Brite Eyes

Has someone tried this rose yet? I saw it for the first time this fall. I found some information it was introduced in 2006. It was growing at the Lake Harriet Rose Garden in Minneapolis. It was gorgeous! It was bushy, VERY healthy, and had semidouble, relatively large blooms with a warm golden base! What I loved too is that it seemed to be pretty fertile with many large hips! It’s a new climber from Bill Radler. I’m excited to try to get some plants of it. These two plants were quite established- ~7-8’ tall and very full. My suspicion is that they have been there for a few years because it was in the AARS trials. Lake Harriet is an AARS test site (AARS test roses were near these roses). Maybe these plants were kept even though it didn’t win because the variety did so well and was introduced. I wonder how hardy it is? All the AARS test roses are provided with significant insulation. I wonder if they even tip the climber entries.



I don’t have it, but I’ve seen a picture of it. Very pretty. I understand that it is hardy and blackspot resistant–and slightly fragrant (although fragrance may vary with the nose).


Jung’s had Brite Eyes this spring. I got one and put it in a 5 gal pot in my greenhouse for breeding. It’s a nice-looking rose and made nice hips, but I haven’t opened them yet to check on seed yield.

I just got Brite Eyes today. Has anyone got anything to add to this thread. Did it accept foreigh pollen? Did the seeds germinate easily? How many seeds per hip? Does anyone know the parents?

It is supposed to be hardy to zone 5 and very disease resistant. It would appear that crosses with John Davis or one of the other hardy Canadians would be logical steps.

It’s always blackspot free at the nurseries here, so that is good for this climate. But it’s also always for sale since no one seems to buy it =/

I think the main con is that the petals adhere to each other, which I found odd for such a low petal count. So whatever you guys use with it, be sure the other parent has better petal substance.

Hi David,

You may have a bit more information about this rose now (since this thread started last fall), but I can tell you a couple things I have learned about it. It survived a very tough winter in northern Zone 3 Wisconsin (a week of minus 22 to minus 27 temps with no snow cover at all–just a little wood mulch), although it died back to the crown. To put the die back on this plant this past winter with other roses, I can tell you that no Canadian rose I own had anything more than 24 inches of live wood this spring. Brite Eyes has rebounded well, but I’m not sure that it will ever achieve climbing status in my climate. It has proven itself quite disease resistant in the year I have had it. It is also female fertile–I have crosses that are setting nice hips, although I couldn’t tell you how many seeds are in the hips. It also survived the winter in the Leif Erikson Rose Garden in Duluth. The garden is in a Zone 4 location and the plant there has a bit more length to the canes than my plant does. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of seedlings result.

Julie O

The patent information states that it is a good hip setter and that the pollen parent is Abraham Darby. Later this fall I should have a number of ripe crosses (both ways).


Wow, thanks Henry. It looks like the female parent is RADtee, the same seedling Bill used as the female parent of ‘Rainbow Knockout’. That’s interesting to know ‘Abraham Darby’ is the male of ‘Brite Eyes’. Hopefully ‘Brite Eyes’ will produce some really good offspring.

Brite eyes is the first hardy climber we introduced from Bill Radler. We have since introduced Winner Circle, Morning Magic and Can Can. They are Cane hardy zone 5 and crown hardy zone 4 from the information we have received back from our trials.

Brite Eyes continues to survive in my Zone 3 location as a nice and compact shrub–about 30-36 inches–4 winters now. Dieback is pretty much to the crown but it comes back gangbusters and each year the number of canes increases. Brite Eyes has become a well-established and truly lovely rose with excellent bloom production and what was generally outstanding disease resistance. I personally consider it one of Mr. Radler’s best roses. I have used BE in crosses and one of my nicest and most floriferous seedlings to date has BE as the female parent. So why is is that there must always be a fly in the ointment? Late last year in June I had to remove one cane on BE as it was badly affected by Downy mildew–no big deal. Late in the season BE presented with blackspot, although defoliation was minimal–a bit disturbing after three years of stellar performance (really more if you consider the two years it spent in a pot). This year I had to remove 2 canes for Downy mildew and a number of my seedlings that have BE or my BE seedling as a parent were tossed due to Downy mildew–I’m usually not tossing many seedlings this early in the season. Now, the conditions for DM are especially good (or should I say bad) this year. David Z confirmed DM on his Brite Eyes and also had blackspot show up on his plant last fall so this wasn’t just my observation. This is unfortunate as BE has been tested and shown to be resistant to the three most common races of blackspot in the US. It is also interesting to hear some of the recent comments that have been made speculating that DM seems to show up on the most black-spot resistant roses. I had already come to the same conclusion as I am seeing more and more DM as blackspot decreases, but I’m not sure what the implications may be. What I know now is that there will always be something out there. All living things come with genetic faults and there will always be disease. We keep striving for better plants and the breeders out there have made tremendous progress. Whether in human or plant it seems that eliminating one disease just opens the door for another and we can only continue to react. I still love Brite Eyes.

Not sure if the correlation between downy and black spot is not due to the fact that the most popular black spot resistant roses are propagated by the 10’s of 1000 in greenhouses where conditions and inoculum of downy are everywhere.In other words, is this genetic or environmental?