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Swamp Rose???

The swamp rose blooms cheerfully in Bill and Lydia Fontenot's Carencro garden.

I am quite fond of the late spring roses.

Right now my vases are full of them.

I especially like the antique roses – the old forms that are closest to those found in the wild.

Some of the roses in my garden are named for the people who gave them to me.  I have Carson’s rose and Lucky’s rose.

Others were named by the person who gifted them to me like Dr. Dirt’s ‘Dirty Red’.

The swamp rose or Rosa palustris is an original – the real deal.  It is not just an antique rose, it is actually a wild or species rose native to wetlands in the Eastern U. S.

I first encountered a double form of the swamp rose called Rosa palustris scandens.  It is a deeper hot pink.  The shrub has a lovely form with arching canes and is fairly free of thorns.

This form was introduced into commerce in 1824.  According to the Antique Rose Emporium catalog, Redouté painted this rose in the garden of Empress Josephine of France.

Native swamp rose is perched on a cypress knee in the Wolf River.

This double form of the wild swamp rose is a popular garden plant.

As the name indicates, swamp rose has an unexpected proclivity  for wet areas.  It grows in well drained garden soil as well.

In June 2008, I saw swamp rose in the wild.

I was on a canoe trip with Krisin Lamberson on the Wolf River.

We were near the Tennessee-Mississippi border (probably in Tennessee) when we found a stand of the roses perched up on cypress knees growing in the wetland.

It wasn’t quite what I expected – a rose growing atop a giant cypress knee????

But then… you just never know what to expect from nature.


 

 

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