Monday, April 12, 2010

How many different roses are there in Malaysia?

A few months back, my friend (Shiina) and I were in a hunt for a rose, the white old garden rose or ‘ros kampung putih’ as we commonly call it here. We knew about its existence from friends but we'd never seen it or had any ideas on how it looks. Obviously, we knew that the rose was no longer available in nurseries, that we must find it, and the search would be somewhat challenging.

To our surprise, it only took her days to track down this rose. She found it growing wild in the yard of a house close to her neighborhood. She exercised no restrain when it comes to asking for cuttings from a complete stranger but it was all worth it (And did I mentioned that she found it by exercising her eyeballs; by relentlessly scanning people’s yards!). Now, the rose is waiting to be propagated.

My point is some roses are popular and very common. They are available at any small or big nurseries, nationwide - period. Whereas others, of the weaker and less favorable kinds, are nowhere to be found. They are either grown privately or completely lost in time.

So, how many roses out there in Malaysia? Or should I rephrase it with how many roses out there still available to us?

If you visit a rose nursery, especially the large ones, you'll realize that you do have a pretty good selection of roses. Even if growing roses is not your cup of tea, as long as you are a passionate gardener, there always is a rose that you fall in love with or keen to bring home.

Nursery owners and rose collectors that I’ve spoken to suggested that there are about 400-500 different kinds of roses in Malaysia. The number however could be a lot bigger. (Anybody who knows contradicting facts please let me know.)

On the other hand, the world to date has over 20,000 different kinds of roses and the number is growing. Our Malaysia’s collection of roses is ridiculously miniscule.

But fear not, many new roses are added every year to local marketplace as demand for new and exciting roses continues. New roses introduced annually are mostly hybrid teas for cut flowers production in Cameron Highlands and miniatures for nursery retailing, as miniatures are very popular among local gardeners.

As a hobbyist, I am looking forward to preserve the rare ones and collect new kinds that can grow and flower excellently in our weather and climate.

Below once a common miniature rose but now, a rare kind...

Copyright of author: Rough Rosa

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