Friday, August 1, 2014

Pretty Prairie Lass

One of last year's additions to my garden was this pretty pink-toned shrub rose named 'Prairie Lass'.  I have two bushes of this rarely grown Griffith Buck rose and I've been waiting for them to get tall enough and old enough for me to form some opinion.

'Prairie Lass' is a 1978 introduction that I obtained from Heirloom Roses in 2013.  This double (25-30 petals) rose blooms in clusters that open bright pink with darker stipples and then fade to very light pink.  Flowers open fully to form a flat to slightly cupped final form and they stay on the bush a long time as they age. 'Prairie Lass' doesn't seem to be a continuous bloomer, but rather reblooms in moderately profuse flushes over the summer.  The picture at the left, taken July 27th, is the third full bloom of this summer and it is nearly as full as the first on these two young bushes.  There are other times these bushes have been without a single bloom.  The individual blooms are small, about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter here.

I would rate the fragrance of 'Prairie Lass' as slight to moderate.  The bush is quite healthy, with no yellowing or leaf drop from fungus now in the fourth month of warm weather.  I found 'Prairie Lass' to have few thorns.  Internet sources say that it may reach 5 feet tall in time.  Unlike many of my roses, there was no dieback at all of 'Prairie Lass' last year in our harsh winter.

So, should you grow 'Prairie Lass'?   It seems to be a nice rose and bush and is healthy enough to keep a place for it in a collection of Buck roses.  But I don't think it is a rose that will ever make a garden visitor gasp in surprise.  Nor will anyone likely become ecstatic over the fragrance or the individual blooms of this rose.  In the end, my recommendation would be to seek it out if you're a Buck rose nut (like me), but otherwise don't put extra time into a search for this rose.   And, as Mrs. ProfessorRoush would point out, it is just one more pink rose among thousands.

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