Strange... Is Gruss an Aachen ever Cerise/Lavender?

kristimamaJanuary 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have a mystery.

Last year at the Celebration, I bought a small potted rose from the Heritage Rose Foundation's table labeled as "Gruss an Aachen." It was small so it hasn't given us much bloom this year, though we had a handful of small blossoms over the summer, mostly following the same pattern... the buds form as dark red/pink, and usually open up creamy white or light pink/yellow. This december, the same plant formed an ENORMOUS red bud, and when it opened it was dark pink/almost cerise and faded slightly lavender. Is this what Gruss does in cold weather?

It's also supposed to be a floribunda rose, and so far the way it has set flowers has been more like an HP or Bourbon or a tea, with one rose at the end of a long cane.

And it has the most outrageously beautiful smell...

Just because of the color, for a moment I thought I ended up with a Grandmother's Hat (which they were also selling last year), but that doesn't explain the white/creme roses earlier and it's not the right shape for a GramHat. And I suppose it could be pink gruss an aachen, but this flower was a much much darker pink than anything I've seen on the pink gruss an aachen.

Anyway, the color threw me off, and I didn't think about taking a photo before it finally crumbled away.

Have I got a mislabeled rose? Or does Gruss just continue to surprise us with a range of colors. (which is one of the reasons I bought it initially.)



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jerijen(Zone 10)

Love to see the bloom, if you get another.

Gruss isn't exactly your CONVENTIONAL Florrie. It's been called an HP and (I think)even a Polyantha. Doesn't really fit any neat niche. But, FWIW, I've grown Gruss and Pink Gruss, and tho I've seen them do some marked color shifts, I've never seen red, cerise, or lavender.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 1:10PM
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The color is changeable. Mine will have dark pink tones in cool autumn weather, (I'm in a colder zone than you, however...)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 2:47PM
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I certainly have cold weather now and then and my Gruss an Aachen is light pink, and slightly darker in autumn.

Marianne in Sweden

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 4:02PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Gruss an Aachen goes through some amazing color changes here in San Antonio, Texas. I get the cream or light pink colored ones and also colors like the ones on the link below. The photo taken is the regular Gruss an Aachen from ARE, not Pink Gruss an Aachen which shows even more of the pink colors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gruss an Aachen on HelpMeFind

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 4:57PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

". . . outrageously beautiful smell. . ."

Do others find it fragrant? It seems scentless to me.

Mature plants will usually bloom in clusters of 3 or 5. This fall I had a huge truss of around 25 develop on a basal.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:28PM
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I find GaA to be pleasantly fragrant, and the climbing form to be more fragrant than the bush (perhaps that's because blooms on the climber are more accessible to me).

Re Jeri's comments on the classification of GaA: The folks at Vintage Gardens are adamant in their contention that GaA is a Hybrid Tea. Brent Dickerson takes the same stance in THE OLD ROSE ADVISOR.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:41PM
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>This december, the same plant formed an ENORMOUS red bud, and when it opened it was dark pink/almost cerise and faded slightly lavender. Is this what Gruss does in cold weather?
>And it has the most outrageously beautiful smell...

We had three Gruss An Aachens for one year. They were originally planted as one gallon own-roots. Even growing in too much shade, they were healthy, floriferous beauties with a nice scent. That scent varied a good bit, but was mild in the hottest weather and moderate much of the rest of the time. Healthy, no blackspot problems growing organically without chemical sprays. Lovely plants. Unfortunately, exactly one year after the spring when they were planted, the following spring it was clear that they had developed the Rose Rosette Disease that their neighboring Cornelia plant had contracted the previous fall. (Unfortunately, I had delayed taking out the Cornelia when I knew in my gut I should have taken it out.)

I saw something similar to what you saw and smelled just prior to pulling the plants out with Rose Rosette Disease last spring. Not a reddish bloom, but a pretty deep pink/lavender - nothing I'd ever seen during the previous year. I don't know whether the difference in the bloom was related to Rose Rosette Disease at all, and it may have been a normal variation showing up in cooler weather. But the variation hadn't shown up to that extent in the cooler weather of the previous spring or fall. The bloom was much deeper than I had ever seen and also much more strongly scented (overwhelmingly wonderfully scented). The bloom was a little larger (more than 4") with more petals too. Possibly a little assymetrical, it was a beautiful, beautiful flower, and there was nothing to dislike about it. It might have been a normal cooler weather variation that I saw; the connection with Rose Rosette Disease might have been pure coincidence. The plant itself was more mature starting its second year in our yard, so the size of its blooms might well have been expected to be larger.

I can say for sure that of all the roses - a good many different varieties - that I had that came down with Rose Rosette Disease, they all developed the most lusciously exaggerated fragrance at the point they were coming down with Rose Rosette Disease - the same fragrance as always, only LOTS stronger. This was true irrespective of weather, season, or variety. I had to remove two different roses in the middle of an intensely hot summer last year and, along with amazing thorniness, rosettes, and assymetry, they both had blooms that suddenly became much more fragrant, amazingly more fragrant, in the middle of a record-setting hot summer.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that even though you don't live where Rose Rosette Disease is rampant, it wouldn't hurt to just pay some extra attention to the Gruss An Aachen(s) for the next few months.

It wouldn't totally surprise me if your rose were coming down with Rose Rosette Disease now. PROBABLY NOT, but it might be a good idea to just look carefully for symptoms for the next few months. Gruss An Aachen normally does have thorns, but not an overwhelmingly lot, and normally they're not red/orange/yellow thorns either. If you see do see RRD symptoms, don't wait for ALL the RRD symptoms to show up before getting rid of the plant; it can spread to other nearby roses while you wait around, pining for your rose to suddenly become disease-free. (I know how it feels. How well I know...)

Especially because of your location, I'd bet you're safe. This post is just a "Just in Case" sort of thing. My fingers are crossed for you, and for anyone else who reads this with a rose showing similar symptoms.

Best wishes,

Here is a link that might be useful: Ann Peck's eBook on Rose Rosette Disease

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:45AM
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