This is Eugène de Beauharnais. As I explained in the main entry for this variety, it’s the oldest living critter on the property, but wow, that age apparently in no way contributes to weak performance.
This is Gene starting it’s second season here. None of these are large blooms, but they are astonishingly well formed — all of them — and in two or three more days this little plant seems likely to take on an almost supernatural appearance.
There is broad skepticism on the interwebs about whether this variety truly has much China rose in its ancestry. Until now I tended to agree, but I think I’m starting to see it in the wispy growth and strong repeat. Meanwhile it clearly gets its intense, nose tingling scent from the Bourbon side of its family tree. A truly impressive plant and yet more proof that what’s newer isn’t always better.
This is very worth growing, especially as a deck pet — and it survived our brutal winter (in a pot) with zero winter dieback.
For more pics, see Gene’s main page.