Rosa x 'Highdownensis'

Common name:

  • Rose

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • Summer, when clusters of 8 or 9 cerise (dark reddish-pink), single flowers are produced
  • Early Autumn, August, when the flowers are followed by flagon shaped fruit

Description of plant:

A wild, shrub rose reaching approx. 10ft x 10 ft. Once flowering, it bears clusters of eight or nine single, open cerise (dark reddish-pink) flowers with yellow stamens. It has little fragrance, but is followed by particularly good, bright red-orange hips, which are flagon-shaped. Tall and vigorous; the growth is tidier, less open and more bushy than the typical species.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Moist, well-drained soil. Will tolerate some shade but grows best in sun.

Country of origin:

  • UK, Highdown Gardens

Highdown history:

A Seedling of R. Moyesii raised at Highdown by Sir Frederick Stern in 1928 at Highdown Gardens.

Other interesting information:

A hybrid seedling from R. moyesii that forms a bigger and better shrub, with flowers of cerise-crimson. Superb orange hips. A extract from Stern's book, 'A Chalk Garden', describes the species and the hybrid:

“R. Moyesii has most attractive reddish single flowers. The colour of the true species is quite unique and indescribable. A number of plants have been raised here from this species, but none of them have ever had the same unique colour. The original plants were sent out by Messrs. James Veitch, raised from seed sent back by EH Wilson form China, and it may be possible that out of a large number of seedlings Veitch selected the best and propagated that one. A seedling raised here differed from its parent by having many more flowers to a cluster, about eight or nine, instead of the usual three or four, and the flowers and fruit a deep red. It grows into a tall bush and is valuable both in flower and later on at the end of August, in fruit. It was named R. x highdownensis.”

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