Strange Growth from Center of Flower?

lauren.m(10- SoCal, Sunset 23)May 15, 2012


I bought an Aloha rose, when I was first interested in adding roses to the garden and it was so lovely when we got it- pretty pink blooms. Anyways, we got it home and a little while later noticed it had several diseases (black spot, rust), and have since removed the bad leaves, etc. We've had it about a month now.

The problem is that the lovely pink blooms are starting as white now, or fading to white, and some don't even open- they sort of wither up and dry out before opening their blooms. I noticed this week a sort of strange green growth coming from the center of the flower. It almost looks like new leaves?

And idea of what this green growth is, and is there anything that can be done? Or is it the normal thing for certain types of roses?

Many thanks!

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landlady(USDA 8 or 9)

Ah yes. Something I just discovered myself this year. Here is a picture of it at HMF.

It's called "proliferation". From what I have read about it, it's cause is unknown, it isn't consistent, second flushes often don't have it, and the rest I'm sure you can look up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Proliferation on Asta von Parpart

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:32PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

Stuff happens ... seriously, if the rose is healthy, don't worry about it. It happens for all sorts of reasons, but it's not life-threatening.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:04PM
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landlady(USDA 8 or 9)

I just go out every day or two and look at the newly opening buds and delete the ones that show signs of the center growth. This rose is so prolific it doesn't even show that it's being severely shorn.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:09PM
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lauren.m(10- SoCal, Sunset 23)

Wow! How strange! Thanks so much for letting me know. They started looking like mutants, but now I know why! Lol! Almost every flower has it on this plant, but I'll just snip them off. Glad to know it's not a disease or anything. My husband thinks it's kind of cool looking ;)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:04PM
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It's an anomaly that's been known in roses for easily a century and a half. In modern roses, it was thought linked to Souv. de Claudius Pernet, which was notorious for proliferating. Some do it when fed too high nitrogen. Tequila Sunrise is so prone to it, all I had to do was walk past it with a sealed bag of fertilizer and it proliferated. Ironically, Claudius Pernet is Aloha's maternal grandmother. Kim

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 12:49AM
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Campanula UK Z8

mmmm, some tomatoes are prone to this too - it is a genetic factor (in tomatoes, it is called the cactiflora gene). Annoying but not deadly. Fasciation is another odd growth syndrome which you will no doubt come across at some point. All part of our learning process.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:11AM
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landlady(USDA 8 or 9)

Ah, I just looked Asta von Parpart up on HMF and unfortunately there is no information as to her lineage. She's the only one of my roses ever to do this, so I would be curious if anyone knows if she has Souv. de Claudius Pernet in her background.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:59AM
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That is so fascinating. What an incredible photo. Thanks for sharing as the rest of us now don't have to freak out if we see this.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:26AM
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No, Pernet isn't in Parpart. The multiflora was released eleven years before the HT. A number of OGRs have been known since the early Nineteenth Century which do it. If interested, take a look at Prolifera de Redout�, with references from at least 1824 mentioning it. Prolifera flavescens, a Tea with its 1836 reference: "alias Th� a filets. very beatuful, good fragrance. Like the previous rose [Flavescens], but a second bud, which doesn't always bloom, proliferates out of her middle."

Rosa gallica Agatha var. Prolifera introduced in 1817 was known to proliferate. Spray Cecile Brunner has been known to proliferate, produce an entire new bud from the center of an existing flower.

Many seedling roses tend to proliferate. Many outgrow it, quite a few don't. Ralph Moore raised a bright red mini which consistently produced a green center proliferation which he felt resembled a red bowl with salad in it. He thought to use it as a "premium" plant, to be used as a free gift when you purchase magazine subscriptions such as how Chiquita and Red Germain were used.

One of my fairly recent seedlings proliferated rather attractively, with very "winged" foliage right from the centers of the blooms. It reminded me of a headdress worn by an odd character in a very odd Australian film from a few years ago, hence the name. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Queen of the Desert

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:34AM
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landlady(USDA 8 or 9)

Well, Queen of the Desert is pretty nifty looking. I must say that the growths on Asta (many many of them -- 4-6 per flower) are not appealing. They look like cancerous tumors. But, as I said before, they are easy enough to cut off and the 'real' flowers are worth the effort.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:53AM
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lauren.m(10- SoCal, Sunset 23)

Wow! Fascinating! Thanks to everyone for sharing all the info and the history.

Roseseek, that makes total sense, since it's in the lineage of this plant. And that Queen of the Desert photo is pretty amazing!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Thank you. It could be quite pretty, especially with the burgundy new growth and when the "feathers" were burgundy, but the plant had a very awkward growth habit and black spotted terribly, so it's been culled. It could make a very attractive "defect" on the right plant. When you really study it, that's very much like Viridiflora where all the petals were replaced with leaves. Kim

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 1:24PM
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mgleason56(Michigan 5b)

Well Kim, it would be nice if that rose was available to test out in different climates to make sure the proliferation is consistent. I'll volunteer to test here in SE Michigan! I would buy this if available!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:31PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Low temperature when the flower buds are tiny is a causative factor, along with genetics. This was proven with a susceptible greenhouse variety. My 'Aloha' in some years produces proliferation or a milder deformity, "bull-head" or "bull-nose" blooms, in the first flush but not later. None this year, though. I am doubtful about fertilizer playing a role, since I fertilize every year. 'Abraham Darby' is another popular rose that produces deformed flowers pretty regularly.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Thanks mgleason, but it is extinct. I have to test seedlings in pots and there is limited room for pots (and everything else) so when the triple digits hit and it was a chore keeping everything going, my culling requirements became VERY strict. I guess that's one good facet of having fewer seeds germinate, fewer to care for and not as difficult tossing the ones which offend. Kim

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:14PM
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I always encountered it during certain periods of weather (a warm day and a cold night alternating) later in the year the roses would be fine. I finally removed Salet because the spring show was always ruined by proliferations.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I have a beautiful old rose bush that has a strange center also... at first I thought the rose had reverted and was ready to dig it out. I waited and watched and every rose had this strange little cabbage garden inside. The rose fragrance is magnificent so could not dig it out. Some flowers have a very pronounced green center and others open so large with all the multi-petals the center becomes hidden. It is such an interesting thing to see. I am happy to hear it is not diseased..... but rather pretty!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I noticed this for the first time this year on my Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison. We have had an unusually cold & late spring here in the UK so maybe that's the cause? My Fantin Latour is not affected but other varieties are only just coming into flower.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Sweetsuzie...............your rose bush looks like it might be 'Prolifera de Redouté', a rose bush one of my rose growing friends has in her garden. Check out link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: HMF link

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:15AM
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What is called PROLIFERATION, also goes by the name VEGETATIVE CENTER. Certain varieties of roses exhibit this condition, especially when they are over fertilized, so the experts I know tell me.

I do not believe this is a disease, ,just a quirky thing some roses do, and therefore is most likely not contagous or progressive.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 5:21PM
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My scientific opinion......ick

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:18PM
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