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Copy my fragrant gardens! An excerpt from The Grower-Perfumer’s Encyclopedia of Smell, Volume 1: the Alba Rose.

 
"Alba Rose (Rosa x alba), grown by perfumer in the WVPGVT (2019-), WVPGDL (2024-). Vermont cultivars: Alba Maxima, Belle Amour, Blush Hip, Great Maiden's Blush, Queen of Denmark, Red Blush. De Luz cultivars: Blush Hip, Mme Plantier.
Disused botanical binomial name: Rosa alba. Now Rosa x alba, an ancient garden hybrid of unknown lineage.
Alternative names: backyard rose, sufaid gulab, white rose, white oil-bearing rose, white rose of York.
Plant history: An ancient flower arising 60-70 million years ago in central Asia, the rose (Rosa spp.) predates the humans that have continued to cultivate it. The oldest known imprint of a rose is 40 million years old and lies on a slate deposit in Colorado known as the Florissant Fossil Beds. The geologic records in what are now Montana and Oregon contain the fossils of roses from thirty five million years ago. And while roses literally run wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere, they are notably absent from the Southern. The oldest known species is Rosa gallica, colloquially called the Gallic rose, the French rose, and the rose of Provins. In its wild form, it stretches from western Asia to central, southern and western Europe. The earliest known cultural records of the Gallic rose come from Persia in the 12th century B.C.E. and they are iconographic, portraying the flower as a symbol of the human sentiment of love. R. gallica is speculated to be one of the ancient parents of Rosa x alba..... [cont'd in full version]
        In the 15th century the Yorkists used the alba rose as their emblem in the Wars of the Roses.” It has been speculated that one of R. alba’s parents could be Rosa arvensis, the field rose or otherwise known as “Shakespeare’s Musk.” Arvensis is a wild rose native to Western, Central, and Southern Europe, but more recent morphological research has questioned this potential lineage. Rather than being a garden escape resulting from ancient crossings of R. arvensis and R. gallica, R. alba was more likely the result of introgressions and back-crossings of the dog rose (R. canina) with the Gallic rose (R. gallica)."
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