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Home > Products > Rose Page > Shrub Roses

  Shrub and Groundcover Roses
Ralph's Creeper planted in San Marcos Growers garden.
Rosa 'Ballerina'Hybrid Musk (1937)
With single, pink-and-white blossoms the flowers on this rose could almost be mistaken for those of an apple tree. Classified a hybrid musk 'Ballerina' was introduced by J.A. Bentall in 1937 and is of unknown parentage. The team of Ann and John Bentall who tutored under Joseph Pemberton were by now quite well regarded having already introduced 'Buff Beauty' and 'The Fairy' and much of there work revolved around the Pemberton Hybrid Musks. 'Ballerina' forms a 5 to 6 ft. tall shrub with arching canes covered with rich light green leaves and a continuous prolific display of small single blossoms in domed clusters. The lightly fragrant blush flowers, white in the center and deepening to pink at the edges, are followed by tiny orange-red hips. An excellent plant for a container planting, border or hedge where their long trusses of blooms can be appreciated. Blooms well in bright indirect light. Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Hardy to zones 4-9. This listing for information only - we no longer grow this plant.

Rosa californica
Rosa californica, the California Wild Rose, is an attractive native California shrub that can eventually form large spiney thickets from suckering roots. It has compound dark green leaves (to 7 leaflets) and beautiful 1 1/2 wide fragrant bright pink flowers that open from long pointed buds. Flowering commences here in late April and continues on through mid summer. In the cooler bay area blooming can begin as late as June. Flowering is followed by bright red hips to 1/2 inch in diameter. In fall there are often both flowers and hips on display. Although native to cool shaded canyons this plant thrives and blooms better in full sun when given adequate water. Can be also very useful in dry light shade where it requires little to no suplemental irrigation. R. californica seems immune to mildew and rust, diseases that plague culitvated roses. Hardy to USDA zones 5-10. This is a variable species of rose that grows in the Western United States; our plants were selected for flower color and fragrance from wild stands in the Santa Barbara foothills where it is found in association with poison oak and coast live oak.

Rosa 'Happenstance' - Yellow dwarf sport of R. . Mermaid. (1950?)
This rose, also known as 'Baby Mermaid' is a bit of a mystery and its origins are argued about by some. The 1997 Combined Rose List by Beverly Dobson and Peter Schneider lists it as a hybrid bracteata by virtue of it being a root sport of 'Mermaid' and credits the plant as being introduced by Buss in the 1950's. Since this time it has proven itself in gardens throughout California. The attractive small leaves foil the large canary-yellow flowers that can be found in abundance from spring through fall with seemly some flowers year-round in Santa Barbara's frost free climate. It can grow as a tall and blocky shrub to 6 feet tall or with judicial pruning kept to a mounding 3 foot shrub. Hardy to zones 5-9.

Rosa 'Iceberg' - White cluster flower floribunda (1958)
'Iceberg', also known as 'Fée des Neiges', is a repeat rebloming floribunda was bred by Kordes in Germany and is the result of a cross between a 'Robin Hood', a Pemberton bred hybrid musk (1927) and 'Virgo' a large flowered hybrid tea rose(1947). Its ever present double white flowers, often with a flush of pink in spring and fall, are lightly fragrant. The flowers are medium sized in large clusters and open wide then fall cleanly from the plant. The plant itself is makes a strong trouble free shrub that is bushy and well branched with smooth slender stems and glossy rich green foliage. 'Iceberg' can build up to 6-7 feet tall or be lightly pruned to maintain a 4 foot height. This rose has won many awards including the National Rose Society Gold Medal in 1958, the Baden-Baden Gold Medal in 1958, the ADR Anerkannte Deutsche Rose (Germany) in 1960, the World's Favorite Rose in 1983 and the Royal Horticulture Society Award of Garden Merit. Zones 4-9.

David Austin in his book Shrub Roses and Climbing Roses says of this rose: "This is probably the best rose to come out of the Floribunda class."

Rosa 'Mutabilis' [R. chinensis 'Mutabilis'] - Butterfly Rose (pre-1894)
One of our most interesting and popular roses. Although the true origins of this plant have been lost it was originally sold under the fitting name of 'Tipo Ideale'. This rose made its horticultural debut in 1934 when the Swiss botanist Henri Correan introduced it, having obtained it from the Italian Prince Ghilberto Borromeo. It is unknown whether the plant originated in China or was a hybrid created in the prince's garden in Isola Bella. 'Mutabilis' beautifully exhibits the characteristic China rose trait of the flowers darkening with age, instead of fading. In 'Mutabilis', the tight orange buds open to reveal single petaled flowers that are soft yellow on the inside and orange on the reverse. As the flowers age they first darken first to orange then to pink and finally to a coppery rose red. All of these colors will be on display on the plant which to some looks like a group of butterflies nestled on the plant and hence the common name Butterfly Rose. A well branching shrub with attractive bronzy new growth that can reach 6 feet or more and is in flower for in Santa Barbara 12 months of the year. Plant in a sheltered location. Our large shrub along the side of our main office gets only half day sun and is a delight to those visiting the nursery at any time of year. Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Hardy to zones 5-10.

David Austin in his book Shrub Roses and Climbing Roses says of this rose: "Given a warm shelterd position near a wall [Rosa 'Mutabilis'] will form an 8 ft. shrub which will probably flower as constantly as any other rose. In a more exposed position it is often quite small and frail in appearance."

Rosa 'Nearly Wild' - Pink Floribunda (1941)
This modern cluster-flowering Floribunda Rose was introduced by Dr. Walter D. Brownell in 1941 by crossing the large flowered wichuraiana climber, 'Dr. W. Van Fleet' (1910) with 'Leuchtstern' a climbing Polyantha (1899). 'Nearly Wild' has reemerged from an obscurity that found the few remaining plants only in old rose gardens. Looking like a compact wild rose that grows to 2 feet and as wide wide with dull dark green foliage with red highlights and small pointed buds that open to mildly fragrant rose-pink single flowers. Unlike a wild rose this plant is disease resistant and repeats flowering from spring into fall. A very nice rose for a natural look or along a border or entry garden. Hardy to zones 4-10. This listing for information only - we no longer grow this plant.

Rosa Ralph's Creeper ™ ('Morpapplay' PP # 6548) - Red Blend Shrub Rose (1987)
This repeat-flowering ground cover rose is a great choice for containers, garden banks and as a large scale groundcover as it grows to only 1 to 2 feet high by 3 to 5 feet wide. The plant has small healthy dark green foliage and bears sprays of up to 15 semi-double flowers that are deep orange-red with a yellow center and have a moderately strong apple blossom fragrance. This modern hybrid was created by Ralph Moore, the legendary California miniature rose hybridizer, by crossing 'Papoose', a Climbing Miniature (1955) with 'Playboy', a Cluster-flowered Floribunda (1976). 'Ralph's Creeper' is a durable rose that tolerates shade and occasional hard pruning - we've heard of people that use a lawnmower top keep it low! A mass planting of this rose can be seen along Hollister Ave. in front of the vegetable stand on the south side of our nursery. Hardy to zones 4-9.

Rosa 'Sea Foam' - White shrub/groundcover rose (1963)
A beautiful double white reblooming groundcover rose that makes a dense spreading shrub with small, very glossy leaves that provide a perfect foil for the flowers, much like a foam on the edge of a ocean wave. 'Sea Foam' was bred by E. W. Schwartz and introduced by Conrad-Pyle (Star Roses). The parentage of this rose is unusual as it involves the crossing of two hybrids that themselves were the result of crossing the same two roses; White Dawn® x Pinocchio x White Dawn® x Pinocchio crossed with White Dawn® x Pinocchio. Not to be confused with another rose by the same name that is a seedling of 'Mermaid'. The is a specimen planting of this spilling onto our Yarrow lawn next to the nurseries main office. Winner of the Rome Gold Medal in 1963 and the American Rose Society David Fuerstenberg Prize in 1968. Hardy to zones 5-11.

Rosa 'The Fairy' - Pink polyantha (1932)
Although starting a bit later then most roses, 'The Fairy' makes up for this by blooming solidly for weeks on end. This rose becomes a dainty shrub with growth that is fan like to 2 feet tall by 3 feet or more wide with small, bright green shiny leaves that display well the clustered sprays of delicate polyantha pink, very double flowers that blush to white in full sun. A result of the crossing of the Wichuraiana Rambler 'Lady Gay' (1905) and the polyantha 'Paul Crampel' (sport of 'Suberb' -1930) in 1932 this is one of the John and Anne Bentall's most popular creations (See also R. 'Buff Beauty' and R. 'Ballerina'. An excellent choice for the border, massed or allowed to gracefully cascade over the edge of flowerbeds. This is treasured for its endless floral display and versatility. A great container rose or even in a shaded garden whose one. It has been said that 'TheFairy' has but one failing, its lack of fragrance. There is a nice planting at our nursery of 'The Fairy' in dappled light behind our accounting office. Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Hardy to zones 4-9

David Austin in his book Shrub Roses and Climbing Roses says of this rose: "The flowers are ...borne in great quantities in broad, flat sprays. Flowering starts very late but continues throughout the summer almost without a break, proving colour when many other roses have passed their peak."

Peter Beales says in Classic Roses "After a spell of obscurity, this rose is currently enjoying a new lease of life, and deservedly so... it is procumbent enough to be used for a partial groundcover as well as for group planting and patio work."

Rosa 'Winifred Coulter' Red Blend Floribunda (1962)
This floribunda rose attracts attention with its very double (23 petals) flowers that are a dazzling, almost florescent pink, rose stained purple around the edges and accented silvery-white on the backside. Not only a sight for the eyes, this rose also emits a wonderful fragrance. A vigorous and bushy plant that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall with attractive glossy foliage. The result of a cross by Kemble in 1962 of the Floribunda rose 'Baby Chateau'(1936) with 'Contrast', a Large Flowered Hybrid Tea (1937). Winner of the American Rose Society Fuerstenberg Prize in 1968. This listing for information only - we no longer grow this plant.