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Roses

Roses are members of the plant family Rosaceae, and of the genus Rosa. The Rosaceae family includes such members as, brambles, strawberries, crab apples, hawthorns, wild cherries, apples, apricots, pears, peaches and so on.  

There are more than 100 species in the genus Rosa; mostly prickly shrubs, sometimes climbing or trailing, mainly from temperate climates, normally 5 petals and many stamens inserted on a disc at edge of calyx tube.

Rose Naming Confusion
As you can see from above, in the rose world plant naming is complex and confusing - roses for example may have different cultivar names in different countries. In some countries Latin cultivar names have been translated to the local language For example ‘viridiflora’ translated as ‘Green Rose’ (this is then not a legal name and the original Latin name is the correct one).  

However it must be noted that breeders can use whatever name they like as a selling name as long as they do not breach trade mark laws. Over the last 60 or so years code names have also been increasingly used to identify roses for example ‘Korbin’ is the code for the breeder ‘Kordes’ (also incorrectly written as KORbin, or  ‘Meban’ (MEban) for ‘Meilland’. Further to this a breeder may transfer their (own) name from an old variety to a newer better one. For example take the rose Elina® (a registered name for a well known rose originally known as ‘Peaudouce’) – when the contract with the company sponsoring this rose ran out, it was re-named Elina®. This rose also bears the code name ‘DICjana’ (Dicksons is the breeder).

This can be confusing to the amateur rose grower (or the general public) looking for a specific rose. However as long as the label lists the code name or cultivar name along with the selling name, then most people will be able to track a rose down.

Rose Classification
Roses have been cultivated since as early as 2000 years BC (in China).  Modern roses have largely originated as hybrids of the species roses which have been grown for centuries. The exact origin of many of our modern roses however is complicated, difficult to follow, and some cases difficult to track down at all.  Until 1975 the popular modern rose with the conical type flower was referred to as a Hybrid Tea.  Hybrid teas are now called Large Flowered Roses by the experts. Floribundas (until 1975) were roses which were produced as a hybrid between miniature roses (ie. true polyanthas) with larger flowering roses.  Floribundas are now called Cluster Flowered Roses by the experts.  'Hybrid Tea' and 'Floribunda' are still commonly used terms though.


How to use Roses in the Landscape
The most wonderful thing about roses is that they flower heavily; and for long periods. This makes them most useful for adding colour to a garden. Like most plants, roses look best when massed (ie. the more you plant together, the better they look). If you want the best effect from roses, think carefully about the colours you use. Consider the background to where the roses will be planted. If the backdrop is a dark wall or dark foliage; you need light coloured flowers for optimum contrast. If the backdrop is a white wall, there is not much point planting white flowering roses.


GROWING ROSES IN COLD AREAS (Alpine Snow Prone)

  • Mulch heavily in winter with lucerne hay or a seedless straw (This generates heat and insulates roots).
  • Plant close to a wall –this protects from severe cold

GROWING ROSES IN HOT DRY CLIMATES (with Cold nights)

  • Mulch well in summer (insulates roots from overheating & protects from drying)
  • Use drip irrigation, or only water roots…if leaves get wet, this promotes black spot & other fungal problems.

GROWING ROSES IN HOT/HUMID CLIMATES

  • Plant in an open position, and leave lots of space between plants for ventilation –if the plants are not well ventilated, disease develops rapidly over summer.
  • Spray regularly for both insects & fungus. If you don’t like using sprays; roses can be difficult if not impossible in a hot humid climate.
  • Do not prune as heavily in winter as you would in a cool temperate climate … you are better to prune more often, and less each time (picking flowers frequently may be sufficient)

 

 
 

Roses Correspondence Course (click for details)

 
 
  
Books
Our horticultural science staff have over the years written a large range of book and ebooks, many of which are are available through our school's online book store.
To visit the book store and browse some of these titles, click on any of the books below:
 
 
     

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