Monday, June 6, 2022

President's Message - June 2022

Dear Gainesville Rosarians,

Greetings from cooler southwest Virginia! All around us, the multiflora roses (R. multiflora) are putting on a show. Along the roads, field edges, and up in the trees are great festoons of their white blossoms with a yellow center formed by many pollen-ladened stamens. Their early summer beauty has a dark side, however. Multiflora rose is a highly adaptable and highly invasive species rose from Asia. It was introduced as a garden plant possible as early as the 18th century, then promoted as a living fence and food and habitat for wildlife. It then invaded disturbed and natural areas, spreading from the root stock, tip layering, and prodigious seed production.

We can thank R. multiflora for its contribution to roses still grown today; R. multiflora platyrhinid (Seven Sisters), and hybrids ramblers such as Veilchenblau, Tausendschon, and Crimson Rambler from Japan. It also contributed to the development of Dwarf Polyantha, and Hybrid Polyantha roses including the beloved Mlle. Cecil Brunner, and then the many Floribundas, and finally Hybrid Teas. A complex breeding program starting with R. multiflora has shown promise for introducing blackspot disease resistance.

The above information was gleaned from the just published Rose Atlas, World of Roses, by Dr. Tommy Cairns and Luis Desamero, published by the Beverly Hills Rose Society of California. Details for getting a copy by making a donation to The American Rose Society are in American Rose magazine. Information also came from Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont by Timothy P. Spira.

Our ice cream social is at 2 pm, Sunday, June 12 at First Christian Church. Check with Mary Menoski, menoski@, about what to bring. Our new president, Ralph Stream, will be installed. Jean Giesel is the new vice-president, Dan Mills, Treasurer, and Susan Cooperman, secretary with backup when needed.

Jean Giesel, President

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