Are there thornless roses?

Paul Cezanne.

By Brian Wagner

An interesting fact – the definition of a thorn is that they are deeply embedded in the structure of a plant.

A ‘prickle’ on the other hand, can actually be snapped off in your fingers and grows on the outer surface of the stem – like we see on roses.

Thus, while it is more technically correct to acknowledge thorns as prickles, we tend to always refer to them as thorns.

Designed to ward off predators, thorns are synonymous with roses.

However, there is certainly a place for thornless roses in gardens; zones such as high traffic areas, archways, children’s gardens, rose gardens designed for elderly people and even people who love roses but have an aversion to thorns, can all find a place for a thornless rose.

It’s important to know there are no 100 per cent thornless roses, but near thornless ones; with the sporadic thorns on the stems which make them look safer compared to the classic roses.

Some of the most well-known roses are near thornless with very clean stems.

Wagner’s Rose Nursery stocks several varieties of roses with these characteristics: such as the Delbard Souvenir de Louis Amade, Dioressence, Pink Intuition and Red Intuition, Paul Cezanne, Grimaldi, France Libre, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pisarro and Coeur de Neige; the popular Heaven Scent, Heritage, Eiffel Tower, Abracadabra, Ebb Tide, Fabolous, all the Iceberg group, Twilight Zone, Our Vanilla, Sweet Intoxication, China Doll, Firefighter, Pinkie climber; the old fashioned Reine de Violettes, Charles de Mills, Anna Olivier; the climbing varieties Crepuscule, and Renae, just to mention some of them.

We have a whole collection on our website called “Thornless” to help you select the right one for your needs.

For archways, Kathleen Harrop and Zephirine Druhin – both Old Fashioned Climbing roses – are ideal, producing an abundance of pale shell pink and mid pink slightly ruffled petaled roses making an impressive display.

With a strong fragrance and a height of up to 250cm, they are hardy and repeat flowers beautifully.

The Delbard Nahema is another great climbing variety, near thornless and perfect for high traffic areas of your garden; renowned for its incredible beauty and versatility, it’s easy to grow, disease resistant and with an intense fruity scent inspiring a renowned perfume in the famous Guerlain range.

The pretty pale, China pink blooms of this plant bloom profusely from October to May.

Some of these beautiful varieties are still in stock and can be ordered now, taking advantage of our Winter Sale.

Our bare root season is ending and we will stop taking orders on Sunday September 4, before starting to plan the rose production for next year.