This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
- Usually climbing-shrubs whose leaves have mostly no more than 3 to 5 leaflets. Their principal botanical character is in the stipules, which are almost free, narrow, acute, and nearly always deciduous. The styles are sometimes free and sometimes united. The species are all from Eastern Asia and North America. We distinguish in this section: R. laevigata (R. Sinica of gardens), the Georgian Rose, has climbing naked or armed stems, leaves of three ovate-lanceolate rather coriaceous shining denticulate very glabrous leaflets. The flowers are solitary, large, and pure white. The ripe fruit is obovoid-oblong, red, clothed with spiny bristles, and surmounted by the calyx-leaves. This beautiful species has become naturalised in the woods of Georgia in North America, where it reaches the summits of the highest trees. It is supposed to be of Chinese origin, but it is not the true R. Sinica, which differs in having prickles on its petioles, whilst in this species they are unarmed. It is probable that these two species, so admirably adapted for covering trellis-work, etc., will soon be introduced to our gardens, where they might compete with the following.
R. Banksiae, the true Banksian Rose, a native of China, is a climbing or trailing shrub, producing stems 30 feet or more in length in a more southern climate, though with us it requires a warm wall and slight protection in severe weather. It is almost totally unarmed, and perfectly glabrous, except upon the margin of the stipules, which are very deciduous, and upon the principal nerve of the leaflets. These are three to five in number, plane, oblong-lanceolate, and rather shiny. This Rose, one of the most beautiful of the genus, is a very abundant bloomer, with white, yellow, or salmon very double agreeably fragrant flowers produced in large clusters.
Banks's Rose, or, more strictly speaking, Lady Banks's Rose, so named by Robert Brown in honour of the wife of the celebrated patron of English botanists, was introduced into England for the first time about the commencement of the present century; but since then it has been re-imported several times, and the last time, in 1850, by Mr. Fortune, while travelling in China for the Royal Horticultural Society of London. These separate introductions have supplied us with different varieties, sufficiently diverse in the colour of the flowers, though agreeing in habit. The prettiest are: Grandiflora alba plena, with small quite white flowers; the Old Yellow, with double almost scentless flowers; and the Salmon-coloured Banksian, whose bronze flowers appear to be of a mixture of purple and yellow.
R. anemonaeflora, Anemone-flowered Rose, agrees but imperfectly with this group, though it would be difficult to find it a better position. Its flowers are small, white and double, and sufficiently resemble, in the narrowness and number of petals, the flowers of our common garden Anemones. Like the preceding it comes from China, and is evidently modified by long culture. Several sub-varieties are reported, under the names Gentifolia, Pumila, Pompon Royal, etc., which, however, might without inconvenience be reunited under the simple name borne by the species.