Friday, August 29, 2014

Mossy Alfred

After my experience his summer with him, gardeners who worship the Old Garden Roses absolutely must give the old Moss rose 'Alfred de Dalmas' a place in their garden.  I purchased him on a whim this Spring and he's been the most pleasant surprise of my entire rose year.

'Alfred de Dalmas' is a Moss bred by Jean Laffay (Paul Barden says it was Portemer) in 1855.  The rose is a nice light pink in the way of the demure OGR's, a perfect shell pink in favorable weather.  The very double flower opens to a cupped form with a mildly disorganized center and it stays there for several days, often grouped in clusters.  Open flowers are a medium size, about 3.25 inches diameter, and I believe the rose has a pretty good, if moderate fragrance.  Like most of the Mosses, the sticky glandular organs coat the bud and stem, providing a little variety in the garden.  The foliage is incredibly healthy, even now, late in the season.  He should be a rose of short stature, staying under 4 feet tall at maturity.

The surprise for me though, was the frequent repeat of flowers on my young bush. 'Alfred de Dalmas' is supposed to have an "occasional repeat" in the season, but my bush has not been without at least a few flowers all summer.  Even in the heat, it bloomed on and was one of the few roses, modern or otherwise to keep going for me.  It's been a great pleasure to have that sweet old rose scent extended into August. and on to September, instead of my usual pattern of saying goodbye to those memory-evokers by the end of June.

Helpmefind/ notes that most 'Alfred de Dalmas' in commerce are actually 'Mousseline' (an 1881 Moss by Moreau and Robert).   The two roses look almost identical and authorities disagree whether they are different or the same rose.  Regardless, 'Autumn Damask' has to be lurking somewhere in the ancestry of this rose as the source for all that blooming.  'Alfred de Dalmas' has my vote as the best of the reblooming Moss roses, even outproducing pretty 'Salet' this year.


  1. A lovely rose which I have under the name of Mousseline.

  2. It amazes me that you can keep the details of all these different varieties of roses straight! I assume you have your roses labeled in the garden, but do you find yourself calling them by name as you look at their blooms or weed around them? How do you keep them straight...or know which ones you want to try in the future?


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