American Garden Rose Selections announce debut winners

Thomas Affleck from the Antique Rose Emporium Is a Debut Winner In the Agrs Program

Thomas Affleck from the Antique Rose Emporium is a debut winner in the American Garden Rose Selections program. Photo by Allen Owings

(02/29/16) HAMMOND, La. – The American Garden Rose Selections program has named it first winners in 2016 – Looks-A-Likes Phloxy Baby, Thomas Affleck and Dee-Lish, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings.

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden in Baton Rouge is one of 12 official trial locations across the country for AGRS evaluations. Owings and LSU AgCenter horticulture research associate Wanda Ellis are garden judges in Louisiana.

For many decades, the All-America Rose Selection trial was the national rose trial in the United States, Owings said. “The AARS brand had been around for decades, but the last winner was named in 2014,” he said. “Many rose leaders across the United States had been discussing a way to replace AARS or develop a new system for evaluating roses.”

Those discussions led to the development of AGRS trials, which are intended to recognize roses that are easy-care, disease-resistant and suitable for different regions of the country.

“Roses can be entered in all the trial gardens, but if a rose is outstanding in one region of the country, it will be noted as being a great rose for that region,” Owings said.

“That takes the pressure off a rose having to succeed in every climate in our vast country,” he said. “If a rose did well in all regions, so much the better.”

One of the mottos of the program is “bringing you great roses you can grow where you live!”

A regional winner for 2016, Looks-A-Likes Phloxy Baby is a polyantha hybrid from the hybridizer of the Knock Out rose. It was a winner in Southeast, Southwest, Northwest and North Central AGRS regions.

“Even though Louisiana is not considered in the Southeast region of these trials, this variety performed very well during the trial period in south Louisiana,” Owings said.

Phloxy Baby displays extremely good disease resistance and is more upright than most polyanthas, Owings said. It would be perfect for use as a hedge.

Phloxy Baby produces more than 50 small medium-pink, cup-like blooms per stem and attracts bees. Plants reach heights of 4-5 feet in the landscape. It is available from Conard-Pyle/Star Roses and Plants.

Another regional winner, Thomas Affleck is a striking “pioneer” rose bred by Mike Shoup at the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, Texas. It’s named in honor of a notable 18th century nurseryman who had a nearby nursery, Owings said.

Thomas Affleck was a winner in the Northwest, Northeast and South Central, which includes Louisiana and Texas, regions.

The intensely cerise pink, semi-double blooms make a bold statement in the garden, Owings said. It is a wonderful specimen for a mixed planting or large container and is useful near a walkway where its fragrance and thornless nature can be appreciated. Plants reach heights of 3-5 feet.

Dee-Lish is an AGRS fragrance winner for 2016. The variety is a tall-growing hybrid tea rose with an old-fashioned flower and a very strong fragrance of verbena and citrus, Owings said.

“It is good for the middle to the back of mixed borders,” he said.

Dee-Lish has a large, deep-pink, non-fading bloom and makes an excellent cut flower. The blooms have an average of 35-40 petals. Plants grow to 6 feet tall. This is another introduction from Conard-Pyle/Star Roses and Plants.

“It is great to have new roses regionally recommended,” Owings said. “Begin looking for these varieties. Spring is a great time to add new roses to your landscape.”

More information on this new rose program is available on the AGRS website at

2/29/2016 7:43:16 PM
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