Paul Barden shared this wonderful rose with us from his personal collection. Here is what Paul, a connoisseur of the russets, has to say about this fascinating rose, which is fast becoming one of my personal favorites.
This has to be one of the most peculiar of the so-called “Coffee Roses”, with its odd Cinnamon-and-putty colored blooms. This is a typical Hybrid Tea in growth habit, with fairly large, well-formed blooms that are quite variable in hue. I have seen blooms of the palest coral-gray color and very dark flowers the color of fresh ground Cinnamon. This rose has some similarities to the 1969 HT ‘Smoky’ with perhaps better bloom form. For collectors of the “brown” roses, this is well worth seeking out. Every year I find I am entranced by this strange beauty more and more. The color is pure magic when it is at its best, as you see here. Forget pursuing ‘Leonidas’; this is the rose to have instead!
I will add that in cool weather the blooms have a thick chamois texture. The cool weather color is captured beautifully in Paul’s photo. In the heat of summer the bloom texture and color is silky and similar to another lovely russet, ‘Smoky’.—JI
Introduced in Japan in 1973 by Kanjiro Okamoto