Cardinal Hume rose
Class: Shrub; HARegale;Harkness 1984; fragant
Pictured in Christine's Reno NV garden


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Cardinal Hume rose
Cardinal Hume rose at the ARBG; File#k3561  

Cardinal Hume Cluster; File#i0282  

In my garden, Cardinal Hume is a big, healthy, utterly trouble-free plant with loads of richly colored purple blooms when it is in flush. Among its virtues are exquisite little buds which develop into blooms which hold their color perfectly in hot weather. When viewed up close, the blooms are seen to have darker petals around the outside, shading to somewhat lighter and brighter surrounding the yellow stamens. This unusual color shading gives the clusters of blooms a special vibrancy.

The deeply colored blooms are particularly appealing viewed against gray-green foliage - my plant is backdropped by a blue spruce, and its feet are surrounded by a gray leaved Euphorbia. It is a wonderfully pleasing combination.

Cardinal Hume blooms in flushes and forms fat little hips. It is too large a plant to deadhead properly so I attack portions of the plant each year, removing some old, unproductive wood in early spring and then more in mid-summer. For me, the main, long lasting, spring flush is followed by a scattering of mid-summer bloom and then by another increase in bloom in fall.

Cardinal Hume rose bush
Rose garden with Cardinal Hume rose bush; File #4657

I love the color this brings to the landscape, tying all the other tones together, making pleasing sweeps of color. Too much pink and pastel doesn't give the landscape enough texture. If I had ten acres, I'd have a colony of the Cardinal.

middle - yarrow, Marie Pavie, Elmshorn, Gourmet Popcorn. Marie doesn't open so well for me here.

back - Honor, New Dawn, Opening Night (the bit of red) Crowd Pleaser, Winsome.

Cardinal Hume rose bush
Hollyhocks and yarrow surrounding the Cardinal Hume plant; File #I2679

I have heard conflicting reports regarding Cardinal Hume's disease resistance - some report no problems, and others say it is grievously susceptible to blackspot. As my garden is blessedly free of blackspot, I cannot contribute first hand data to that discussion, but will point out that quite a few people in blackspot territory say that it is very healthy for them.

Blackspot rumors aside, it is a wonderful, trouble free shrub which makes a dramatic and beautiful statement in the landscape.

Update from Christine, August 8th 2008.
'I was working on this rose in the early evening last night, when the sun had dropped. And the darker, very purple photos of Cardinal Hume are totally accurate in this light.

This rose closes its petals at night, a phenomenon known as nyctinasty. So because the outer petals are colored a darker, richer purple, that is how the flower appears when the sun isn't bright - darker partly because of the light, and partly because what the plant presents really is darker. Who knew? I observed this also with Belle Story. Evidently, this serves to protect the pollen supply when the pollinators are not around. Now I am curious about which others do this!'

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