I had the great fortune of making this rose’s acquaintance last June at the Rose and Fragrance garden. ‘Ispahan’, a Damask from sometime prior to 1832 (breeder unknown) is so beautiful I actually gasped when I saw it. This is one of those roses that makes me feel a bit pervy: “Hey pretty thing, don’t I know you from someplace? How’d you like to come home with me sometime?”
But let’s get down to brass tacks: ‘Ispahan’ (also referred to as ‘Isfahan’, ‘Arspahan’ and ‘Rose d’Isfahan’) has healthy foliage (according to HMF showed a 0% to 5% infection rate at Le Jardin Botanique de Montreal trials) and lush pink blossoms (to me reminiscent of the roses Comte de Chambord/Gertrude Jekyll–just not as deep pink.) This winter I have made several visits to the garden and always pop by ‘Ispahan’ to say hello. Without the presence of the leaves this time of year it’s easy to see how her canes have formed a dense thicket about 3′ around with canes stretching upwards of about 6′– so mental note to self to give this rose room to grow as I try to finagle one into my spring order. ‘Ispahan’ is listed as hardy to zones 3b-9b. That’s right, cold climate gardeners, 3b! More can be found HERE.