Mosses

Baron de Wassanaer, Blush Moss, Capitaine Basroger

Sepals and receptacles of the Moss roses are covered with a glandular growth resembling moss and bearing pungent scents as varied as the scents of the flowers. Mosses were wildly popular in Victorian times for the charm of their buds, and the scents of pine, citrus, dianthus, incense, and apples that perfumed the holders’ fingers. The mosses appeared originally as sports of Damasks and Centifolias; hence two very distinct habits are to be found in their ranks. To complicate matters, a race of repeat-blooming mosses exists, believed to descend from the Autumn Damask and its Hybrid Perpetual and Portland offspring. These are mostly compact like the Portland Rose, and bloom continuously, while being perfectly hardy. See also the Miniatures, Ramblers and Modern Shrubs, which include some modern Moss roses.

Habit

Among the thorniest of roses, the Mosses not only have a proliferation of mossy glands on their receptacles, but a solid armature to their canes of large and small bristles and thorns. Their habits of growth (left to right, above) reflect their parentage. 

  • (E.g., Common Moss) The Centifolia race, with arching growth to 6′ or so and often quite broad and suckering. [M #1]
  • (E.g., Baron de Wassenaer) The typical Damask rose type, stouter of cane and more upright, sometimes arching. [M #2]
  • (E.g., Mousseline) Remontant Mosses repeat their bloom and tend toward a dense compact habit, making them ideal for the small garden. [M #3]

Brackets refer to Explanatory Information page.
Alba roses original Vintage Garden pages: VCG_Mosses.pdf

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