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My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 29th December 2010, 12:44

Ian, this is my 'Indica Major'. I find it difficult to understand how it could be confused with anything else.

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This one was discovered in an overgrown Tasmanian garden scattered around the property. I assumed they were from old grafted roses whose top section had long since died off. Pretty flower in its own right IMO. It strikes like a weed and I have a few spare plants floating around somewhere too if anyone wants them. Incidently, one of my best seedlings for the year has come from this ''Indica Major'. It too will be non-remontant unfortunately.

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 29th December 2010, 17:37

I maybe a fool, which I am(laugh at self as I type) why not, tissue culture some of the plant. Again am I stupid or is it to expensive. Could the American Rose Society help with funds or some other group.
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 29th December 2010, 18:21

As if the ARS had money roflmao !
But seriously, if we had DNA from my plant, what could we compare it to? There are no other candidates handy. If there were other candidates that we could also test, and they all were identical from different parts of the world, that would be a good test. If we had a candidate for Park's Yellow, there are several still living offspring, and they could be used to help confirm an identity, but Hume's has no known offspring of which we are certain of their identity. For instance, Adam is supposed to be a Hume's seedling, but we're not sure the roses sold as Adam are actually Adam.

Perhaps someday we can compare that Laos candidate to mine. I'll have to ask John Hook about it.
Jill

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 29th December 2010, 19:11

You should have a chat to David Zlesak. He has a student who is undergoing some special genetic studies on roses, specifically DNA comparisons. I have mentioned Ian's quest to find the real HB to David on the RHA forum. You can see the thread here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] .

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 29th December 2010, 23:41

Hi Jill,

Great to meet you on this forum and I enjoyed reading about your own experiences with a Hume's candidate. Do you have a photo of this rose?

Simon, your photos of Indica Major are actually quite a good match for the Rosa Odorata (aka Odoratissima) that was illustrated by Andrews and Pemberton. But it is obviously a different rose to that illustrated by Redoute and Watts.

Tissue culture may by a good idea if someone has plenty of money and wants to get all the contenders together in one place. If any rose was to be chosen as a priority, I'd suggest the Laos rose that was discovered by the Japanese researchers.

I do tend to agree though that DNA testing will not prove very much, because as Jill points out, to what do we compare the results? Smile We have only the taxonomy provided to us by Redoute's accurate illustration and Lindley's description.
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 30th December 2010, 03:56

Hi Ian,
I put the photo link in my first post above.
Jill

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 30th December 2010, 12:37

Thanks Jill,
Chalk that one up to poor eyesight and answering a message late at night. Smile
The rose has got those lovely thick, glossy leaves that you would expect from a true Odorata hybrid. It actually looks like a fairly good match for Redoute's Rosa Indica (var.) that he called "Rose du Bengale" plate 141, in Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs (1827-33). It seems Redoute (Thory?) wished to make a distinction between this rose and the Rosa Indica Fragrans that he painted at Malmaison. He called it a variety of Indica but stopped short at giving it a variety name! They look a bit similar and probably have shared ancestry, but are clearly a different rose. I believe this was probably one of the original China tea roses imported to the UK - possibly the one imported by Hume, from which he may have propagated one or more Rosa Indica Odorata seedlings (aka Fragrans), one of which Empress Josephine imported to France. I would go out on a limb and suggest that the California rose is possibly "Rose du Bengale", or a more modern replica.
Ian
PS Jill, whatever you do, don't let that plant die!
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 30th December 2010, 16:04

A couple years ago, it was in the ground, and had lots of buds. Then all the buds drooped. Gopher! I dug it up with all the roots it had left, and it survived, but I still keep it in a pot since then. I'll see if one of my Redoute books has Rose du Bengale. The real question, of course, is which of these early teas made it into the US?
Jill

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 30th December 2010, 17:15

Pesky gophers! At least we don't have these in Australia. We just have to contend with possums sneaking down and eating all the buds and flowers during the night. Laughing
As in Australia, it is possible that such roses were not deliberately imported in their own right, but made the journey "adventitiously" as the supporting rootstock on grafted roses.
A copy of the book Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs can be found online in Google books. Just type it into Google and switch to "Books". I think it is available as a full view.
The rose pictured in that book looks a bit fuller than your rose, but the basic form seems right. The leaves are also slightly different, but these may vary under different growing conditions. I'm not saying they are the same rose, but they do appear close.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Redoute: ‘Rosa lutea & Rosa Indica (var.)’, French names ‘Variétés de Rose jaune et de Rose du Bengale’.

According to Wyatt, "it was often the practice to off-load plants in transit from China to England at the Calcutta Botanic Garden as a half-way house for recovery during the long voyage. This practice led the French horticulturists to assume that the plants had actually originated in India and not China. It also confused some English botanists, too, so that to this day, the class of roses which we term the Chinas are referred to in France and Germany as 'Bengales', while the whole botanical Section which includes the Chinas, Tea-scented and Hybrid Teas was given the name INDICAE. It is not known whether the rose plants sent off in 1808 were rested in India, but it is more than a possibility since they did not reach the Humes until 1809, the year in which Lady Amelia died."

Rita has just PM'd me some digital scans of Agnes Smith. The thing that strikes me is that the bud shape and flower form are a good match for the Watt's lithograph in Edwards's Botanical Register ("Rosa odorata") which was the rose sold at Colville's Nursery in the early 1800s. This is clearly a different rose to Redoute's Indica Fragrans that he painted at Malmaison. The bud form is quite a bit broader or "stouter" than the rose illusrated by Redoute. However both roses are connected to Hume. I guess we could call either of them "Hume's Blush" because this name did not exist until the 1940s. It was just a name someone (probably Hurst) invented for a rose introduced by Hume. So I think Agnes Smith is possibly the "Rosa Odorata" of Watts and Lindley in Edwards (or a more modern replica), but not the same rose as the Indica Fragrans of Thory and Redoute. I can only guess that this rose may have got to Australia as a rootstock supporting another grafted rose.

Here is the plant flowering in Colville’s nursery in 1810 as it was illustrated by engraver J. Watts and described by botanist Lindley as Rosa Indica odoratissima (English name: “Sweet-scented China Rose”, French name: “Odeur de Thé Rose”). This appeared in Sydenham Edwards’ Botanical Register, Vol. X, Plate 804, published 1824 by James Ridgway, London. I believe this may be the same or a similar rose to "Agnes Smith" (ROR).
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 30th December 2010, 18:52

Thanks for this information. I doubt the rootstock theory, because it was common practice to graft the teas onto Old Blush, so I don't think people grafted onto teas. At least I haven't seen that written. I have a book with the Redouté print and several other early teas. John Hook posted a picture of the Laos candidate on HMF :
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It also doesn't look like Hume's to me, because of the reflexed outer petals. Thanks for posting the Watts engraving. I don't think I've seen that one before. Interesting that the hip is green. The one Redouté painted had a red hip. The one hip I've had didn't turn red before falling off. It had a seed, but the seed didn't sprout.
Jill

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 30th December 2010, 20:54

Thought I'd pop this up as well.

This is what you are going by isn't it:

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These are from a little pocket book of Redoute prints I have published by Taschen.

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 30th December 2010, 23:23

Thanks Simon, Yes that is Redoute's Rosa Indica Fragrans that is generally thought of today as "Hume's Blush" (remembering of course that there never was such a rose by that common name!!). As Roger Phillips points out, the correct name for this rose today should be Rosa xOdorata. The common names are just that - only common names and we must remember that there is more than one Rosa xOdorata cultivar in existence today.

Redoute's rose has more reflexed outer petals like the Laos rose and John Hook tells me that it also has the very long, pointed sepals in bud like Redoute's. He will have more photos next season. Many rose flowers start off quite flat, but then recurve, becoming ruffled as they age. I would like to know if the hip is slightly flattened as shown by Redoute. For my money the Laos rose is as good as you will get for a "Rosa Indica Fragrans" these days. Smile

I thought I read somewhere where Bengal roses (ie. Indicas) were often used as rootstock, but I was clearly missing the point. Thanks Jill for reminding me. Most of these Hume's Blush contenders are not very hardy and often very cold sensitive. They would make very poor rootstock. But the problem I have is how did these roses miraculously reappear as if spontaneously after so many years? I can only guess that mistakes happen (if the number of wrongly named roses I have purchased over the years is anything to go by!). Rootstocks as well as grafts could sometimes get mixed up, and occasionally I'm sure some roses have been bred that breeders did not personally like, or that buyers would not purchase, so they used them as rootstocks just to get rid of them. I'm sure stranger things have happened. These days I have even heard of people using Kardinal as a rootstock, simply because they found it hardy and had struck a large number of cuttings.

I doubt if the hip colour is anything much to worry about. The colour of the hips often vary enormously on one rose bush. I saw a tea rose this year that had green, yellow, and orange hips all on the one bush. I have to admit though, that hip in Watt's lithograph is very green. Smile It was possibly the only one on the bush at the time of painting and not ripe. Or perhaps the artist was colour blind! Laughing

I notice the hip is missing from illustration provided by Simon (above), so I thought I would include it here.

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Last edited by IanM on 31st December 2010, 13:06; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : illustration added)
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 30th December 2010, 23:37

Simon, Can you tell me, what is the date of publication on the pocket book? I'm trying to establish the very first time the name "Hume's Blush" appeared in print for this rose.

I tend to think Hurst was the first one to use the name in the early 1940s. I'm guessing your pocket book is more recent?
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 30th December 2010, 23:47

very much more recent... 2001

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 31st December 2010, 11:07

Thanks Simon.

I really need a copy of the following: Hurst CC. 1941. Notes on the origin and evolution of our garden roses. Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 66: 73–82, 242,–250, 282.–289.

For those interested in the science behind rose breeding and rose ancestry, this article makes for interesting reading. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ian
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 31st December 2010, 12:49

I thought I might as well include the other two illustrations that have been associated with "Hume's Blush" by various authors in relatively modern times. The two illustrations are the least accurate of the four that are known to exist.

The first illustration appears in H. C. Andrews monograph Roses; or, A monograph of the genus Rosa, Volume 2, Plate 77, London (1828) as Rosa indica odorata (“Sweet Scented Indian Rose”). Despite the later date of publication, the rose was painted at Colville's Nursery probably around 1810, which was the year of its first flowering in the UK. This book is available online as a "full-view" in Google books, but unfortunately the illustration is a fold-out page and only part of it is shown. So I have reproduced a smaller copy of the original here.

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The next rendition appears on page 96-97 of Roses: Their History, Development and Cultivation by Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, Applewood Books, 1920. The illustration was taken (possibly adapted) from the earlier monograph by H. C. Andrews.

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The Andrew's rose shows a very small, twiggy grower, perhaps about the stature of "Old Blush". The flowers have somewhat narrower petals than on the Redoute painting, and show the inner eye of the flower. This rose has much more of a China appearance than a tea appearance. The bud shape matches quite well with the Redoute. Possibly they represent a different cultivar to that of Redoute or are the result of less than ideal growth conditions in the UK. I presume the rose was a potted specimen raised in a greenhouse, whereas the one at Malmaison may have been in the ground on its own roots when Redoute painted it.
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 31st December 2010, 14:01

This Andrews picture is the only one showing a fully open flower, so it's very valuable for that reason. And it looks a lot like the open flower on my candidate. I will get more pictures this spring. The plant is now bigger than it's ever been- about 2 feet high on one cane. So Andrews' small twiggy plant also fits mine. I've been assuming it was our cool coastal climate, and that may be the case, as England's climate is also cool. I can test that when I get the rooted cutting to San Jose for the summer.

I suspect Hume's seedlings from his plant would have to have been selfed, and were probably passed around as being the same rose as the parent. That would explain the very small differences in features in the drawings. That would also apply to exports from China- numerous seedlings of pale blush teas that are all pretty much alike. The ones from Taiwan and Laos, Agnes Smith and Hume's plant were probably sisters rather than clones, and the other old pale teas (ex. Grande Indienne) that Redoute painted were probably also seedlings of Hume's.

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 31st December 2010, 14:29

IanM wrote:I thought I read somewhere where Bengal roses (ie. Indicas) were often used as rootstock, but I was clearly missing the point.

'Indica Major' was, and still is in some places, used as an understock for Tea roses. Maybe this is what you were thinking about???

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 31st December 2010, 16:40

Jill, You may be correct, but I have always felt that the Watts illustration is a good fit for Agnes Smith, given the much stouter buds. I could not see a good bud on the photos of your candidate, so I'm not sure if they are closer to the Redoute one or the Watts. Would you have any photos showing the bud shape?
Redoute’s illustration shows a distinctly swollen and articulated receptacle where the pedical joins the bud. The buds are quite narrow, slender and elongated. However in Watts’ illustration this globular and articulated receptacle is completely absent, and the buds, though still reasonably slender, are comparatively broad and stocky.
The Indica roses are probably all related in that they derived originally from R. gigantea X R. chinensis hybrids, but I doubt if those existing today are so close as to be termed sisters. Maybe DNA testing could help to resolve this.

I agree that Hume's seedlings were probably the result of selfings. The other possibility is that the plants Hume imported arrived with hips already on them. In which case the ancestry may be unknown.

Simon, yep I know about Indica Major, but I also thought I read somewhere that once new varieties of roses were bred in Europe, many of the early teas went out of favour and were discarded, with some ending up as rootstocks just so nurseries could get rid of them. Maybe I am mistaken. Oh well, just a theory! Very Happy

Kathy DeRoo in her online article "Discover Your Roots" writing on the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society website has this to say:
Rosa Odorata was a favorite rootstock of hybridizer Joe Winchel until his source-plants succumbed to Downy Mildew. Odorata works well for "bench grafts" where the graft is done at the same time as rooting the cutting of the rootstock. Justin Ekuan claims "it is a vigorous rootstock but suckers like crazy - the champion!" And it is susceptible to crown gall.
Odorata is said to work better with yellows and yellow-blends than red-family roses.


I guess it all depends on what they mean by Rosa Odorata, as the name is used very freely to cover just about any Indica/Bengale rose. She may be referring to Old Blush or even Indica Major. The "suckering like crazy" description sounds a lot like Indica Major.
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 31st December 2010, 17:43

Jill, I have just re-read all the posts about this thread since I mentioned "tissue culture". Some how it went to DNA. That was not what I had inmind. If your plant"candidate" of said rose could be the only one left, Tissue culture will give original stock of your plant quickly and may preserve it from dieing.
The only reason I know something about this is, 20 years gone by I had a lecturer(Dr) that grew roses in vials of agar in flower and handed them around. He was of Indian birth, studied in Germany . His name is/was Dr Kanttaragha(don't quote spelling yet)
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 31st December 2010, 19:37

Indica Major doesn't sucker... maybe it has persistent roots but I've never seen it sucker.

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by IanM on 31st December 2010, 23:43

Simon, I found an Indica Major recently at the site of an old primary school near Warwick. This is now a cultivation paddock, but the farmer has left the rose and ploughs around it. It is suckering profusely, forming a huge clump several metres around, but not spreading over a very long distance like some roses. Definitely suckering though to form a huge clump. I'm sure it is Indica Major, as it matches perfectly with cuttings of that rose sent to me recently by Margaret in SA. The flowers are also typical Indica Major. Actually I dug up a few of the suckers to bring home. But I guess it depends on how you define "suckering"? I have some species roses that can pop up metres away from the parent plant if left go in the garden. Also, roses in a warmer climate may behave differently (more vigorously) than the same cultivars in colder climates. It is also strange the way a normally suckering rose like Multiflora will stop suckering once a HT is budded onto it. Yet if the HT dies, the rootstock may suddenly start to sucker again.

I like the tissue culture idea! I wonder if this may be a cheaper alternative to importing budding material?
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 1st January 2011, 06:43

Ian, not sure about price, but would it not give us roses quicker than we are getting them now. This could be a peice of Jill's rose, one from India or the latest release from DA. The last time I spoke to DA staff they were looking at sending material through Japan, instead of South Africa. Direct imports from other countries stopped because of some Phd student doing her thesis on Oak trees and thinks SOD(sudden oak death) roses COULD carry the desease.
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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by tearose49 on 1st January 2011, 07:13

Roseman- sorry, I don't know much about tissue culture. I'm not worried about the rose dying at the moment. Ian- I'll try to get bud pictures. There's one on it at the moment, but with all the rain, it won't open. That may affect its appearance as a bud.

I think one reason odorata understock suckers so badly is using it with the wrong roses. It is a very early bloomer, and wants to start pushing growth when Teas and Chinas start to bloom. If used for OGRs, which tend to bloom much later, it's a bad match. I think that's what they found at the San Jose garden in the early years. I remember discussion of that, but wasn't actively involved in those aspects at that time.

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Re: My paper on Hume's Blush Tea-Scented China

Post by Admin on 1st January 2011, 12:38

Hey Ian,

I'm a bit of stickler for botanical correctness... I think some terms used in the wrong way give an unwarranted bad name for things in some cases. Suckering is one of those things that generates wild emotion amongst rosarians and a single mention of the word causes people to go into a flap. There is suckering and then there is growth that looks like suckering that often gets 'painted with the same brush'.

Multiflora doesn't sucker either, in the true sense of the word. It sends up root shoots and basal shoots but this is not suckering as it is initiated by a completely different set of circumstances. If you dig a multiflora up it will send up shoots from its roots until you manage to get all the roots. Dr Phooey will do the same thing. I have places in the garden where I've shovel pruned a rose on Dr Phooey 4 years ago and every year it sends up another shoot from roots I have not yet managed to find. I keep digging the Dr Phooey up, potting it and grafting something else onto it and wait till next spring when the next lot of root shoots appear. This is not suckering. It is from persistent roots that have the ability to send up shoots directly from the root tissue. Eventually these roots too will die due to a lack of photosynthetic resources from leaves. Jill aluded to something that is very true... scion/rootstock incompatibilities will initiate the development of basal shoots and root shoots. This is because the production of these root shoots is a survival mechanism and if the understock perceives something is wrong with the main plant it will begin to push up these root shoots. This incompatibility may be due to gross differences in vigour, disease, mechanical injury, or just plain old type mismatch as Jill was finding when OGR were put onto Tea-like rootstocks... the Tea rootstock was ready to push and the OGR wasn't ready to be pushed... kind of like trying to wake my kids up when they fall asleep on the lounge watching TV at night Rolling Eyes Bottom line is this is not suckering. It is what they call persistent roots and is a feature I really like in roses, from a breeding POV, as I find it is also a sign if excellent own-root ability and strength. We have no issue with roses freezing to the ground in winter, but this feature ensures roses that do freeze to the ground can reshoot true-to-form as well. It also means that you won't generally see these root shoots unless there is something wrong. Bracteata is a classic example. It grows beautifully as a solitary bush but the instant you try to dig it out you will have a thicket on your hands. The Indica Major you refer to was in the middle of a paddock and the farmer would work around it constantly. It's roots were probably continually severed by heavy machinery, it was probably injured constantly and subjected to all manner of herbicides, fertilisers, and other of forms of chemical treatment. My feeling is this was a cry for help and an attempt to save itself.

True suckering is when modified basal shoots come out from the main plant under the ground and travel some distance from the original plant terminating in a shoot that begins to grow upwards as a shoot and from which new roots form at the terminal end to form a new plant. This is like a runner (think couch grass Rolling Eyes and strawberry plants). Roses like Damasks, Gallica and R. rugosa do this. This is the kind of suckering that sends people into a tizz because their roses never stay put and will try to form a thicket not because there is something wrong but because something is right and they want to spread and take over the world. I like this too... it just means you need to place them more carefully. I love the fact that my Tuscany, Tuscany Superb, Charles de Mills, Leda and a host of others will sucker madly. I just keep on digging them up, potting them and giving them away to friends Smile It's not a matter of climate or environment, but a matter of habit. If someone was to read your statement that Indica Major suckered they might be put of by this when in actual fact it doesn't sucker at all under normal circumstances (Indicia Major's love affair with mildew is enough to put people off already Wink ).


Last edited by Simon on 1st January 2011, 14:53; edited 1 time in total

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