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The French Roots of the New Zealand Rose

While it seems a fair number of roses bred in the United States have French roots, who would have known that French roses made their way into the family tree of the New Zealand rose?

pink rose

This rose has been described as having a lovely fragrance, which should not surprise anyone due to the presence of the Fragrant Cloud rose within its family tree. I must admit that I do not remember the scent of this rose. There would have been few opportunities to enjoy it, because this was not a prolific bloomer in our humid garden. The New Zealand rose prefers dry and consistent conditions, which is not what you'll find in the southeastern portion of the United States. Additionally, it requires more winter protection than some of our other roses. Even though we have hot summers, some of our winters can be very cold.

If the New Zealand rose is not suited to our Zone 7, then why did we grow it? Well, it was part of a package deal with other roses, and we did not have any pastel pink roses. However, while this is clearly a pretty rose, its rather subdued appearance ended up getting lost among its attention-grabbing neighbors such as the Rio Samba rose. I have seen vivid versions of the New Zealand rose online, though. The color probably responds differently under different conditions. The calm color along with its drooping form means that it is perfect for a cottage garden.

As for its French roots, you will find our favorite Peace rose, frequently mentioned in this journal. Another one is the Ami Quinard rose, which was a hybrid tea rose created by Charles Mallerin in France in 1927. Monsieur Mallerin had close ties with the Meilland family of rose growers, so it's no surprise that his roses have led to other successful creations, too. The history of the Meilland family and Charles Mallerin is interesting, but that's another story for another day. Either way, both would probably be pleased to know their roses had a hand in creating the beauty in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in the New Zealand rose!


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