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Persica roses

Rosa persica from LuberaThe fascinating red dot in the middle of the flowers, at the base of each petal, comes from Rosa persica, a wild species native to the deserts and steppes of Iran and Afghanistan.


Frutilizer® Instant Solution Fe Iron Fertiliser

Nutrient salt with plant-ready iron

From £9.90 *

Rose 'Fancy Babylon Eyes'®

Small, pastel-coloured flowers with a red centre

£23.40 *

Rose 'Sweet Babylon Eyes'® (in a large container)

A Persica rose with a romantic flair

From £23.40 *

Rose 'Trendy Babylon Eyes'®

Persica rose with many small, pink flowers

£23.40 *

Rose Coral Babylon

The rose with the red eye and pink flowers

From £23.40 *

Rose Cream Babylon

The rose with the red eye and white/yellow flowers

From £23.40 *

Rose For Your Eyes Only® (in a large container)

a sea of blooms in different colours, everblooming

From £20.40 *

Rose Pastel Babylon

The rose with the red dot - and yellowish flowers

£23.40 *

Rose Queen Babylon

The rose with the red eye and dark pink flowers

From £23.40 *

Rose Sunshine Babylon

The rose with the red eye and and red/yellow flowers

From £25.40 *


More information about Persica rosesRosa persica Queen Babylon from Lubera


Persica roses thrive in their native region thanks to their deep and extremely extensive root system. Indeed, one could almost suspect that Hulthemia persica, as it was first botanically named, is more dependent on root shoots and shoots than on flowers and fruits. No wonder, the flowers and fruits can fall victim to predators in this inhospitable dry environment quite quickly - and perhaps even before the fruits are ripe. Persica roses were already introduced into the botanical gardens of Europe at the beginning of the 19th century.





In 1836, the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris reported on a natural and accidental hybrid of garden rose and Rosa persica. Hulthemosa hardii, as it was called, showed the typical, yellow flowers with the red centre, but it grew a bit bushier and bloomed a bit bigger, however in our climate, this first Persica rose hybrid was extremely susceptible to mildew...And then for 140 years, nothing worked at least there were no results that could be shown in horticulture. In spite of numerous attempts, the Hardii rose remained infertile, so it could not be used for the further breeding of the variety Coral Babylon. In the 1960s, rose lovers and competitors Jack Harkness from Hitchin (in the South of England) and Alec Cocker from Aberdeen (in Scotland) decided to make a new attempt. Alec imported the seeds from Iran and then shared the plants with Jack.


Breeding Rosa persica


In the next 10 years until 1977, they tried to produce hybrids with garden roses, but Jack Harkness was much more successful and luckier than Alec Cocker: in total, he was able to produce 50 hybrids in 10 years of crossing work - and also a handful of temporary varieties. He was well aware that these were still insufficient, that the genetic and climatic background of Rosa persica was too different, and that further great breeding efforts were needed in order to achieve really good garden varieties - always with the red dot in the middle. In 1977, Jack Harkness published his and Cocker's experiences and explicitly released the intermediate breeding results for further processing and use by competitors.


The journey into European gardens


This early example of an open-source, open license, or open software policy, which we know today mainly in the software industry, leads 50 years later, since 2000, to a whole wave of new roses with the red dot, which now, after 2 - 5 intermediate generations, have matured into robust and resistant garden roses. Again, the rose family Harkness is represented with many new varieties - openness is obviously worth it. Other important Persica rose breeders are Chris Warner and Jim Sproul as well as Interplant with the Babylon Eyes roses that are included on this page.

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