- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Deep crimson-purple roses were almost always given ecclesiastical names in the 18th and 19th centuries. 'Cardinal de Richelieu' is classed among the Gallicas but is of hybrid origins, probably with a China Rose as one of his parents. While still once-blooming, this China parent passed on glossy and quite un-Gallica foliage, as well as a fondness for abundant bloom even in the mildest of climate zones.
Tall for a Galllica Rose, the Cardinal can reach 5 or 6 feet; the smooth and shiny bottle green foliage is rather atypical for a Gallica. Almost thornless canes are topped by rotund vermilion buds that open to velvety, fragrant blossoms. The color of the flowers can range from pink to red to deep purple, often displaying highlights of lighter shades and even white. The center petals form a dome of lavender-pink tones, and the outer petals reflex in hues of the deepest wine-rich purple with white bases. As the flower ages, all the petals reflex back, and finish in the deepest grape purple colors imaginable. Many Gallica Roses demand a good measure of winter cold to produce a respectable crop of spring bloom, but not so this one. The Cardinal will confer heaps of floral bouquets regardless of the region. For me, the peppery tinge added to the grassy rose scent never gets very strong, but in the Pacific Northwest, this is considered among the most fragrant of roses. The foliage can suffer from a bit of mildew, but on the whole is quite healthy.
Armand-Jean du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), prelate and statesman, was the powerful chief minister to Louis XIII.
Preface: Paradise Regained
WHAT MAKES A ROSE...OLD?
THE ROSE'S ROLE IN HUMAN CULTURE
ROSE GROWING MADE EASY
A FIELD GUIDE TO 100 OLD ROSES