Rose Cuttings – March, 2011

Salvias and other perennials surround ‘Archduke Charles’ in this sentimental planting at the Antique Rose Emporium. All photos courtesy of Mike Shoup.

Add Some Color to Your Life
Most roses come in one color. Yes, there are many colors to choose from: shades of pink that go on and on, reds so dark that they are called black, whites so pure, and others that have tints of pink or yellow. Rare is the bi-colored old garden rose. Four roses worth mentioning for their variations of color are ‘Archduke Charles,’ ‘Ferdinand Prichard,’ ‘Smith’s Parish’ and ‘Mutabilis.’

‘Archduke Charles’


‘Smith’s Parish’

‘Archduke Charles’ has dark red outer petals with a white or pink center. The plant itself is thick and chunky with lots of foliage, making it a perfect hedge or specimen. Blooms come heavy in the spring and fall with occasional summer spurts. It is not uncommon to have roses on the Thanksgiving or Christmas Day table because of such reliable bloom periods.

‘Mutabilis’ is a star when it comes to color. Its roses come in colors of yellow, orange, pink and red — and often at the same time. It’s no wonder that it is called “The Butterfly Rose.” When it blooms, single flowers mimic multicolored butterflies.

‘Ferdinand Prichard’ produces a striped and speckled rose in the colors of soft and dark pink. It doesn’t bloom as much as both ‘Mutabilis’ and ‘Archduke Charles’, but individual flowers are spectacularly beautiful and worth the wait. Plant this rose where it can be an individual specimen beside a path, where its fragrance can be enjoyed.

And for the gardener who is patient and willing to wait for a surprise, ‘Smith’s Parish’ is the choice. This wonderful, fat and vigorous shrub produces white flowers prolifically through the spring and fall. Every so often a white rose with a dark, blood red streak will occur, and even more rarely, an entirely red flower.

Plant all four roses, and be the talk of the neighborhood!

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s 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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