Monday, November 29, 2010

'Linda Campbell'

One of the first Rugosa hybrids I ever grew, at my old town garden, was the crimson Ralph Moore cultivar 'Linda Campbell' (trademarked 'MORten').  I had just begun my search for hardy roses to survive Kansas and had not yet jumped on top of the Griffith Buck or Canadian Roses, but I had happened across mention of the phenomenal breeder Ralph Moore and his many unique cultivars.  My 'Linda Campbell' came directly from Moore's Sequoia Nursery when it was still in business, and the specimen that I now grow is a sucker from that original purchase.  All on its lonesome out on the prairie, it lights up the entire end of my garden bed in the hottest of summers.   

'Linda Campbell' was introduced by Moore in 1991 and named after a friend.  It's namesake was a two-term President of the Denver Rose Society, ARS Life Judge, and was involved in her husband's rose business (High Country Rosarium, now named High Country Roses and located in Utah).  A cross of the salmon miniature rose 'Anytime' and the pink Van Fleet heirloom 'Rugosa Magnifica', this bright red rose with yellow stamens lacks perceptible scent, for those who care about such things, but it is also a disease-free performer in the Northern garden.  'Linda Campbell' blooms continually with clusters of 8-15 semi-double blooms highlighted against that dark green barely-crinkled foliage, and she is entirely self-cleaning on her own. Fully cane-hardy in my Zone-5 garden, Linda stands about 3-4 foot tall and spreads around to 5-6 feet when left on her own, but she rarely suckers and is nearly thornless.  The picture of the young bush, at the left, hardly does justice to the glory that she is in mature growth.  She has a nice upright habit and never makes a nuisance of herself except to brighten up her area of the garden every time you look.
Ralph Moore, who is known to rosarians as the "Grandfather of the American Miniature Rose," dabbled in breeding various different rose strains for over 50 years.  Sequoia Nursery, which he opened in 1937 as a general nursery, became his center for breeding miniature roses.  His work in miniatures was monumental, but his breeding programs of striped roses and moss roses also form the foundation for much of the work still going on in those areas. Alas, the world lost him in 2009 when he passed at the age of 102 and Sequoia Nursery closed the same year.  I've since seen pictures of Sequoia Nursery as posted on the Internet only a year later and it is sad to see the disrepair that only a year has brought in this former mecca of the rose world.  There are rumors, though, that Moore's breeding stock may have been transferred into safe-keeping and that the tremendous potential of his breeding lines may not yet be lost.  'Linda Campbell' is a testament to his genius and should be grown in every rose lover's garden.


  1. Found your blog this morning in my search for rose bloggers! "Linda Campbell" is a very interesting rose. It is new to me. Good Post.

  2. Thanks for reading, and please read more. As you can see from the nature of many posts, I'm a rose nut....well, at least a hardy rose nut.

  3. I went online shopping for "linda campbell" and "rose" and was overwhelmed with references to a country music singer. Can you provide search tips?

  4. Sorry, I don't know why; when I typed "linda campbell rose" into Google, the whole first page was about the rose including:

    Perhaps if you add "rugosa" or maybe "MORten" to the search function?

  5. Beautiful shade of red! And I like the lush bloom shape, too!

  6. I grew this rose in Colorado Springs and can attest that I never had any die back in the winter and I did nothing to protect it. When I bought it, it was advertised at 5' tall and 8' wide and mine grew to that size in just a few years. It was very, very full and just beautiful! It bloomed continuously all season and must have put out thousands of blooms a year. It is supposed to be nearly thornless but mine was totally filled with thorns from the blooms to the ground. We called it 'the dragon' because of it's thorns. I would love to have another one of these now that I live in Texas.

  7. You sold me on it. I added it to my order of Moore's Striped Rugosa coming next week.

  8. Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after reading
    through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I
    found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!


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