April 2nd, 2004
Rose ‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’

photo: Rose Madame Joseph Schwartz
Rose ‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ 2004-04-02. Austin, Texas.

Dateline: April 2, 2004
This week, the Tea rose ‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ is trying to steal the spotlight from ‘Ducher’ and ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. Now into her third year in the garden, she is a mass of rosebuds. The Tea roses, first bred in the mid-1800s by crossing China roses with Bourbon and Noisette roses, are popular in the south. As a rule, Teas are considered “delicate”; that is, they are not roses for cold climes. But they stand up well to Austin’s heat and humidity.

‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ is often described a “white” sport of ‘Duchesse de Brabant’, but is actually more creamy pink. Her color varies from flower to flower and season to season. The loose cabbage-shaped flowers are not individually arresting. They have weak necks an. the flowers dangle like bells. They have a casual, blowsy look that is at home in the wildflower border. On warm days (highs above 85) they open and fall quickly. But when in flower, there are always a lot of them, and they are nicely scented.

photo: Rose Madame Joseph Schwartz

‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ is a great landscape rose because she forms a dense shrub which is attractive even when not in flower, so dense that the thin flexible canes droop under the weight. She can get to six or seven feet tall although after three years in my garden is is only about three feet tall and wide. I’ll be glad when she reaches her full height and I can look up into her flowers, rather than kneel on the ground to see them. In my yard, she blooms best in cool weather. This is her second flush of buds this year; the first was at New Year’s. She blooms so early in my garden, that her buds are frequently nipped by frost. She also holds up well under our summer heat. She hasn’t had any problems with mildew or black spot.

photo: Rose Madame Joseph Schwartz

Zanthan Gardens History

Dateline: September 29, 2001
AJM and I again drive to the Antique Rose Emporium near Brenham to buy roses. I was attracted to a large bush covered in flowers somewhat similar shape to ‘Heritage’. It was ‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’, a sport of the Tea, ‘Duchesse de Brabant’. It was growing next to the rose I had gone for, ‘Rival de Paestum’, and looked so much nicer that I was won over on the spot.

Planted her in the west border in spot where larkspur usually grows. The dirt was very good given that I’ve been working this bed since 1995.

Dateline: April 15, 2003
2003-04-15. MJS has been blooming well for the last two months. She was in full bud when we had the late freeze at the end of February. But she shook that off and started right back up again, although she lost a lot of new growth and seems to have developed a problem with mildew.

Dateline: July 12, 2006
‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ seems to be the next rose to get dieback. I cut down the one large cane affected to the nub but I’m afraid it is too late as it is brown inside all the way down. Spray the wound with pruning spray. Will feeding her help? More water? If I can relieve some stress, will she recover or is she already a goner?

Dateline: August 12, 2006
The remaining two-thirds of ‘Madame Joseph Schwartz’ frizzled this week. All at once she’s gone even though she’s always been one of the bushiest, healthiest roses in the garden.

by M Sinclair Stevens

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