Dr. William Corbin, Portland, Ore.
Fig. 20. R. 'China' displaying a heavy set of flower buds.
The enclosed photo of R. 'China' (wightii x fortunei) (Fig. 20) was taken in my garden in 1952. A most unusual set of flower buds is apparent, many terminals having as many as six distinct buds, and three buds per terminal was commonplace.
This plant had not been moved during the past two seasons and was in good health and vigor, had large foliage, and had been making more than a normal growth annually. Many instances where plants are moved and receive a setback, or are unhappy in their new location, the foliage is more or less dwarfed, and the annual growth is short, and a heavy set of flower buds is not unusual. None of the symptoms were apparent in this instance, and since no fertilizer or unusual cultural practices were employed I am at a loss to explain this plant's behavior.
Neither parent could be called a free bloomer in their younger state, and the species R. wightii is rather a shy bloomer even when mature. I had mentioned to friends who had visited my garden during the winter that I would leave all the buds and accept just what nature offered. When the buds began to swell I found it difficult to keep from disbudding, and finally succumbed. Though the bush is only over four feet tall I picked a good many unopened buds of this unusual set.