The Bad Ramona - The Good Ramona & The Doubtful RamonaMonday, July 21, 2008
The Genus Rosa includes many plants that would be familiar to most such as cherries, plums, apples and pears. And of course it includes Rosa or the rose. The genus is further divided into several subgenera. One of them Eurosa a includes a very small Section called Laevigatae. This Section is represented by one species Rosa laevigata and a few cultivars or sports. My rose bible, Peter Beales' Classic Roses list only five cultivars. Since there are thousands of roses this particular Section: Laevigatae is awflly sparse. These roses are described by Beales as:
Growth sprawling or climbing with hooked, irregular thorns. Leaves large, mostly of 3, rarely 5, leaflets. Almost evergreen. Flowers produced singly. Hips, when formed have persistent sepals.
My grandmother used to call me el Príncipe de Gales (the Prince of Wales) because I was spoiled and demanded to be served. Part of the reason is that from my birth until my early 20s we always had help at home. In Argentina we called them mucamas and in Mexico criadas or sirvientas. In Buenos Aires I recall three, Zelia, Mercedes and Ramona. The first I insulted and she left in a huff with her husband Abelardo. The second was my favourite as she was very patient with me and would cook her carrot soufflé when I asked for it. Her famous breaded veal cutlets (always on Tuesdays) brought my cousin Robby (mentioned in the second link) who had a special fondness for them. Ramona was loud and big and did not give me any slack. I didn't like her.
For the last 6 or 7 years I have had a mystery rose in my garden. It has fragrant cerise blooms which seem to be around most of the time. I know that John Tuytle sold it to me. For a few years I tried to get the English rose, Rosa 'Emily' from him and every time it was some sort of surprise. This mystery rose could be one of those. Yesterday I remembered that I had purchased a Rosa 'Ramona' a sport of Rosa "Anemone Rose', a sport of Rosa laevigata. I suddenly got very excited as I thought I had an ID for this wonderful rose that blooms freely and as seen here in a cluster of 8 blooms. But when I read the description in Peter Beales it says it is a single rose with five petals. My 'Ramon' has at least 20. Could it be a double, double sport of Ramona that Tuytle unwittingly sold me? I will never know. I will have to keep enjoying this rose without a name. She is, in any case, the good Ramona!
Both Ramona and my mystery rose have superb golden stamens. You cannot see them here because I scanned the roses in the evening. Most roses close in the evening!