The Oklahoma rose, introduced in 1964, is one of those classic Hybrid
Teas which stays firmly in commerce, and in the hearts of rose lovers.
The bloom is a dark red of somewhat loose form and carries a heady old
rose scent. It has close relations which are equally enduring and
beloved - its seed parent Chrysler Imperial and its sister seedlings
(from the same cross with Charles Mallerin) Mister Lincoln and Papa
Meilland are also available still and widely grown.
These three siblings have some strong similarities, but several
differences as well. While the bloom colors are similar, Oklahoma's is
the darkest. While all are tall, Mister Lincoln is the tallest, and if
cut back hard, holds off on its blooms til it has regained it's height.
Papa Meilland is the least vigorous grower and bloomer of the three and
hence not quite as widely available.
I have a special place in my heart for Oklahoma. This is a rose which
was once on the very edge of death. While still a small, struggling
plant, it came through winter one year with almost no living wood, and
what it did have was gnarled and dying. Then to compound the problem,
when three new canes appeared, I thought they were suckers. Intending
to save the plant from being overcome by Doctor Huey, I removed them.
It is hard to imagine any rose could survive this double assault of a
hard winter and such grievous mistreatment.
But Oklahoma struggled to produce new wood that summer. And in each
following year, it built up a little more. Now - some four years later
- it has turned into a truly impressive plant. It is now six feet tall
and three wide. After a very early first bloom, it has gone on to a
mid-summer flush which made the spring flush look like a practice run.
Roses which look great in mid-summer are highly prized. Roses which go
from near-death to healthy plants are a rare miracle. Oklahoma, in my
garden, is both of these. It is a venerable treasure in my garden.
Rosa Oklahoma produces lovely dark red rose buds. File# d8142
Pictured here with the clematis Ascotiensis. Sadly the clematis died, very mysteriously. No discernible reason; it was a big healthy well-established plant.
More roses with companion plantings
Oklahoma bush on right
Other roses,left to right: Iceberg, Mister Lincoln, Betty Prior,Dr Huey, Climbing Jackie Eugene de Beauharnais, Oklahoma.
- and others along border
More pictures of rose gardens
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