Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuscany - The Old Velvet Rose



Imagine a rose with dark red, almost burgundy colored petals glowing like rich exclusive velvet, and showing its yellow stamens like the sun setting an early summer evening over the sunkissed hills of Tuscany.

Tuscany: a gallica rose of unknown origin, dating back to at least 1596 is that very beautiful rose - often called 'the old Velvet Rose'. Gallicas are Old Garden Roses. Before 1753 when Karl Von Linné classified them as Gallicas, they were often called Rosa Rubra - Red roses.

Tuscany is one of the smaller more compact growing gallicas. Like other gallicas it is very winter hardy and over the years forms a nice 3-4 feet tall and 3 foot wide shrub. It takes a few years to get established, but over the years it will bloom for about 3-4 weeks at the peak of summer here or late spring in lower latitudes and warmer climates. Gallicas actually need winter chill in order to bloom well, as many with great grief in warm climates have experienced. Gallicas have a suckering habit meaning that it will send up genuine shoots - whether you have planted the rose as a own-root plant or a bare-root plant it will sucker. Over a 5-10+ year period that will make gallicas form a dense shrub - I prune my gallicas down by a third after they have flowered and remove old or dead canes. When flowering, the weight of flowers weigh down the canes and it is a good idea to stake the bush so the canes do not flop to the ground. A Sport (Random genetic mutation) of Tuscany gave a rose that was a bit more vigorous and had more double flowers and is called Tuscany Superb. I do not find it as beautiful as the original.

6 comments:

Perennial Gardener said...

I love this deep rich red rose. Your roses are so lovely that I've decided to get a David Austin rose next year. Thanks for reminding me how rewarding those blooms can be.

The Diva said...

A lovely, deep, dark red. Red roses are so beautiful. Thanks for bringing this historic beauty to our attention.~~Dee

Nancy J. Bond said...

What an extraordinary color -- it truly does look like velvet. :)

Mother Nature said...

I like the exposed heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for you wonderfully informative article. I have loved this rose for several years now in photos only as it is hard to get here in Australia. I fear that I may not have enough "chill" for it to do well. A shame because to me it looks a real classic!

Abiding Branch said...

Hi there. I came across your blog and I am looking to buy the most fragrant roses I can. I live near Fort Worth, TX and we had one that looked a lot like this Tuscany but I'm not 100% sure. When my husband moved it the bush did not survive. I truly need to find this one or one almost as fragrant. Any advice you have would be marvelous.
Rachele