Anthony Garza, Supervisor of Horticulture & Grounds

Roses are red
violets are blue
these here roses
are missing you
Over and gone
the season will arc

so grow Rosa roxburghii
it really has bark
Only one bloom
but fabulous hips
your simple beauty
let’s come to grips

Despite my heavy (read: absurdly biased) preference for all things monocot (grasses and grass-like plants, agave family, etc.), I do have a hard-to-explain soft spot for single-petaled rose. Yes, weird, I know. I first became enamored of single-petaled roses during college while working for John Greenlee at his Pomona, CA, ornamental grass nursery. One seemingly odd group of plants grown on the nursery grounds were some of these large, clambering shrub roses like Rosa roxburghii and cultivars of Rosa moyesii. I worked on a garden show install with John where we trucked in grasses, wild shrub roses, and old panels of ivy-encrusted wooden fencing. He put together a rather beautiful tumble-down type of romantic meadow. Thus it began. And I have never lost my appreciation for these often overlooked gems, some wild species, some hybrids. Early May is their 5-minutes of fame, as most are once-blooming. This trait was quite common before hybridizing efforts with the Asiatic Rosa chinensis-mutabilis. As a bonus, the majority of these types of roses don’t need all of the intensive care and sweet-talk that so many overly-hybridized roses often require.

I hope you enjoy these photos and can come to appreciate the wild simplicity of these tough lovelies.

Cluster of white roses with five petals each

Rosa helenae from China

Bright pink rose with five petals

Rosa eglanteria

Hot pink rose with water droplets

Rosa gymnocarpa from San Diego, CA

Rosa ‘Kathleen’ – hybrid musk

Cluster of three pink roses with five petals each

Rosa nitidula from Italy

Rose bush with pink flowers

White rose with five petals

Rosa obtusifolia from France

Draping rose bush with five white roses

White rose with five petals

Rosa canina from Turkey

Draping rose bush with many white flowers

Single pink rose with five petals and green textured leaves

Rosa rugosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’

Single pink rose with five petals, green textured leaves, and a pink rose hip

P.S. Many of these also have nice hips…😉

© 2015 UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
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