Question: My name is Janet Gregg and I am the Communications Specialist for the Texas A&M Research & Extension Center at Dallas. We have just opened a rose research trial for public participation. It can be either individual or groups. I am copying the information below. I have photos of the 5 roses we are doing now in this statewide trial. In the spring we are kicking off a national trial that will involve 30 different roses. I am hoping you will include this in your show and on your web site. If you have any questions please call or e-mail me. Thank you for your consideration.
Janet - 972-733-0272.
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DALLAS ? If you love roses, but don't love all of the spraying and
pruning that goes along with growing them, participating in a Texas A&M
University rose research project may be just the thing for you. The
EarthKind Rose Brigade is issuing a call for new recruits to assist with
testing roses for possible designation as EarthKind.
During a four-year study, horticulturists at Texas A&M tested more than
100 rose cultivars. From this research they have designated 11 cultivars
as EarthKind, but want to identify even more. That's where help from the
public comes in.
"We are asking Texans to join us in doing the final field testing of
some very promising candidates by joining the EarthKind Rose Brigade,"
said Dr. Steve George, Texas Cooperative Extension horticulturist based at
the Texas A&M University System Research and Extension Center in Dallas.
"The Brigade is open to anyone with a love for growing easy-care
roses," George said. "Recruits don't have to know anything about roses or
gardening, because if a rose doesn't perform with minimal care, then it's
not good enough to be EarthKind."
Five roses have been chosen for final testing in Texas. They are
Arethusa, Bon Silene, Comtesse du Cayla, Jaune Desprez and Maggie.
Each rose has its own set of characteristics that distinguish it from
Arethusa is a China rose whose lineage has been traced back to 1903. It
grows to a height and width of 5 feet, has apricot colored, semi-double,
fragrant flowers and will bloom repeatedly. Arethusa is designated for
hardiness zones 6-9.
Bon Silene is a Tea rose whose lineage has been traced to 1835. At
maturity, the bush will reach a height of 5 feet and width of 6 feet. Its
double flowers are deep rose pink in color. They are very fragrant, and
the bush will bloom repeatedly. Bon Silene is designated for hardiness
Comtesse du Cayla is a China rose whose lineage has been traced to
1902. Growing to a height of 4 feet and a width of 3 feet, it has
orange-red, semi-double, very fragrant flowers and blooms repeatedly. This
rose bush is designated for zones 7-9.
Jaune Desprez is a Noisette rose. Its lineage has been traced to 1830.
This climbing rose is known to reach heights of 12 to 20 feet and a width
of 7 feet. Its flowers are an apricot blend color, semi-double, repeat
blooming and very fragrant. This rose is known to tolerate some light
shade and has been designated appropriate for zones 6-9.
Maggie is a "found" Bourbon rose. It was collected in Louisiana by Dr.
William Welch, Extension horticulturist from College Station. Maggie
reaches 8 feet in height and 4 feet in width. Its flowers are medium red,
very double, very fragrant, and it is a repeat bloomer. Researchers have
found Maggie does best when trained on a pillar or fence. It is designated
for zones 6-9.
"Arethusa, Jaune Desprez and Maggie are winter hardy throughout the
entire state," George said. "Bon Silene and Comtesse du Cayla, however,
are winter hardy across most of the state except for Amarillo and the
northern Panhandle area."
George recommends planting the roses where they will get at least eight
hours or more of full, direct sun each day. They also need good air
movement over the leaves. Participants are asked to pledge never to use
commercial fertilizers or pesticides on the plants.
"Simply till into the soil 3 to 5 inches of fully finished compost,
plant, then finish off with three to four inches of mulch year around.
This should be an organic material, such as chopped up tree limbs. Water
as needed, and then just enjoy them. These roses should grow in almost any
soil, from well-drained acid sands to highly alkaline clays, and should be
drought and heat tolerant once established."
The roses will be tested for three years.
In addition to the Texas rose research trials, a national rose research
program will kick off next spring. The national trial involves 30 roses
and is open to participants in all 50 states.
"We encourage everyone to join the EarthKind Rose Brigade, George said.
"We can't have too many recruits. It will be great fun, and participants
will be enhancing the beauty of their homes while providing valuable
insight to Texas A&M scientists as we work to enlarge the EarthKind plant
palette." "I am more excited about EarthKind roses than any group of
plants I have ever tested because they provide so much enjoyment for so
For more information and a list of participating nurseries go to http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkindrose/ . For a hardiness zone
map go to http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/hardi... .
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