Felicite Parmentier is an old shrub rose of the Alba group bred by Parmentier in 1836. Its pretty small blooms, which emerge from yellow green buds, are pale pink with deeper pink centres and are immaculately quartered. They gradually fade to cream at the edges. The foliage is grey green and its neat habit makes it ideal for the smaller garden. It is pretty disease resistant and, being a relative of the dog rose, it will tolerate quite poor soil. It is also very shade tolerant. This, out of all shrub roses with a single flowering, has the longest season of 6 weeks.
Felicite Parmentier is a delightful, tidy shrub rose, particularly useful where space is limited, not reaching more than 4' x 3'. During a very long flowering season, of approximately 6 weeks, it produces an abundance of charming pale pink flowers that are shown to great advantage by the healthy greyish green foliage. Having such a neat and tidy growth habit this rose would also be of great value in a mixed border, particularly with grasses and herbaceous plants that complement the foliage and flower colour. Suggestions would be penstemons, pink/blue/purple salvias and Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'.
Colour: Pale pink
Flower shape: Small, perfect reflexing blooms
Fragrance: Good scent
Final height and spread: 4' x 3' (1.2m x 90cm
Flowering season: Summer flowering for six weeks
Disease resistance: Quite Good
Felicite Parmentier was bred by Louis Joseph Ghislain Parmentier in Enghien, Belgium. Parmentier is best known as a prolific collector of roses, acquiring plants from all around the world and hybridizing many varieties of his own. During a 30 year period he collected some 3000 roses and bred a very large number himself. He was an amateur grower never selling any of his roses, although he would occasionally give them away. He produced two famous and beautiful roses: Felicite Parmentier, Desiree Parmentier (named after his wife) and a third, Cardinal de Richelieu which has been attributed by some to a breeder called Laffay.
The Belgian rose society have concluded that Parmentier passed this rose to Holland before France causing this confusion in attribution. It wasn't until after his death in 1847 that a large number of his roses became available to the general public and other breeders.