The Q&A Archives: Which Bonica?

Question: I've read about an "improved" Bonica, "Royal Bonica." I'd like to know what characteristics are improved. I like Bonica's flowers as they are, but could always use MORE blackspot resistance.

Answer: I did some research on Royal Bonica with a local rosarian and came up with the following. It appears that Royal Bonica is resistant to the same diseases (such as black spot) but, the resistance is greater. Here is some of the info I uncovered: Royal Bonica is a sport of Bonica. Its actual name is Meidomodac. It is a medium pink shrub rose that was introduced in 1994. Here is the description taken from the INTERNATIONAL ROSE REGISTRATION SUPPLEMENT to MODERN ROSES 10, published by the American Rose Society:<br>"Flowers medium pink, moderately full (15-25 petals), medium (4-7 cm) blooms borne in small clusters; slight fragrance; some prickles; foliage medium green;, semi-glossy; medium, upright growth. Royal Bonica is available from Heirloom OldGarden Roses of St. Paul, OR.<br>Here is their description: "All the charm of the roses of yesteryear. Clusters of double, long lasting, Neyron pink blooms borne in profusion. Ideal for the garden, low hedges, slopes, group planting and pots. Always in bloom. 3 feet tall by 4-5 feet wide. Bonica roses are typified by being vigorous and fast growing, tolerant of poor growing conditions, very disease resistant, and winter hardy. Since<br>Royal Bonica is a sport of Bonica, one would expect the same characteristics. (If the term "sport" is new to you, it means that a variety occasionally produces a cane with a bloom so different from the normal bloom, that a hybridizer may choose to take that cane to produce a new variety. Usually the difference is in the color of the bloom.<br>The picture of Royal Bonica in the catalog is very attractive. Sounds like a very nice landscape rose. <br><br>(For more details about the 'Bonica' Rose that Burpee offers, please e-mail their customer service department directly at or call 1-800-333-5808.)

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