What was the First Hybrid Tea Rose

Rosa ‘La France’

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Rosa ‘La France’
Rosa 'La France'.jpg
Genus Rosa hybrid
Hybrid parentage Seedling of ‘Madame Falcot’ ?
Cultivar ‘La France’
Breeder Guillot (fils)
Origin France, 1867[1]

La France is a pink rose found in France in 1867 by the rosarian Jean-Baptiste André Guillot (1827–1893). It is generally accepted to be the first hybrid tea rose.  Its introduction is therefore also considered the birth of the modern rose.   As the cultivar was not systematically bred, its hybrid parentage can only be speculated, but ‘Madame Falcot’ is considered as a possible parent.[3]

‘La France’ has globular double flowers with slightly rolled outer petals and a strong sweet damask fragrance. The bloom form is high centered with up to 60 petals, that appear messy when fully opened.  The flowers develop from long pointed buds and reach an average diameter of 9 cm.  Their colour is a light silvery pink, while the reverse is deeper pink with lilac reflexes. The flowers appear solitary or in small clusters on long stems in flushes throughout the season.  As the stems are a bit feeble, the flower heads tend to nod.

The plant grows vigorously to about 1.5metres in height and 1metre in width.  As the mid green foliage is susceptible to fungi, the rose grows better in dry, warm climates.

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