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Know your: Roses for Sydney

Some of the best performing roses for warm climates are old favourites -and we mean old.

Search out these hardy centurions for fragrance, generosity and trouble-free beauty.

Words by Robin Powell



Released in 1904 this rose has become a standby in both cold and warm regions, climbing along a wall, or ranging over a tall support. The copper-orange blooms are borne in small clusters and fade to apricot-yellow. ‘Crepuscule’ repeat flowers and has a sweet, musky fragrance.



Probably an old Chinese garden hybrid, this rose is best where space is plentiful. It produces masses of clusters of blooms which open yellow and fade to apricot, red and then crimson. All colours can be seen on the bush at any one time, causing it to look like as if a cloud of butterflies is fluttering around it.


‘Monsieur Tillier’

If left to its own devices this rose from 1891 can grow huge, but it responds well to pruning. In warm areas it may produce tea-scented, pink flowers all year. Ideal as a hedge, or a largerounded shrub.


‘Duchesse du Brabant’

Rose lovers fall for the multi-petalled, perfectly cupped, intensely perfumed pink blooms (45 petals!) of this beauty, also known as ‘Comtesse de la Barthe’.This 1857 release is a vigorous spreading plant, but it does have a tendency to ball in wet weather.


‘Madame Alfred Carriere’

A vigorous rambler or climber with masses of fruity-scented double white blooms all season, this 1879 rose has the bonus of almost thornless canes, so is perfect for a gate arch or arbour, but is also vigorous enough to cover a shed.



Bred in 1830, this rose has been a favourite for almost a century for its double, violet-scented creamy-white blooms with a lemon-yellow hearts. This climber flowers profusely from spring into autumn. The long, quick-growing canes have a natural tendency to weep, which clever gardeners make use of on arbours and trellis.


‘Madame Gregoire Staechlin’

Also called ‘Spanish Beauty’ this rose only flowers once, but it’s a great show, with masses of ruffled blooms with a rich and heady fragrance. It’s a vigorous climber that will easily get to 5m. If you don’t need to prune it you can enjoy the pear-shaped hips through autumn and winter.

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Author: Robin Powell