'Eugène de Beauharnais' is, in my opinion, a fine representative of the China class. It is most unlike the other chinas that I grow, for example, R. chinensis viridiflora. To look at this rose, it is not very apparent that it is a China descendent. It doesn't have any of the twiggy sparse growth habit that the early Chinas do, in fact it is somewhat stout and upright, with thick, fairly heavily thorned canes. Most authorities now believe this to be a Bourbon Hybrid.
I feel that I can safely say that this little rose has few, if any real faults. It has been completely resistant to fungal diseases in my garden where some of the Austin roses were struggling with blackspot last summer. It remains a small plant of about two feet tall, branching often, and sending up new canes from the base on a regular basis. The blooms are quite variable in color, but most of them appear in hues as you see here. It is a mix of rich purple, crimson, and red, often showing a flash of white at the center. The scent of these blooms is intoxicating! I cannot compare it to any other rose.....it is simply exquisite, and very powerful. It must be experienced to comprehend its quality.
I do not have much experience with the China roses, but this one is one of my favorite of all my roses. I am fond of the purples and crimsons, and I would think that this rose will appeal to those who like roses like Charles de Mills. It reblooms constantly throughout the season, and unlike Austin's The Prince, it doesn't get blackspot!
ARS merit rating: none given Personal merit rating: 9.0 Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 5 to 10, zone 4 in a protected location. Shrub size: 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall X 2 feet wide Fragrance:5.0 strong Old Rose and candy. (well, sort of!!!)