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Blue Roses

Blue MoonIf you have seen a blue rose it was probably dyed or a shade of purple because there are no true blue roses. Rose chromosomes do not have a gene for the color blue. Efforts are being made to splice a blue gene from another plant or human liver into a rose chromosome but so far there is nothing but shades of lavender and purple. Some of these are very beautiful but when you want true blue, they just don’t satisfy. Many of them, in fact, tend to get gray as they mature and are not so lovely. There is no shortage, however, of roses with “Blue” in the name as the breeders and growers use the power of suggestion to their advantage.

The following list is a sampling of the roses with name that suggest they are blue. Many more are available but the best blue rose is considered to be ‘Blue Moon’. American Rose Societies ratings are given when available; a rating of 6.7 and below is considered a poor rose.

 ‘Blue Moon’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: Germany, 1964
    Color:Lavender
    Petal Number: 40
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating:6.3

‘Blue for You’

    Type: Floribunda
    Origin: United Kingdom, 2006
    Color: Lilac, lighter reverse; becomes bluer with age
    Petal Number: Semi-double
    Scent: None to mild
    ARS Rating: NA

 ‘Blue Heaven’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: US, 1971
    Color: Mauve or purple blend
    Petal Number: Double (17-25
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating: 4.8

 ‘Blue Mist’

    Type: Miniature
    Origin: US, 1970
    Color: Light pink to lavender
    Petal Number: 23
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating: 7.8

 ‘Blue Nile’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: US, 1981
    Color: Mauve or purple blend
    Petal Number: Full (26-41)
    Scent: Strong, citrus, fruity, tea
    ARS Rating: 6.6

‘ Blue Parfum’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: Germany, 1978
    Color: Mauve or purple blend
    Petal Number: Semi-double (9-17)
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating: 6.8

 ‘Blue Peter’

    Type: Miniature, Patio
    Origin: Netherlands, 1983
    Color: Mauve or purple blend
    Petal Number: semi-double (9-16)
    Scent: None to mild
    ARS Rating: 6.0

‘Blue Ribbon’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: US, 1984
    Color: Lavender
    Petal Number: 35-40
    Scent: Strong, fruity, sweet
    ARS Rating: 5.1

 ‘Blue River’

    Type: Hybrid tea
    Origin: Germany, 1984
    Color: Lavender-fushia, magenta edges
    Petal Number: 35
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating: 5.1

‘Blue Skies’

    Type: Hybrid tea; Buck Roses Collection
    Origin: US, 1983
    Color: Mauve or purple blend
    Petal Number: 35
    Scent: Strong
    ARS Rating: 6.8

‘Midnight Blue’

    Type: Shrub
    Origin: US, 2004
    Color: Purple, lighter reverse
    Petal Number: 17-25
    Scent: Strong, clove, spice
    ARS Rating: Being tested

‘Otta the Blue’

    Type: Shrub
    Origin:US, 2000
    Color: Fushia/magenta, aging to darker
    Petal Number: 40-50
    Scent: Strong, clove, spice
    ARS Rating: 7.9

‘Perennial Blue’

    Type: Large flowered climber
    Origin: US, 2000
    Color: Mauve or mauve blend
    Petal Number: Semi-double (9-16
    Scent: Mild, sweet
    ARS Rating: Being tested

Rose pointer

Recommended Reading:

Amercian Rose Society Encyclopedia of Roses
Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener
Gardening at Sissinghurst