The origins of this class are difficult to trace. The original, Duchess of Portland, bears an affinity to Gallica and Damask roses; compact, Gallica-red, Damask-scented, with excellent renewal of bloom throughout the season. Portlands tend toward a compact habit, and fit neatly into gardens of all sizes. It is important to note that these roses are closely related to Hybrid Perpetuals and many authors in the past have lumped them there. When recoginzed as a group, Portlands included a good many varieties better placed with the HPs. Here we try to list those whose growth habit and character are akin go the original Portland Rose and the Rose du Roi.
In keeping with the spirit of this catalogue, to group roses where they seem best to belong, leaving the controversies of classing to rose history researchers, we present those Portlands which are of compact habit. Such varieties as Sidonie, which are quite robust and spreading growers, historically classed as Portlands, we place with the Hybrid Perpetuals. For the gardener this will prove a more satisfactory view of the roses themselves.
We place the Portlands in two groups of growth habit;
1) those akin to the Duchess of Portland which suckers like a Gallica and remains quite short, and
2) a more compact and upright type, such as Marbree, which suckers little.