Rose Cuttings – September, 2012

Cramoisi Supéreuir is a full-bodied old garden rose laden with red blossoms. Photos courtesy of Mike Shoup.

The First Texas Lady of Roses

Some historical accounts state that one of the first Texas plantings of ‘Louis Philippe’ and ‘Cramoisi Supéreuir’ roses was at Lynchburg, Texas, at the home of Lorenzo de Zavala, Texas’ minister to France in 1834, who brought these and other roses back from the Court of St. Cloud. Zavala’s wife, Emily, documented the planting of these roses around her home, lining the fence and hedging her porch. Discovery of this early documentation has earned her the title “first Texas lady of roses.”

‘Mutabilis’ blooms freely in Texas gardens in the fall, in much the same way as other early China roses.

The two rose varieties both feature very full-bodied, chunky shrubs bearing red flowers, often indistinguishable from each other, making these two ladies of the garden interchangeable. Both are very happy in Texas’ hot and humid climate, exemplified by their massive bloom, especially in the fall. Other China roses — ‘Mutablis’, ‘Ducher’, ‘Old Blush’, and ‘Archduke Charles’ — are no less impressive at this time, as well.

The early settlers shared roses as mementos. How the blossoms must have reminded pioneer wives of their own mothers’ flowers and the homes of their youth! Old roses are a living testament to the pursuit of beauty and fragrance in the past.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Mike Shoup
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