Would you believe that this little red rose could be the ancestor of all of the red modern roses? It's known by alot of other names - Belfield Rose, Slater's Crimson China - it was originally bred in China and it's parentage is unknown. It's classified as an Old China Rose or Bermuda Rose - and I got mine from Ruth Knopf at a Charleston Fall Garden Show a few years ago. The story goes that it was discovered in 1792 in England - and I think that it was somehow lost and rediscovered in Bermuda (I'm not sure about this though). Ruth brought hers back from a trip to Bermuda. You can see alot of them in the rose gardens of Bermuda - especially in the Bermuda Rose Society Repository Garden where ~85 different roses are maintained. But the red - to think that this rose is responsible for most of the red roses that you see - remarkable.
If it's a nice weekend, go for a walk at Hamptom Park. Did you know that they have a five-year heirloom Noisette Rose Study? The study is officially over (I think) - but the roses remain, and results are floating around the web, including this from a few molecular geneticists at Florida Southern College (2001):
"We found that the single-flowered musk rose (R. moschata) and 'Old Blush' jointly accounted for all the bands we saw for the 'Champneys' Pink Cluster' accessions, giving us very strong reason to believe that those two roses are the parents of 'Champneys' Pink Cluster', as grown and identified today, and therefore, strengthening our opinion that we are growing the "correct" 'Champneys' Pink Cluster' today. In the 'Blush Noisette' study, 'Champneys' Pink Cluster' accounted for approximately half of the DNA bands of 'Blush Noisette', supporting the concept that 'Champneys' Pink Cluster' is a direct parent of the rose we grow today as 'Blush Noisette' , and therefore, strengthening our opinion that we are growing the "correct" 'Blush Noisette' today."
Now, I didn't know that. I'm guessing you didn't either. You've just gotta love genetics.