Noisette roses constitute a separate and distinct group named after Phillip Noisette, the superintendent of the Botanical Gardens of the South Carolina Medical Society in the early 1800s. Phillip bred the noisette rose "Blush Noisette" from the seeds of "Champney's Pink Cluster", a cross between r. chinensis and r. moschata obtained by John Champney, a farmer from Charleston, South Carolina. Noisette roses are thus closely related to Chinas, and are America's first significant contribution to rose breeding. While "Champney's Pink Cluster" is considered to be the first in this class, it is "Blush Noisette" that brought these roses into the spotlight and kick-started the hybridizing efforts that gave us so many of these exquisite beauties.
Duchesse de Grammont (before 1838)
This is such a delicate rose, of unknown origin (which never fails to intrigue me) and not readily available on the West Coast. I don't grow it, so I can't tell you much except that the plant at the Heritage does not seem to rebloom really well. However, the huge clusters of tiny double blooms are very special in spring, and pink buds add a bit of color. It has a shrubby habit, typical of some early Noisettes, and seems a healthy plant.
Jeanne d'Arc (Verdier, 1848)
A bit ho-hum, the only thing to like about Jeanne d'Arc is the stamens which begin yellow and age to pink (see the second picture), which is fairly unusual.
Lamarque (Marechal, 1830)
This, to me, is the most beautiful of noisettes. There are two versions of Lamarque available from nurseries, the California Lamarque and the Thomasville Lamarque, the latter being inferior in vigor and bloom quality. I was told that the California Lamarque is the real one. It repeats well with deadheading, is not too prickly, and the canes are flexible enough for stress-free training.
Lady Emily Peel (Lacharme, 1862)
A lovely blush pink rose named after the daughter of a Scottish nobleman. I don't know much about its rebloom or disease-resistance.
'Manchester Guardian Angel' (found)
A really really massive and incredibly prickly rose. It has a strong sweet scent (courtesy of the musk rose in its ancestry) and very quick and generous repeat, although as you can see, the flowers are better for mass effect rather than individual beauty. A very healthy rose if you have enough room for it:-).