Will the Real Seven Sisters Please Stand Up

-Linda Kimmel
Indianapolis Rose Society

There is some confusion about the Seven Sisters Rose, as there are several different roses by the same name. helpmefind.com has six different varieties listed. Can we get some clarity?

A Bit of History…

‘Seven Sisters’ is believed to be an old Chinese garden rose which was introduced from Japan to England by Charles Greville in the early 1800s. John Loudon (England), a most influential horticultural nurseryman and journalist of his time, wrote (1844): “The variety of the color produced by the buds at first opening was not less astonishing than their number. White, light blush, deeper blush, light red, darker red, scarlet and purple flowers, all appear in the same corymb, and the production of these seven colors at once is said to the be the reason why this rose is known as the Seven Sisters Rose.”

According to Charles Quest-Ritson, author of “Climbing Roses of the World”, writes “the clone currently in cultivation was likely grown from seeds imported from Japan and acquired by Phillipe Noisette, a London market gardener. Brent Dickerson, author of “The Old Garden Rose Advisor”, writes about R. multiflora ‘Polyantha’, also grown from seeds imported from Japan that “It is evidently quite variable, and the small number of seeding it has given us have sometimes differed from the type so much that none of the characteristics of the original are preserved.” So, is it safe to assume that seedlings of the ‘Seven Sisters’ roses, also R. multiflora, acquired from Japan may have varied in breeding lines and traits? Once the ‘Seven Sisters’ rose was introduced (1815), it took a few years for it to gain in popularity, but eventually in the mid-century, rose sales started to take off. As the public demand exceeded the supply, nurseries started selling knock-off versions of ‘Seven Sisters’, creating even more confusion.

Characteristics (common to the real ‘Seven Sisters’)

‘Seven Sisters’ is a medium pink blend Hybrid Multiflora, once-blooming in the spring or early summer, born in large clusters, with individual flowers being less than 2-inches. Height can reach 10 to 20-ft and can get 10-ft wide. Hardy from zones 4b to 9b but tends to be shorter and smaller in colder zones. ‘Seven Sisters’ is not picky, it will grow well in dry or wet, acid or alkaline soil. Prefers full sun but can tolerate some light shade. Being hardy and disease resistant, as well as easy to propagate, ‘Seven Sisters’ is an ideal rose to grow and share with your friends and rose enthusiast. After all these years, ‘Seven Sisters’ is still an intensely popular rose in the landscape.

‘Seven Sisters’ is the ARS approved registration name. Alternative cultivar names may include: ‘Grevillei’, Grevilli major’, ‘Oizimei’, ‘Rosier Multiflore a Grandes Feuilles’, Rosa thoryi, Rose multiflora f. platyphylla. Most American rose nurseries sell this version as the real ‘Seven Sisters’, so ladies, please standup.

Alias Seven Sisters includes (but not limited to): ‘Red Seven Sisters’ (not registered) and Félicité-Perpétue (HSem).

‘Seven Sisters’ is comfortable on an old farm fence or a formal rose bed. Regardless of where ‘Seven Sisters’ is planted, it will bring you happiness for years. Photo reprinted with permission from Jonquil Junction (Arkansas).

Labeled ‘Seven Sisters’, most likely the “Red” version.  ‘Red Seven Sisters’ is a found rose, hybrid multiflora, once-blooming, hardy zone 6b to 8. Growth habit is similar. Reprinted with permission by Rich Baer, photo taken at a Llama farm in Washington State.

‘Seven Sisters’ Félicité-Perpétue (Hybrid Sempervirens) was hybridized by Antoine Jacques (French breeder) in 1827. This ‘Seven Sisters’ is white or near white with a blush of pink. Its growth, habit, bloom and form are similar to her medium pink counterpart. Hardy between 6b and 10b.Reprinted with permission by Lee Tomlinson, photo taken at San Jose Historic Rose Garden.

From the President

“The flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today” (Indian proverb). We could say, the rose society of tomorrow is grown today. For the past two years, our board of directors has focused on growing our rose society and membership. I must say, 2016 was phenomenal! We received 17 new memberships last year and now our goal is to continue growing and retaining new and old members. Our mission is education, “dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses.”  We are rising to the challenge to offer something for everyone. The ever-popular round table discussion group will be back. And, our 2017 theme is “Back to the Basics”. Come learn, share and enjoy. We are going to have a GREAT 2017 year.

Our 2017 Kickoff…

TUES, MARCH 14, 6:30 pm
Sullivan Munce Center / 225 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville
SPEAKER: Dr. Mark  Windham 
(Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology / UT Knoxville)
PROGRAM: Soil Prep, Planting & Rose Rosette Update

Come join us! All our meetings are open to the public!

Linda Kimmel
President

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Rosefest 2016: Timeless beauty for today’s gardens

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Indianapolis Rose Society invites you to a day filled with roses!

June 11 / 9:30 am – 5 pm
Hamilton County Fairgrounds
2003 Pleasant Street / Noblesville, IN

$10 EVENT TICKETS AVAILABLE
CONTACT: Monica Taylor at IndyMonica@gmail.com or 317.514.7284

Schedule for the day…

  • Tea in the HCMGA Rose Garden: 9:30 -11:30 am (Free)
    • Sponsored by the Hamilton Country Master Gardener Association.
  • Rose Display in Exhibition Center opens at 10:30 am (Free)
    • Public is invited to judge the rose displays.
  • Lectures 12:30 – 4 pm ($10) (Tickets required)
    • $10 ticket – entrance to all three lectures! Limited seating for lectures. (Tickets will go fast… let us know if you want them, here or contact Monica @  IndyMonica@gmail.com.
  • Rose display winners announced at 4 pm.

Speakers … 

Take a look at this rose dream team…

Peggy Martin of New Orleans, LA
12:30 – 1:30 pm | Program: Old Garden Roses
Peggy is the VP of the Heritage Rose Foundation and owner of the original Peggy Martin Rose, the rose that survived Hurricane Katrina.

Carol Tumbas of Bloomington, IN
1:45 – 2:45 pm | Program: Hardy, Sustainable Shrub Roses
Carol is the former President of the Indianapolis Rose Society, a well respected rosarian and grower of more than 500 roses.

Gaye Hammond of Houston, TX
3 – 4 pm | Program: Earth-Kind Roses
Gaye is a noted expert of the Texas A & M Earth-Kind Program and lectures nationwide about growing roses in no spray conditions.


Additional Information

  • Roses and rose products will be available for purchase.
  • Roses and rose arrangements from member’s garden will be on display.
  • The public is invited to judge displays.
  • There will be educational resources on roses and rose culture.
  • Download flyer here.   

Questions

IndplsRoseSoc@gmail.com


Tickets

$10 EVENT TICKETS AVAILABLE
CONTACT: Monica Taylor at IndyMonica@gmail.com or 317.514.7284

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2016 Message from the President: Linda Kimmel

The Indianapolis Rose Society board of directors welcomes you to new year in roses. It promises to be a full, busy and satisfying year. We challenge you to bring a friend to every meeting! 

WE HAVE A FANTASTIC YEAR LINED UP!

PROGRAMS & ROUND TABLES
Humberto DeLuca, Program Chair (2nd Vice President), has been working hard, along with the input from all of the board, to outline a great year in programs and events. Most programs will have two mini-programs and a round table discussion. John Hefner is taking the lead on many round table discussions.

THIS FUNNY MAN KNOWS HIS STUFF
Expect an outstanding program about Rose Rosette from Dr. Mark Windham, University of Tennessee. Mark could do standup comedy; he is that funny. He is also that educational! You will learn about the newest research on how to combat and prevent the dreaded Rose Rosette disease. Dr. Windham is an absolute treat. I have heard him speak several times and I never tire of him.

ROSEFEST … TIMELESS BEAUTY FOR TODAY’S GARDEN
Teresa Byington and Monica Taylor have poured their hearts and souls into the First Annual Rosefest. It will be held at Hamilton County Fairgrounds, Noblesville, in June. There will be a tea, rose show display and educational programs eligible for CR and MG credits. Bring roses for display. Bring yourself to learn from the great lineup of speakers, including the knowledgeable Peggy Martin (Vice President of the Heritage Rose Society), our own Carol Tumbas (past President of the Indianapolis Rose Society) and the charming and dynamic Gaye Hammond (Earth Kind Rose Trials in Texas). This is one fantastic line up! Call it the “dream team” of rose programs. Do not miss out on this exciting new venture.

IN GOOD HANDS
Donna Hefner has assumed the responsibilities of Treasurer. We know our money is in good hands with Donna! We appreciate her stepping up to take over this very important role. Renee LaFollette has once again, accepted the role as editor. The editor keeps us connected through the newsletter. We thank Renee for her long term commitment. We have a sundry of committee chairs, serving in a lot of different and important capacities. We thank them for taking on these important roles.

WINE & ROSES GARDEN TOUR + MEMBERSHIP + FERTILIZER
In addition to the annual fertilizer program, Mark Nolen is serving as membership chair (new position). He has contacted every single member of the Indianapolis Rose Society, cleaning up our roster and has already recruited a new member. The personal touch helps! Cathy and Mark will be hosting a wine and roses garden tour at their home.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE
Another big event for 2016 is the Arrangement Judging School & Seminar. It has been over a decade since Indianapolis has hosted such a school. If you have any desire to attend, whether just to learn or to become a judge, please let me know. We would love to fill the room!

THE BRUECKMANS
Diane and Roger Brueckman (Roger is the IL-IN District Director), will be visiting in the fall. The Brueckmans’ are a lovey couple. You will enjoy their program, personalities and updates on the District/ARS business.

Let us share the year 2016…. share the joy, share the love, share the friendships and share your roses. We are going to have fun and it will be more fun if you are there.

Linda Kimmel, President

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