Friday, July 1, 2011

'Maman Cochet'

This is the rose that the French third-generation nurseryman and breeder, Scipion Cochet, named for his mother, so you have to figure that he was pretty pleased with it. In English the name would be Mama Cochet or Mummy Cochet.

She is a Tea rose from 1892, the offspring of the Teas, 'Marie Van Houte' and 'Mme Lambard'. I have read that she was the 'Peace' of her day, winning many prizes and setting the standard of rose beauty.

'Maman Cochet' is described as having large flowers, very double, with from 80-150 petals. That's a lot of petals!! Opening buds have classic high-centered form and open into full cups that are rather flat. Sometimes the many inner petals do not open properly, forming a confused knot, and sometimes when they all open correctly, there is a regularly quartered bloom. She has a tendency to have a weak neck, that is, the short stems to which the flower is attached are not strong enough to hold up its heavy weight, so she "nods".  In a climber this is a good trait because the beautiful flowers facing downwards are more easily seen.

'Maman Cochet' was not very good at producing offspring from seed or pollen, but she was great at producing sports, that is, mutations of herself, new varieties. She sported a climbing version of herself, and a white version, 'White Maman Cochet', which itself sported a climber, and a red version, 'Niles Cochet'.
'White Maman Cochet' is tinged with deep pink on the outer petals.

Interestingly, these same sports were occurring at about the same time in Australia.

'Maman Cochet'

 A few breeders were rewarded for their perseverence with actual offspring. Those roses are 'William R. Smith' also called 'Blush Maman Cochet' and 'Souvenir de Pierre Notting' also referred to as 'Yellow Maman Cochet'. I don't grow 'William R. Smith', but I have or have had all the other Cochets. 'White Maman Cochet, Climbing' had to go live with a friend who has more room than I do. The Cochet climbers are very big.

'Maman Cochet' is a vigorous grower, able to reach seven feet across and high in the warm southern states and California. Very old plants have been found on abandoned homesteads that were/are much larger. It is truly a sturdy rose bush, growing upright with side shoots growing at right angles to the main canes. Tea roses generally to not like to be pruned much if at all, although I have been keeping mine narrower than she would choose to be, and so far it hasn't bothered her. They can sulk, that is, not bloom, for an extended period if pruned like other roses by one-third - at most, trim between flushes by cutting the flowers long enough for a vase. If you grow these roses, you need to have enough room to let them be themselves. They don't belong under windows or planted close to the house. Plant them at least five to six feet on center which means if she gets eight feet wide, you'll have room to move around her for maintenance. Of course, I haven't met a rosarian yet who didn't fudge on these numbers - and live to regret it.

As you can see, we've had some blessed rain in the last few days. None today though.


  1. Piękna róża ,bardzo delikatny róż ,ślicznie jej skąpanej w kroplach deszczu ,jak i wytwornie w słońcu ,aż chciałoby się siedzieć i podziwiać ....pozdrawiam Bogusia .

  2. Maman Cochet is one of my favorites. I have the white climber. I've rooted three cuttings of her, two are in pots, one is in the ground. I love her scent, color and form. She's a winner in my book.

    Your pink is luscious looking.

    Thanks for sharing those wonderful shots of her.


  3. White Maman Cochet may qualify as the most beautiful rose I've ever seen. And I'm crying again because I can't grow it up here.

  4. Sherry, what a wonderful post about 'Maman Cochet' and sports! Makes me so want this rose, but I don't have the room for her. Maybe if one of my bigger roses will disappoint in the future I have a chance to grow her. The first photo is truly stunning shot!

  5. Maman is one of my favs. Always have to have her in my garden. Great pics!


  6. Very pretty. I can't decide if I like the pink or the white one better. The first thing I noticed, though, were those gorgeous rain drops! I hope you got enough to make your garden very happy.

  7. I can see why she set the standard for rose beauty in her day. What a lovely flower! Thank you for the pictures and the information. Very nice!

  8. After finding this on the Internet, I will now stop pruning mine so much and see what she does. I’m in Queensland Australia