AARS winners for 2009 announced

Allen D. Owings  |  1/17/2009 3:15:53 AM

News You Can Use Distributed 01/16/09

Three new roses representing three classes of roses are the 2009 All-America Rose Selections winners. The three are Pink Promise, a hybrid tea; Cinco de Mayo, a floribunda; and Carefree Spirit, a landscape shrub.

Pink Promise will promise that your garden is a stunning spectacle this year, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings. It is a graceful bloomer with long stems for cutting.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation selected this rose to officially represent a continual blooming promise of compassion and awareness. For every Pink Promise plant purchased, a percentage of the sales will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help extend women's lives through education and early detection.

This hybrid tea’s beauty is enhanced by the contrast of its large pink blossoms set against lush dark green foliage. Along with its stunning appearance, Pink Promise has good disease resistance and flourishes even in cooler climates. A highly fragrant rose, Pink Promise fills any room with a deliciously fruity scent.

Pink Promise was hybridized by Jim Coiner and introduced by Coiner Nursery of Lavern, Calif.

Cinco de Mayo brings fiesta of flowers to every garden. Owings calls it “mysteriously colored and deliriously novel,” adding that it is an “indescribable” blending of smoked-lavender and rusty red-orange.

“This festive rose may be impossible to describe, but you’ll love the endless bounty of multi-colored clusters sitting among clean, glossy green foliage and dark red new growth,” Owings said.

The flowers, which hold well and are fast to repeat, radiate the smell of fresh-cut golden apples. As an AARS winner, this floribunda has fantastic disease resistance and has performed exceptionally well across the country with little-to-no care. It is an offspring of the 2006 AARS award-winning Julia Child rose.

“This variety will enliven any garden, and its clean, round habit is ideal for use as a hedge or in a border with mixed perennials,” Owings said. Cinco de Mayo was hybridized by Tom Carruth and introduced by Weeks Roses of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Recognizing that consumers want roses that are easy to care for, in 2004 AARS stopped spraying fungicides on all shrub roses in its nationwide test gardens. Carefree Spirit is the first and only landscape shrub to date to endure this real-world testing and prevail as a winner.

“This mounding rose produces deep red blossoms with white twinkles in their eyes,” Owings said, adding, “The blooms finish pink as they bask in the sun.”

Carefree Spirit amplifies the disease resistance associated with its Carefree lineage, with more than 10 years of hybridization improvement. Much like its parent rose, Carefree Delight, which was an All-America Rose Selections winner in 1996, the petals are beautifully set among abundant glossy, dark green foliage. Surpassing its parent, it has better disease resistance, habit and blooming power and will perform well in any area of the country.

Carefree Spirit was hybridized by Jacques Mouchotte, director of research at Meilland International, and introduced by Conard-Pyle Co. of West Grove, Penn.

All of these roses were evaluated in 2008 for landscape performance and blackspot susceptibility under Louisiana growing conditions at the ornamental and turfgrass research facility located at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge.

“Cinco de Mayo and Carefree Spirit were very impressive, and Pink Promise shows good potential as a hybrid tea rose for Louisiana,” Owings said. Under a “no-fungicide” spray regimen, these roses more than held their own in the war on blackspot last year.

January through the spring is a great time for rose planting in Louisiana, Owings added.

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Contact: Allen Owings, (985) 543-4125 or aowings@agcenter.lsu.edu
Editor: Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939 or mclaesgens@agcenter.lsu.edu 

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