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Olympiad, Fame! and Color Magic
MAGiCal Roses For May, 2012
by Maureen Groper, Consulting Rosarian

Note: A new column this year called MAGiCal roses will be written each month by our Consulting Rosarians. Two or three roses will be highlighted from the over 130 rose bushes in our garden at MAGC (Marin Art and Garden Center). The garden was planted in 2004 with donated roses from Sunnyside Nursery, West End Nursery, Armstrong Nursery and Sloat Garden Nursery. We have added and subtracted roses each year. The garden is organic and no sprays are used.


‘Olympiad’ is a brilliant red hybrid tea rose. The blooms are large, full with 26-40 petals and mostly with solitary, high-centered bloom form grown on an upright bush. Its 8.5 ARS rating contributes to its being disease resistant. Bred by Samuel McGredy in 1982 in New Zealand, its parentage is ‘Red Planer’ x ‘Pharaoh’. There are bloom flushes throughout the growing season. It was the red rose of the 1984 Olympics. The lovely long stems and longevity of the blooms make for beautiful bouquets and I’ve brought home many ribbons with ‘Olympiad’, one of my very favorites.



Flo Taylor introduced me to this fabulous deep pink grandiflora rose. Its parentage is ‘Tournament of Roses’ x ‘Zorina’ and it was bred by Dr. Keith Zary from the US in 1998. It produces clusters of blooms of 25-35 petals regularly on compact, healthy bushes. Again this is a very disease resistant rose with a 8.2 ARS rating. The blooms are extremely long lasting on the bush or in a vase. Last year ‘Fame!’ had blooms when most of my other roses were finished for the season!

Color Magic

‘Color Magic’

‘Color Magic’ is labeled in the ARS book as a pink blend hybrid tea rose. The unique shade of soft salmon shaded to blush pink with a ribbon of deep pink at the edges varies on every bloom on the bush.. Some of the mildly fruity fragrant blooms are as big as dinner plates with 26-40 petals. It is a tall bush and may reach 5-5½ feet. Introduced in the US in 1978 by Jackson & Perkins, it was hybridized by William A. Warriner from parentage seedling x ‘Spellbinder’. It has a 7.8 ARS rating. ‘Color Magic’ was the All American Rose Selection in 1978.

Photos of 'Olympiad' and 'Color Magic' are by Gail Trimble. The photo of 'Fame!' is by Gerri Guerino courtesy of Modern Roses 12.

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