees, to direct themselves towards them, and creep on the soil instinctively in that direction, leaving behind the open space; while roses, if planted against a wall, or a tree, or even on the border of a planted spot, will lean in an opposite direction in search of air, space and light. This is incontestable for all those who have observed and studied nature's laws.
I maintain, therefore, that the term climbing is improper, and that a more appropriate one must be applied to such varieties of roses which have, like the multifiora, the tendency to emit long, slender and flexible shoots.
My ignorance obliges me to leave the research of the proper term to some one more competent. In French we have the word sarmenteux, which is correct, but which does not exist in English.
[Referring to the above, Mr. H. B. Ellwanger very well remarks: "He is quite correct, so far as the error in name is concerned, but a name is not always easily changed, and the best we could do in such a case would be to couple it with an alternative, as climbing or sarmentose roses, or else climbing or running roses. The term hybrid perpetual is a misnomer, but the continued usage thereof makes an entire change well nigh impossible. Many nurserymen in their catalogues use the terms hybrid remontant or hybrid perpetual roses. Although remontant is a word of French usage, it accurately defines the class as that which blooms the second time, or more than once, in contradistinction to those which are ever-blooming. We have no English word which does this.
The French call our climbing roses by the word sarmenteux, for which we have an English equivalent, viz., sarmentose. It would be well to couple this, as above mentioned, in catalogues, works on roses, etc."]