Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Glowing Fire

I'm sure that we all could cite an example of a great idea that was ultimately poorly executed.   In my opinion,  'Morden Fireglow', a Parkland Series Ag Canada shrub, is one of those great ideas that needed a little more refinement before it was rolled out to Main Street.

I've grown two 'Morden Fireglow' roses, one at the old house and one here on the prairie, and I really can't say enough about that eye-dazzling color (officially he is "scarlet red"), but the unique bloom color is where my enthusiasm for this rose ends.  Everyone who sees it wants to grow it because those bright, orange-red, loosely double blooms really stand out against the bright green foliage.  Neither bush that I've grown, however, is anywhere near what I'd call a vigorous rose.  It lives, and it doesn't have any appreciable dieback in cold winters, but it also has never grown over 2.5 feet tall or wide in my gardens. 'Morden Fireglow' starts out the season okay, but then seems to either suffer from heat or fungus or both.  It struggles. and then fades away in the late summer.  This is a rose that I have to occasionally spray for blackspot just to help it keep a few of those semiglossy leaves into Fall.   

'Morden Fireglow' was bred by Henry Marshall in 1976 and introduced in Canada in 1989.  It was a complex cross of [{(*Rosa arkansana x Assiniboine* x White Bouquet) x Prairie Princess} x Morden Amorette] x 'Morden Cardinette' according to Internet records.  He bears his small (3" diameter) blooms in clusters and blooms have a cupped, open, and loosely arranged form.  There is no fragrance that I can detect. I see three to four flushes over a season, with some periods of no bloom at all in between, and I wouldn't say 'Morden Fireglow' is an overly floriferous rose.  I agree with one Internet writer that listed 'Morden Fireglow' as the worst of a group of around 12 Canadian and Rugosa roses in their garden in terms of floriferousness.  The same source also stated, "Morden Fireglow is sort of weird in that the center petals don't ever seem to unfurl, while the outer petals do."  I think you can see what that individual is talking about in both pictures here on this blog entry.  Several references suggest that 'Morden Fireglow' has large hips in the Fall, but I don't deadhead my bush and I've never seen any on my bushes after growing it for 15 years.

If you can't live without adding this bloom color in your garden (and the pictures here are pretty representative of the actual color in my garden), then by all means go ahead and grow the thing.  Be advised, however, that 'Morden Fireglow' will take a bit of coddling and that, because of its low height, you'll need to put it in the front of a border for it to put on a display.


2 comments:

  1. I have one and since I started planting garlic around it not one bit of blackspot...and if any rose will have black spot Fireglow is the one!

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