History of Garden Roses
Hybrid China, Portland and Bourbon roses
Hybrid Chinas were produced in the early 19th century from direct crosses between China roses and the other existing groups. They are often listed with R. chinensis hybrids and known collectively as China roses.
In the late 18th century a rose called 'Portlandica' appeared, which was the result of a chance cross, possibly between R. gallica 'Officinalis' and the Autumn Damask. 'Portlandica', named after the Duchess of Portland a rose enthusiast, when crossed with China derivatives produced the Portland group, the first of which was 'Rose du Roi'.
This group is descended from seedlings of a chance hybrid found on the lle de Bourbon (Reunion Island) in about 1817. The parents are believed to have been the Autumn Damask, and the 'Old Blush China '. Bourbons were very popular and when crossed with R. x odorata produced the pink Tea Roses.