Rose Cuttings: June 2014
by Mike Shoup
Ralph Moore, a Great Rosarian
A giant in the world of miniature roses, Ralph Moore created hundreds of varieties of miniatures from many unusual parents, which included ‘The Sweetbriar Rose’, the dwarf shrub ‘Rouletti’, and the Rugosas. He even bred striped miniatures using the variegated Hybrid Perpetual ‘Ferdinand Pichard’.
Moore introduced many of his varieties through Sequoia Nursery in Visalia, California, which he founded in 1937. Over his long career he was honored as a Great Rosarian of the World and received 18 awards of excellence as well as the American Rose Society’s Gold Honor Medal for his service. And his work lives on. Before he died in 2009 at the age of 102, Moore donated all his genetic material, including unreleased varieties, to Texas A&M University for continued rose breeding research.
One of his introductions was ‘Red Cascade’. He could have patented this small-leaved, small-flowered, miniature climber, but he generously wanted it to be available to everyone. ‘Red Cascade’ is one of the most versatile garden plants around. She can be grown as a climber, a container rose (she’s especially pretty in large hanging baskets) and most importantly, as a groundcover. Massed on sunny ground or in rock gardens, she gives new meaning to the idea of a “bed” of roses. Her flexible canes can spread up to 12 feet in all directions to create a dense, matted carpet. Her dark red flowers occur in clusters from April through November, with spring and fall flushes being the most dramatic.