Monday, June 30, 2014

Glowing Amy Robsart

'Amy Robsart'
I was happy this Spring to see the first full bloom I've gotten from R. rubiginosa  hybrid 'Amy Robsart'.  I planted her in the Fall of 2012 and last year she went from a rooted start to about 2 feet tall and had only a few sporadic blooms.  This year, she's gone from 2 feet to about 5 feet tall and she looks to become a massive bush in time.

The blooms of 'Amy Robsart' have completely met my expectations and surpassed them.  The single blooms are larger than the species R. rubiginosa (eglanteria), and they are so bright pink that they glow with an internal light and pop out against the bright foliage.  I was absolutely smitten with the otherwordly contrast of the yellow stamens over the small white center of the flower, with that bright, almost translucent pink all around.  'Amy Robsart' gets mild to moderate blackspot in my garden depending on the time of year.  Her foliage has the same green apple fragrance of the species, but is a bit lighter.

'Amy Robsart' in front of lighter pink  'John Davis'
'Amy Robsart' was bred by Lord Penzance before 1894.  Her parentage is described as Rosa rubiginosa var. camadrae R. Keller X Rosa foetida Herrm.   Peter Beales, in his Roses text, described her as "dull for most of the year but spectacular in full bloom."  I agree.  The bush is very healthy, and already, as a youngster, she has the look of a monster that will sprawl over everything around her.  In my garden she looks to reach her advertised 10' X 8' stature and become a thug.  She is hardy to Zone 4 and had no dieback in my tough winter last year.   'Amy Robsart' does form sporadic hips which turn orange-red in Autumn.   

I've got 'Amy Robsart' planted next to my species R. rubiginosa so that I could directly compare them, and if I were only to grow one, it would be 'Amy Robsart' rather than the species.  She has a fabulous bright flower, and is more garden-worthy, even if the fragrance of the foliage is not quite as strong as the species.    

1 comment:

  1. Amy is, in the words of my long gone grandmother a "Bobby Dazzler". That pink is almost luminous! I have not come across her before, and, in truth, I think she would be too vigorous for my garden, but she is lovely. Wonder why she spent a season sulking before she took off, maybe she was just establishing a good root system?


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