There’s some confusion over this rose’s name: The Combined Rose List mentions both a Rosa glauca (Dobson & Schneider, 2017, p. 216) and a Rosa rubrifolia (p. 218) as does the comprehensive online plant database helpmefind.com (along with common names “Hecht-Rose” and “Red Leaf Rose”).
Whatever it’s called, glauca is a unique rose at Elizabeth Park, located along a fence line in the southeast part of the main garden. This year it came into full bloom over Memorial Day weekend with understated mauve-pink blossoms evenly dotting its tree-like canopy. While other roses may produce more fragrant or abundant blooms, few can match glauca’s year-round features. Its ashy blue-green—or glaucous—leaves give the shrub its name and turn golden in autumn. Clusters of red hips linger into the winter. Its plum-colored branches grow strong and woody, almost like an apple tree. The Elizabeth Park specimen long ago surpassed the fence line with a crown rising to an impressive 8+ feet (even after light pruning in the winter).