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Crimson Blush, bred by Rolf Seivers, Germany 1984.

'Crimson Blush' is one of two Hybrid Albas bred by Rolf Seivers' that I grow, the other being 'Royal Blush'. Supposedly these hybrids resulted from crosses using Hybrid Teas and Kordesii hybrids with Albas, but there is no data currently available about the actual cultivars that were used. I'd be curious to know.

While I like 'Royal Blush' a great deal, I find 'Crimson Blush' to be disappointing. As you can see in the photo, the blooms are everything an Old Rose should be; filled to the brim with luscious, richly pigmented petals. Yes, it has a good fragrance too. However, thats where the good news ends. The plant is sadly quite unable to hold itself upright when in full bloom, the wood being far too twiggy and limp to hold the weight. A four year old specimen has finally reached 3.5 feet in height, 1/2 of which lies within a foot of the ground. To make matters worse, the plant has absolutely no resistance to Blackspot. Expect total defoliation by the time the bloom cycle comes to a close, unless you spray regularly. While you wouldn't guess it from the photo, the color of the blooms are often quite dull, especially when compared to other crimsons and purples. I have mine planted next to 'Chianti' and 'Sissinghurt Castle', and 'Charles de Mills', and its color is rather flat compared to these cultivars. Now, this is not to say that with regular spraying, some kind of training or support to encourage more upright presentation, and smart placement where its color can show to effect that this might not make a good rose. However, considering how many wonderful roses of this style there are to choose from, 'Crimson Blush' wouldn't make it onto my recommendations list. I will keep it until such time that I need its space for something else.

ARS merit rating: none given
Personal merit rating: undecided, but praiseworthy
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 3 to 8b, zone 3 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 6 feet tall X 6 feet wide

Fragrance: 4 (out of a possible 5)

Alba Semi-plena Félicité Parmentier
Armide Great Maiden's Blush
R.alba maxima Konigin von Danemark
Crimson Blush Royal Blush

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2004