A Prince, a Rose and a Route

Prince Imperial Rose

The Anniversary of the Prince Imperial Rose …

The month of June is a special month here in the Midlands, for many reasons. Some are obvious, like the Comrades Marathon and Youth Day. Other reasons are not quite as bold!

The story of Mr Ludwig Taschner’s Prince Imperial Rose is one of those. Glenn Flanagan, enthusiastic retired French lecturer at the DUT, Pietermaritzburg Campus, totally dedicated to the study of the life and times of young Louis Napoleon, who at age twenty-three, died in Zululand fighting on the side of the British.

Just one of the blooms of the Prince Imperial story in KZN is one of Ludwig Taschner’s roses. Twenty years ago on 17 June 1997, Mr Ludwig Taschner, the then President of the South African Rose Growing Association ” baptised” the Prince Impérial rose in the Voortrekker Museum (Msunduzi Museum). The “creation” of the rose, at the project leader’s request was a joint Franco-South African horticultural affaire (Henri Delbard of Paris and Ludwig Taschner of South Africa).

The Prince Imperial Rose
French blood pulses through the veins of this rose! The glowing pink blooms, with a touch of rubescence, will radiate warmth in any rose garden. Bred by the French horticulturist, Delbard, and named after the Prince Imperial, Louis Napoleon, this rose combines the old and the new. Initially this bloom presents itself in the shape of the heritage rose. The full-centered

Portrait du Prince Impérial; Jules Joseph Lefebvre; Palais de St Cloud 17 Juillet 1870

bud, with its short inner petals, opens to display an almost quartered bloom. Firm-petaled and long-lasting, this rose carries its petals to full term. The terminal bud is always proudly accompanied by two side buds; thus the flowering period per stem is considerably prolonged. Flowering continues prolifically throughout the season and often even longer. Disease-resistant and hardy, this bush will grow to hip height. With its sweet fragrance and its glossy leaves, any garden will be proud to accommodate this aristocratic visitor. Since young Louis Napoleon, heir to the Napoleonic dynasty, died in a skirmish in KwaZulu-Natal, this rose belongs in South African soil.

The rose can be ordered from any of Ludwig’s Rose Centres www.ludwigsroses.co.za or for KZN’ers more specifically from Ludwig’s Star Roses; Hillcrest, KZN; Cell: 081 380 8496 / 082 823 4744; star@ludwigsroses.co.za
To find out more about the French Presence in KZN look at the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/French-Presence-in-KZN-La-Route-du-Prince-Impérial-Louis-Napoléon