|'Red Moss' or 'Henri Martin'|
Moss roses, for the uninitiated, have mossy-looking growths on the sepals of the buds and calyx. These are actually a glandular mutation of the prickles and oil glands, and the moss, when brushed, adds a balsam or piny scent to the rose fragrance. All moss roses have two sepals with moss, then one without, one with, and the last of five without. True moss roses are believed to be descendents of a sport of a centifolia rose and first appeared around 1700. They were bred sporadically by rosarians through the 1800's and into the current century, with several fascinating and more recent introductions by the late Ralph Moore.
I grow three moss roses, 'Red Moss', Chateau de Napoleon, and 'Old Pink Moss', the latter likely being the original centrifolia sport. All are bone hardy in the Kansas climate and survive drought and wind without failing. Blackspot is nonexistent on the old moss roses, however the 'Old Pink Moss' in the K-State University garden, placed in a fairly stagnant area in terms of air flow, is prone to a little mildew now and then. If I have a complaint about 'Red Moss', it would be that the bush is sparse, with overly flexible canes and no real mass of foliage. The flowers, however, make up for that failing as does the complete lack of need for additional care while the season progresses. I should also point out to the unsuspecting that the color or 'Henri Martin' resembles the Redoute engraving or a "red" Gallica, really a rose-red rather than the bright red displayed by many internet pictures of it.