ArticlesHeritage Rose Beginner

Some notes for newer members

From HRIA Journals 2019-20
Some notes for newer members

Species names are printed in italics. Double inverted commas indicate a study name of a found rose, or one where the current in-commerce name doesn’t match early descriptions. Study names are usually based on where the rose was found, or a person associated with it, or the name on the nearest grave.

Single roses have 4 to 8 petals.

Double inverted commas around a rose name indicate a study name of a found rose, or a name which isn’t compatible with early references. Study names are usually based on where the rose was collected, and/or a person associated with it (eg. on a gravestone). (NB all plant material at Rookwood is protected by law.) If there are several unknowns at the same site, the name may include an identifying feature, eg. the class or the colour. Names need to be kept short enough to fit on a label!

Balling is when petals stick together so the flower can’t open. Some many-petalled roses are especially prone to it in spring.

Proliferation is the growth of another flower within or beside the main one (not just in roses). Ugly but you just cut off the combined flower.

Quartered: having petals clustered in groups (not necessarily four).

In-folding of the central petals makes what is called a button eye.

Companion plants: things that aren’t roses (or in some people’s book, plants that improve the health of their neighbours). Many native plants evolved in low-phosphate soils, so you need to choose your fertilisers to suit what you’re growing.

Self-cleaning: dropping petals of spent flowers.

Rustling: an American term for hunting old roses. Other countries mostly avoid it.

For the purists among us – what roses have are prickles. They arise from the outer surface of the stem, and when mature snap off readily to sideways pressure.
Thorns are what eg. citrus have. They grow from deeper within the stem, and don’t snap off in the same way.

OP: Open-pollinated; not pollinated by the hand of man/woman.
Many such seedlings will be selfs (selves?), having the same rose as both male and female parent. This is common with those roses where the female parts of the flower become ripe for pollinating before insects have removed the pollen. Rugosas are very quick off the mark.

Mucronate petals have a pointy tip.

Some groups of rose classes.
Old European roses means Albas, Gallicas, Centifolias, Damasks. (Most Moss roses derive from Centifolias, some from Damasks.) They sucker on their own roots and some become invasive, though very cold winters can slow them down.

Hybrid Chinas and Hybrid Bourbons are a ragbag of 19th century first generation crosses between the Old Europeans and the newly-arrived repeat-flowerers. Spring-flowering, mostly suckering. Surprisingly, “Fantin-Latour” doesn’t sucker.

Remontants isn’t a class but describes roses which repeat, though aren’t fully recurrent; the group includes most Bourbons. Some are second-generation crosses from Old European roses with Chinas or Teas: Damask Perpetuals which merged into Portlands, and Hybrid Perpetuals (known in France as hybrides remontants). A few are close enough to their Old European ancestors to sucker on their own roots.

Hormones from the top bud suppress lower ones.
In my early time in HRIA, Jane Zammit advised me to remove almost all of the flower buds from a (cutting-grown) rose in its first year, and to remove all developing flower buds and fruit from stressed plants in a drought summer. This allows them to put their energy into making roots and leaves. (You let one bud proceed to flower, to check that the label is correct…)

Some useful websites is an excellent site for looking up roses – description, photos, where to buy, suitable climates, references, correct spelling.
Click on Plants /Lookup in the left column, then type in the rose name and click on Search. If several names come up, click on the one you think most likely. The Photos, Gardens and Buy From tabs in the top bar are useful.
You don’t have to be a paid-up supporter unless you want to see details of lineage. Some of us look daily at Q & A Forum → Recent Posts and Recent / New → Photos. Patricia Routley in WA is a hard-working volunteer for the site.
Before you give a found or bred rose a name, check on HelpMeFind that the name you’re considering isn’t already in use.

A website well worth looking into, for a wide range of things, including old rose books, gardening books, catalogues; mostly in English:
The image quality is better than in google books.

Trove is also very useful, for old Australian newspapers, previous HRIA Journals etc.

Garden Tip of the Season
If you are offered plants from someone’s garden, or are buying at a weekend market, it’s prudent to check politely:

  • Does it sucker invasively?
  • Does it self-seed widely?
  • Is it a Declared Weed (most agapanthus, arum lilies, some buddleias, dog rose etc)?
  • For fruit and nut trees, does it need a pollinator, and if so, which?

The warning also applies of course if you are giving plants away.

Frank’s Recipe (Frank Hogan, Mackay.)
This spray I use on all plants; it controls back spot, mildew, rust, scale, caterpillars and grasshoppers.
To a 5 litre sprayer; adjust ingredients to your requirements.

  1. 25ml canola oil
  2. 25ml dishwashing detergent
  3. emulsify until creamy smooth
  4. 2 tbl bicarbonate dissolved in a little hot water
  5. 1 cup whole cream milk
  6. 25ml seaweed extract
  7. Combine all with running water

Use within 24 hours or oil may separate.
Spray late afternoon.