'Monsieur Tillier' & 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' - Earth-Kind® 2011 Roses

By The National Garden Bureau
Rose 'Monsieur Tillier'
Closeup of 'Monsieur Tillier'

Two favorite heirloom roses have recently been designated as Earth-Kind roses and are excellent choices for landscape use across the South. 'Monsieur Tillier' is classified as a Tea rose and was first introduced in 1891. Its flowers are an unusual orange-pink color and the shrub eventually attains a height and width of 5-6'. Flowers occur during all the warm months of the year and resistance to blackspot is excellent. Austin area gardeners have enjoyed the large hedge of 'Monsieur Tillier' at Zilker Park in the rose garden for many years. The flowers are good for cutting or as shrubs in the landscape. Tea roses are best allowed to slowly attain large size without extensive pruning. Shaping throughout the year with cutting back about 1/3 in February and again in August usually works well. Fertilize with organic sources like cotton seed or alfalfa meal in Spring and Fall along with watering well on a weekly basis when rains aren't sufficient will help keep them productive during our warm seasons.

Rose 'Monsieur Tillier as a display at Zilker Park, Austin, TX
'Monsieur Tillier' rose
as a display at Zilker Park, Austin, TX

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' has been a popular old Tea rose since it was introduced in 1907. It has been particularly abundant in South Texas and was declared "The Yellow Rose of Texas" by Extension Horticulturist Greg Grant and his rose committee during the 1980s after researching a large sampling of heirloom roses found thriving in the San Antonio area. A special feature is that 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' is almost thornless and also known for its resistance to blackspot disease. The flowers are great for garden display or cutting. They are a lovely blend of pink and pale yellow and occur throughout the warm seasons. Like all roses they are best placed where they receive at least a half day of direct sun. Use them in groups, individual specimens or as a hedge where they will reach 5-6' tall and wide. Clay or sandy soils work well but will produce better where the soil has been amended with compost or other organic materials.

Rose 'Mrs. Dudley Cross'
'Mrs. Dudley Cross' rose
is almost thornless and blooms over a long period

Time tested heirloom roses like 'Monsieur Tillier' and 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' have proven to be great choices for Texas gardeners for over a hundred years. They are best grown as "own root" plants and root readily from cuttings. Combine them with proven perennials like rain lilies, crinums, rosemary 'John Fanick' phlox, 'Homestead Purple' verbena and 'Salvia' 'Henry Duelberg' for many months of low maintenance color.

Return to HortUpdate - April 2011 Index