General Gallieni
June 1st, 2024


(Tea Rose)

‘General Gallieni’ (pronounced gaal-lee-eh-nee) is a Tea rose bred by Gilbert Nobonnand in France in 1899. It was introduced in Australia in 1903 by St Kilda Nurseries.

Tea roses are classified as “Old Garden Roses” being the predecessors of our wonderful Hybrid Tea Roses, the preeminent garden roses of today.

A large double bloom (17 to 25 petals) of cupped form, colour varies from a dark red to yellow and all shades in-between.  This rose blooms in flushes throughout the season. Hardly resembling a rose, blooms often are misshapen and muddled. Growth is up to 200cm high and 180cm in width producing a wonderful feature plant in any garden. Foliage graduates from light olive-green to dull blue-green with minimal hooked prickles on the branches. Like all roses in this category, fragrance is of a tea nature with faint overtones of carnation and disinfectant.

A wonderful 2 page expose of the variety features in the Australian authored “Tea Roses, Old Roses for Warm Climates” and is in part detailed as follows; “General Gallieni is almost always in bloom, even in the depths of winter and at the height of summer. Plump buds are guarded by well foliated sepals, which reflex fully when the flower opens. The flowers are usually solitary but can come in small inflorescences and are held upright on kinked, glandular pedicels, standing out against the dark foliage.”

The variety was named after Joseph Simon Galliéni, Marshal of France, born at Saint-Réat in Haute-Garonne 24 April 1849. Died at Versailles 27 March 1916. Created a Marshal of France posthumously 21 April 1921.

Tea roses perform very well in South Australia, preferring warm, dry climates. A large collection can be seen at Adelaide Botanical Gardens and usually feature prominently in the gardens of growers who favour the “heritage” style roses.

This rose is available for purchase in South Australia from Wagner’s Rose Nursery.

Text: Gavin Woods