August 1998
Plant of the Month

Hardy Shrub Roses
Nearly Wild and Chuckles

Nearly Wild Rose, (Dr. W. Van Fleet x Leuchstern) introduced by Browneli in 1941. One of the most colorful, attractive plants in the landscape today are the ever-blooming, fragrant, single deep rose pink flowers. Height is 2 feet, width 3 feet. This plant does not require cover in the winter, but has died back to the crown on occasion and comes back rapidly to a nice full plant. Nearly Wild Rose grows best in full sun with well drained soil.

The Nearly Wild Rose was brought to Minnesota by Richard E. Cross some 30 years ago and planted into our nurseries, we noticed how well they held up through our -30 degree Fahrenheit winter temperatures and how consistently the blossomed, this was a real change for the old thorny tall Rugosa roses that were planted in many of the landscapes. Now we have a hardy shrub rose that re-blooms throughout the entire summer, a plant that doesn't require a lot of pruning, a lot of spraying for either insect or for leaf diseases, it occasionally will get some mildew, but can be controlled with a fungicide easily.

The Nearly Wild Rose is used in planting all throughout the upper half of the United States and Canada.

Chuckles Rose, (Jean Lafitte, New Dawn x Orange Triumph) introduced by Bosley in 1958 by a Mr. Shepard. The Chuckles Rose was brought into the upper mid-west by Don Cross in 1983. Clusters of rich red flowers on rich green foliage make this plant stand out in the landscape and its winter hardiness has proven this plant to be one of the favorites of the homeowners today. This plant blooms a rose red from June til frost. It was a snowy December day and I was touring through the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plains MA. With Peter Del Tredici the propagator and I noticed this dormant shrub rose, thinking it was Nearly Wild I asked Peter what color rose have we here and he replied red, a bright rose red, I was flying home in a couple of hours, so I asked if I could take some cutting wood and I come home with four canes about one foot long. The next day I planted these hardwood canes into the greenhouse sand and we ended up with one or two rooted cuttings from these plants and today thousands of Chuckles Roses are sold in the upper mid-west. This hardy shrub rose will withstand -30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures with some die back, but again it can die back to the crown. A vigorous grower, similar to the Nearly Wild Rose in size, but has greater disease resistance. Continual summer color with not a lot of maintenance

By Don Cross, Cross Nurseries


Back to Plant of the Month Archive

Return to MNLA Home Page