Thursday, June 01, 2006

Roses in Bloom

To answer your first question, the rose above is a wild rose -- called, appropriately, Arizona rose. It is near my door and I grew it from seed (a feat I'm quite proud of.)

Like all wild roses, the plant has more than enough thorns, and like all roses, it delivers more blossoms if it is cut back ruthlessly -- a lesson I learned from my mother who, at 100+, still criticizes the landscapers at the senior home where she lives, "They just don't know how to prune roses."

The other rose -- the yellow, below -- is an old fashioned variety found around and about Prescott and
environs. It must be close to wild, if one judges by the quantity of thorns. One of the biggest I've seen is a huge bush that grew for many years along the Iron Springs Rd. as it enters Skull Valley.

I don't know the yellow's name, but there's a hedge of 'em at Sharlot Hall on the Gurley St. side. One friend, an old-timer, calls them the "Henderson roses", after an early settler. I'd love to have one of these roses in my yard. However, the nurseries won't carry them because their bloom lasts only about 2 weeks -- and once the blossoms are gone, say the nurseries, nobody is interested in buying.

So, you might say, why don't you grow one from seed? Hah! About 10 years ago, I did see a handful of hips on the Sharlot Hall bushes that were red and developing, but I didn't follow through. Those were the last I've seen. It turns out that these Henderson beauties reproduce almost entirely via underground runners.


Anonymous said...

Like you, I love the wild roses. I guess because they seem more 'natural' to me as they haven't been altered in some way or another. I can't remember if the roses at Yavapai College are pink or yellow, but I want to say pink. A couple of years ago, they were loaded with hips and I picked a bunch! Did you know you can put them into tea and they are loaded with Vitamin C? They are very good for you when you have the flu in the winter or a cold...
I did't know you could start a rose from seed. How facinating!
Anne :)

Granny J said...

I had a great crop of hips on my Arizona roses last year (when I really cut them back...), but the problem with the yellows is that they don't develop hips, so no seeds. To get the seeds, wait until the hips are dry & then pry them open -- a nice supply of seeds sits within.

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