Spinosissima 'William III'

chris209December 19, 2013

I've really begun falling in love with the spinosissimas, and this rose continually comes up as a really good one. What are your thoughts? Of course, pictures are always welcome. Also, how big has it gotten in your garden?

-Chris

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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I think this is it. The one closest to the camera. Since I'm not sure, it is the least favorite of my spinossisimas. Williams Double Yellow is behind it, and Double Blush Burnet behind it. They all came grafted from Pickering, and are all about 4-5 ft tall.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:55PM
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chris209

Thanks mad_gallica. I was not able to find a whole bush photograph, so this is very helpful. It's certainly too large for the spot I had in mind. How do you like 'Double Blush Burnet'?
-Chris

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:56AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I like the flower a lot. It has a very delicate beauty of the sort associated with spinosissimas. The shrub also has better form. However, if William III is too big, Double Blush Burnet will be also, since they are almost exactly the same size.

I am assuming that by 'too big' you mean too tall. Own-root, any of these will take up as much horizontal space as you let them. Short ones are Doorembos Selection, and Sequoia's Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:41AM
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chris209

Yes, I can see they are roughly the same size in the picture. I was just curious, as it seems like a very pretty rose.

How large has Doorembos Selection gotten in your yard?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:55AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Doorembos Selection is between 2 and 2 1/2 ft tall. Right now I need to rescue it from behind Karl Forster.

If you are looking for short roses, Pompon de Bourgogne is an interesting one. I've always liked it when I've seen it. Unfortunately, our paths haven't crossed otherwise.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Campanula UK Z8

The little double white is about 3foot high and wide in my garden.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 6:17PM
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sadie_pnw

hi, all,

'William III' is up to 2 feet tall, according to Mary McMurtrie in her book, "Scots Roses" and Phillips and Rix in "The Quest for the Rose" say it is 1 1/2 feet. Both report the flowers as being purplish with dark hips and that the bush suckers freely. That's just what I read, as I don't personally know.

That's lovely, Campanula.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:17PM
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chris209

I was under the impression that William III was smaller too, but who knows. Do you think you could have gotten the wrong rose mad_gallica?

Campanula, I'm dying to get my hands on Double White, but it's not for sale anywhere in the states as far as I know...

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:44PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Chris, check the gardens listed as including this rose on HelpMeFind, and contact the members to see if you could possibly get cuttings/suckers.

:-)

~Christopher

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardens with 'Double White Scots' at HelpMeFind

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:54PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

The nomenclature for spins is as confused as anything out there. When trying to compare European and American descriptions, there is the distinct problem that they may not be at all the same rose. However, nurseries don't tend to change what they are selling over time, so Pickering's William III is still going to be Pickering's William III. They do seem to run slightly taller as grafted plants, but not enormously. They may also legitimately like the climate here better than most anywhere else.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Campanula UK Z8

According to Peter Boyd, William 111 is a name used rather loosely to describe several semi-double deep pink/purple spins, and has been in use only during the last (20th) century....certainly, the only deep pinks such as Mrs Colville I have seen have all hovered around the 3ft height. On the other hand, as Mads states, the nomenclature is confusing with numerous hybrids around, especially ones arising from Altaica.
I am very surprised that double white seems so scarce - this is the ur-burnet, the absolute standard scots rose....but can only be easily propagated by suckers (all the spins are absolute swine to raise from cuttings).

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 6:21AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

As a group, the spinossisimas have two big things working against them from the perspective of current nurseries. One is that they aren't really warm climate roses. The other is that they don't root easily. So when almost all the boutique nurseries are geared towards producing own-root plants for warm climate customers, spins fall off the map. The only one I have that didn't come either from Canada or a trade was Mary, Queen of Scots. That came from Sequoia.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:57AM
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nastarana(5a)

Campanula, Who is Peter Boyd?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 6:31PM
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chris209

Very interesting. I remember reading, although of course can't find the article now, that in their heyday, a lot of the spinosissimas were sold under one name as long as they shared some common flower characteristics. So, out of a bunch of seedlings, all those with double white flowers for example, were sold as the same variety, despite being genetically unique. I suppose that, other than the flowers being similar, they may have varied in other characteristics such as size, etc. Maybe that explains some of the confusion? Maybe this was done because they are difficult to propagate from cuttings?

By the way, one of the few roses that Vintage Gardens still has available is Mary Queen of Scots. Rogue Valley Roses has a William III for sale that's 1-2'.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:01PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Spinossisimas were popular at a time when anything that was reasonably similar to the mother plant would have been sold under that name, whether a sucker or a seedling. There is the suspicion that the more confusing collections of 'found' roses were distributed with the same logic. So the problem isn't that roses were erroneously sold under the wrong name, but that the name didn't mean what we currently expect it to mean.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peter D. A. Boyd 'Scots Roses - past and present'

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:37PM
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palustris(Z6 MA)

This is the William III from Vintage Gardens. It is about 18" in zone 4. It suckers into a thicket that does tend to lean into the light.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 12:26PM
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sadie_pnw

This thread is a lot of fun!

Peter Boyd also makes the comment in one of his articles: "I prefer roses to be growing on their own roots, so if I obtain budded roses I plant them so that the union between cultivar and rootstock is well below soil level to encourage rooting from the cultivar. If Scots Roses are not grown on their own roots, they can look gaunt and unnatural, have fewer flowers and may deteriorate over a few years." (see link)

You know, just looking at the examples of 'William III' on hmf, there seem to me to be a variety of blooms shown in the various parts of Europe. I can see what is meant by the comments above about William III as a name being used to identify different cultivars. But I also wonder if here in the US that what is spread among the few nurseries that carry these whether they aren't the same rose. I say this because the descriptions of this rose are pretty consistent from Rogue Valley, Vintage and Greenmantle. I also find the comment from Peter Boyd interesting about their performance as a grafted rose, which is what would be available from Pickering or Hortico.

There is a whole bush picture of a 'William III' in another of the Peter Boyd articles - scroll to close to the bottom. http://www.peterboyd.com/rosapimp14.htm

I hope his book is published pretty soon as it will be a very interesting read, I'll bet.

happy Sunday! Gean

Here is a link that might be useful: ARS Peter Boyd article 2008

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 4:14PM
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chris209

By the way, that Peter Boyd article is the one I was referring to earlier.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:35AM
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trospero(8)

'William III' is, for me, one of the most compact and mannerly of all my spinosissima shrubs, and in fact, one of the most shapely roses I grow. Bear in mind that my plant is sited where it gets full, unimpeded sun from dawn till late afternoon, and that is a factor in its compact growth, I'm sure. It is 12 years old and has not exceeded five feet tall, with a diameter of about 6.5 feet and very, very slowly expanding by modest suckering.

I wish I had a photo; it is one of the most beautiful - and gloriously scented - roses I have.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 4:26PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Falkland is about 5 feet tall with an added bonus of delightfully subtle foliage, very similar in colour to the albas. Is this available in the US? Doorenbos is tricky to find in the UK but, if I had a little windfall, I would definitely entertain the idea of going a bit mad, ordering many roses from Pirjo Rautio in Finland. These little roses are massively popular in the Scandi countries (thankfully) as fewer UK nurseries grow these gorgeous, utterly trouble-free plants.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 5:00PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I believe Falkland was on the list of European roses that Ashdown imported a year or two before they went out of business. Absolutely no idea what happened to those roses, but I never saw it for sale.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 5:38PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Trospero, apparently at one point you DID have a few photos of your 'William III', as I found them at HelpMeFind. I couldn't help myself from looking up the rose and going through pics there. It is a beauty.

:-)

~Christopher

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Barden's whole-plant photo of 'William III' at HelpMeFind

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 1:26AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Wow, that is one gorgeous rose, Trospero! Thank you AquaEyes for finding and posting the link.

Going back to the double white, I hope that is what I found growing near an abandoned homestead. I dug a small piece and took it home where it has flourished. Anyone wanting a bit of it next spring, send me an email. I can't promise that it is the rose Camp has shown us, but it is a double white spin, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 7:50AM
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