Sunday, June 17, 2018

Madame Caroline Testout or The Rose That Made Portland Famous

Prior to the 1905 exposition Portland city leaders asked all residents to plant roses in their front gardens in hopes of being branded the “Rose City.”


The exposition committee decided on a hardy hybrid tea, “Madame Caroline Testout.” 
Famed French hybridizer Joseph Pernet-Ducher sold his beautiful rose to a dressmaker who named it after herself. The Madame Caroline Testout (pronounced “testoo”) a hardy hybrid tea rose has large pink petals with clear silvery pink edges. 


The Madame Caroline Testout rose was introduced to the U.S. in 1892 and the city of Portland imported thousands that were delivered door to door by the Portland Rose Society members in 1902.
The plan worked and Portland became the Rose City. Historians claim that almost a quarter of the city streets were outfitted with rose hedges. A few still exist in the older neighborhoods. Recently the garden section of our newspaper listed locations to see the roses, one of those was in a nearby historical graveyard.

It is amazingly quiet in the graveyard during a late morning on a weekday, only retired folks are out and about.

Madame Caroline Testout looking very well under glass



10 comments:

  1. A wonderful sliver of history. Methinks a cutting came home with you! Well done.

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  2. Oh look at you. Propagating a rose. I can't keep them alive where I live so no propagating for me. I do love fragrant ones.

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    1. I love old roses and especially those with historical backgrounds. The majority of my collection are roses that no longer available on the market.

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  3. What an interesting story. Long may your cuttings thrive.

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  4. Thanks for the history, Doc. Good luck with your cuttings!

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  5. Which of your old roses is your favorite?

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    1. Hands down, Francis Dubreuil. Deep red and very fragrant. Propagated in 1894, I received two cuttings in the mail from fellow blogger and old rose enthusiast Jim O’Donnell. It is the pride and joy of my collection.

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  6. I love roses. Good luck with those cuttings!

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  7. What an interesting history, and such a gorgeous Rose.
    Our climate is so humid, we tend to get powdery mildew constantly on the roses, I've not given up yet though :)
    Well done with the propagation !
    ~Jo

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