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Cecile Brunner

Climbing Cecile Brunner
Rose of the Month For May, 2007
by Barbara Picarelli

I had this rose for a long time in a pot, it was a tiny little thing to start, and now I know why I kept it in the pot so long. It has now taken over the whole top of my greenhouse, and long canes arch over to the neighbors yard. I’ve cut it back several times and will do so again after its bloom cycle.

I had heard this rose was a prolific bloomer and grew like crazy, but I had No idea just how much it could grow. Known under a variety of names, (all of these have climbing in front of them) ‘Mlle Cecile Brunner’, ‘Mme Cecile Brunner’, ‘Mignon’, ‘Sweetheart Rose’ and ‘Maltese Rose’, it is a spring bloomer, however, if planted along a warm wall will occasionally bloom spasmodically during summer. This rose has often been mistaken for ‘Bloomfield Abundance’, as it is almost identical in bloom.

A dainty light pink with perfectly pointed tiny buds, it blooms in clusters. My entire rose bush is covered in hundreds of tiny buds, on incredibly clean but dull green foliage. (I wish the rest of my roses were as clean). Catalogues claim it has a light sweet scent, however I have not noticed any scent at all. This rose also comes in a bush form, which is not as strong a bloomer nor as easy to grow. The bush form grows to 1 meter high and was originally hybridized in 1881 by Veuve-Ducher as a miniature hybrid tea, and has parentage of seedling ‘Poly-pom’ and ‘Mme de Tartas’. It is assumed the climbing version was a sport of the bush form. The bush form was named for the daughter of Ulrich Brunner, a renowned rose grower at the time from Switzerland. Amazingly there is also a white form of Cecile Brunner, a mutation first introduced by Fanque in France in 1909, but I have never seen it nor know where it can be obtained. Both the climbing and bush forms of ‘Cecile Brunner’ are still obtainable at most nurseries.

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