Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Despite the dry climate, the Southwest is a good area for growing roses. The low humidity actually helps to control the incidence of disease. The All-America Rose Selections has chosen several rose varieties that are especially suited to the Southwest and Southern California. These include Opening Night, Fourth of July and Iceberg, all of which are wonderful cut flowers.
Fourth of July Rose
This is the first climbing striped rose. Released in 1999, this was hybridized by Tom Carruth.
The stems can reach ten feet in length. Somewhat vigorous, this climbing rose has stems that are ten to 12 feet in length. It is noted for its very large blooms that are quite unusual in color.
This repeat bloomer is considered a red blend. The large semi-double blooms have 15 petals or so. They have a fruity fragrance. The petals have a rich, velvety appearance. They have splashes of deep red and white in uneven patterns. The prominent centers are yellow. The blooms open in clusters. The white stripes show up on the red with each bloom being different.
Suitable for zones four through ten, this has deep green healthy foliage. Its parents included Altissimo and Roller Coaster. This was the first climbing rose to be awarded an All-American Rose Selection in over 20 years.
Opening Night Rose
This hybrid tea variety is considered the deepest red of all the dark red roses. The very full, richly double blooms, up to five inches wide, have velvety petals. They retain their color well. With 30 or so petals, they’re lightly scented. The buds are pointed. These flowers generally occur singly, but are sometimes in clusters. This is a repeat bloomer. The stems are very long, and perfect for cutting.
A vigorous plant, this was released in 1998. It is medium in height, and reaches about five feet in height with a spread of four feet. This has a spreading to upright, bushy growth habit. It features shiny, deep green leaves. It is recommended for zones four through 11. Easy to grow, this requires little attention.
This was named an All-America Rose Selections in 1998. Bred by Keith Zary, its parents included Ingrid Bergman and Olympiad. This is available from Witherspoon.
This lovely, pure white flowering floribunda can reach six feet in height though it is typically only three to four feet. It has a spread of about three feet. It is available both as a regular rose bush and a tree rose. Witherspoon sells the tree rose version. There is also a climbing Iceberg, which was a sport of the original Iceberg. The vigorous, free flowering plants are very disease resistant. Easy to grow, this has healthy clean foliage. The plants require very little pruning.
If you’re looking for an outstanding white rose, this is the one. These flowers have a beautiful shape and are pure icy white. The double blooms have a light scent with 25 to 40 petals. The buds are long and pointed. Unlike some roses, this has very few thorns. This blooms all season with the flowers opening in clusters. When the weather becomes colder, the white can turn to a very pastel pink.
The stems are over a foot long and great for cutting. The blooms are 4˝ inches wide, and contain 40 petals.
Recommended for zones six through 11, this was released in Germany in 1958. It was bred by Kordes. Its parents were Virgo and Robin Hood. It is the number one selling rose in California. Iceberg was chosen as one of the top ten favorites by the World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame in 1983.
When using this rose in floral designs, keep in mind that is vase life isn’t quite as long as many other roses.