Richard Bogren | 2/9/2017 9:36:12 PM
(02/09/17) HAMMOND, La. – The Gulf District of the American Rose Society has named Mrs. B.R. Cant as the 2017 Gulf District Rose of the Year.
The award came because rose growers and enthusiasts surveyed in Louisiana and Mississippi have been impressed with the great landscape performance of Mrs. B.R. Cant, said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings.
If you desire an older rose that doesn’t need much care, then Mrs. B.R. Cant is a possibility for you, Owings said.
A tea rose that dates to 1901, Mrs. B.R. Cant is named after the wife of famous English rose breeder and nurseryman Benjamin R. Cant.
Flowers are cabbage-like pink with a silvery tinge and have a strong tea fragrance. Foliage is medium green. Mrs. B.R. Cant has good resistance to blackspot and other diseases that plague modern hybrid tea-like roses.
This variety will be 8-10 feet tall in the landscape. “You see this plant in many old home sites around the state,” Owings said. “It makes a great cut flower.”
To get the best blooms, Mrs. B.R. Cant can be lightly groomed in late winter and late summer. Major pruning is not needed, nor recommended, he said.
“This low-maintenance rose does not want to be pampered. Water it occasionally during dry weather the first year or two after planting,” Owings said. “Once it is established, this rose, as with most tough landscape roses and old tea roses, rarely requires supplemental irrigation.”
Tea roses like Mrs. B.R. Cant are hybrid roses, but they are not hybrid tea roses, Owings said.
This rose category was created from a Chinese rose having a tea-like scent. Tea roses originated in China and are large plants growing over 40 feet tall on the forested mountain slopes of Myanmar and Southwest China, where it receives abundant summer monsoonal rains and plentiful sun.
As a class, these roses are particularly well-suited to the southern United States, Owings said. “They are able to tolerate our heat and humidity, while retaining most of their foliage.”
They tend to be large, upright-growing plants that are often narrower at the base, and some grow as large climbing roses. The expanding flower buds have a classic, slender, pointed, cup shape, opening to give double to semi-double blooms, often with longer, higher petals in the center.
The pastel shades of the blooms are the essence of an old-fashioned rose garden. They range from pale yellows to blush pinks and carmine red, often with one shade suffused with another. They also have a light, sweet fragrance.
Prior winners of the Gulf District Rose of the Year include Belinda’s Dream in 2015 and Cinco de Mayo in 2016. These varieties along with Mrs. B.R. Cant are available from a wide range of local garden centers and mail order nurseries.
“Mrs. B.R. Cant is worthy of being added to your rose plantings in 2017,” Owings said.
Mrs. B.R. Cant Named 2017 Gulf District Rose of the Year. Photo by Marilyn Wellan, Central Louisiana Rose Society