February 05, 2010

Two long-established roses earn Earth-Kind distinction

Judges say they are “beautiful roses for busy people”

By: Mike Jackson, 972-952-9232  
Contact(s): Steve George, 972-952-9217, s-george3@tamu.edu  
DALLAS – They embody traits few others share – beauty, toughness and easy maintenance – and that has earned them the highest distinction a rose can achieve, said Dr. Steve George, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist in Dallas.

Cecile Brunner and Reve d’Or were recently named Earth-Kind Roses by a team of horticulturists with AgriLife Extension. Only 21 roses hold the title.

Reve d’Or, originally released in 1869, earned an additional honor by being named 2010 Earth-Kind Rose of the Year, George said.

“Both roses are simply gorgeous,” he said.

Cecile Brunner, introduced in 1881, is light pink and the bush grows to about 4 feet by 3 feet, George said. Adapted throughout Texas, it’s a repeat-bloomer, fragrant and tolerates some light-dappled shade in the afternoon. It is also known as the “Sweetheart Rose.”

Reve d’Or (pronounced rehv dohr) is medium-yellow, fragrant, nearly thornless and also a repeat-bloomer. Adapted to all of Texas except the upper Panhandle, the bush is a vigorous climber that will grow 10 feet to 18 feet tall and about 8 feet wide, he said. Its name is French for “dream of gold.”

“Reve d’Or is the healthiest yellow rose that we have ever tested,” he said.

There is more to these roses than good looks, George said. Earth-Kind Roses are robust and thrive in tough conditions. Grown and evaluated over eight years on average, the roses are not fertilized or pruned when tested. They are not treated with pesticides, and are watered far less than other roses. They also are grown on their own roots, as opposed to those grafted onto other plants.

The results are roses that are easy to grow and maintain, he said.

To be Earth-Kind, a rose must have received the designation from AgriLife Extension, an agency of the Texas A&M System. Earth-Kind is a registered trade mark of AgriLife Extension.

“These winners of the prestigious Earth-Kind designation are long-lived, tolerant of most any soil and are so environmentally responsible that almost never will you need to apply harsh pesticides or even commercial fertilizer,” George said.

“These are truly roses with which anybody can be successful.”

A list and descriptions of all Earth-Kind Roses can be found at http://earthkindroses.tamu.edu .

George and the team of Earth-Kind rose evaluators offer growing tips:

- The roses should be planted where they receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight daily.

- Their location should allow for good airflow over the leaves.

- They should be planted in well-aerated soils. (Visit the Earth-Kind Rose Web site for details on how to manage specific soils.)

- They need the year-round protection of a 3-inch layer of organic mulch over their root systems.