Suggestions for very healthy, but also noticeably fragrant r

Hi Everyone!!!

A friend asked me to suggest roses that are very healthy, but also have strong fragrance. As I thought of the many wonderful healthier roses, fragrance didn’t seem to go hand in hand for most. So far I’ve suggested ‘Brite Eyes’ and ‘Orchid Romance’ as well as some of the older rugosas that have stood up better than others to black spot around here- Magnifica, Dart’s Dash, Frau Dag. H., and maybe even Therese Bugnet if powdery mildew isn’t too bad. Maybe some of the polyantha / hybrid musk type roses like ‘Nastarana’ and maybe ‘Darlow’s E.’ would make sense too even though the fragrance type and flower form may not be what she would first think of.

I’d love to learn what others would suggest. The goal is relatively healthy lower maintenance landscape type roses, but with routine and noticeable fragrance.

Thank you!!!

Hi David. My nose is not great when it comes to picking up fragrance but one healthy rose that has a strong fragrance to me is ‘Belinda’s Dream’

That depends greatly on where your friend lives. As you are painfully aware, healthy here ain’t necessarily healthy there. And, healthy against which particular diseases?

Hi David! Have you tried Milwaukee’s Calatrava? Bill Radler claims that it is as fragrant as any rose that exists.

Hi Kim!!

Great question!! Ohio and where black spot is prominent.

Thank you Rob!!! Great suggestion!! She’s a bit warmer than I am, so it will hopefully do well.

Thank you Joe!! Great suggestion!! I have a young one and I forgot about that one. It does smell pretty nice! Thank you!!!

I hope people have some more great suggestions!!

Blush Noisette, Cecile Brunner or Marie Pavie if not immune all qualify

Well, since you are Zn 4, I wouldn’t know what works for you, but I have to second Rob’s Belinda’s Dream for here as well. It’s very popular in East Texas. Also, earthkind tea roses such as Duchesse de Brabant and Mr. Tillier, and the polyantha Cecile Brunner are moderately fragrant. I second Pierre’s Marie Pavie which has added benefit of thornlessness, though perhaps slightly more prone to BS than the above, if only because of its comparably demure nature. Climbing Clotilde Soupert is another I love.

None of these has very deep color, and that’s where the thing gets trickier. Try getting the three variables together, particularly in a good deep red…

I would think that in zone 4, you would be looking at many of the rugosas for both health and fragrance. They resent our climate somewhat, but I still can’t help but think that anything with such heavily textured leaves that nonetheless resist infection must have more potential for progeny. And I’m wondering how many of the Kordesii and Dawn descendants qualify…

But I’m guessing you are wanting more modern roses, and there I am at a loss.

I know this post is no help and offers no answer to your question, but maybe it will trigger a thought in another which will be more helpful.

Hi David,

You didn’t say whether your friend needs repeat-bloomers and how big or small they need to be. If she is willing to go with a biggish once-blooming type, Albas are going to be very healthy, low-maintenance and wonderfully fragrant. I have had good experience with Queen of Denmark and Felicite Parmentier. For me, Albas are tops for fragrance.

Many Gallicas also qualify as being fragrant and healthy. Duchesse de Montebello, Duc de Guiche, L’Ingenue, Tricolore de Flandre, Ombree Parfaite are all healthy and fragrant for me. They are neat, compact shrubs in my garden, some thornless. Gallicas do have the tendency to sucker, though, like Rugosas.

The Damask rose ‘Leda’ is also healthy and very fragrant.

Reine des Violettes is pretty healthy (some blackspot in fall), repeats, and has great fragrance.

Finally, for pretty and fragrant blooms, good repeat, good hardiness, and reasonable health, I’m always willing to recommend my favorite Rugosa, Will Alderman!



Minnesota zone 4

‘Belinda’s Dream’ has a fragrance??! :open_mouth:

Rugosas like ‘Belle Poitvine’, and ‘Therese Bugnet’. If its typical Hybrid Tea blooms your friend is looking for, well, good luck! I’ve yet to meet a highly fragrant HT that was also highly resistant to Blackspot. (Although the lovely, graceful ‘Tiffany’ is by far my best HT in regards to matching those two qualities. Surely that is because of some special affinity the cultivar has for my specific conditions)

I second Will Alderman.


A number of years ago, a reporter from the local paper was going through the greenhouse and was captivated by some of the fragrances. In the end, he couldn’t decide if he liked Prairie Harvest or Heritage better. If your friend is slightly warmer than you then Prairie Harvest might be a good choice. I haven’t had it for several years and can’t say whether it might be one of the roses that has broken down with leaf spot in this area but in the past it was generally pretty healthy.

Among my roses, the two with good fragrance and very good disease resistance are Blanc Double de Coubert and Maiden’s Blush. They both pretty much have been bullet proof over the years. My favorite for fragrance is Showy Pavement but its disease resistance isn’t quite as good as the other Rugosas. Prairie Harvest hasn’t been as vigorous or as disease resistant as its sibling Folksinger for me. But the its issue has been leaf spot more so than black spot, so if it may do just fine in Ohio.

Hi Paul. I haven’t had BD in a while but I recall it being very fragrant. Could location have something to do with that?

Hi David,

Speaking up from southern Ohio here. Of commercially available plants, Morning Has Broken has been surprisingly healthy, with lovely, fragrant yellow flowers. It has few thorns, and blooms in waves all summer. It’s located in too much shade, and is near several black-spot magnets which are defoliated by midsummer. I don’t spray it, and the fact that it remains nearly spot-free is impressive given the conditions. It has been quite hardy. It sets large hips on every bloom, although this is the first year I’ve pollinated and harvested them to germinate, silly me.

Darlow’s Enigma is healthy and fragrant. Although the individual blooms are short-lived, it is prolific, and sets small multiflora sized hips.

A foundling once-bloomer that I believe to be Cardinale de Richelieu is healthy, although the fragrance is not my favorite.

Cape Diamond is healthy so far, and fragrant with colorful autumn foliage. It is a new-comer to me, and is already promising to be a big-un, as they say here. Very thorny, it sets lots of hips that ripen to red-orange. Flowers don’t last long, as seems to be typical of rugosa.

Does anyone know more about Milwaukee’s Calatrava?

If your friend is into Old Garden Roses, “Fa’s Marbled Moss” is a winner that’s growing and blooming from Duluth to Shreeveport.

In our climate too, yes, Belinda’s Dream, like her daddy, Tiffany (daddy has an admittedly feminine sounding name) is quite fragrant. (I’m not familiar with momma Jersey Beauty, but she is presumably also fragrant.)

BD is much healthier than daddy for us, and with her wichuraiana heritage, presumably hardier.

Is BD not at all fragrant for you, Paul??

The most fragrant rose in my garden is Sombrieul. I have two beautiful climbers on an arbor that hubby built this spring. It gets big, these two I grew from cuttings. It has a big spring flush with sporadic blooms through the year. It is very healthy. However, I have had no luck hybridizing with it and Help Me Find lists only two offspring, both from pollen. I will always grow this rose just for the beautiful blooms and the fragrance.

[attachment 1295 SomGroup-sm.jpg]

My Rosarie de L’Hay rugosa is incredibly fragrant, it’s perfume is pretty up there in the rose world. Consistently healthy too.

My Sevilliana (Buck) x Pretty Lady is one of the most fragrant roses I have ever raised. I was shocked, especially since its rain-proof. Usually rain-proof roses lose their scent. I should call it Pearl Iceberg. j/k lol

I think the fragrance comes from Seviliana itself, with the yellows from Pretty Lady aiding their breakdown. I think the water-proof petals come from Pretty Lady, as Sevilliana was neutral in that regard. In other words, some things just combine well.

Campanula from England reported BS on most Austin, but she said Nahema is clean and healthy in her wet climate and sandy soil. My Nahema here in Chicagoland is 100% clean, Marie Pavie next to it has tiny bit of BS at the bottom. Kim Rupert’s Annie Laurie McDowell is 100% clean (I induced BS through my crazy experiments, but it shook off). Marie Pavie has a tiny bit of thorns at the bottom, my OWN-ROOT Nahema and Kim’s Annie are 100% thornless … haven’t found a thorn yet. I like Annie’s scent the most, then Nahema, then Marie Pavie.