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Little Artist

Rose of the Month For February, 2004
by Nanette Londeree, Consulting Rosarian

If you have a passion for either miniature roses or the hand-painted coloring in a rose, then Little Artist is for you. This lovely rose was developed by Sam McGredy of New Zealand in 1982 and more than 25 years later it still has an ARS rating of 8.5. Every bloom on the plant is different, hence the term "hand-painted" and they change with sun exposure and age. The blooms are officially classified as a red blend, though that does not adequately describe the wonderful coloring of this flower. The rose has scarlet petals painted with white that open to show soft yellow centers and golden stamens. As the flower ages, the color becomes more of a solid red with white at the base on the petals and on the reverse.

McGredy is a renowned hybridizer, having earned seven AARS awards for his roses - Electron, Cathedral, Sundowner, Olympiad, New Year, Singin' In the Rain and Mount Hood. Most rose lovers know him for his hand-painted varieties including Roller Coaster, Picasso, Old Master, Stretch Johnson and Pricilla Burton.

While the plant is classified as a miniature, this profuse blooming rose could be described as a mini-flora. It is a spreading plant clothed in small, medium green, semi-glossy foliage that is highly disease resistant. The flowers have a light fragrance, and after blooming the plant is decorated with large, bright orange hips.

Little Artist does well growing at the foot of other larger roses, but deserves a location that takes full advantage of its bounty of bloom and its striking beauty.

Little Artist Photo courtesy of: My Flower Box

Previous Roses of the Month:

January, 2004

November, 2003

October, 2003

September, 2003

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Last Modified: 08/06/2013