Does such a rose exist?
yes, it surely does - the helenae hybrid, Lykkefund fits the bill in all ways and you even get clusters of lovely little orange heps.
Goldfinch is another decent rose which, although not entirely thornfree, does not have the pricking spite that many of them do (although it has a fairly short 3-4 week bloom period, it is a good foliage shrub. Aimee Vibert - grown with just a tiny bit of support in its first few years, has a lovely, late blooming habit but will need a little more sun than the other 2....and finally, can I suggest the Hybrid Musk, Moonlight. No, it is not terribly thorn-free but will make a terrific specimen with an even better flowering in autumn than spring....and finally, a small rambler which will grow as a free-standing, very shade tolerant, healthy and more or less completely thorn-free - the Austin rose, Snowgoose..
Aha! And very nice looking too this Madame Plantier. How shade tolerant would you say it is?
This post was edited by nikthegreek on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 12:59
Camps, I replied to mad_gallica before seeing your message. Will look into the ones you suggest and come back with questions. Thanks
Yes--one I seem to be recommending a lot lately: Austin's Mortimer Sackler--light to med. pink. Nearly thornless. It is usually listed as a climber (to 12 ft), but I have grown it for 5-6 years now as a free-standing tall shrub--I just occasionally nip off a the few canes that try to grow taller than 8-9 ft.
I happened to notice yesterday that Austin lists it as shade tolerant in his latest catalog. I've never checked to see how he listed it before. Mine is grown in 6+ hours of sun, however.
Nik - you might want to look at Opal Brunner. Although HMF lists it as a short climber, I have two mature bushes (they are over 8 years old) growing in partial shade in my garden (one gets maybe 3 hours of sun), and both have grown into large free standing shrubs. Mine are about 90% thorn free - I had to hunt to find some on them the other day. Blooms in clusters of small pink/peach flowers, so it depends on what style you like.
I think your climate and mine are very similar, so I thought this might work. Roses are probably happier to get some shade in our climates than they would be where the summer sun is less intense.
I wonder if Reine des Violettes would qualify. Mine is just a baby so I know very little other than that it's completely thornless and will retain its color better in the shade. Mine does get morning sun but is shaded the remainder of the day. I believe it does get large and suspect if will be free-standing if pruned correctly.
Yes, Austin's Brother Cadfael, which is 10 feet tall and almost thorn free. It's definitely free standing with a lovely trumpet vase shape. Its canes, the newer ones at least, are a striking deep wine color. It grows in part shade in the afternoons. Diane
Also take a look at the Hybrid Musk 'Cornelia'. I don't grow it myself, but was considering it as a climber for a fence. I went with 'Bubble Bath' instead, but that's not thornless.
Wow, so many recommendations. I thought I would be lucky if I got one or two! I'll have to study a bit and come back. From a cursory check I'm sure I'll be getting more than one of your suggestions come next season. Of all the roses mentioned I only have Cornelia. Thanks to all. Keep it coming!
Jackie, I'm exactly on the 38th parallel which would make it broadly similar in terms of sun strength to Sacramento Valley CA. The climate is similar to parts of California although one of the main differences is the sea temps. The Med is much warmer than the Pacific if I'm not mistaken which would significantly affect the climate.
This post was edited by nikthegreek on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 16:16