Wild Roses

The wild roses and their hybrids teach us that the genus has beauties to offer unseen by those who know only the conventional bedding roses. Height is variable according to conditions and cultivation, but may be taken as 6 ft., except for the climbers. The common names are used, with proper botanical name or source in brackets. Note that many flower on short stems along the branches made in previous years. Altaica (R. spinosissima altaica) Ivory white. Single flowers, borne along the branches, in early summer. Flowers are large in relation to the thin stems. Looks very fresh and pure. Has round, black seedpods, small leaves. Below average height. Introduced from northern Asia, about 1820.

Austrian Copper (R. foetida bicolor) Brilliant orange red with yellow reverse. Single flowers on the small side fairly set the bushes ablaze in early summer. Rarely, it may revert to its yellow progenitor. Likely to get blackspot. Below average height. Introduced from Asia Minor, prior to 1590.

Banksian Yellow (R. banksiae lutea) Yellow climber. Small flowers of unusual formation for a rose — more like double primroses. They grow closely in clusters, are fragrant, and the foliage behind them is smooth cut and handsome. Flowers best from sub-laterals, so prune very cautiously. Only hardy enough for favoured localities. Can grow 25 ft. easily. Introduced from China 1824.

Banksian Yellow

Blanc Double de Coubert (variety of R. rugosa) White. Large, semi-double flowers, with petals like thin paper, sweetly fragrant; blooms summer to autumn, from both old and new growths. Large, thick leaves, rather open growth. Below average height. Raised by Cochet-Cochet (France) 1892.

Califontica Pink, with suggestion of lilac. Small single flowers with bright yellow stamens are produced in large untidy inflorescences. Flowers intermittently summer to autumn, and has small bright red seedpods. Foliage is dull, small, and looks rough cut, but it makes a good thicket. There is also a double form. Average height. Introduced from North America 1878.

Canary Bird (R. xanthina Canary Bird) Yellow. Single flowers with numerous stamens are borne along and very close to the branches, causing them to bow under the beautiful load. The blooms are medium size, fragrant, and appear in early summer. The leaves are small, divided (fern-like) on the average into eleven little leaflets. Amazingly beautiful. A little below average height usually. Introduced from China, probably about 1907, but its history is unclear.

Cantabrigiensis (Hybrid from R. hugonis) Primrose. Pale single flowers in early summer, borne along and close to the branches. Small leaves, divided into eleven little leaflets or so. Average height, or a bit over. Raised at Cambridge Botanic Garden (England) 1931.

Complicata (Hybrid from a gal/lea rose) Pink. Very large single blooms of bright colour, lighter centres, are borne along the branches. Grows wider than its height. Into other plants if in its way. Flowers in summer. Average height, or just under. Origin unknown.

Dupontii (Hybrid possibly from a gallica and R. moschata) White tinted blush. Fragrant single flowers showing yellow stamens agreeably and covering the bush in summer. Foliage light greyish green, fairly large. Average height or less. Origin unknown, was before 1817.

Farreri Persetosa Bright pink. Although the bush is quite lusty, the flowers are just about the smallest of any rose, single, with pretty yellow stamens. They appear in early summer. Hair-like thorns bristle the stems; the leaves are subdivided into tiny leaflets. Average height. Introduced from China 1914.

Frau Dagmar Hartopp (Hybrid of a rugosa rose; also known as Frau Dagmar Hastrup). Light rose pink. Large and luminous single flowers with creamy stamens and sweet scent. Blooms in summer and repeats into autumn from new and old wood. Large thick leaves, and big round red seedpods. Compact growth, below average height. Origin not known. Golden Chersonese (Hybrid of R. ecae x Canary Bird) Bright yellow. Single flowers are borne along and close to the branches in early summer; fragrant and very richly coloured. This lovely plant holds its flowering branches reaching handsomely upwards. Dark bark, small leaves subdivided into many leaflets. Average height or a little more. Raised by Allen (England) 1967.

Hardii (Hybrid of R. persica) Yellow with a bold red eye. A rarity, best grown under glass with anti-mildew precautions. It is unique and beautiful, having single flowers, quite large, produced for a long period in summer. About half average height. Raised by Hardy (France) 1836.

Kiftsgate (R. filipes Kiftsgate) Creamy white. A mighty climber, used for scrambling into trees. Single flowers after midsummer, very fragrant and profuse in enormous clusters. Handsome foliage. Can grow 30 ft. easily. Found in Gloucestershire (it is a sport from the Chinese species, R. fihpes) and introduced 1954.

Longicuspis White. A vigorous climber, with large clusters of fragrant single flowers after mid-summer; has particularly handsome shiny leaves. Used for growing through trees, or on spacious pergolas. Can easily grow 20 ft. Introduced from China before 1915.

Mirffica (R. stellata mirifica) Bright pink. A rare and interesting rose, whose leaves are like those of gooseberries; the flowers are single, with bright stamens, appearing intermittently for a long period in summer. Likes a hot sunny spot. Below half average height. Introduced from New Mexico 1916,

Moyesii Geranium Crimson. The moyesii crimson has its own distinct character. The flowers are single, with effective light stamens. Blooms in summer only, but that is only half the story, because long seed-pods of gorgeous red hang like lanterns on the plants in the autumn. Above average height. A form of moyesii found by The Royal Horticultural Society 1938. Moyesii itself is a Chinese species.

Multibracteata Pink. Very small, single flowers in summer only. The leaves are subdivided into tiny leaflets, and are a regular work of art in themselves. It is quite a big shrub, hung with a cloud of fairy scale foliage and bloom. Average height. Introduced from China 1910.

Mutabilis (R. chinensis mutabilis) Quickly changing its colours from buff yellow to pink to salmon red to crimson. A rare plant, not perfectly hardy, with large single flowers produced early summer to late autumn. Half average height, unless you are lucky. Origin doubtful; came from China, who knows when?

Paulii Rosea Silky pink. Large single blooms, fragrant and very beautiful, in summer only. The habit of growth is to trail several feet along the ground in all directions, the plant itself 3 ft. or less high. Therefore advocated for ground cover, but is so prickly that weeding will be painful. Sport from paulii, which is white, and a rugosa hybrid.

Roseraie de L’Hay Purple red. A blatant nobility guides this outrageous colour into favour. The touch of purple is royal, on strong plants with thick bright green leaves, and in flowers which are fairly full, with the petals worn carelessly. Fragrant; flowers freely in summer and repeats generously. Makes a splendid hedge. Average height. Raised by Cochet-Cochet (France) 1901.

Rubrifolia Pink. The flowers are small and fleeting; the foliage is the joy — soft grey with a sheen of reddish purple over it. The smooth stems are purplish when young, maturing red brown. Generous supply of round red seedpods in autumn. A lovely garden plant. Average height. Introduced from central Europe, long ago.

Rugosa Alba White. Single white flowers, fairly large, fragrant, and suitable as purity’s emblem. Blooms summer, and repeats later. Orange-red seedpods, thick rugosa foliage. Below average height. A sport from R. rugosa, which is a Japanese species; origin uncertain.

Rugosa Scabrosa Mauve pink. Very large single blooms, the colour fortified by dusty yellow stamens. Blooms early summer to autumn, commendably continuous. Bright red seedpods, round and big; thick rugosa foliage. Average height or less. Origin obscure, but close to R. rugosa. Sericea Pteracantha (Name recently changed from R. omeiensis pteracantha) White. The flowers are small and fleeting. This is grown for its extraordinary thorns, whose juncture with the stem can be an inch long; on the young growths, they are red and translucent. They narrow to an extremely sharp point. Average height or a bit more. Introduced from China 1890. Viridiflora (R. chinensis viridiflora) Green. A sterile oddity, in which the flower parts are imperfectly modified leaves. Quite a small plant, blooming (if that is the right word) summer and autumn. Less than half average height. Raised by Bambridge and Harrison (England) 1855.

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