I've been talking about roses lately - here and here - and last year I was introduced to a very special sort of rose when I attended the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Seattle. I'd never seen or even heard of the wingthorn rose before, but its appearance really got my attention.
It wasn't the blooms, in fact, it wasn't even blooming when I saw it. It wasn't the foliage, although it's rather beautiful, being almost fern-like. No, what I loved about it is the very thing my husband hates about roses - those thorns.
But these aren't just any thorns. When a rose goes by the common name of "wingthorn" you just know that there's got to be something special about its thorns.
|When the sun backlights the red thorns of the wingthorn rose, it's just magical.|
The wingthorn is a species rose native to China that was introduced into the U.S. in 1890. It's hardy to Zone 6, and since I'm in Zone 5b, even with the new zoning map, I wondered if it would survive our winter. I wrapped it with a Plumstone ShrubJacket last fall to help it make it through. It turned out that we had a warmer than usual winter so the rose may have survived without the jacket anyway, but it certainly didn't hurt it to have the extra protection.
|April 20, 2012|
Even with our droughtish spring, the wingthorn is thriving with only my occasional supplemental watering.