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'James Mason', bred by Peter Beales, England, 1982.

James MasonBreeding: A cross of 'Scharlachglut' X 'Tuscany Superb'.

This is one of only a few new introductions to the Gallica class since the late 1800's! Peter Beales is to be commended for having the foresight to introduce a new Gallica 100 years after the class had fallen from favour. This is truly a wonderful addition to the group, and deserves to be more widely grown.

'James Mason' is a bit larger than most other Gallicas, having been bred from the Kordes hybrid, 'Scharlachglut', which is known to achieve a massive size of 10 feet or more. In most climates, this rose will grow to about 5 feet tall, perhaps 6 in warmer regions. The blooms are large, about 5 inches across, highly scented, and a rich scarlet-crimson hue. The blooms start out a bright red, and age to a more crimson-purple color. Having grown this cultivar for a few years now, I can safely say that it is one of the most spectacular of all the Gallicas I grow. When it is in full flush, there is not a single visitor to my garden who does not rush to it wanting to know its identity. I cannot recommend a rose more highly.

I will be including this rose in my own breeding program. Mr. Beales has personally told me that it posesses qualities that are worth passing on in breeding. For those of you who may not be aware of the name James Mason, he was a British actor who died in the 1980's.

ARS merit rating: none assigned.
Personal merit rating: 8.5
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 3 to 8, zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 4 to 6 feet tall X 4 feet wide.
Fragrance: 4.0, Strong Gallica scent, with sweet overtones.

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.