American Rose Magazine 6(8): 257-258 (Sept-Oct 1945)
Hardy Everblooming Large-flowered Climbers
Prof. Stephen F. Hamblin,
Lexington, Massachusetts

The climbing sports of hybrid tea and similar bush roses are not very recurrent of bloom in our northern states. Even if hardy under local conditions or through careful winter covering, they bloom heavily in June and spend most of the remainder of the season making strong canes for next year, just like the usual hardy ramblers or large-flowered climbers.

The only hardy everblooming large-flowered climber as yet widely known is New Dawn (Somerset, 1930), famed also as Plant Patent No. 1. It is an everblooming sport of Dr. W. Van Fleet, differing only in that it makes blooming branches as well as strong new canes all summer and autumn. It is also as hardy as Dr. W. Van Fleet itself at Boston or Buffalo without special winter covering. The parentage of Dr. W. Van Fleet is (R. Wichuraiana X seedling of Safrano, T.) crossed with Souv. du President Carnot, HT. Thus the variety is the Carnot flower and foliage with Wichuraiana vigor.

The famous Blaze is not dependably recurrent, but does give some autumn flowers; but so do Dr. W. Van Fleet, Glenn Dale, Mary Wallace, Aunt Harriet, Dr. Huey, and others, at times, but they cannot be called everblooming.

The oldest continuous bloomer that is truly hardy is Birdie Blye (Van Fleet, 1904). While it is always in bloom, the plant mounts upward only slowly. In five years it will become a gigantic bush hybrid tea, six feet tall, with medium sized flowers, clustered, quite double, of deep rosy pink color with little odor. This plant is built on R. multiflora, and it shows its parentage in the foliage, which is much less shiny than that of New Dawn.

Two of the Brownell climbers are everblooming. Creeping Everbloom (Brownell, 1939) is really a creeper rather than a climber. The flowers appear all summer and are very much like General Jacqueminot in form and color. But the plant prefers to creep on the ground rather than climb a trellis. It is very effective as an espalier on a wall. Though of complicated parentage, Creeping Everbloom is practically a combination of New Dawn and General Jacqueminot, excellent as an everbloomer, but not a strong climber.

Orange Everglow (Brownell, 1942), a sport of Copper Glow, HW., has buds coppery orange, the flowers soft chamois-orange and pink. This has apparently good recurrent bloom, a sort of New Dawn of coppery color with from 25 to 30 petals, but the foliage is not as heavy nor shiny as that of New Dawn. The parentage also is complicated, but R. Wichuraiana and hybrid tea are the parent types, and thus New Dawn and Orange Everglow are half-sisters.

Some of the polyantha group known as hybrid polyanthas or floribundas have flowers nearly of hybrid tea size. Climbing sports of some of these are known. Most promising is Climbing World's Fair (Jackson & Perkins, 1940), a sport of the bush form so well known and deservedly popular. The climbing form produces rather large flat flowers of deepest crimson, in clusters of three or more. The color is almost as dark as that of Dr. Huey, making it one of the dark red climbers. These flowers appear in good succession all summer, but the plant usually climbs slowly and probably will never take on the bulk of New Dawn. The foliage is typical hybrid tea and as the parentage is R. multiflora and hybrid tea, the plant is half-sister of Birdie Blye. (See January-February Rose Magazine, 1944.)

Certainly Climbing World's Fair is a better everbloomer than Blaze, but it is not as rapid a grower. The two plants are related, as descended from Paul's Scarlet Climber, and World's Fair is much the darker of the two. It seems to be fully as hardy as Blaze or Paul's Scarlet Climber and deserves wide trial.

Setina, or Climbing Hermosa (Henderson, 1879) is a sport of the old Hermosa (Marcheseau, 1840). It is not truly a modern climber, for it is only a sport of the old China variety. Neither is it a high climber, but does bear its small, very double fragrant flowers in small clusters at intervals all summer. Until there are more sorts of everblooming hardy large-flowered climbers it would be well to plant this for its fragrance. It is quite like Birdie Blye, but smaller in flower and paler in color.

Similar climbing forms of the China rose, as Kathleen Harrop, Zephirine Drouhin, and the like, are good low climbers. They bloom well in June with large flowers, but there is little summer bloom in northern gardens. They do not have the vigor nor productiveness of New Dawn, and will some day be surpassed.

For white there is the recent Climbing Summer Snow (A. Couteau, 1936), a seedling of Tausendschon Mult. Thus it is a half-sister in white of Birdie Blye and Climbing World's Fair. The flowers are not very large (2 inches across) but very full, greenish white, flat in form, and without fragrance. In June the effect is like White Tausendschon, and the crop in summer and autumn is quite abundant. The plant is a fairly rapid grower, light green in stem and leaf, and not very prickly. It makes a good contrast to Climbing World's Fair and Birdie Blye, but it has not the vigor, productiveness, nor size of bloom of New Dawn.

Taking the growth, foliage, flower form, productiveness and fragrance of New Dawn as standard, it would seem that Orange Everglow is the next in desirability. While R. multiflora sorts have their uses, greater values would seem to come from second and later generations of seedlings of hybrids of R. Wichuraiana or R. setigera. As we have an abundance already of ramblers and hardy large-flowered climbers with one period of bloom, and since Birdie Blye and New Dawn have indicated that recurrence is possible in hardy climbers, future breeding should be directed toward forms of recurrent bloom on plants of ancestry of the three hardy wild climbing species.