In summer, the dog rose, the modern rose’s wild ancestor, starts blooming in dense thickets. Yet, one can hardly believe her to be the ancestor of the rose, the number of whose varieties has long topped thirty-five thousand.
Poets and writers glorified the magnificent flower. The words differed, but the idea was the same: oh queen, you are remarkably beautiful; your purple petals are like lips murmuring gentle dreams invariably accompanied by love and happiness.
The Botanical Garden rosary numbers over 200 species belonging to sixteen horticultural groups, e.g. «Prominent», «Anneke Dorenboss», «Henry Morse», «Dortmund», etc. Most varieties bloom abundantly and for a long time from mid June till the first frosts.
The first to flower in early June is our wild wrinkly Agnes species, which has gentle-yellow, shaggy, large and aromatic flowers.
The rosary is largely occupied by the China-hybrid floribund, polyanthus, remontant and woven roses to create a unique fabulous carpet (var. «Landora», «Fine King», «Folklore», «Lily Marlene» , etc.). Here you can feast your eyes on the fire-color weaving roses Sympathy and Pauls Scarlet Climber, and on the gentle-yellow hybrid of the Gloria Day China rose, also known as Peace, and on the snow-white Frau Carl Druzhky. This “Frau” is also called the “snow queen”, apple, sweet honey, intoxicating musk, and heady violet. Gems of the collection are the world-famous and respected Meian selection of Christian Dior, Chrysler Imperial and Crimson Glory with their very pleasant aroma.
Many people wonder whether the black rose actually exists. In fact, there is no such flower as a fully black rose; however, the varieties Mildred Shell and Norita are close to black.
Standing beside the collection, you cannot cover it all just with one glance. But you can, when you look at the dynasty of miniature varieties on the spot, given that the shrubs are no more than 15-30 cm tall, and the numerous bright flowers are the size of a nickel, e.g. the pure white Cinderella, the orange Marylyn, and the three-colored Baby Masquerade.
A major feature of all rose groups is their low hardiness. Hence, with the normally little snow in Primorye, they should be properly sheltered to survive in winter. Since 1991, we have sheltered roses in dry air conditions, under which roses from all garden groups live through winter undamaged.
The author extends her profound gratitude to Yu. Vaskovsky, M. Abanjkina, L. Makogina and L. Pshennikova for the photographs and slides.
L. MIRONOVA, Cand. Sci.
(Biology), Head of Laboratory for Introduction and Selection of Decorative
Flower Plants, Botanical
Garden-Institute, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.