damask_rose_5

Original Damask Rose from Middle East

damask_rose_5
11 days ago

Hello everyone!

For the longest time I have been trying to figure out the type of rose that my parents grew up with when they lived in their homeland. They were very young when they came here, so I can’t give much description about the rose. My dad said it was a big bush with arching canes and lots of clear pink flowers. The petals were not very tightly packed and not loose either. He does not remember if it bloomed once or twice a year. My nana used to make rosewater with it. My mom’s grandma had one in her garden and she used to make rosewater out of it as well. Both of my parents said that it had a very strong perfume. I did a lot of research about it and figured it could be one of four varieties: Ispahan, Gloire de Guilan, Autumn Damask, or Summer Damask, but I am not sure which. A couple years ago we ordered an Ispahan from High Country Roses (would highly recommend) and a Madame Hardy, although it’s a European hybrid, not the kind my parents grew up with, it was so lovely we couldn’t pass it up. Ispahan seems like it could be the one, but the varieties all look very similar so I’m not sure. Any knowledge would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance and have a lovely weekend,

damask_rose_5 : )


P.S. – The username was un-intentional ; )


Ispahan



Madame Hardy


Comments (24)

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    Which homeland were they from, damask rose?

    damask_rose_5 thanked Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
  • damask_rose_5

    Hi Sheila! Thanks for responding! My dad is from Iran and my mom is from Syria.

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  • K S 8b Seattle

    Also look at Kazanlik -- it is known for being a good damask for rosewater. Beautiful pictures!

    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • damask_rose_5

    Hi K S 8b Seattle! Thank you! Those were their very first blooms, and this year will be their second bloom cycle! I'm so excited!

    There was one I was going to add to the list but I completely forgot the name of it, and you just gave me the answer! Thanks a bunch!

    Have a nice weekend,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • stillanntn6b

    Jeri was the first to re-discover the book "To Persia for Flowers". It's a delightful storyand you could buy it or use the information on that link to get it through interlibrary loan.


    Roses are there and just reading about the flowers will give you an insight into gardening in a part of that part of the world.

    damask_rose_5 thanked stillanntn6b
  • damask_rose_5

    Hi Sheila! I've been wanting to read that book for awhile, but unfortunately my local library doesn't carry it. Maybe when the epidemic is over I can ask the librarian if they could order a copy of it. I did a little more research and stumbled upon a site that said, " In several mountainous places at just under 2000m altitude, the Persian Oil Rose, Rosa damascena trigintipetala, is grown commercially for the extrusion of rose water" (Ludwig Taschner). I looked on HelpMeFind and they say that “'Kazanlik' seems to be the same Damask-type which is also cultivated in Isparta/Turkey and Isfahan/Iran” (HelpMeFind), so I think Kazanlik could be the rose I am looking for. This leads me to another question however: Could the famed damask rose from the Middle East consist of several cultivars, like Kazanlik, Gloire de Guilan, and Ispahan, or did the other cultivars come later and Kazanlik is in fact the one that grew in my parents’ gardens back in the Middle East?

    Thanks for your expertise,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    I am not sure which one of your great choices your parents had. I might get them all, just to make sure!

    damask_rose_5 thanked Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
  • K S 8b Seattle

    It is possible that the particular rose your parents knew is not a named cultivar in commerce in the USA, but it would have been similar. I think Sheila is right -- grow as many as you can. It takes a lot of petals to make good rosewater (or rose jelly -- I love that).

    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • damask_rose_5

    Hi Sheila and K S 8b Seattle! Thanks for your advice! If only I had more room in my garden! I would love to have one of each damask variety. I love the beauty and mystique of old garden roses, but Ispahan and Madame Hardy are my only two. Maybe I can rearrange my dahlia tubers to make more room for roses. That rose jelly sounds delicious K S 8b Seattle, could you give me the recipe perhaps? I would love to try it!

    Have a nice evening,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • K S 8b Seattle

    Hi Damask Rose,

    Here is a link to an earlier discussion about rose jam and jelly. Since this discussion I have changed my technique a bit -- I start the way the Venetian recipe describes, by working the rose petals and the sugar together (this smells amazing). But I have decided that I prefer to strain it to make jelly so that there aren't petals in it. This is what I did last time I made rose jelly (it changes just about every time I try it). I used my Gertrude Jekyll, but I think it would be amazing with a really perfumed damask. The only draw back is that it takes a lot of roses, and roses that have just opened are better than ones that have been on the bush for a long time (because the fragrant oils are still fresh). Oh, also I trim the white bases off the petals because they are supposed to be bitter.


    Gertrude Jekyll Jelly 2019

    200 grams of rose petals (one big mixing bowl full of roses)

    600 grams sugar

    Juice of 1 lemon

    1 tsp of pectin

    2.5 cups boiling water

    Put petals, sugar, lemon in a bowl and massage until paste-like. Refrigerate for several hours. After letting this mixture sit for a while, add 2.5 cups of boiling water to the mix. Let it steep for one hour. Boil jars too sterilize. Strain the juice from the jelly mix through a metal sieve (there were some little insects in here, so maybe next time I will use a finer strainer as a secondary straining). Take the little bit of pectin and mix it with a small amount of sugar (to keep it from clumping), and add it to the mix. Bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. Jar it. Process for 10 minutes (I could have processed it for more like 5).



    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • joeywyomingz4b

    K S thank you for sharing your recipe! How many jars does it make?

  • monarda_gw

    I think they may possibly be propagated from seed, as opposed to the named, ornamental varieties.

    damask_rose_5 thanked monarda_gw
  • K S 8b Seattle

    Ooops! I forgot the link: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5296848/rose-jam-from-venice#n=7


    I can't remember how many jars this made! Sorry! If you guys try it let us know how yours turns out. When my Gertrude Jekyll blooms again this spring I'll make some more and post pictures here.

    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • damask_rose_5

    Hello everyone! Thanks for all your help and the wonderful recipe! I was wondering if someone could explain to me the difference between the summer damask and Rosa damascena tringintipetala aka 'Kazanlik.' If someone grows one or both of them and has pictures they would like to share, that would be great too. Thanks again!

    Have a nice evening,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • LPS (zone 6B)

    If you are on Facebook, you might try the Paul Zimmerman page also. He's very generous with his knowledge and another chance for others to chime in!

    damask_rose_5 thanked LPS (zone 6B)
  • rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)

    damask_rose_5

    Hi Sheila! I've been wanting to read that book for awhile, but unfortunately my local library doesn't carry it. Maybe when the epidemic is over I can ask the librarian if they could order a copy of it.


    If only it was an epidemic


  • AquaEyes 7a NJ

    "Summer Damask" is really a collective term for all the once-blooming Damasks, typically more specifically referring to those of the original, older types rather than those bred in Europe later, and which likely arose from back-crosses with Gallicas and/or Centifolias. There is a HelpMeFind file for 'Summer Damask', but I don't think it represents just one cultivar. Rather, I think that pictures and references you'll see there may include 'Kazanlik', "Gloire de Guilan", 'Professeur Emile Perrot', and other unnamed seedling cultivars that must have popped up many times over the centuries. I can't remember the articles, but I do remember several which identified several different individual cultivars among those crop-grown for rose water and attar. The ones we know were likely just a sampling that happened to be brought back to Europe. But they're a rather similar bunch. Even 'Quatre Saisons' is rather similar to the old original group, differing primarily in that it is capable of repeating later in the season.


    :-)


    ~Christopher

    damask_rose_5 thanked AquaEyes 7a NJ
  • damask_rose_5

    Hi LPS (zone 6B)! Unfortunately I don’t have a Facebook account myself, but I will check out some of his posts for sure. Thanks for the recommendation!


    rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ) – You’re right it’s a pandemic not an epidemic. I got my terms mixed up. There are nearly five-hundred cases and counting in my county alone, and that’s only the people who have been tested. We’re just staying home at this point. The one good thing is that school is canceled so I can spend more time working in my garden. I’ll give you the same advice I gave in another discussion about the pandemic. Sometimes we have to remember without the rain there would be no rainbows. Try not to look at the news too much, unless need be. Good news doesn’t sell, that’s why there is never any. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life. Smell a flower, watch a bird fly, tell your family and friends you love them, count your blessings. You’ll find that life isn’t so bad after all.

    I will be keeping you and everyone here in my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe my friend.

    Hi AquaEyes 7a NJ! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of roses with me, you gave me the answer to a question I have been wondering about for a long time! I think the closest I can get to the roses my parents had that is in commerce here would probably be ‘Kazanlik.’ I showed some pictures of ‘Kazanlik’ and ‘Gloire de Guilan’ to my dad, and he said that ‘Kazanlik’ looked very much like the rose he had in his childhood home. Hopefully I can order one next spring when they are back in stock at High Country Roses. I read somewhere that King Sargon and Queen Semiramis grew this variety in their gardens in Assyria. It would be so cool if I could grow one in my garden!

    Thanks again for all your help,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • MetteBee_Copenhagen8b

    I just wanted to say that this topic is close to my heart. I have traveled and lived briefly in Syria (10-20 years ago) and I think it was there that I became interested in roses. I saw them grown in pots and olive oil tins. So pretty! No roses and not my photo (mine are somewhere on a portable drive) - the courtyard of Beit al-Akkad, the (former) Danish cultural institute in Damascus.


    damask_rose_5 thanked MetteBee_Copenhagen8b
  • K S 8b Seattle

    MetteBee, I have also briefly been to the Danish Cultural Institute in Damascus (also a long time ago -- very briefly, just to see the building -- it is Mamluk, right?). I've been to Syria a couple of times because I did some archaeological work in Jordan and then traveled to Syria when I was just out of college. Syria is one of the most extraordinary places I've ever been. I wasn't there in the right season to appreciate roses, but I certainly enjoyed the wonderful fresh fruit juices (mulberry, or bananas and milk!). I don't know if I even have photos from that time anymore. That was when I was transitioning from film photography to digital, and I think my pictures got left in the house of an ex, stored on CDs. But if I close my eyes and imagine I can still smell the smoke from the nargilehs outside the coffee shops in the old city of Damascus, and can see the dark inner halls of the market in Aleppo. I really love Syria, and am saddened by what has happened there. Syrian people are some of the most friendly, generous, welcoming people I've met.

    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • Cathy Kaufell

    I grow Celsiana and love the fragrance

    damask_rose_5 thanked Cathy Kaufell
  • Plumeria Girl (Florida ,9b)

    Mette and KS that is wonderful experience both you guys share with us , thank you ! Great pic! Love the 'courtyard'.

    KS, the way you describe the place is so poetic. Wants me to close my eyes and visualize it. Sounds you have a beautiful experience there :)

    Cathy, i wish i can smell your rose, Celsiana.

    I wish i can grow all the roses above but i cant with my zone.

    Shiela, go for it !

  • damask_rose_5

    Thank you for your kind words MetteBee_Copenhagen8b and K S 8b Seattle, this topic is very close to my heart as well. That is a beautiful picture. My mom is a native Syrian, and she is from Damascus as well. She often tells me of the beautiful courtyards she saw there when she was little. She said that her teta (grandma) used to have a damask rose growing in her courtyard that she would make a rosewater drink (sharab il ward) from. Have you ever been to the souq? That is one of the things she misses most. I would love to visit one day, but due to the current state of the world, I think it’ll be awhile.


    Hi Cathy Kaufell! 'Celsiana' is such a lovely rose! I wish I had more room in my garden to plant damask roses. I will probably plant a 'Kazanlik' as it has a lot of cultural and familial significance to my family, but depending on how rearranging the dahlia tubers goes, I may have room for one more. (‘There’s always room for one more' is my policy after all ; )). It’s hard to limit myself to choosing just one rose. I want to get one of the original Middle Eastern damasks but it’s very difficult when the European cultivars look just as beautiful. I guess that’s how I wound up with a Madame Hardy in my cart a few years back. I saw the picture and it was as if it had just jumped in on its own. That may just happen again next year when High Country Roses gets 'Kazanlik' and 'Celsiana' back in stock. I have to stop looking at the rose catalogs. Otherwise I may end up knocking on my neighbors’ doors, asking if they can loan me their yards…


    Have a lovely weekend everyone,

    damask_rose_5 : )

  • K S 8b Seattle

    Hi Damask Rose,

    I did visit the souk, and one of the things I remember was the sound of the drink sellers with large metal cans like backpacks, and little metal cups -- and they would clank the metal cups in a rhythm kind of like castanets. That sound was so cheerful! Also the old city of Damascus was the first place I ever saw stretchy ice cream -- I remember it being pink or white, and I was amazed by how it formed a sort of long rope of ice cream rather than a scoop. I think they put gum arabic in it. One of my favorite foods from the Levant, which is probably not in season at this point because it is a hot drink for winter, is sahleb -- a delicious sweet, thick beverage made of milk and orchid root powder. Topped with some crushed pistachios it is delicious! I don't think I had it in Syria, but thinking of the drink sellers brought it to mind. I truly hope you get there some day, Damask Rose -- it is an extraordinary city! I can't tell you how sad I am about what has happened in Syria. I just hope that somehow time heals the Syrian people, and good times return.

    damask_rose_5 thanked K S 8b Seattle

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