Species Rule

Campanula UK Z8November 19, 2011

In the spirit of Jeri's post, must put in a shout for the wildlings. As usual, jeri cuts to the heart of things, pointing out how for her, in her garden, in her climate, teas are the tops. In an ideal world of conscientious gardeners, shouldn't these points be the most important. To grow a rose, or any other plant, in situations unfavourable and unnatural, can be done (as all those hardy and determined Minnesota Tippers can extol) but such HARD work, with such limiting results. And even if I could grow teas, they are a level of delicacy and refinement which would simply be wasted in the hurly-burly of my allotment. The size of teas is most tempting but of course, they would never grow into 8foot plants for me but would huddle, miserably lost in the rampaging toadflax, moon daisies and field geraniums. So yep, with my rubbishy sandy soil, my dry and windy climate and my overgrown weed patch, there is nothing to beat the likes of moyesii, R.primula, R.Californica (although some of the wichrana ramblers do a sound job too). Horses for courses, heres to diversity.

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If I have learned one thing while growing roses for 22 years, (and it took a long time to learn it!) it is that you are correct - certain roses are best for certain climates, period. Sometimes the "climate" can be very local, too.

In my garden chinas, teas, & banksies do best. I read your post and tried to remember if I had any species roses. I do! In an area with not enough sun for most roses (although I have a couple of teas there which are happy, if subdued) a struggling rugosa died, and was replaced (I presume by rootstock) with a rosa eglanteria/sweet briar/eglantine rose bush! Of course, being me, it took me years to notice this phenomenon. The rugosa had been so unhappy that it only ever had one cane at a time, and only bloomed 1-2 flowers in the Spring. By the time I figured out what had happened, the eglantine rose had three 7-8 foot tall canes, and lots of pretty little pink single flowers int the Spring, and marvelous hips. Because it is in so much shade, I am hoping that it will stay a reasonable size, and not try to eat that part of the garden.


P.S. An aside - I was reading the catalogue of the Antique Rose Emporium, and old rose nursery in Texas, last night, and they described Old Blush, banksie lutea and Fortuniana as "species" roses. I believe they are all ancient Chinese hybrids - not species at all. How misinformation gets spread around!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 12:50PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I don't grow species roses (although I'd love to have R. moschata), but do have Mutabilis and Bermuda Kathleen which have the look of species roses, get very large and have those lovely single flowers. A garden full of nothing but big, blowsy blooms, beautiful as they are, would become boring. The delicacy and natural look of the single flowers and large informal rose bushes seems a necessary counterpart, especially with a natural, hilly backdrop. Betty Prior is another large rose with single flowers, although a little tamer looking, that I love having in my garden. I strongly believe in having diversity even WITHIN one garden. Of course, most of us know that already.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 2:17PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I love some of them but, alas, they do seem to get much too big for my small suburban yard.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 3:51PM
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I grew an Eglantine in a large pot, secured to the patio fence of my town house many years ago. I had to water it several times a day due to the extreme vigor, but that wonderful green apple sent wafted through the sliders and when it exploded into those beautiful pink, single flowers, I'd catch the neighbors just standing admiring it.

On the hill now, are Roxburghii, Minutifolia, Californica from the Sacramento Cemetery, Arkansana "Peppermint", Fedtschenkoana, Hugonis, several Wichurana types and hybrids of my own bred from them. There are quite a few Fedtschenkoana hybrids from several generations of breeding as well as my own work from breeding with Hugonis. Stellata Mirifica finally decided it didn't like being freed from its nursery can and has thumbed its nose at me. I should see about obtaining some well rooted suckers of it. Bracteata has been relegated to lower down the hill in hopes the three plants will eat the lower half and help choke out weeds, and the wandering neighbor who seems unable or unwilling, to keep off the hill. The Clinophylla X Bracteata cross is being permitted to eat as much of the south side of the hill as it wants. The roots left from being moved appear to be reasserting themselves where I hoped to plant something else. There are now two small plants of it there, should anyone be interested in an evergreen, all summer blooming house eater with MANY prickles. Sometimes, that seems like trying to give away pregnant kittens...

Of course there are Banksiae as they are the most agreeable types in this climate. Double white and yellow do their things and the Lutescens is coming into its own. Ironically, the gophers, rabbits and squirrels find them as unappetizing as the aphids do, which if fine with me! Fortuniana VID is waiting for me to determine where I want to battle it and Basye's 86-3, the hybrid between Banksiae and Laevigata wants very much released from its pot, also.

There are actually very few roses I don't like, but finding room for them and enough time and water to keep them going are issues. I honestly think if I could more easily cultivate the outer portions of the hill, I could be quite happy turning it all over the species and other plant types able to battle the critters and vermin, even if they didn't rebloom nor were suitable for cutting. There are just so many wonderful foliage colors and textures and so many of them have such wonderful scents to their plant parts, they don't require scent from the flowers. Mutabilis is one very much like that. It expresses such a wonderful sweet, peppery scent from the peduncles and hips, brushing through it on the way down the side of the house makes my stomach growl! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: 86-3

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 5:26PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Seil -- I have a Species rose for you -- R. arkansana! Mine came from the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, which acquired it from Kim -- who acquired it from his friend Candy Craig (who I think collected it in an Alkali dry lake bed). It's never got above about 2.5 ft. for us (tho it will sucker) BUT WHAT A BEAUTY IN THE SPRING! The blooms are fairly large (2.5 inches or so) and striped:

I give you R. arkansana "Peppermint Candy":


    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 6:09PM
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seil zone 6b MI

That is lovely, Jeri, and you know how much I love stripes! On another thread they were talking about rugosas too. So I looked them up on HMF. Lots of pretty ones of those too but again all get fairly large. I'm just so cramped for space now that until something else croaks I'll have to just wish.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 7:46PM
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Just drop the "Candy", Jeri, so it's plain "Peppermint" or someone is going to get confused and think there are two! I just sent a rooted sucker of that to harborrose. She emailed to say it arrived today. It'll be fun seeing how that does in the PNW, along with all the other goodies she now has to deal with in the snow. Even typing that word makes me shiver! LOL! It was about seventy here today, nice and sunny with a chilly breeze. Made planting the Italian Cypresses out on the hill nearly bearable. Kim

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 8:23PM
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Kim, I am very happy to find out for you how the "Peppermint" does up here, along with the beautiful r. arkansana. What you sent is a treasurebox of suckers and cuttings.

That's a gorgeous pic, Jeri; maybe mine will look that good one day.

It will be fun to keep the treasure you sent for safekeeping, propagation, and spreading around to others up here, if they do well. and I don't kill them.

I have gotten all of the cuttings wrapped and stored in a basement room where it's about 55 or 60 degrees, so I think they should be okay there, temp wise. I'm going to pot up the suckers tomorrow.

We raked leaves for several hours today, so opening up that box of beautiful cuttings with green leaves brought me some of your sun-in-a-box. I took off some beautiful foliage on those cuttings! I'll open up the box in 2 weeks and see how well I did.

thanks again, Kim.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:20PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Kim -- You're like Johnny Appleseed.
Only, with roses. :-)


    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:47PM
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I'm thrilled you'll be growing and testing all those things, Gean, thank you! Your experiences with them should add some very important and interesting information about their adaptability and hardiness. I know what they look like when "fried". It will be quite enjoyable seeing photos of them where they can develop lush foliage. Grow and enjoy them in good health!

"Johnny Appleseed of roses", huh? OK. I can own that! Thanks, Jeri! Kim

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:45AM
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Campanula UK Z8

ooooh R.Arkansana - I can envisage a little spot for that beauty right now. Really, these roses have everything for me - stature, leafage, scent (and what a variety) but mostly, that iconic, pure and heartbeakingly beautiful simple five petalled shape. Along with mallow shaped flowers, this very basic shape is the absolute essence of flora for me. Unlike many other flowering shrubs, roses have a presence which stands above the general overblown greenery of a semi-neglected vegetable plot. Not only that, they make perfect partners for the many currants and stone fruits I really love to grow and eat. Mentioning the thorny bracteatas (which I have only room for the rampant Mermaid) there is another prickly lovely cultivar, Daisy Hill, (think it has some macrantha?) which has long been a favourite for just the sort of scrambly ground eating growth you describe, Kim. The clinophyllas have always interested me for the delicately elongated foliage but is probably not to be with our shorter growth season and cold nights. Ah, Eglantine - our local cemetary, a place I have walked in with the dogs and children every day of my life, is heaving with both this and many dog roses. Too mightily huge, even for me but I do have R.villosa for that glorious apple scent which lingers on the hands - I brush mine through my hair as well, after handling this rose. Along with orange and clove pomanders,night scented stocks and spring primroses, this apple scent is most evocative and beloved.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 7:10AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I love species roses and species hybrids. I've been collecting them now more because they are more carefree and drought resistant. Special favorites are Schoener's Nutkana, Rosa Californica Plena, Theano, and Rose D'Amour.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 10:52AM
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