Yellow Roses

...the late bloomer (historically) in the Rose family.

Yellow roses are cheery and bright. Even the softest, palest yellow can brighten up the garden.

The color yellow has always been used to represent the sun. In the East, yellow represents wisdom, joy and power.

Just A Little Rose History...

In Europe, however, at the time yellow roses were introduced, this color was associated with jealousy and a dying love. As time passed, yellow became better known as a symbol of joy and friendship.

Sending yellow roses can send a message of appreciation and love… without the romantic overtones associated with red, orange and pink. Yellow roses will never fail to bring a smile to the recipient's face, as they can lift the spirits and brighten the day.

During the 1800's, a wild yellow rose was found growing in the Middle East. At the same time, this was an era of great innovation in hybridizing techniques for roses. It wasn't long before yellow roses began making their appearance in rose shows and eventually in gardens all over the world.

Yellow roses were not discovered until the mid-eighteenth century, even though other roses had been with us for millions of years.

The ancient roses were all found in the northern hemisphere and were essentially pink, although different shades of pink were found on different continents. White was also present and the species from the orient had the ability to repeat bloom, unlike those found in Europe.

It wasn't until the mid eighteenth century that wild yellow species were discovered growing from South East Asia through to Afghanistan. These roses had the full scale of yellows: from pale to dark.

Yellow Rose Blooms

There are three yellow species roses that form the parents for the modern yellow hybrids.

Rosa Ecae is a native of Afghanistan and has small blooms that look more like buttercups.

Rosa Foetida is a large bush to eight feet or mare and displays true yellow blooms.

Rosa Hemisphaerica (the Sulphur rose) is from South East Asia and carries double blooms of pure yellow. (The peculiar fragrance is that of sulphur!)

It was the well traveled Dutch and French who practiced hybridizing, who started the ball rolling. This was true of all species. In the 18th century we had about two dozen rose species but by the beginning of the 19th century there were more than 1 000 varieties of roses, although most were still in shades of pink, red or white.

True golden yellow was still quite rare, and what there was, tended to fade quickly to pale yellow and white.

Joseph Pernet-Ducher, in France, added Rosa foetida persiana to the breeding program and after many attempts produced "Soleil dÓr" which became the fore-runner to many of our yellow blends and bi-colors. The "Peace" rose is one of these.

The first golden yellow hybrid Tea was "Rayon dÓr" introduced n 1910, but it was weak and very prone to blackspot, something many of the early yellows suffered from. Many of these early products did not smell very good so they were not the popular color with the Victorians that they are today. "Rayon dÓr, by the way, did receive the National Rose Society of Great Britain's Gold Medal.

So What Do We Suggest?

Today we have a large array of yellow roses to chose from and they have had disease resistance and vigor bred into them. Fragrance has improved and the range of shades of yellow is vast, you only have to walk around your local rose grower or garden center to see the selection.

You can find yellow roses in shades ranging from the palest primrose or butter colors to a sunny color to a vibrant chrome yellow that almost seems to glow.

With all of these colors of yellow to choose from, you're sure to find one that speaks to you of sunshine and happiness.

Peace – Probably the most famous yellow rose of all, this variety is available as a hybrid tea and as a climbing rose. The blossoms are extremely large and pale yellow, complemented with a blush of pink. A vigorous grower, Peace requires only basic care to thrive. It was introduced to America after World War II, where it became an immediate success in gardens all over the country.

Sarah Juanita – this medium yellow, moderately fragrant shrub rose blooms repeatedly throughout the season. The buds begin as a rich yellow tight roll, which opens to an almost flat blossom with 10 or more petals and dark yellow stamens. As the bloom ages, it looks attractively windblown and the color fades to a pale yellow.

Radiant Perfume – This deep yellow hybrid tea rose has an intense fragrance. The blossoms do not fade as they age and it makes a wonderful cut flower. The plant is a bit spindly, so it is best suited for the back of the garden where the yellow blooms will tower over shorter plants in the foreground.

Yellow Ribbons – This is a ground-cover rose that grows so thickly that weeds do not penetrate the foliage. The mound formed by this plant is entirely covered by bright, butter yellow blossoms. Easy to care for, this rose is perfect beneath taller roses or other garden plants.

Golden Zest – This rose has a perfect English rose form to the blossoms. They are fully cupped and quartered with a light apricot-yellow color and the scent of lemons. The buds begin as tightly furled points. The dark green foliage makes a perfect background for these sunny roses. Golden Zest has a strong fragrance and grows to a height of four and a half feet.

Yellow roses are are recent addition, compared to pinks, whites and reds but such roses as Benita, Golden Showers or Sun Sprinkles have a permanent spot in my garden 

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