Heritage rose - 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'

Bourbon, Jean Beluze, France (Lyon-Vaise), 1843.

Synonym: ‘Queen of Beauty and Fragrance’

Origin: ‘Madame Desprez’ (Desprez, Bourbon, 1831) x a Teaé (pmay be ‘Devionensis’)

'Souvenir de la Malmaison', Jacotot, France, 1853


Bush of about 1.50 m, erected, almost thornless, just a few short thorns.

Large flower (10 cm), often solitary, many very fine petals arranged in quarters. Very reblooming.

Satin pink, more intense in the center and in the hollow of the petals. Almost white when fading.

Gentle and subtle fragrance.

Feuillage :
Dark green.

Vigorous shrub, fairly resistant to disease and easy to grow.

Does not like severe pruning.

This rose is in the Top 10 Old Rose Hall of Fame, a list of heritage roses recognised as being of historical importance by the WFRS (World Federation of Roses Societies).

A very beautiful flower, a robust bush with abundant flowering from June to autumn. The fall flowering is particularly magnificent (if the weather is not too rainy). Southern French climate iis particularly favourable to this rose. Elsewhere, it should be planted in the shelter of a wall to protect it from the rain.

Its name, its history:

The name of this rose comes from the famous rose garden of Empress Josephine at Malmaison.

It is one of the first roses from Lyon (1843), and it remains one of the most beautiful. The Americans call it the 'Queen of Beauty and Fragance'. Beluze was (along with Plantier, for example) one of the first two or three horticulturists from Lyon to specialise in the otention of new rose varieties.


This rose has given several mutations, among which :

  • ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison climbing’ (Henry Bennett, 1893, Australia)
    Its flowers are identical to those of the shrub form, but this variety is less floriferous and reblooms less.

  • ‘Souvenir de Saint Anne’s’
    This mutation was observed in Lady Ardilaun's garden at Saint Anne's, near Dublin, before 1916. It was later kept in Lady Moore's garden (after whom it was named). It will only be marketed in 1950 by the Hilling nurseries. The mutation concerns the flower which is semi-double.

  • ‘Kronprinzessin Viktoria’ (Volvert, 1888, Germany)
    A white mutation with a pale yellow infused heart. It is unique in Bourbon.

  • 'Mme Cornélissen' (Cornélissen, 1865, Belgique)
    A white mutation with pink marbling and a pale yellow centre.

  • ‘Mlle Berthe Clavel’ (Chauvry, 1891, France)
    A yellow and pink mutation.

  • ‘Mlle Marie-Thérèse de la Devansaye’ (Chédane-Guinoisseau, 1895, France)
    A pure white mutation

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