Friday, May 16, 2014

I did not get into Old Roses until 1989 in Denver, but I've loved central Florida's iconic "Pink Cracker Rose" since my college days in the mid 70s when it was a common sight in older Tampa neighborhoods, like Hyde Park, or Seminole Heights where I rented....less than a block from me was a HUGE one trained into a small, mushroom-shaped tree. It rarely stops blooming, is obviously unaffected by root knot nematodes, bugs, or foliar diseases, and thrives in both drought and wet hurricaney summers. My ONLY complaint is its has NEVER set a hybrid hip for me, and just twice has its pollen been accepted...once by 'Graham Thomas' in Denver, and by 'Seagull' last year. And in all these years I've seen it set maybe a dozen open-pollinated hips, and all on the massive hedge of it on Davis Islands by a hotel on Adalia Street. My plant dates to 1999 and has never set hips, so I was stunned to see this today! Over the years I've bought every pink China Rose I could find, and after obsessing all this time my best guess remains 'Burbank', which was the immediate reaction of Joyce Demits when I showed her one some years ago.

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