Oklahoma rose
Swim and Weeks 1964, Rich Red, Hybrid Tea,


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Oklahoma rose

Oklahoma rose, File# d4977

The Oklahoma rose, introduced in 1964, is one of those classic Hybrid Teas which stays firmly in commerce, and in the hearts of rose lovers. The bloom is a dark red of somewhat loose form and carries a heady old rose scent. It has close relations which are equally enduring and beloved - its seed parent Chrysler Imperial and its sister seedlings (from the same cross with Charles Mallerin) Mister Lincoln and Papa Meilland are also available still and widely grown.

These three siblings have some strong similarities, but several differences as well. While the bloom colors are similar, Oklahoma's is the darkest. While all are tall, Mister Lincoln is the tallest, and if cut back hard, holds off on its blooms til it has regained it's height. Papa Meilland is the least vigorous grower and bloomer of the three and hence not quite as widely available.

I have a special place in my heart for Oklahoma. This is a rose which was once on the very edge of death. While still a small, struggling plant, it came through winter one year with almost no living wood, and what it did have was gnarled and dying. Then to compound the problem, when three new canes appeared, I thought they were suckers. Intending to save the plant from being overcome by Doctor Huey, I removed them. It is hard to imagine any rose could survive this double assault of a hard winter and such grievous mistreatment.

But Oklahoma struggled to produce new wood that summer. And in each following year, it built up a little more. Now - some four years later - it has turned into a truly impressive plant. It is now six feet tall and three wide. After a very early first bloom, it has gone on to a mid-summer flush which made the spring flush look like a practice run. Roses which look great in mid-summer are highly prized. Roses which go from near-death to healthy plants are a rare miracle. Oklahoma, in my garden, is both of these. It is a venerable treasure in my garden.

Oklahoma rose bud

Rosa Oklahoma produces lovely dark red rose buds. File# d8142 Pictured here with the clematis Ascotiensis. Sadly the clematis died, very mysteriously. No discernible reason; it was a big healthy well-established plant.
More roses with companion plantings

Oklahoma bush

Oklahoma bush on right
Other roses,left to right: Iceberg, Mister Lincoln, Betty Prior,Dr Huey, Climbing Jackie Eugene de Beauharnais, Oklahoma. - and others along border
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File# I_9789

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