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Thornless roses

Life Vibes
7 months ago

Hi, I am looking for truly thornless rose/s. In the rose world, I find the word “thornless” deceptive. Just wondering if there are any rose varities (not nearly thornless or a few thorns) out there that are truly thornless like zephirine drouhin or Kathleen Harrop. I am in the US, zone 10a. Thank you.

Comments (33)

  • dianela7bnorthal
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    I am not the expert on thornless roses and I have several that come very very close to what you are looking for, but nope. I have never seen a rose that was guaranteed 100% thornless. Having said that, I have never seen a thorn on my Annie Lairie Mcdowell or my parents Mrs. Dudley cross.

  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @dianela7bnorthal thank you, that’s helpful. I’ll add them to my list.

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  • dianela7bnorthal
    7 months ago

    @Life Vibes my parents live in Miami florida which is a zone 10b if I am not mistaken. They have grown Mrs. Dudley for more than 20 years and it has always performed exceptionally well. I tried here in North Alabama but it does not like the cold. Annie is an extremely hard to find rose that was bred by Kim Rupert who is one of our forum members and an amazing rosarian. After a couple of years looking I managed to score one tiny plant from Pam last year (Angel gardens in florida), so if you are ever looking for one try emailing her about it. Good luck!

    Life Vibes thanked dianela7bnorthal
  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @dianela7bnorthal thank you. That’s incredibily helpful. I saw ALM listings on Rogue valley farm and Rose petal nursery, out of stock though. I signed up for email notification. I will definitely email Kim Rupert. Mrs. Dudley is available on RPN.


  • jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)
    7 months ago

    Some classes of Austin roses are almost thornless. David Austin "Heritage" is nearly thornless in my garden.

    Life Vibes thanked jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)
  • Paul Barden
    7 months ago

    'Renae' should be high on your list of choices, especially for your climate zone.

    Life Vibes thanked Paul Barden
  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Paul Barden thank you! Renae is stunning. By any chance do you know where I can order her online? I saw Rogue Valley has listing, but out of stock.

  • portlandmysteryrose
    7 months ago

    Burlington in CA offers Renae. It’s a great, independent nursery! Carol

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  • seasiderooftop
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    @Life Vibes
    I watched an old documentary on YouTube about rose breeders that featured a hybridizer named Harvey Davidson. He had bred roses specifically to be completely thornless.
    In the documentary he was showing off his Smooth Sailing rose, which has zero thorns. He then made a full series of thornless roses with similar names: Smooth Angel, Smooth Delight, Smooth Lady, Smooth Prince, Smooth Romance and Smooth Satin.
    I don't know whether any of these are available anymore, or if they're actually good roses, but they were definitely supposed to be 100% thornless.

    Life Vibes thanked seasiderooftop
  • strawchicago z5
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    I found prickles on underside of a few leaves of Annie L. McDowell in my zone 5a, but the bush is 90% thornless:




    However, I cannot find any prickles on Robert Rippetoe's Bohemian Rhapsody. It has a wonderful sweet pea scent. Below is 100% thornless and survives eight zone 5a winters. Very drought tolerant with thick leaves, and even rabbits don't eat its thick leaves:


    Robert Neil Rippetoe bred the famous "Miracle on the Hudson" rose, and he also bred 100% thornless Yves Seedling (pics. below). I found only 3 prickles on the LOWEST bush of Yves Seedling, but the upper stems are 100% thornless. The scent is most delicious of red wine and grape juice, no other roses among my 150 fragrant roses can smell like below Yves Seedling, it survived ten zone 5a winters (down to -20 F below zero):






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  • seasiderooftop
    7 months ago

    Your thornless roses are gorgeous @strawchicago z5 !

    I searched HMF for Yves Seedling but nothing came up. Was that a typo or is this an ultra-rare specimen?

  • strawchicago z5
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Seassiderooftop: It's listed under abbreviations YVPXCHSL1 in HMF, the breeder Robert Rippetoe bred it in his hot & dry climate California and sandy soil, so it's very drought tolerant with Yves Piaget as its parent. Yves Piaget is best for hot & dry climate.

    https://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.60483

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  • seasiderooftop
    7 months ago

    Thank you so much @strawchicago z5 !!

    I really appreciate the link.

    This looks like an amazing rose. One more for the wish list!

  • intwilight z6a KS
    7 months ago

    I definitely need a Zephirine Drouhin!

  • joeywyomingzone4
    7 months ago

    My Therese Bugnet has a few tiny prickles low on the stems by the crown but the majority of the branches are completely smooth. The fragrance is lovely too!

    Life Vibes thanked joeywyomingzone4
  • strawchicago z5
    7 months ago

    Theresa Bugnet is on my wish-list, I pruned Zeph this morning, it was a joy ... no need for gloves.

    Life Vibes thanked strawchicago z5
  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @strawchicago z5 I wish you could send me cuttings 🙈 I ordered ZD three times, but two times my order got cancelled. Third time I recevied a bare rooted rose but it didnt take off, it is more than two months. Jackson and Perkins is going to send me another bare root rose when they will have back in stock. ZD is really testing my patience.

  • forever_a_newbie_VA8
    7 months ago

    Life, I just got an email from ARE today notifying they have now Zephirine in stock. However I have already ordered one from great garden plants last month (1 quart) and it is doing fine.

    Life Vibes thanked forever_a_newbie_VA8
  • rosecanadian
    7 months ago

    Straw - such beautiful roses! You have learned so much about growing roses well and you've put that knowledge to good use. Your roses are impressive!

    Life Vibes thanked rosecanadian
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    7 months ago

    I had no idea that zephy had such a striking color!

    And Yves Is just incredible!

    Life Vibes thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • strawchicago z5
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    My 8th year own-root Zeph. Drouhin has the longest blooming period from mid-May to end of July. It has 3 clusters of blooms this July. Scent is fabulous even at 93 F heat. Below pic. was taken July 1, 2022, in 4 hrs. of sun. It repeats if pruned after blooming.





    Below pic. was taken July 27, 2021:


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  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    @strawchicago z5 Absolutely stunning! is it ZD or its sport Kathleen Harrop! It looks more light pink than medium pink.

  • strawchicago z5
    6 months ago

    The above pics. are ZD, I have alkaline dense clay so all my roses' colors are lighter.

    Life Vibes thanked strawchicago z5
  • strawchicago z5
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    thornless rose? (houzz.com)

    From above link: drasaid posted:

    Softee
    Alfred Colomb (Hybrid Perpetual, Lacharme, 1865)
    Archiduchesse Elizabeth d'Autriche
    Banksiae Alba
    Banksiae Banksiae
    Banksiae Lutea
    Banksian Yellow
    Bapollu
    Berries 'n' Cream
    Berries 'n' Cream, Cl.
    Calypso (Climber, Poulsen, 1998)
    Carousel (Kordes)
    Cécile Brunner
    Champion of the World
    Charles Bonnet (Bourbon, Bizot, 1868)
    Charles Lefèbvre
    Climbing Berries 'n' Cream
    Cologne (Grandiflora, McGredy, 1998)
    Constellation (Miniature, Saville, 1999)
    Cornelia (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1925)
    Doris Bennett
    Dream (Hybrid Tea, Kordes, 1979)
    Dupuis Jamain
    Ecstasy (Hybrid Tea, Kordes, 1994)
    Ekstase
    Evergreen Multiflora
    Fair Jewel
    First Gold
    Fortuné Besson
    George Arends
    Gloire Lyonnaise
    Heritage
    I.X.L.
    Impératrice Élisabeth d'Autriche
    Iobelle
    Iowa Belle
    Jacaranda
    Jackaranda
    Jambo
    Kathleen Harrop
    La Reine
    Lady Banks Rose
    Lady Banks White
    Lady Banks Yellow
    Lady Banks' Rose
    Limelight (Hybrid Tea, Strickland, 1996)
    Linda Campbell
    Little Pinkie
    Madame Brosse (Hybrid Perpetual, Lacharme, 1865)
    Madame Cécile Brunner
    Madame de Graw
    Madame Jeanne Balandreau
    Madame Victor Verdier
    Madame Victor Verdier
    Mademoiselle Cécile Brünner
    Mademoiselle Cécile Brunner
    Maltese Rose
    Marguerite Bressac (Hybrid Perp., Lacharme, 1861)
    Marguerite Guillard
    Marshall P. Wilder (syn. for 'Alfred Colomb')
    Memory (Hybrid Tea, Kordes)
    Mercedes® (Floribunda, Kordes, 1974)
    Merko
    Mignon
    Mme Jeanne Balandreau
    Mme. Brosse (Hybrid Perpetual, Lacharme, 1865)
    Mme. Cécile Brunner
    Mme. de Graw
    Monsieur Victor Verdier
    Moonlight (Hybrid Tea, Kordes)
    Mrs. de Graw
    Mrs. DeGraw
    Mrs. John Laing
    Naina® (Hybrid Tea, Kordes, 1998)
    Nancy Gardiner
    Neige d'Avril
    Patricia Lewis
    Paul Jamain
    Paul Néron
    Paul Neyron
    People's Princess
    Reine des Francais (synonym 'La Reine')
    Reine des Violettes
    Roberta (synonym for 'Heritage')
    Rose de la Reine (Hybrid Perp., Laffay, 1842)
    Rosier de Lady Banks
    Saint Patrick (Hybrid Tea, Strickland, 1996)
    Sandra '99
    Scarlett O'Hara (HT, Christensen & Carruth, 1987)
    Silky Mist
    Smooth Prince
    Smooth Romance
    Snowdance (Interplant)
    Souv. de Madame Jeanne Balandreau
    Souv. de Mme Jeanne Balandreau
    Souvenir de Jeanne Balandreau
    Souvenir de Jeanne Balandreau
    Souvenir de Madame Jeanne Balandreau
    Souvenir de Mme Jeanne Balandreau
    Souvenir du Docteur Jamain
    Souvenir du Docteur Jamain
    Souvenir du Dr. Jamain
    St. Patrick
    Super Bowl
    Superb Tuscan
    Superb Tuscany
    Swan®
    Sweet Honey®
    Sweetheart Rose
    Tall Poppy
    The Autumnal Centifolia
    The Banksian Rose
    The Sweetheart Rose
    The Velvet Rose
    Thornless Purple
    Thornless Rose
    Tickled Pink (Hybrid Tea, Schuurman, 1995)
    Tuscany Superb
    Ulrich Brunner
    Ulrich Brunner Fils
    Vick's Caprice
    Victor Verdier (Hybrid Perpetual, Lacharme, 1859)
    and of course that wonderful mauve
    Zéphirine Drouhin
    This list was cut and pasted from HelpMeFind roses.

    **** From Straw: From above list, both La Reine and Cornelia poked me many times, but NOT Paul Neyron. Zeph Drouhin is 100% thornless, and Annie L. McDowell has a few tiny prickles under its leaves. Marie Pavie poked me badly with its "surprise" prickles. Mary Daly is smoother & less risk of being poked since it's a smaller bush. Saw Heritage at rose park, it has large thorns, but spaced wider apart.

  • strawchicago z5
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Just got poked badly when I picked up a thorny branch of About Face (thorns went through my leather glove). Thornless roses should be made more available. I finally succeeded in rooting 100% thornless red Yves seedling, which is more thornless than Annie L. McDowell.

    I bought the seeds from the breeder Robert Neil Rippetoe and grew these seedlings a decade ago.

    Below 100% thornless RED Yves Piaget seedling is WINTER HARDY for the past 10 years in my zone 5a and it's drought tolerant, like its parent Yves Piaget. Left pink is Evelyn.


    This year I rooted Evelyn, W.S. 2000, Mary Magdalene, Spirit of Freedom, Christopher Marlowe, Abe. Darby, The Dark Lady, The Squire, Augusta Luis, Sonia Rykiel, Radio Times, James Galway, Golden Celebration to benefit charities. But they are not thornless.

    I finally succeed in rooting only 1 of above 100% thornless RED Yves Piaget after 10 years of failure. It won't be available to sell for charities until at least 1 year. The scent is red wine and floral, YUM.

    However, I rooted a few of PINK Yves Piaget seedling, see below, the scent is strong baby powder (stronger than Clothilde Soupert).

    If anyone interested in buying THORNLESS PINK YVES PIAGET SEEDLING to benefit charities (Carmelites nuns in NY and Missionaries of charities in Chicago), message me. It's 100% thornless and very drought-tolerant, growth habit is similar to RED Yves seedling, but more vigorous for zone 5a winter-survival:


    Below Yves seedling's stems are more thornless than Annie L. McDowell (Annie has wonderful lilac and musk scent). Yves pink seedling has baby powder scent, and Yves red seedling has red wine and floral scent.


    Life Vibes thanked strawchicago z5
  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @strawchicago z5 Dm’ed you.

  • strawchicago z5
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I have 2 PINK Yves seedling available: one gallon size for $30 and one band-size for $25, they both were rooted at the same time in July. Five months later, today 11/13/22 one is twice bigger due to better potting soil.

    The gallon size is more expensive to ship, $17 for flat-rate medium box. The band-size is $12 to ship. The size of the rooting DOES NOT matter much, it's the potting soil and warm weather & right fertilizer that enables fast growth once it's rooted.

    It takes THE SAME cost and labor to root a tiny rooting versus a gallon-size. The difference is time & warm weather and the right potting soil & fertilizer.

    Here's the gallon size pink Yves seedling with 100% healthy leaves. It's bred by Robert Neil Rippetoe in hot & sandy CA (up to 104 F). He crossed Yves Piaget with thornless Bohemian Rhapsody to produce hips. A decade ago I bought the hips for $20 to grow from seeds. I gave pink Yves seedling to my neighbor, and I keep red Yves.

    Pink Yves turns out to be healthier & more vigorous than red Yves. Both survive a decade of zone 5a winter at -20 F. Roses can take extreme cold have deep roots to handle drought & heat. Pakistan rosarians at 121 F like the same roses that survive my zone 5a winter.

    My neighbor planted the PINK Yves under a roof overhang that blocks out 80% of rain, it came down with blackspots. But when I rooted it in a humid bin, it's the HEALTHIEST among dozen varities. Leaves are glossy, 100% healthy like a Kordes rose. Leaves stay healthy despite tons of rain in a pot, and at 24 F temp.

    My Red Yves came down with blackspots in humid bin. I keep it for its amazing red wine and grape scent.

    The blackspot-problem in Pink Yves was from my neighbor never water it nor fertilize it. The blooms are pink, similar to pink Radio Times below. The scent is just as good as Radio Times. Growth habit is better at 3' x 2' since it's slender, 100% thornless and compact bush. Radio Times is a spreading & thorny mess at 3' x 5' across. If I move, I won't take Radio Times along, but I take thornless pink Yves.



    It took me 10 years before I could root both pink Yves and red Yves.

    Pink Yves is much more vigorous & healthy; scent is baby powder/old rose. It's the most drought-tolerant rose with foot-long root that survived a decade of zone 5a winter.

    Pink Yves doesn't have the mildew problem of Yves Piaget since its other parent is Bohemian Rhapsody (very deep root shrub).

    Below is the band size Pink Yves for $25, plus cuttings of Zeph. Drouhin:


  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @strawchicago z5 thank you for the detailed info. I would like to have the pink one, band size. Do you have any other thornless rose available to sell? Thanks for sharing ZD cuttings. please PM so we can coordinate.

  • Life Vibes
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @strawchicago z5 how do you manage mildew and black spots on zepehrine rose? I have heard that its a blackspot magnet.

  • strawchicago z5
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Life Vibes I sent you 3 messages last Sat.

    I never see blackspots on my Zeph Drouhin as 8th-year OWN-ROOT. It's on a hill with fast drainage. I dug a big hole, and put a huge bag of potting soil, then topped with my clay.

    Climber is best as own root, rather than grafted. Own-root is more cluster and can spread out (like annual flowers) thus can handle heavy rain. Dr.Huey-rootstock is a long & thick & woody stick which rots easily in poor drainage clay and acidic rain.

    Roses grafted on Dr.Huey-rootstock are prone to both blackspot (in heavy rain), and mildew (in dry weather).

    I see mildew on Zeph in the fall when there's not enough rain. That's easily controlled by pruning the bush down to 2.5 feet after blooming (after spring flush end of June, then after its 2nd flush end of July).

  • Paul Barden
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    My 'Zephirine Drouhin' is own-root, and now about 18 years old. It has not been sprayed with fungicide in 9 years, and it has dwindled down to one or two 4 foot canes. It is ravaged by disease all year long: Blackspot from May through July, and then the Mildew starts in August and continues till October, when it turns into both Mildew and Blackspot.

    Very few roses in my acre of 2000+ varieties are as bad as this one, in terms of disease. I'm sure that if your conditions are ideal and you're willing to work hard to keep it happy, it can be a good rose. But based on my personal experience with it, I would never recommend it to anyone.

    Life Vibes thanked Paul Barden
  • strawchicago z5
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Life Vibes: I spent at least 2 hours digging a deep hole (3' wide x 2.5' deep) for own-root Zeph Drouhin, plus it's on a hill so heavy rain doesn't accumulate to rot roots.

    I always do a "drainage test", dig down to 2 feet, then dump a 3-gallon bucket of water. If the water doesn't drain in a few minutes, then roses will blackspot. I'm 61 year old & 4'11" & 120 lb., so it's easier to dig a wider hole so water can spread out, than a deep hole.

    I lost the pics. of my black gumbo clay that clumps into large cement chunks, and even vinegar could not soften it. Below are some internet pics. that closely resemble my sticky & heavy clay that broke 3 shovels. My clay was tested exceedingly high in magnesium, and it's soaking wet when rained due to poor drainage, but rock-hard when dry:


    Folks here use a pick-ax to dig holes since the clay is like cement blocks. I notice that thornless roses need fluffy soil and fast drainage, so I put a huge bag of potting soil plus a bag of fluffy MI black peat (for moisture retention) at the bottom, then topped with my clay (broken up with gypsum for fast drainage).

    Fast drainage helps to prevent blackspots. For each hole, I remove at least 2 wheel-barrels full of rocks, before water can drain well. When the pH drops with acidic rain (pH 4.5 here), less potassium is available for disease-prevention, click on below to enlarge:




    Life Vibes thanked strawchicago z5
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