Rose Cuttings: March 2014
by Mike Shoup
A Blue Rose?
The German word veilchenblau means “violet-blue.” While ‘Veilchenblau’ is often called the “Blue Rose,” its flowers are actually a red mauve that fades to gray-blue as they age. At her peak of bloom, a large specimen can produce thousands of clustered flowers, heralding the spring.
Many of her close relatives in the Rosa multiflora species family also bloom prolifically, including the notable varieties ‘Seven Sisters’, ‘Violette’, and ‘Tauschenduan’ (which means “thousand beauties”). While wild forms that have naturalized in North America are considered invasive pests, the R. multiflora species has provided important genes for the creation of newer varieties with prolific blooms that lack the pesky temperament.
A must for the garden, ‘Veilchenblau’ rarely suckers or spreads by seed. Easy to train and graceful, she blends peacefully into landscapes dominated by pink, white or red roses. Her cooling colors settle softly over her foliage like a translucent fog, cascading in fragrant clusters. She blooms heavily in the spring with an occasional light repeat in the fall.