'Mermaid', bred by William Paul, 1918.
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When we hear the name Rosa bracteata, what rose do we immediately think of? 'Mermaid'! Few roses are as well known as this monstrously huge climber with a mixed reputation for being sulky when young and a house-eater when it likes where it grows. Bred in 1918 by the famous rosarian William Paul, 'Mermaid' is a cross of R. bracteata and a yellow Tea rose of uncertain identity. It will form a huge climbing shrub of up to 20 feet high and at least as wide. It starts blooming a bit later in the spring than many others, and continues till frost with 5" to 6" single, butter-yellow blossoms. The foliage is a deep glossy green, quite disease resistant, and evergreen in milder climates. The canes are heavily armed with the most vicious thorns and the wood is an attractive mahogany hue. The species parent is not very reliably hardy in cold climates, and it has passed on this weakness to 'Mermaid', although to a much lesser extent.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2006