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Brown Velvet, bred by Sam McGredy, 1983.

'Brown Velvet''Brown Velvet' has become unaccountably rare in commerce, for unknown reasons. It is an excellent rose with that trademark "McGredy vigor" and wonderfully chameleon coloring. In the cooler weather of the Spring and the Fall, 'Brown Velvet' is an amazingly rich Chocolate and rust hue. During warmer weather the color is a brighter, deep orange-rust. In my opinion, its the Spring and Fall blooms that are really worth the wait! In fact, its amazing to watch in the Fall as the weather cools off and the blooms darken and darken to a DEEP Chocolate-red hue that is unequalled in roses. The photos here barely illustrate just how wonderful the colors can be.

Unlike many of the other "Coffee Roses", 'Brown Velvet' has a very good fragrance that is somewhat reminiscent, to me, of the Myrrh scent found in some roses. I have been very impressed by the performance of this unusual rose, as it has made a 3 X 4 foot shrub from a 6" cutting taken one year earlier! I have been urged by a hybridizer friend to work with this variety as a seed parent, which I will begin next season. Apparently its offspring are often quartered in form like many of the English roses, a trait I wouldn't mind seeing in my own hybrids.

'Brown Velvet' is now available from The Uncommon Rose.

ARS merit rating: 7.0
Personal merit rating: 8.5
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 6 to 9, zone 5 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 3 to 5 feet tall, depending on climate.
Fragrance: 4.0 excellent, sweet Anise-like fragrance.

Bonica '82 News
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Linda Campbell The Dahlia Rose
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Mariposa Gem Victoriana
Midnight Blue Vineyard Song
Muriel Humenick Wedding Cake

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2006