I have Scott Keneda of Red Dirt Roses to thank for alerting me to the fact that my lust for striped roses was missing a key player; a striped rose that would rebloom consistently, wouldn't get blackspot, and would stand up to colder climates without blinking. That rose is Ralph Moore's 'Moore's Striped Rugosa', a 1987 introduction with the registration name of 'MORbeauty'.
Ralph Moore bred 'Moore's Striped Rugosa' from a complex seed parent named "9 stripe" crossed with 'Rugosa Magnifica'. According to rosarian Paul Barden, the stripes come from 'Ferdinand Pichard' four generations back in the seed parent. It was not released until 2005, when it was introduced by Sequoia Nursery, Moore Miniature Roses Historic Archive, a long time to wait for such an exceptional rose.
'Moore's Striped Rugosa' is slow growing for me, about a foot high in its first full summer, but healthy, with nice dark green Rugosa foliage. It has been an almost continual bloomer since it was just a single stick with leaves, those beautiful uniquely striped and fully double flowers popping up again and again. The petals have a red and white striped upper with an almost completely red reverse; the red itself is slightly to the blue side, much like 'Ferdinand Pichard' in hat regard. Blooms average about 3.5 inches in diameter for me, and have a mild Rugosa-like fragrance. They start out with hybrid-tea form and end up a mildly disheveled cup form, and so far they stand up well to the worst heat of summer. Most references tell me that the bush will grow 4-5 feet in diameter and the mildly rugose foliage tells me that it will be blackspot free here. It certainly has been so far, and it survived winter unprotected and cane-hardy.
The nicest thing about 'Moore's Striped Rugosa' is that it is a welcome change from the strong Rugosa genes of mauve-rose-purplish roses and single or semi-double blooms. I think this one will be quite a show piece when it reaches it's mature size. Does anyone know if it sets hips? Oh, that's probably too much to ask for, isn't it? No rose is perfect.