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 The Tough Burnets  
 As the century progressed, the very hardy native roses mentioned above were diversified with equally hardy and tough exotic forms. An especially valuable category was, and still is today, that of the burnet roses, forms of R. pimpinellifolia (R. spinosissima). The natural distribution of this species does not quite extend to Finland, but many forms are well adapted to our climate. The most frequently found burnet today is the semi-double, fragrant, creamy white-flowered rose whose Finnish name translates as "midsummer rose", but which appears in some catalogues as 'Finnish Double White' or R. pimpinellifolia 'Plena'. This rose actually seems to be a cluster of similar forms rather than a single clone, a fact that suggests that it is of considerable age. (Microvariation is a feature common to many roses that have been around for a long period, but whether it arises from the accumulation of somatic mutations in a single clone or because gardeners are constitutionally incapable of resisting the temptation to raise seedlings from an original clone, is a question that can only be resolved through DNA analysis, principally that of the roses). The epithet of "Finnish" is most appropriate for this rose, as it would be hard to imagine any other plant that the Finns have taken so much to their hearts. Like the midsummer celebration with which its blooming usually coincides, the "midsummer rose" has assumed an almost Arcadian aura of national identity.  
 'Plena' (R. pimpinellifolia) is the epitome of summer for Finnish people. Photo: Pirjo Rautio.
 Another not uncommon burnet is a dense, very thorny, neat-leaved plant with small, cup-shaped fragrant, semi-double shell-pink flowers fading to white soon after opening. This exquisite little rose is known as 'Papula' after a rectory of that name, presently on the Russian side, where it allegedly grew. Both of these roses are somewhat obscure in origin. The white one may be Prévost's 'Blanche Double' (1830), and/or perhaps one of the seedlings produced by the Brown brothers in Scotland towards the end of the eighteenth century. 'Papula' was formerly thought to correspond to the Scottish 'Staffa', but the the origin of "our" rose now seems traceable to Germany where (as indeed in Finland) several burnets were available by the mid-nineteenth century. Dr E. Regel, director of the Imperial Botanic Gardens of St Petersburg, listed several burnets bred by Freundlich of Zarskoje Selo near St Petersburg around this time, but over subsequent decades no further record is to be found of Freundlich's roses.
 The flowers of 'Papula' open a delicate shell-pink, later fading to nearly white. Photo: Pirjo Rautio.
 Rosa pimpinellifolia 'Papula' (R. pimpinellifolia) displays its fragrant flowers on a compact bush.
Photo: Sirkka Juhanoja.
 Better documented is 'Poppius' with large, rose-pink, semi-double blooms about a week later than the preceding two. Its rather lax habit, relative lack of thorns and certain other features suggest that 'Poppius' may be a hybrid of the R. x reversa (= R. pendulina x pimpinellifolia) group. It originates from the trial field of the Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture near Stockholm whose director, Carl Stenberg, wished to commemorate his friend and patron, (the Finnish) Dr Gabriel Poppius by naming a rose that had appeared on the site under Stenberg's watchful eye. The rose must have received its name near the middle of the 19th century. The origins of the burnet and the putative R. pendulina parents remain obscure.
 Photo: Kaarina Bäckman.
 The lax habit of 'Poppius' (pimpinellifolia hybr.) reflects its R. pendulina ancestry.
Photo: Sirkka Juhanoja.
 Other Stalwarts of the Nineteenth Century  
 Catalogue lists (such as that of a company known as Finska Trädgårdsföreningen i Helsingfors, the Finnish Horticultural Association in Helsinki, who listed 13 gallicas in 1891-92) reveal that a considerable number of gallicas were grown in Finland during at least the latter part of the 19th century, but the only forms to have survived from such old plantings until the present day belong to a small group known with us as Francofurtanas. These poorly documented roses appear to represent spontaneous crosses between Rosa gallica and one or more very hardy species from Section Cassiorhodon (formerly Cinnamomeae), probably R. majalis or R. glabrifolia. The best known of these is the cultivar (or rather a cluster of closely related forms that may have been raised from seed of the original) known here as 'Splendens' and in Sweden as 'Frankfurt', a very hardy, erect and moderately suckering shrub with reddish stems to about 1.5m (5ft) with medium-sized vivid red, slightly double, well scented blooms in July. It performs well as far north as Oulu (Sw: Uleaborg) at latitude 65°N. It may be synonymous with R. gallica 'Grandiflora' which appears in the catalogues of Regel & Kesselring near St Petersburg at the turn of the century, but we know nothing further of the origin of this rose. It is also very similar to the single rose known as 'Alika' in the United States, and which was taken there from Russia by Prof. Niels E. Hansen in 1906.
 'Splendens' (gallica hybr.) must surely be the most vividly flowering hardy rose we have.
Photo: Sirkka Juhanoja.
 The rose that best typifies the francofurtanas is 'Agatha' or Redouté's 'Rosier de Francfourt', Rosa turbinata. This is very close to, but perhaps not identical with the rose popularly known in Sweden as kyrkogårdsrosen, the "churchyard rose", since the Swedes have traditionally used the latter for ornamenting cemeteries. The Finnish name is of similar meaning, but in Finland this rose is usually found in the grounds of old manor houses and rectories. It grows into a fairly erect, freely suckering shrub to 1.8m (nearly 6ft) with light green, deeply veined leaflets, rather messily double, unevenly pink flowers and pear-shaped (turbinate) hips. The appearance of the shrub is often marred by an indeterminate stem and leaf-blotch disease that can result in dieback. The "churchyard rose" has obvious affinities with 'Empress Josephine' but the latter is much less hardy than "our" rose, with better formed flowers though much less fragrance. As in the case of several old roses, we appear to be dealing with a cluster of closely related clones, since plants similar to, but distinct from southern Finnish possibly-Agathas can be found in northern-central Finland. Some of these northern types, which may be even hardier than the main type, have been given local names.  
 'Agatha' (gallica hybr.) is very close to the "churchyard roses" found near old manor-houses in Finland.
Photo: Sirkka Juhanoja.