The America Garden Rose Selections program recently announced winning varieties for 2017.
For many decades, the All-American Rose Selection trials had been the national selections program, said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings, but as of last year they ceased to exist.
“With AARS gone, we were without a national rose trial for the first time since the 1930s,” Owings said. That led to a new program to recognize roses that are easy to care for, disease resistant and suitable for different regions of the country.
Although roses can be entered in all the trial gardens, a rose rated outstanding in, say the Southeast, that rose will be noted as being a great rose for that region.
“That takes the pressure off a rose having to succeed in every climate in our vast country,” Owings said. “If a rose does well in all regions, so much the better.”
The winners for 2017 are:
Fragrance Winner – Munstead Wood has more than 70 velvety crimson petals and a strong old rose fragrance with a fruity scent.
Fragrance Winner and Regional Winner in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest – Lady of Shalott is a large double-flowered rose with salmon-pink on the upper side and golden yellow reverse petals and a warm tea fragrance with hints of spiced apple and clove.
Regional Winner in the Southeast and South Central and Heirloom Hybrid Award – Faith Whittlesey is a tea rose that bears bright white, large, double, cupped flowers in small clusters or occasionally solitary. The lightly scented flowers are very recurrent.
Regional Winner in the Northeast, North Central, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest – Icecap is a shrub rose that produces pure white cup-like blooms in profusion. Each stem can have 20 blooms and is very recurrent.
Regional Winner in the Northeast, Southeast and South Central – Tahitian Treasure is a deep salmon pink and exhibits excellent disease resistance. The cuplike flowers have a slight fragrance and 18-20 petals on average.
Regional Winner in the Northeast, North Central, Northwest, Southeast, South Central and Southwest – A winner in every region, Peachy Keen has clusters of five shell pink blooms with yellow centers per stem that cover this low-growing mounding shrub. The blooms are cupped and appear continually from spring to frost. No fragrance.
The 2016 regional winners were Phloxy Baby and Thomas Affleck and the fragrance winner was Dee-Lish.
The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden in Baton Rouge is an official trial location for the AGRS evaluations. Garden judges are LSU AgCenter horticulture research associate Wanda Ellis and horticulture professor Allen Owings. Another nearby location is the rose garden trials maintained by Pam Smith in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Louisiana and Texas are in the South Central region.
More information on this program and the winning varieties is available at