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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Rose Claire Marshall: New from Harkness Roses

Posted by Graham Rice on 24 Jun 2010 at 05:13 PM

Rose,Claire Marshall,Harunite,Harkness. Image: ©Harkness Roses.New roses appear every year and at the forthcoming Hampton Court Palace Flower Show there will be a flood of newcomers. But one of the most interesting of this year’s new introductions was launched at Chelsea and short listed for the Chelsea Plant of the Year Award.

Claire Marshall (‘Harunite’) is a Floribunda (Cluster-flowered) rose, reaching just 2ft/60cm in height, and is a gorgeous colour, a rich plummy shade evoking the classic old roses. Its heavy fragrance, too, is reminiscent of the old roses.

Carried in clusters of seven, the flowers are large with the central flower in each cluster being as much as 4in/10cm across. The flowers keep coming all summer and the combination of colour, fragrance, manageable height and repeat flowering make this an ideal rose for small gardens or even containers. But Claire Marshall (‘Harunite’) has another important feature: disease tolerance.

“As far as health is concerned, we haven't used any fungicides on our new rose testing or trials since 1994/95 season," Philip Harkness told me. “So any new varieties that emerge have to show good tolerance to disease and, should they suffer, also have a constitution that enables them to regrow and recover without the plant suffering. Claire Marshall has good resistance in most situations although under stress or overcrowding she will succumb to some disease.”

The rose is named for the daughter of Jim Marshall, holder of the Plant Heritage National Collection of Malmaison Carnations. It’s the result of a cross pollination made back in 2003, so it has been assessed over quite a few seasons. It includes blood from four different roses: ‘Anne Harkness’, ‘New Dawn’, ‘Miss Dior’ and ‘New Age’.

A donation of 80p from the sale of each rose will be donated to *** Cancer Care.

You can order the rose Claire Marshall (‘Harunite’) from Harkness Roses.

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