Any nearly thornless varieties of shrub roses?

peachiekean(z10A CA)April 3, 2008

I'm helping a friend choose a rose bush and he seems to want a simple shrub rose in a bright color (I've recommended the Knockout Rose to him). Now he wants to know if there is a thornless rose out there. Any suggestions?

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aprille(z9 CA bay area)

Renie des Violettes - Hybrid Perpetual. It's nearly thornless, gorgeous blooms, nice fragrance. Mine is covered in buds right now.

Another one that I like a lot that is Pure Perfume, it's what though, but a work horse in my garden.

I'm sure there'll be a lot more suggestions from others.


Here is a link that might be useful: Renie des Violettes

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:47PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Rosa Mundi. I just got one mail order a week ago and potted it up. It is SO wierd to feel rose canes wihout thorns.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 2:24PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Rosa Mundi is a beautiful rose, but it is ill-suited to a Zone 10 Southern CA garden.
It needs a bit of a winter rest, which it will not get, here in LaLa Land.
Knockout Roses, btw, are not great in SoCal, where they have a reputation as mildewers.

One rose that is virtually thorn-less and excellent here is "Grandmother's Hat."
It is fragrant, disease-free, great in a vase, continuous-blooming


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 3:26PM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

Antique Rose Emporium has a good list of thornless varieties.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique Rose Emporium

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 5:09PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Somewhat taller David Austin rose with relatively few thorns is Mortimer Sackler--lovely pink blooms and quite disease-resistant also.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:12PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Grandmother's Hat is purdy. I like the name too. I wonder how it could to up in the Okanagan? We are semi-arid zone 5b-6a up at our end of it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:58AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

It would be borderline up here. Probably three hours south at Osoyoos on the border it would stand a better chance.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 3:01AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Outta The Blue has almost no thorns. It is a hardy rose with blooms all summer. Fragrance too.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:16AM
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Another really nice rose, though a bit on the smaller side is Pink Gruss an Aachen. It is nearly thornless and an exquisit rose as well as fragrant.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:24AM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

For a taller shrub rose, David Austin's Heritage is almost thornless.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 10:00AM
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I'm looking for the same thing as well as disease resistance because I don't want to spray. You have more choices but those that are doing quite well here after a few years include:

Climbing James Gallway. 20 foot canes with hardly any thorns.

Mrs Dudley Cross is far from thornless, but it has lots of smooth patches on the canes that make it entirely acceptable. I just looked at it and it's roughly similar to Gruss.

Ducher has very few thorns.

Smith's Parish has very few thorns.

Jefferson Rose - a little yellow bloom machine that might be the smoothest - has almost no thorns. Chamblees sells it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:43AM
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Linda Campbell, huge and red and very floriferous and remontant
Mlle Cecile Brunner, large, light pink, scented, no care

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:56PM
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I think Knockout wouldnÂt be a good recommendation at all. Someone who removed many Knockouts from her garden in Florida reported here on the rose forum that she had suffered serious blood loss in the process. Furthermore Knockout is said to have some disease issues in Southern California.

Paul Neyron has very few thorns and he loves warm climate. There are a number of HPs that would fit the bill; you just have to find out which ones do well in your area.

AREÂs list is very good but if you want to add a few moderns, Geoff Hamilton has few thorns, so does BrideÂs Dream and Osiana.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Truly thornless? Ralph Moore's 'My Stars'. One of the best new shrubs I have seen in years, and it is Blackspot free in my garden.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 3:02PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

There is a ht variety called Almost Thornless

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 4:12PM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

I'm not sure about California, but the best nearly-thornless roses in my garden are:

Reine des Violettes: Mine, from The Antique Rose Emporium, is 7 ft tall and has NEVER produced a single thorns on any of its canes. A remarkable, beautiful, highly fragrant rose. I've seen roses marked as RdV from some other sources that did have some thorns, so be careful who your supplier is.

Jefferson Rose: I've never seen a single thorn on my plant (from Chamblees).

Basye's Blueberry: Never seen a thorn on either of the two specimens I've grown of this unique & cheerful single-petaled rose.

Pink Gruss an Aachen: A must have! This rose is very nearly completely thornless and so mannerly in the garden. Note: the original Gruss an Aachen is moderately thorny ... the nearly thornless one is the PINK sport. There is a distinct difference in thorn count between the two. This pink sport is almost never marketed as being "thornless", yet it is much smoother than many roses that are marketed as "thornless". All my Pink Gruss an Aachen's have come from Chamblees.

Nur Mahal: Mine is totally thornless and smooth as a baby's rump. If you appreciate thornless roses, you will love this one. I like its arching plant habit, very natural looking in the garden. I couldn't bare to prune it and take a chance on altering its natural form. I adore this rose and stick my hand into it almost very time I walk by, because I can. The smooth leaves and canes slide harmlessly over my hands. Yes, I know, I'm easily entertained :-)

Mrs Dudley Cross: Not completely thornless, but very lightly thorned. Basically harmless to handle.

Heritage: None of David Austin's English roses are "thornless", and he should never advertise any of them as thornless, but this one is the closest to it that I have seen of his. A very beautiful and fragrant rose.

Valentine: Nearly thornless. It would be very rare for this rose to scratch you. Always the first to bloom in my garden and usually the last to stop at first freeze in the winter.

Gilbert Nabonnand: The canes are mostly without thorns and usually very smooth, but there are definitely lots of the small prickles underneath each and every leaf mid-rib. You might not be able to see any thorns, but those hidden, tiny prickles can grab you. Beautiful form on this plant's shape.

Marie Pavie / Marie Daly: Hardly any thorns on the canes, but quite a few of the tiny prickles underneath the leaf mid-ribs.

Some roses advertised as "nearly thornless" that were not even close to being thornless for me are:
Paul Neyron
Thomas Affleck
Vick's Caprice
All three are great roses, but are not "nearly thornless" in my garden.

Have fun with your selection,

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:16PM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

Perle D'Or is thornless, and very healthy for no spray.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Zephirine Drouhin has lovely smooth canes----It is a climber but I've heard some people use it as a shrub.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 7:33PM
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I have a warm somewhat dry sunny location. I have thought about knockout roses but the thorns are a deterrent. Thanks to all who posted alternatives. Can someone recommend a source?

Also do you cut these back in the winter?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:01PM
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