Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rosa ‘Devoniensis’

Tea rose.  ‘We have lately received from Messrs. Lucombe, Pince, and Co. of Exeter, specimens of a new rose, by them called ‘Rosa Devoniensis’.  The Flowers which we received were finely formed, very double, much above the average size; and it is evident that the plant has a vigorous and excellent habit.  We also found it deliciously fragrant; the colour is a clear, delicate, primrose yellow, with a somewhat deeper centre.  The flowers, though large and double, had expanded freely, without any imperfection or hard green eye.’  [Gard. Chron. 1841].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Devoniensis’ won a Banksian Medal from the Horticultural Society in 1841.  Henry Curtis said of it: ‘On this splendid English rose it is hardly possible to bestow too much praise, and in a work devoted to roses it deserves the first place.’  [Henry Curtis p.1 vol.1/1850]. 

It is said to have been raised in Plymouth by Foster in 1838 and distributed through Lucombe and Pince, who purchased all rights to it.  Successful English-bred roses were unusual at this time, although it was later suggested, primarily by Rivers, that it was a French seedling, purchased by Foster.  In the 9th edition of ‘The Rose Garden, 1888, William Paul commented on the controversy: ‘Since the publication of an early edition of this work, I have been told that this fine Rose was not raised at Plymouth, but brought there from the west of France.  The story is a long one, and the evidence of it reliable and weighty.  Still the late Mr. Pince, of Exeter, in a letter now before me, clearly claims for it an English origin.’  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903), Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863), MB p.169/1841, Amat].

The Floricultural Cabinet described it as a seedling from Rosa ochroleuca, the Yellow China rose, the other parent being unknown.  [FC p.194/1841].  In the first great National Rose show held in July 1858, ‘Devoniensis’ was listed amongst the roses appearing in multiple (8) winning collections.  [Gard. Chron. 1858].

The 'Devoniensis' growing at Camden Park and illustrated here shows little of the 'clear yellow' colour described in the Gardeners' Chronicle, although the ground colour is pale yellow in most blooms. Most of the flowers are very distinctly blush-coloured in the centre. It is a recent reintroduction to the gardens.

History at Camden Park

‘Devoniensis’ was obtained from the Sydney Botanic Garden on 28th October 1846.  [RSBG AB].  It was included in a handwritten list of roses dated 1861, probably intended for a new edition of the catalogue that was never printed.  [MP A2943].  It was described growing in the private garden of Charles Moor, Director of the Sydney Botanic Garden, in 1864.  [NSW Hort. Mag. vol.1 p.44/1864].


Published Feb 12, 2010 - 11:26 AM | Last updated Jul 28, 2011 - 04:52 PM

The photograph shows a very double pale pink rose.

Rosa 'Devoniensis' | Camden Park | Photograph Colin Mills


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, reportedly England but probably France

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record


Confidence level high