One of my readers commented recently that I should write about a rose bearing her favorite color, that being a "pale ivory pink color" like "Spice' or 'Souvenir St. Anne's." I immediately thought of one particular Griffith Buck rose to bring to her attention, but I was initially afraid it might be a little too pink to meet her desires. After looking at web pictures of 'Spice' and 'Souvenir St. Anne's', however, which are pinker than I anticipated, I think I've got just the rose for her, with the right color and with a moderate nice green-apple fragrance from this rose to sweeten the pot.
That rose, of course, is 'Prairie Star', one of my favorite of the Griffith Buck roses. Introduced in 1975, this classically-formed, fully double (45-60 petals) rose is best described as a light yellow shrub rose with a pink tint. I personally find this rose to be somewhat of a chameleon because in the heat of the summer I would call it ivory-yellow with only a bare hint of pink, as shown in the photo above left, but the blooms formed in the colder spring and fall months tend to have more pink tones as shown in the picture to the right. 'Prairie Star' also has a tendency to ball up for me a bit in colder weather, but this is certainly a non-stop bloomer over a long period of spring through fall. Blooms come from the neatest ball-shaped buds and grow both singly or in clusters. It grows as a somewhat smaller (about 3 foot round) bush in Zone 5B, with dark glossy leaves and brown prickles, and it is fully cane hardy in the coldest of winters here. I wouldn't say that the bush is blackspot-free, but I see only an occasional lesion despite my complete lack of fungicide application, and the bush has never gone into September with any denudation (if I can coin a word) at its legs. A cross of the hybrid tea 'Tickled Pink' and 'Prairie Princess', 'Prairie Star' is a rose that should grow well over most of the continental United States up through Zone 4.
I am not an impartial observer though, because, as I've mentioned elsewhere, the road I live on bears the name "Prairie Star Drive" and was named by myself and my neighbors, so this is a rose I had to obtain and grow if I was to have any credibility as a gardener. Elizabeth, if 'Prairie Star' didn't hit that color point you wanted, I won't give up. 'Comte de Chambord', 'Coquettes des Blanches', 'Great Maiden's Blush', and Canadian rose 'Morden Blush' are waiting in the wings for a feature of their own.