Date of Introduction: Before 1590
Common Name: ‘Austrian Copper’
Not until late nineteenth century when a French breeder named Pernet-Ducher introduced ‘Rosa foetida persiana’ as a pollen parent to breed the first yellow and orange colored large-flowered rose called ‘Soleil d’Or’ did gardeners take notice of this rose coloration. That was a significant event.
‘Austrian Copper’ is a sport of ‘Rosa foetida’ that has been cultivated as early as the 12th century in the Arab world. It is native to Iran and Afghanistan and it is not Austrian in spite of its name. It has single blossoms, 2” in diameter of bright coppery red with yellow reverse and bright yellow stamens. Its color is eye catching. The rose is so beautiful when the sun is shining behind it. It gives such luminescence that’s so magnificent. The petals are very fragile and heavy wind will knock the petals off easily. It is not fussy about soil and can be grown in poor soil as long as there is good drainage. It is winter hardy and requires little care. It is a vigorous grower and it suckers. It can take over a large area if not controlled. It has long, arching canes that can reach up to 8 ft. and can be trained to climb trellis, pergola, fence or even trees. It only takes a couple of years for the plant to reach 6 to 7 ft. high and can grow as high as 20 ft. When trained horizontally, they develop lateral shoots which will be covered with flowers the following season. Flowers arise from old wood so pruning should be done after it finishes flowering. It is a once bloomer, in late spring or early summer for 2 to 3 weeks.
Most often, ‘Austrian Copper’ will sport back to ‘Rosa foetida’. It is a stunning plant and every garden should have it. The only downside is it is susceptible to black spot so separate it from the rest of your roses. For rose exhibitor, this rose is eligible for Genesis Award.
Tip of the Day: Commit yourself to constant self-improvement.
Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.