Rose Cuttings – January, 2009

The Swamp Rose exhibits a stunning array of pink blooms at the Antique Rose Emporium. Photo courtesy of the author.

A Swamp Rose for Any Location

The Swamp Rose, R. palustrus scanden, is the most versatile rose in the garden. This rose evolved in America, with many species happily residing in the sandy, swamp-covered soils of Louisiana and ranging north and east to the Carolinas. 

As an understory plant in forested areas, it has acquired a tolerance of shade as well as water-soaked, mucky soils. As a result, gardeners can grow it not only in full sun like all other roses, but under trees or in the shade of north-facing walls. It can grow in well-drained soils or in saturated soils . 

Our garden features it not only by water’s edge, but under the canopy of a large tree. Both situations are anomalies in the traditional use of roses. It has long canes that can be trained into trees or along fences, but also left untrained. It creates beautiful, graceful cascading fountains in the landscape.

I forgot to mention: it provides a stunning display of pink, semi-double blooms on thornless canes in mid- to late spring. It is a rose that proves that it is the ultimate garden plant.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit their Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Neil Sperry
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