Photo by Melody

Orange You Lovely? Orange You Beautiful? A look at orange roses

By Jan Recchio (grampapaApril 13, 2008

I never cared for orange flowers. They seemed kind of garish. The color was ok for pumpkins or (ahem) oranges, but NOT for roses. Then I saw some of the gorgeous photographs of orange roses posted on the Rose Forum here at Dave's Garden.

Gardening picture

I am a convert now!  and I mean big time!!  There was a thread[1] started on the Rose Forum about orange roses by my friend Kassia.  Those of you who read my previous article on purple roses[2] will remember Kassia.  I had no idea there were so many wonderful roses in all shades of peach, apricot, melon and orange.  Now that I am in love I want to convert you, too.  Let's have a look at some of the favorite orange roses discussed by our members.


Several of our regular members on the Rose Forum are, fortunately, big fans of orange roses and also fantastic photographers.  The first of these is Kell, an accomplished rosarian and, with humble thank-yous for her contributions, I credit the following photos to her.


'About Face' (Carruth 2005), grandiflora, 4-8', zone 7a- 10b, slight fragrance 


'Brass Brand' (Cristensen, 1995), floribunda, 2-4', zone 6a- 10b, slight fragrance


'Playboy' (Cocker, 1976), floribunda, 3-4', zone 5b-9b, slight fragrance


 'Outrageous' (Zary, 1998), floribunda, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, very fragrant, Jackson & Perkins 2001 Floribunda of the Year


'Charisma' (Jelly, 1977), floribunda, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, slight fragrance


'Chihuly' (Carruth, 2004), floribunda, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, mild tea fragrance, 4" blooms


'Spice So Nice' (Carruth, 2002), climber, 8-12', zone 6a- 10b,  very fragrant


'Vavoom' (Carruth, 2005), floribunda, 2-4', zone 6a- 10b, very fragrant

Another talented photog, Calif_Sue, who grows fabulous roses, regularly contributes her terrific rose pictures to PlantFiles (the huge plant database here at Dave's Garden).  Luckily for us, there are many orange roses included.  The following are credited to her with much gratitude.


'Chris Evert' (Carruth, 1997), hybrid tea, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, slight fragrance


'Halle' (Fryer, 2002), hybrid tea, 2-3', very fragrant, zone 6b- 9b


'Just Joey' (Pawsey, 1972), hybrid tea, 2-4', zone 6a- 10b, very fragrant, sets hips, disease resistant 

 Image  'Gypsy Dancer'  (Dickson, 1994), floribunda, 2-4', zone 6a- 10b, slight fragrance, disease resistant              


'Marmalade Skies'  (Meilland, 1999), floribunda, 2-3', zone 6a- 10b, no fragrance, shade tolerant, aka 'Tangerine Dream'


'Orange Honey' (Moore, 1979), miniature, 15-23", mild fruity fragrance, zone 6b & warmer


'Tuscan Sun' (Zary, 2002), floribunda, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, mild spice fragrance, clusters of 4" blooms


Here are some gorgeous roses from that discussion photographed by various DG members.  With many thanks, the credits are listed with each photo.  The last one in the group is one of Kassia's orange lovelies as she was the one who started the discussion on orange roses.  Her love of her roses comes through in her photos.   You can see by these photos that the same is true of all of these rosarian/photographers.


'Candelabra' (Zary, 1998), grandiflora, 4-6', zone 7a- 10b, slight fragrance, susceptible to blackspot


'Caramella' (Kordes, 2001), shrub, 3-4', very fragrant,


'Westerland' (Kordes, 1969), floribunda, 6-12', zone 5a- 9b, very fragrant, disease resistant,

 photo credit: sweezel photo credit: hortensia photo credit: teatimer


'Honey Perfume' (Zary, 2004), floribunda, 3-4', zone 6a- 10b, slight fragrance

AARS Selection 2004


'Lady Emma Hamilton'  (Austin, 2005), English, 3-4', very fragrant


'Crown Princess Margareta'  (Austin, 2001), English, 4-5', zone 5a- 10b, very fragrant

 photo credit: kniphofiaphoto credit: entered by Paulwhwest; © David Austin Roses[3] photo credit: Kassia


Finally, I will share some oranges from my own garden.  They are planted in the 'sunset' section, between the yellows and the reds.  The opening thumbnail is 'Orange Waves' (Clements , 2005), a shrub rose, lightly fragrant, with a mature height of about 3.5' and hardy to zone 6.  This is my brightest, 'orangest' orange rose.  Here are some others.

 Image Image Image Image
 'Abraham Darby' (Austin, 1985), English, 5', strong fruity fragrance, susceptible to rust, hardy to zone 4 'Baby Darling' (Moore, 1964), miniature, up to 12", very fragrant, zones 6b- 9b

 'Day Breaker' (Fryer, 2003), floribunda, 3-5', strong tea fragrance, zones 6b-9b                                          2004 AARS Winner

 'Gee Whiz' (Buck, 1984), shrub, 3', sweet fragrance (listed as yellow blend, but looks very orange), zone 4b & warmer
 Image Image Image Image
 'Lion's Fairy Tale' (Kordes, 2002), floribunda, 2', mild sweet fragrance, very disease resistant, zones 6b- 9b 'Millie Walters' (Moore, 1983), miniature, 12", mild fragrance, zone 6 'Oranges 'n' Lemons'  (McGredy, 1996), shrub, 30", striped, hardy to zone 4, very disease resistant 'What a Peach' (Warner, 2000), mini climber or tall shrub, 4-6', strong fruity fragrance, hardy to zone 4


Here is a climber I don't have...yet.  It is one that particularly struck me from a thread[4] started by JeanneTX.  As soon as I find a spot for it, it is MINE!  (Oh! not Jeanne's, I'm buying my own.) This beautiful rose is 'Polka' (Meilland 1991), a large-flowered climber with an old rose fragrance.  It will grow to 12', is very disease resistant and is hardy in zones 5b-9b.  Just what I look for in a rose.  Besides, it looks like scoops of orange sherbet.  These 3 photos are Jeanne's with her kind permission.

Image  Image Image

ImageImageI will close with the 'Disneyland Rose' (Zary/Walden, 2004).  Nearly as popular as it's namesake, it is a floribunda that will grow to almost 5' and be in almost perpetual bloom in ideal circumstances.  It is somewhat disease resistant, hardy in zones 6b-9b and has little to no fragrance.  The vibrant color is what draws gardeners to this rose.  And that's what all of the orange roses are about ... color with a capital O!






[1] Part 1 of the Orange Roses thread

[1] Part 2 of the Orange Roses 2 thread

[2] The author's previous article on purple roses, "Purple Roses Majesty" .  If you scroll to the bottom of any of the articles you can click on the "Read more articles written by ...".  There are pink and red roses as well as others you might enjoy.

[3] David Austin Roses web site

[4] JeanneTX's thread 'My first bloom on Polka'

  About Jan Recchio  
Jan RecchioI'm a 'dabble' gardener. Been gardening since I was a child. I will plant anything that will grow for me and some things that won't, indoors or out. Outdoors I have theme gardens: roses, butterfly/hummingbird, heathers/dwarf conifers, a rock garden (in progress) and a new English-style cottage garden with an herb garden at it's 'heart'. Indoors I try to concentrate on orchids, African violets, anything that will flower or has lots of color and unusual houseplants. I try to stay organic and keep chemicals to a bare minimum. My non-gardening interests include quilting, counted cross-stitch and watercolor painting. I am a proud grandma, recently celebrated my 40th anniversary and before my retirement I was a clinical systems analyst (computer geek) for 24 years.

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