Friday, February 12, 2010

Flowers on Friday: Earth-Kind Roses

The "Earth-Kind" designation was developed by Texas A & M University, following a grueling trial to find varieties of roses that would survive under extreme conditions of neglect.  Their web site says, "Earth-Kind is a special designation given to select rose cultivars by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Earth-Kind landscaping program. It is based on the results of extensive research and field trials and is awarded only to those roses demonstrating superior pest tolerance, combined with outstanding landscape performance."

The trials began with 117 rose varieties being tested.  The roses were planted in alkaline soil, watered when necessary during the first year only, never fertilized or sprayed, and only pruned to remove dead wood.  The survivors of that trial were the first Earth-Kind roses.  It is important to note, especially here in the hot, humid South, that these roses were not evaluated for their resistance to blackspot.

There are currently 25 roses that have received the Earth-Kind designation, with more under evaluation, and I grow 13 of them.  None of the Earth-Kind roses are Hybrid Tea roses.  Most are Chinas and Polyanthas ... some of which are my favorites, and many are the most blooming-est roses in my garden.

Caldwell Pink
A found Polyantha rose that may be Pink Pet.

Carefree Beauty
Shrub rose, hybridized by Dr. Griffith Buck in 1977.

Else Poulsen
Floribunda, 1924

Marie Daly
Polyantha, color sport of Marie Pavie.

Here's Marie Pavie for comparison.

China rose, bef. 1894.

Duchesse de Brabant
Tea rose, 1857.

China rose, 1869.

Cecile Brunner
Polyantha, 1881.

Madame Antoine Mari
Tea rose, 1901

Reve d'Or
Tea Noisette, 1869.

New Dawn
Large Flowered Climber, 1930.

La Marne
Polyantha, 1915

I also grow Climbing Pinkie, but I can't find a photo of it.  The Earth-Kind roses that I don't grow (yet) are Belinda's Dream, Perle d'Or, Sea Foam, The Fairy, Spice, Georgetown Tea, Souvenir de St. Anne's, and Knock Out.

If you want to know more about Earth-Kind Roses, visit the Texas A & M Aggie Horticulture web site HERE.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. These are beautiful roses you have featured today....I should check out that website, as roses are very hard for me to grow.

  2. Beautiful photos. Isn't Perle d'Or on the list of earth friendly? I must admit, I did not follow the link.
    Also, doesn't earth friendly refer only to Texas, and not other parts of the US? I always get confused about this.

  3. Just gorgeous! Love that arch!

  4. I wish I had space to add all of those to my garden. I love the pink roses, especially the ones with so many petals. Can't wait to see roses blooming outside again!

  5. Darla, roses really aren't that hard to grow if you keep them watered and try to prevent disease. I don't worry about insects, so that skips a major step in their care.

    Gaudy, yes, Perle d'Or is on the list. I will definitely be adding it to my garden this coming year. The roses were tested in Texas under brutal conditions. The part of the experiment that doesn't translate well to our area is that they weren't evaluated for blackspot. Even Knock Out blackspots here. With this caveat in mind, Earth-Kind roses perform fairly well in around here.

    Deb, that arch belongs to one of my garden friends. My Reve d'Or is too small to photograph yet, but I have hopes that it will climb the side of my house within a few years.

  6. I'm simply drooling over the lucious roses in the photos. If I were starting from scratch, I'd grow nothing but heirloom roses. I'm currently seeking a rose that will grow in partial shade, preferably an old rose variety. I'm heading over to your website to gaze at more of one of the things I love most in roses.

    Thank you for stopping by the Cottage on the Corner and leaving a comment.

  7. I love it when I read a post that is both entertaining and educational.

    This post was fun to read nd I learned something new. How can you beat that?

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Kentucky Colonel mint has such a majestic sounding name. I'll have to find out more about it.

    (How funny, my verification word is "roses")

  8. Beautiful roses. I have Caldwell Pink, Marie Pavie, and Duchesse de Brabant, and see a lot of other roses on my wish list.

  9. Great pictures especially when we are knee deep- literally - in snow. My hubby and I have started propagating roses here for our own use to get winter hardy ones with their own roots. We have become very fond of the Canadian Explorers and Buck roses.

  10. they are all so beautiful. I don't have much luck with roses here...but have always wanted one to grow on a trellis like you shared today!
    thanks for joining us!!!

  11. Hi, I am from Texas and received a Climbing Pinkie for Mother's Day last year. It got spots in November that I ignored. Now it is April and it looks great! You can see at the 4-10-2010 post on
    Thanks for sharing.


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