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Singularly Beautiful Roses: Spring 2018

The following is a newsletter submission edited by Stephen Hoy, to see the newsletter in its original format (.pdf) CLICK HERE

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'Artic Blue' photo by Springhill Nurseries courtesy of Stephen Hoy

You Look... Mauvelous!

I can’t remember when I was first asked to name my favorite color. Whenever it was I said – “purple.” Perhaps it was because I became an adolescent in the late ‘60’s. My college fraternity colors gave me license to even wear purple. To this day I have three very comfy faded purple t-shirts!

I discovered mauve-colored roses in the late ‘70’s in a rose garden on the campus of Lebanon Valley College (perhaps ‘Kölner Karneval,’ aka ‘Blue Girl’). However, lavender and purple roses have been in commerce for centuries. The twentieth century saw a blossoming palette of reblooming hybrids appearing in the marketplace - McGredy’s ‘Grey Pearl,’ Boerner’s ‘Lavender Pinocchio,’ Gladys Fisher’s ‘Sterling Silver,’ Legrice’s ‘Lilac Charm,’ Kordes’ ‘Kölner Karneval,’ Moore’s ‘Sweet Chariot,’ Swim’s ‘Angel Face,’ and Weeks’ ‘Paradise’ come to mind. Tom Carruth next took up the cause with ‘Ebb Tide,’ ‘Midnight Blue,’ and ‘Night Owl’ to name just a few. Frank Cowlishaw took the world by storm with ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ and then Peter James came along with ‘Blue For You.’

What follows is a family tree sort of catalog – and yes the Mason-Dixon line of demarcation regarding what is or isn’t semi-double may have been crossed once or twice (or shied away from). I’ve grown the majority of these roses; most did not survive my garden’s transformation to a no-spray garden (darn black spot). Some seedlings are featured just to illustrate that mauve in all its iterations is something more than a color - it’s a passion!

'La Belle Sultane' — Gallica, before 1795 — photo by Urzsula Tretowska

'Alain Blanchard' — Gallica, before 1829 — photo by Urzsula Tretowska

'Song of the Stars' — Gallica, 2001 — photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Doorenbos Selection’ — Hybrid Spinosissima, ca. 1950 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Mary Conway’ — Spinosissima seedling from rose at left; 2015 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Veilchenblau’ — Hybrid Multiflora, 1909 — Photo by Charles Prince

‘Violette’ — Hybrid Multiflora from rose at left, 1921 — Photo by Carolyn Parker

The violet Hybrid Multifloras shown above opened the door to the development of numerous mauve shaded roses. ‘Baby Faurax,’ a Polyantha introduced in 1924 and once thought to be a dwarf sport of ‘Veilchenblau,’ was used by Jack Harkness to create ‘Escapade.’ Ralph Moore used ‘Violette’ to create the Miniature ‘Sweet Chariot’ which played an extensive role in many of the lavender and purple roses hybridized by Tom Carruth. Ralph’s ‘Blue Mist’ remains a favorite of mine and is a descendent of R. multiflora.

(from left to right, top to bottom)

‘Baby Faurax’ — Polyantha, 1924 — Photo by Peter Beales Roses

'Escapade’ — Floribunda out of ‘Baby Faurax,’ 1967 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Blue Mist’ — Miniature, 1970 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Blue Mist’ — miniature seedling, 2013 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

In 1961 Edward Legrice’s ‘Lilac Charm’ won a Gold Medal from the Royal National Rose Society. Sam McGredy’s ‘Grey Pearl,’ Eugene Boerner’s ‘Lavender Pinocchio,’ and Rosa californica contributed to its lilac colored single blooms. Its legacy features a number of roses below that are quite novel for their unique coloration.

Upper left: ‘Lilac Charm’ – Floribunda, 1962 — Photo by Kim Rupert

‘Ripples’ – Floribunda, 1971 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Lila Banks’ – Hybrid Banksiae, 2002 — Photo by Robert Rippetoe

‘Lagoon’ – Floribunda, 1970 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘International Herald Tribune’ - Floribunda, 1984 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

In 1968 the team of Herb Swim and Ollie Weeks produced one of the most popular lavender to purple Floribundas – ‘Angel Face.’ Like ‘Lilac Charm’ much of its coloration can be attributed to ‘Lavender Pinocchio’ and ‘Sterling Silver.’ It has inspired many – both growers and hybridizing enthusiasts – seven generations are listed on including the next group of Miniatures and Floribundas.

‘Angel Darling’ – Miniature, 1976 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Lavender Simplex’ – Miniature, 1984 Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Make Believe’ – Miniature, 1986 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Charlotte Ann’ – Floribunda, 1993 — Photo by Paul Blankenship

‘Blueberry Hill’ - Floribunda, 1996 — Photo by Michael Mitchell

Tom Carruth’s work with several complex hybrids involving ‘Sweet Chariot,’ ‘International Herald Tribune,’ and a host of other “blue” roses has resulted in a varied and extensive family tree. In addition to Tom’s contributions numerous hybridizers, both professional and amateur have jumped on the purple bandwagon. Here are some of the single or semi-double varieties.

‘Route 66’ – Shrub, 2001 —Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Plum Frost’ – Shrub, 2007 —Photo by Heirloom Roses

(left to right, top to bottom)

‘Night Owl’ – Large-Flowered Climber, 2005 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Sultry Sangria’ – Floribunda, 2009 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Paul Wright, Jr.’ – Shrub, 2009 — Photo by Judith Singer

‘Captain Jack’ – Floribunda, 2011 — Photo by Kathy Strong

(from top to bottom)

‘Distant Zenith’ – Hybrid Kordesii, 2008 — Photo by Paul Barden

‘Puppy Kisses’ – Floribunda, 2011 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Light My Night’ – Climber/Shrub, 2013 — Photo by Andre Carl

The Dutch firm now known as De Ruiter Innovations has been introducing Polyanthas and Miniatures to the world since the 1920’s. Over two hundred varieties are listed on HMF including the series named after the seven dwarfs from Snow White fame. Ray Spooner used De Ruiter’s ‘Blue Peter’ to create ‘Lavender Spoon.’

(left to right)

‘Blue Peter’ – Miniature, 1983, De Ruiter — Photo by Eugene V.

‘Lavender Spoon’ – Miniature bred from rose at left, 1995 — Photo by Kathy Strong

As mentioned at the beginning of this feature the introduction of Frank Cowlishaw’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ in 2000 resulted in an explosion of rose hybridizing. It involved a complex hybrid involving ‘International Herald Tribune,’ ‘Blue Moon,’ ‘Montezuma,’ and ‘La Belle Sultane,’ crossed with a little-known Kordes climber ‘Summer Wine.’ The latter was used to produce several additional mauve-tinted cultivars that have become quite popular.

(left to right)

‘Rhapsody In Blue’ – Shrub, 2000 — Photo by Maurice Reybaud

‘Odyssey’ – Floribunda, 2001 — Photo by Alice Oesser

(left to right, top to bottom)

‘Blue For You’ – Floribunda, 2006 Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Brindabella Gem’ – Shrub, 2010 Photo by Brindabella Roses

‘Eyes For You’ – Floribunda, 2009 Photo by Al Whitcomb

‘Stormy Weather’ – Large-Flowered Climber, 2010 Photo by Marina Parr

(top to bottom)

seedling from ‘Blue For You’ — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Purple Splash’ – Large-flowered Climber, 2010 — Photo by unknown

‘Easy On The Eyes’ – Shrub, 2016 — Photo by Van Bourgondien Nurseries


The following group of roses is a miscellaneous one, including a broad spectrum of classes.

(left to right, top to bottom)

‘Manhattan Blue’ – Floribunda, 1990 — Photo by Stephen Hoy

‘Mia Grondahl’ – Hyb. Gigantea, < 2014 — Photo by Viru Viraraghavan

‘Basye’s Purple Rose’ – Hyb. Rugosa, 1968 — Photo by Marina Parr

‘Ann Endt’ – Hyb. Rugosa, 1976 — Photo by Grass Roots Nursery

Where to end? Hopefully the story continues . . .

(left to right, top to bottom)

VIRpeacock – an unreleased seedling out of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Photo by Viru Viraraghaven

‘Rose Legend’ (Akira Ogawa) – the first recurrent seedling out of a new Japanese R. laevigata sport; pink to lilac; Photo by Viru Viraraghaven

An unreleased Hulthemia hybrid by Jim Sproul Photo by Jim Sproul

An unreleased seedling by Jim Spoul Photo by Jim Sproul

From the Editor

Our Middle Georgia rose season started in late February/early March this year with Rosa banksiae leading the way. R. xanthina spontanea soon followed and then R. hugonis lit up the back yard. I’ve already attended/judged two rose shows and have seen lots of beautiful roses. New seedlings are blooming with more yet to come. Pollen has been collected and “the birds and bees” are about to get busy. One of my original goals in publishing this newsletter was to create a network of single rose aficionados to promote their beauty, popularize little known roses and to keep some historic single-flowering roses from disappearing from commerce. It appears that a significant number of the early twentieth-century single Hybrid Teas are either gone or almost gone. Be on the lookout for news about a new effort to regather what can be found here in the western hemisphere.

Sources and Contact Information

‘Alain Blanchard’ – Corn Hill Nursery (CA), Rogue Valley Roses ‘Angel Darling’ – Burlington Rose Nursery ‘Ann Endt’ – gotta know ‘Artic Blue’ – Spring Hill Nurseries ‘Baby Faurax’ – A Reverence For Roses, Angel Gardens, Antique Rose Emporium, Burlington Rose Nursery, Rose Petals Nursery, ‘Basye’s Purple Rose’ – Antique Rose Emporium, Heirloom Roses, Rogue Valley Roses, Rose Petals Nursery, Roses Unlimited ‘Blue For You’ – Angel Gardens, Chamblee’s Rose Nursery ‘Blue Mist’ – Angel Gardens, Burlington Rose Nurwery ‘Blue Peter’ – Heirloom Roses ‘Blueberry Hill’ – Angel Gardens, Garden Valley Ranch, Heirloom Roses, K & M Roses, Roses Unlimited ‘Brindabella Gem’ – Brindabella Roses (AU) ‘Charlotte Ann’ – Roses Unlimited ‘Doorenbos Selection’ – Corn Hill Nursery ‘Easy On The Eyes’ – Edmunds Roses, Spring Hill Nurseries ‘Eyes For You’ – Burlington Roses ‘Escapade’ – Heirloom Roses, Rogue Valley Roses ‘International Herald Tribune’ – Burlington Rose Nursery, Long Ago Roses, Rose Petals Nursey ‘La Belle Sultane’ – High Country Roses, Northland Rosarium, Rogue Valley Roses ‘Lagoon’ – got this from Vintage years ago ‘Lavender Simplex’ – ? ‘Lavender Spoon’ – For Love of Roses ‘Lila Banks’ – Rogue Valley Roses ‘Lilac Charm’ – ? ‘Make Believe’ – ? ‘Manhattan Blue’ - ? ‘Mia Grondahl’ – a newish introduction, maybe Roses Unlimited will carry this one ‘Night Owl’ – Edmunds Roses, Garden Valley Ranch, Heirloom Roses, Roses Unlimited, & retail outlets for Weeks Roses ‘Odyssey’ – ? my plant had mosaic and was discarded ‘Paul Wright’ – perhaps Rogue Valley Roses? ‘Plum Frost’ – Heirloom Roses ‘Puppy Kisses’ – Rogue Valley Roses ‘Purple Splash’ – Chamblee’s Rose Nursery, Edmunds Roses, Heirloom Roses, Northland Rosarium ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ – Heirloom Roses ‘Ripples’ – Rogue Valley Roses ‘Rose Legend’ – very new, maybe Roses Unlimited? ‘Route 66’ – Burlington Rose Nursery ‘Song of the Stars’ – Rogue Valley Roses ‘Stormy Weather’ – Springhill Nurseries ‘Sultry Sangria’ – Garden Valley Ranch ‘Veilchenblau’ – Angel Gardens, Antique Rose Emporium, Burlington Rose Nursery, Heirloom Roses, Rose Petals Nursery ‘Violette’ – A Reverence For Roses, Burlington Rose Nursery, Long Ago Roses, Rogue Valley Roses ‘VIRpeacock’ – new registration, maybe Roses Unlimited?

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