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Empress Josephine, exact date and origin unknown.

Empress Josephine
Also known as Rosa X francofurtana. This rose, contrary to some mythologies, was not known at Josephine's Malmaison by this name. It may well have been grown in her garden, but it is believed that it was renamed 'Empress Josephine' after her death.

When I first saw a specimen of 'Empress Josephine' many years ago, I was unimpressed. However, once I adopted it for my own collection, I began to see where its charms lay. It is a sturdy, shapely large shrub that produces and astonishing amount of bloom during its 4 to 6 week bloom period. It has clean, trouble-free foliage and grows happily in the poorest of soils. For me, its only downfall is its lack of fragrance, which is mild at best. Still, this is a very fine rose that is a great choice for a cottage garden that doesn't get a lot of attention.

ARS merit rating: 8.1
Personal merit rating: 8.5
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 4 to 8, zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: likely 4 to 6 feet tall X 5 feet wide.
Fragrance: 2.5, mild Gallica scent.

Alain Blanchard seedling,
(see Song of the Stars)
Chianti Gloire de France Sissinghurst Castle
Alika Complicata Henri Fouquier Song of the Stars
Allegra (new 2003) Cramoisi Picotee Hippolyte Surpasse Tout
Belle de Crecy "Deep Purple" James Mason Tricolore de Flandre
Belle Isis Désirée Parmentier La Belle Sultane Tuscany
Belle sans Flatterie Duc de Guiche Marianne Tuscany Superb
"Brooks Purple" Duc de Fitzjames 'Mécène' Tuscany Superb X Othello
Camayeux Duchesse de Montebello Nestor Un-named seedling
"Carol's Favorite" Ellen Tofflemire Orpheline de Juillet "William Grant"
Charles de Mills Empress Josephine Rosa Mundi Ypsilante
Cardinal de Richelieu Gallicandy "Rush Family Rose"  

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