anyone grown the thornless R. wichuraiana?

davidrt28 (zone 7)June 7, 2014

I see that this has sold out this year, spent too long debating about getting one. I've decided I need more vines and am considering running this up a hemlock tree that has a bare south side due to some necessary pruning. Antique Rose Emporium lists it as up to 20 feet...but does any such plant really get that high and stop? If you read about the native wisterias for example (I'm trying one on another conifer) you see that although some sources say they only reach 15 ft., others say the sky's the limit.

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Campanula UK Z8

I have the species rose but I wouldn't say it was thornless. Like R.arvensis and R.gentileana, it does throw out these amazingly long canes which snake along the ground for yards and yards (although it will climb a pole or a tree). I love it as it is late to bloom, like the musks, getting going around July/August when those pristine white flowers (although they can get a pink tinge) are utterly welcome....and it is incredibly tolerant of drought and shade. Mine is still young and has not reached mature size....but it appears to go on and on. Not much of a scent though.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 3:36PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Thanks, yes I suspected the lack of scent was a trade off. I'm pretty sure the species itself isn't considered thornless though, rather it is a cultivar?
Of course, doesn't help that their picture shows thorns!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:34PM
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I think the thornless R. wichuraiana is just a propagated piece of the species thorned R. wichuraiana. An unarmed piece--a peaceful piece. The only source I know for this rose is ARE. I think ARE must have used a photo of the straight species since the image does indeed show thorns. I'm not sure about the ultimate height (or, as Campanula notes, length) of R. wich since I always prune. Perhaps ARE can tell you. Carol

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:25AM
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I grew Basye's Thornless Wichurana I obtained from Ralph Moore. It is a thornless (prickle free canes with some prickles on the leaf midribs) selection Dr. Basye (Basye's Legacy, Basye's Purple, Basye's Blueberry, Belinda's Dream, etc.) used for breeding. Like traditional Wichurana, it roots anywhere it touches damp enough soil. It can, and will, continue growing as long as there are resources for it to make use of. IF there is deep enough soil, enough water, enough nutrients and enough support with a sufficiently benevolent climate, it will keep growing indeterminately. It had an odd, soapy (not sweet, just soapy) scent. I grew it to use for breeding, but found it too demanding of space to retain. The photos on HMF of the Thornless Wichurana I posted there are of this rose. Kim

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:43AM
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Campanula UK Z8

mmmm, I rather like the sound of that, Kim - I am hoping to add a couple of insanely vigorous ground eating roses to compete with the brambles - Partridge and Grouse, both of which will root with abandon. Going from 1/8 acre to 5 changes one's perspective on big roses (and I have always enjoyed that conjunction of teeny-tiny little blooms on massive rampaging plants). The term 'invasive' has gained a new desirability in this penniless gardeners wish-list. Course, I may live to regret the joyful planting of campanula rapunculouides and sweet rocket.....but living with hundreds of enormous brambles (almost cousins of rampant roses) lends an air of jaunty confidence....and anyway, the offspring can sort it out when I am compost.
And yet again, envy strikes because we have no Dr. .Basye to produce imaginative hybrids in the UK. Sadly, Harkness are a shadow of their former selves while Legrice, alongside the lovely Mr.Gandy and Alex Cocker are just memories...and where is the new Pemberton? Still have the midlands triumvirate of Warner, James and Cowlishaw but still.....feel like tearing hair over the blandness of most (all) modern rose breeding (and yes, I know the obvious rejoinder....but stretched far too thin already without mucking about emasculating blooms and dabbing rabbit feet around...and all that experience takes time).

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:44AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Thanks for the additional information.
I'm curious as to what a soapy but not sweet odor is like...since 99.9% of soaps people buy have some kind of sweet fragrance added. I'm guessing soapy odor is a bit like an old kitchen grease smell?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Not really an old grease smell. Have you used plain old Lye Soap? It's often unscented, and like all "unscented" soaps, has a rather distinct odor to it due to the ingredients. These flowers had that "waxy" smell, but not like stale grease, combined with a bit of bitter, back of the throat, "green" smell to my nose. Not really "pleasant", but not a "stench" either. Just a rather characteristic smell. I have smelled some plastics with a very similar smell to them. As with the "Linseed Oil" smell of Foetida, Laxa and Fedtschenkoana, I wondered how it would massage other scents into different variations. I just didn't have the room for a vigorous, creeper to take over my limited planting, irrigated area. It can be quite pretty, though and I made sure to pass it along to a many other people who were interested in it to prevent its loss.

This was the rose I had grown years earlier and lost, then asked Mr. Moore if he still had it on October of 2004. When we went up for his garden dedication in April '05, the first thing he said to me after grabbing my hand to, what I expected him to shake it, he yanked my face down to his and said, "Remember that Basye Thornless Wichurana you asked me about last fall? I rooted some plants for you. Remind me when we get back to the nursery." Not bad memory for a 98 year old gentleman, particularly with all he had going on around him at the time! Kim

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:18PM
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