top: Vesuvius, Angels Mateau, Condesa de Sostago
above: Mari Dot, Evona’s Yellow, Madette
The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” aptly describes what may be in store for this largest group of rose hybrids ever created. Hybrid Teas have held sway in the public favor for so long that they have eclipsed all the other classes. With the recent renaissance of interest in old roses, and with the advent of David Austin’s widely popular English roses, Hybrid Teas have begun to lose their grip on gardeners. Many aficionados of old-fashioned roses will have nothing to do with HTs, and this may be the start of a wider rejection of the class. Few rose collectors bother with them, and the older varieties are largely being conserved in public gardens, where space is in demand for old roses and English roses. It is ironic that a decade ago we were fighting for the old roses and today we spend our energy championing the preservation of old HTs and Floribundas.
Tastes in color change too; just as mauve and purple fell out of favor early in this century, orange and flame seem endangered today. Before you give up on them, grow a few of the older Pernetianas, especially those of hybridist Pedro Dot, who selected and bred for rich and complex mixtures of colors in warm shades.
Hybrid Teas Habit
It would be tempting to offer a dozen different examples of Hybrid Tea growth habit, so varied is this class. For simplicity’s sake we have chosen six.
- (E.g., California) Low, rather twiggy shrubs, that may be as broad as they are tall.
- (E.g., Symphony) The old HTs that incline toward their Hybrid Perpetual parents are thorny and stout of cane, densely crowded, with large, cabbagy blooms.
- (E.g., La France) The old HTs that more closely resemble their Tea rose parents are twiggy, compact, and bushy, with rather elegant, scrolled blooms, high-centered and Tea-like.
- (E.g., Peace) Modern HTs are often stout and rather smooth of cane, with well-spaced branches, building up above 5′.
- (E.g., Lady Ursula) Among the more robust growers we find a type that is moderate of cane, growing very densely and tall.
- (E.g., Halloween) Modern super-vigorous hybrids, with very stout, very tall canes, spaced somewhat more openly.