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GardenSMART :: Marvelous Modern Shrub Roses

Marvelous Modern Shrub Roses

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory
Photographs courtesy of Suntory

What do we miss the most in modern roses on the market? Perfume!

You can now have the beauty and fragrance of a traditional hybrid tea rose in the body of a rugged landscape rose! New Brindabella Roses from Suntory Flowers achieve just that. This collection of tough shrub roses was selected for superior garden performance and show-stopping flowers.

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"We've put fragrance back in roses," says breeder John Gray, a plant pathologist who owns a retail nursery in Australia. "Brindabella Roses have fully formed flowers, lots of petals. They look like a rose, smell like a rose, yet they're on a modern shrub. These roses repeat bloom, producing clusters of flowers every 6-8 weeks without needing to deadhead."

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Low-maintenance and vigorous, Brindabella Roses grow to only four feet tall and wide in two years' time. Well suited to home gardens and commercial landscapes, the foliage is among the cleanest to be found in any shrub rose and the fragrance will stop any passersby in their tracks. They offer excellent resistance to black spot and powdery mildew.

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Colors include Purple Prince, First Lady and Red Empress, which all have the classic traditional damask rose fragrance. The lighter colors – Dawn, Glow and Touch of Pink – have a light, fresh, citrus fragrance. Although they are new to North America and still being trialed in landscapes, Brindabella Roses are expected to be hardy to Zone 5.

Short and Sweet Sunrosa Roses

Suntory Flowers also offers a compact, disease-resistant shrub rose line called Sunrosa.

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Bushy plants reach a height of 15-36 inches and spread of 12-18 inches. Perfect for smaller spaces, border plantings and patio pots, Sunrosa Roses will thrill home gardeners and landscapers with their long flowering period and reduced need for trimming and maintenance.

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Most of the Sunrosa varieties were bred by world-renowned rose breeder Dr. Keith Zary of Jackson & Perkins. The newest color, Yellow Delight, which will debut at retail next year, is a sport of Orange Delight and an improvement to Yellow. The most scented of the group is Fragrant Pink. Don't let Soft Pink fool you – she's a rugged landscape warrior! Sunrosa Red is the standout receiving the most awards in landscape trials all over the country – Colorado, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Georgia.

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Sunrosa Roses are hardy to Zone 5.

For more information about the new rose lines from Suntory Flowers, visit


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Photographs by Pamela Crawford

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