The arrival of rosebushes from China and Japan in 1700 completely changed rose-growing in France. In just a few years the number of different varieties increased significantly, much to the delight of European gardeners who were enthralled by the rose’s sublime aroma.
Long after the Crusades and the introduction of rosebushes from the Near East, a discovery radically changed the ambitions of rose-growers at this time. Around 1700, new exotic varieties of rosebushes from India, China and Japan were added to the ones already mentioned. Chinese rosebushes came via the United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and Reunion Island. These reflowering specimens meant they could blossom from June to October. The first crossbreeding with the the already established rosebushes and the newcomers led to non-reflowering rosebushes like Mumbai to Shirdi Taxi the Bourbon (Mme. Pierre Oger, Souvenir de la Maison), the Noisette rosebushes (Rose Noisette, Desprez with yellow flowers), the Tea rosebushes (Adam, Gloire de Dilon) but also to reflowering hybrids (Baronne Prévost, Reine des Violettes…).
Other varieties were also imported from Holland and Belgium in the 18th. Century, like the Centifolia or the Cabbage Rose with its hundred petals. The last mentioned variety was quickly adopted by the perfume producers of Grasse and thus gave birth to mossy rosebushes and rosebushes with lettuce-like leaves. At the beginning of the 18th. Century botanists catalogued all the breeds possible. Some spontaneous hybrids like the Alba, the Centifolia, the Portland, the Bourbon and the famous Tea Rose appeared.
For years, rose-growers were confronted with a problem. Roses from hot countries found the colder European weather conditions difficult! To get around this obstacle, they startred to breed hybrids which were stronger and more resistant. The results of their work produced hundreds of new varieties which are generally classed under the names of old varieties. This classification consists of no fewer than 10,000 varieties and cultivars which all share fact that they were created before 1920.