"Gilbert’s Red Rose"

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While I am not a historian or life-long resident of Kendall County my family has ranched here for many years, and I am a dedicated ‘Rose Rustler’, with deep and abiding feelings for the Hill Country. As such, I have come to know some of the ‘Old Timers’ of this area quite well — wonderful Old Garden Roses that have survived and endured for generations in Kendall County and the surrounding Hill Country, bringing beauty and fragrance to countless lives.

Gilbert's Red Rose


I became Gilbert Langbein’s neighbor over 30 years ago, and I counted him among my friends. According to Gilbert, his family came to Kendall County around 1850 in a covered wagon, and so did a particularly beautiful, dark-red, rose, the origin of which is not fully known. "Gilbert’s Red Rose" graced his family’s home for about 140 years before that summer day, when Gilbert stopped by my place with some cuttings. He was almost embarrassed to give them to me, but he said that they might look "pretty" in my garden. With persistence, patience, and "luck" I managed to root a few of those cuttings. So, I now have a wonderful specimen of "Gilbert’s Red Rose" — a living memorial to my friend.

Gilbert's Red Rose

Last summer, a well respected rosarian saw "Gilbert’s Red Rose" in my garden. He suggested that it might be the original "Cramoisi Superieur", a seedling of "Salter’s Crimson China" that was introduced in France in 1832. After comparing the blooms of "Gilbert’s Red Rose" with another very, very old rose from the Evergreen Cemetery in Victoria — we concluded that they were identical. I guess that is not too surprising when you consider the stories about the German settlers passing through the Gulf Coast ports on their way to the Hill Country in the 1840’s. But no matter what this rose was originally called, or where it came from, it will always be "Gilbert’s Red Rose" to me.


For more information, contact -

Joe Cooper
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Last updated 08/05/2006.