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Rosa rugosa

Rosa rugosa
Rose of the Month For March, 2005
by Barbara Picarelli

One of the pleasures of attending the annual Marin Rose Show is getting to see and smell some of the most gorgeous roses. It gives one the ability to judge the color, shape and fragrance of a rose you may have read about but havenít seen. Thus you can make judgment on whether or not that particular rose will fit into your garden and if you like itís features. You then have all the information at hand before you spend any money. I sort of like that.

And that is precisely what happened last year at our Rose show when Betty Mott exhibited one of the most lovely and fragrant of roses, which just happened to win Best of Show. This truly remarkable little mauve single petaled rose won the hearts of many, especially the judges. Betty was kind enough to send me some information about this rose (see below) and I took the picture at the rose show.

It is Rosa rugosa, a mauve colored rose from 1784 with an ARS rating of 8.9. Wow, what a rating, and obviously with dating back that far has staying quality. It is totally disease resistant and has a fragrance to die for. Betty says her rose came from Chatham, Massachusetts, Cape Cod area where it grows wild on the beach. Originally it came from Monomoy Island which is a piece of land that broke off from North Beach a hundred years ago during a Norí Eastern. The original rugosas were from Korea and Japan. The plants have beautiful dark corrugated and textured foliage, with those very fragrant blooms that come in clusters. Betty says its fragrance can fill your whole garden and the petals remain fragrant after they fall. They form huge orange hips after blooming, and are great for rose hip jam, an excellent source of Vitamin C. The rugosas only bloom once in the east, but apparently like California weather as they sometimes bloom two or three times in her garden. There is also a white variety, R rugosa alba, dating from 1811, with an ARS 9.1 rating and equally fragrant. They do have one negative fault, very prickly canes.

These rugosas can be obtained from Vintage Gardens in Sebastopol, Arena Rose Company, White Flower Farm, and even E-Bay! Other sources can be found on the Marin Rose Society Web Page

Photo by Barbara Picarelli

Previous Roses of the Month:

February, 2005
Baronne Prevost

January, 2005
Fortunes Double Yellow

November, 2004

October, 2004
Touch of Class, Tournament of Roses, and Taboo

September, 2004
All That Jazz

August, 2004

July, 2004
Betty Prior

June, 2004
Gertrude Jekyll

May, 2004
Sally Holmes

April, 2004
Double Delight

March, 2004
Gartendirecktor Otto Linne

February, 2004
Little Artist

January, 2004

November, 2003

October, 2003

September, 2003

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Last Modified: 08/06/2013