La Marne3The thorns, or prickles, on roses can make them very unpleasant garden companions especially when you have to weed, spread mulch, fertilize, deadhead, or cut flowers. Roses that lack prickles are also a big plus for patios and other areas where people may come in contact with the bushes. Few roses are totally thornless, but there are some that have such a scanty amount of thorns that they may be considered in the thornless group. The roses described below combine thornlessness (or almost so), with low maintenance as indicated by the designation, Earth-Kind. This designation is given to roses that meet exacting cultivation standards including tolerance to heat, drought and a variety of soil types, as well as the ability to grow without pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers, once established.

‘La Marne’
La MarneDeep pink cup-shaped flowers with white centers and ruffled petals are carried in loose clusters of five to twenty. The vigorous bushes are upright , vase-shaped and have almost thormless stems clothed in dark green leaves. An excellent choice for a hedge.

Color: Pink blend
Flower Size: 2”
Petal Count: Single to semi-double
Plant Size: 4-6’ H x 4’ W
Flowering: Almost continuously
Scent: Light and musky
Hardiness: Zones 5-9
ARS Rating: 8.4

‘Marie Daly’
Marie Daly3A sport of ‘Marie Pavie, “Marie Daly has long pointed buds that open to small medium pink flowers that fade to white. The compact rounded bushes have almost thornless stems that are densely covered with small, dark green, leaves. A good choice for a low hedge or in a container.

Color: Medium pink
Flower Size: Small
Petal Count: Double (17-25)
Plant Size: 3’ H x 3’ W
Flowering: Flushes
Scent: Strong and musky
Hardiness: Zones 5-9
ARS Rating: 7.9

‘Pinkie, Cl’
Pinkie Cl2A sport of ‘Pinkie’, this floriferous rose has fragrant flowers carried in clusters of five to twenty five. The petals of the flowers are semi double, to double, medium pink and reflexed. The bright green leaves are thin and glossy and the stems are flexible and thornless. One half inch hips are produced in the fall.

Color: Medium pink
Flower Size: 2.4”
Petal Count: Semi double to double
Plant Size: 10’ H x 7’’ W
Flowering: Repeats
Scent: Medium to strong
Hardiness: Zones 6-9
ARS Rating: 8.2

‘Reve d’Or’
Reve Oro 2The English translation of ‘Reve d’Or is golden dream and this nicely describes this outstanding climber. Thereddish buds are stocky and open to flowers that are carried singly or in clusters of two to fifteen. The petals are golden yellow with pale edges and apricot reverses, giving an over all look of buff gold. The dense glossy foliage clothes the bush from the ground up and is red when young before turning dark green. The stems are almost thornless and the flowers of retain their color well. An excellent choice for a climber in warm climates.

Type: Noisette
Color: Medium yellow
Flower Size: 2.4
Petal Count: 23-30
Plant Size: 10-18’ H x 8’ W
Flowering: Flushes
Scent: Strong and tea-like
Hardiness: Zones 7-9
ARS Rating: 9.2

Spice2The origin of ‘Spice’ is controversial and it is associagted with the Bermuda Mystery roses and Hume’s Blush Tea-Scented China. It’s characteristics are somewhat variable but it’s strong peppery scent is always present and probably accounts for its name. The medium to large flowers are blush pink to white, semi double to double. The well branched bush tends to be twiggy with almost thornless stems. Flowers are good for the vase.

Type: China
Color: Light pink to white
Petal Count: Double
Flower Size: 2.8”
Plant Size: 3-5’ H x 3-4” W
Flowering: Almost continuously
Scent: Strong peppery, spicy
Hardiness: Zones 7-9
ARS Rating: NA

To read more about Earth-Kind and other low maintenance roses click here.

By Karen