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Madame Hardy, France, 1832. Bred by M. Hardy.

Madame Hardy is considered to be one of the most beautiful white roses ever bred. I share this opinion myself.  It is one of the finest surviving Damasks that we have in commerce, and for good reasons. Even the magnificent Charles de Mills does not compare to the extraordinary form and beauty of a single bloom of Mme Hardy.

Bred by Alexandre  Hardy, an amateur rose breeder who was the chief horticulturist at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris for many years. Of the many introductions bred by M. Hardy, apporoximately 10 are still with us today.
The original name for this Damask was Félicité Hardy,  named after M. Hardy's wife. (Brent Dickerson suggests that we should be using the original name) It is thought that this is not likely a pure Damask, but possibly a Damask-Portland, or Damask-Alba hybrid.  It is easily identified by it's unusually leafy sepals, and the characteristic green eye at the center of the bloom. There is a mild but very attractive scent to the bloom, one that I would describe as damask-like with an undertone of honey. I know that we all have a different sense of fragrance when it comes to roses, and many people describe the scent of Mme Hardy as being strong and very sweet. My perception is that it is a light scent, and quite delicate. The foliage is a lovely fresh grass green on straight upright canes with modest thorns. It will grow to a height of about 7 feet, and is a modestly vigorous shrub, and very healthy. I have seen it get some blackspot on occasion, but only under very stressful weather conditions.

Like most members of the Damask class, this is a once-blooming rose, but I have found that it has one of the longest bloom periods. Mine is often in bloom for five to six weeks, which is just fine with me. I consider this to be an exceptionally beautiful that I recommend most heartily to all rosarians.

ARS merit rating: 9.0
Personal merit rating: 9.5
Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 8, possibly zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 5 to 7 feet tall, by 4 or 5 feet wide

Fragrance: 4.0 Fairly intense Damask fragrance, with honey-like overtones.

Blanc de Vibert Marbrée seedling #5
Botzaris Marbrée X The Prince, 2002
Comte de Chambord Mme Hardy (Felicité Hardy)
Crested Damask Marie Louise
Hebe's Lip Portland from Glendora
Indigo R. damascena bifera (Autumn Damask)
Jacques Cartier R. damascena semperflorens
La Ville de Bruxelles Rose de Rescht
Marbrée Rose de Rescht X Tradescant
Marbrée seedling #1 Rose du Roi
Marbrée seedling #2 Stanwell Perpetual
Marbrée seedling #4

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2006. All Rights Reserved.