Photo Courtesy of Rosalinda Morgan, member of Rose Gardening World
Class: Old Garden Rose, Alba
Petal Count: Very Double
Date Introduced: 1835
Mme Plantier is classified as an Alba by the American Rose Society and rated 8.9 in the 2015 ARS Handbook for Selecting Roses. It was introduced by Plantier in 1835 after his wife and for that reason you can only assume that it is his best rose. Parentage is unknown and the consensus is it is an alba/moschata cross. The buds are creamy white with a tinge of pink on the outside which then disappear as the flowers open into pure white, cupped, flat and multi-petalled blooms with a green button eye. Foliage is very healthy, light green at first, then turns into olive green. It forms a mounding shrub, has a very lax habit and can grow up to 20 ft. into an open tree. It has arching canes, almost thornless and can spread to 12 ft. across.
I planted Mme Plantier on the west side of my front porch at my former residence in New York and this bush has grown so big. I trimmed it every two years and it grew more vigorously year after year. One year, I decided to tie the plant to the railing of my front porch. It was the only way I could control its growth and kept the plant upright. It had grown so huge that in early May, it covered half the width of my driveway. It is even winding its canes into the wicker of the porch furniture. When it was in bloom, the bush was covered with thousands of 2” white blooms. The fragrance is so strong that you can smell it from a distance.
Mme Plantier only blooms once and when they do, they bloom their hearts out. It’s a very disease-resistant plant, does not get blackspot, does not need spraying and Japanese beetles do not bother it since they arrive when Mme Plantier has finished blooming. If you want a fragrant rose, try Mme Plantier. You will not be disappointed.