Rose 'Reve d'Or' - A Fragrant Favorite

Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

'Reve d'Or' is a useful climbing rose that has recently been endorsed as one of the Earth-Kind Roses. In spite of the French name it has its roots in Charleston, SC. John Champneys was a rice planter who loved roses and crossed the southern favorite China rose, 'Old Blush' with the Musk Rose, a European rose popular during Shakespeare's time for its fragrance.

The first introduction in about 1811 was named after its breeder, 'Champneys Pink Cluster'. It was later sent by Philippe Noisette, a local florist, to his brother in France for further breeding where it was further crossed with various Tea roses that were known for their ease of growth, re-blooming characteristics and disease tolerance. A new class of Noisette Roses emerged and included such southern favorites as 'Marechal Niel' an intensely fragrant yellow climber that was grown in many southern gardens.

image of rose Reve d'Or
Rose 'Reve d'Or'

'Reve d'Or' was first introduced in 1869 and became popular for its lovely beige-yellow coloration, masses of flowers and outstanding fragrance. Impressive on fences, walls, trellises and arbors it is moderately vigorous, reaching 10-12' in several years. I have grown it since 1982 and enjoy the generous display of spring flowers followed by scattered bloom through summer and fall.

Although somewhat thorny, the canes are easily managed and trained to cover fences, arches or gazebos. I love the reddish-bronze new foliage in spring. Damaged or weak wood may be removed at any time. In mid-winter I weave the canes over and about my arched iron structure so that the first display of flowers is neat and orderly. Later in the spring I remove the spent flower clusters and shorten the canes encouraging another almost instant show of the fragrant blooms. Occasionally there is some blackspot but I don't spray my plants and they are usually green and healthy. In late winter I apply several cups of cotton seed or alfalfa meal in a circle a foot or so from the base.

A light pruning and another attempt to contain the stems by weaving them over the structure in mid to late August sets up another strong floral display for fall. Watering occasionally during dry spells helps to sustain floral production even during the hottest times although the individual flower quality suffers until the cooler weather arrives.

This rose has been grown in Texas for about 125 years and is a time tested part of our gardening heritage. Some freeze damage can occur in the Panhandle but cold hardiness is rarely a problem in the rest of the state. Create your own garden pictures with this uniquely colorful and fragrant heirloom rose and feel good about another environmentally sustainable plant to your landscape.

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