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Help me pick: French Lace or Snowbird

January 7, 2013

I'm finishing up my RVR order and trying to decide between these two for my last rose. I generally shy away from HTs, but Snowbird is an older HT and has one parent that is a hybrid perpetual. French Lace appears very pretty as well, and is a floribunda (which I usually prefer over HTs), but it has a lot of HTs in its liniage. I'm stumped! Does anyone have any experience with either? Keeping in my that I am in blackspot central and that these will be own root plants.... Thanks :)


Comments (12)

  • jerijen

    BOTH! Not in your climate -- but I can tell you about the roses themselves.

    French Lace is a lovely rose, but it is prickly as all getout. And if a rose is prickly enough to annoy ME -- rest assured, it is prickly. In our experience with it here in a public garden, it sulked if pruned too hard.

    Snowbird has a lovely rosette-form bloom. It's fragrant, and it is very disease-free here. The plant we grow was collected at a San Fernando Valley home built in 1920. The mother plants get no care, and as far as we can see, no water. Our plant is growing on its own roots.

    I recommend it highly -- far moreso than French Lace.


  • roseseek

    Both are beautiful. In my climate, French Lace rusts and black spots, and is, as Jeri says, PRICKLY to beat the band! Snowbird is remaining healthy and is also own root. I no longer have French Lace. I still grow Snowbird. Kim

  • TNY78

    So it looks like Snowbird is the leader :) That's the one I was leaning toward, I guess I just needed someone to talk me out of French Lace. I like the cream undertones on Snowbird, better than the pink ones on French Lace. The fact that it blackspots in CA would mean disaster here in Knoxville!!! I think Snowbird it is :)

    Great picture Jeri...Louise Ave White is another name for Snowbird I'm guessing?


  • roseseek

    Louise Ave. is a found rose here in the San Fernando Valley. It strongly appears to be Snowbird. Kim

  • fig_insanity Z7a E TN

    Tammy, I'm near you (Loudon Co). I don't grow Snowbird, but it looks great. I do grow French Lace. I love, love, love the flower; I hate, hate, hate the thorns. I do minimal pruning on it in order to keep it growing lustily, but I STILL manage to get bitten, chewed, clawed and fanged :P

    PS... Yup, FL does spot here (yes, to beat the band) unless sprayed, and then it manages to look quite presentable. Last summer with our horrendous heatwave, I actually didn't have to spray it.


    This post was edited by fig_insanity on Tue, Jan 8, 13 at 0:01

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    FL has flowers so beautiful you forgive the plant.


  • doodles-grower

    Hoovb, Just gorgeous!! Love the flower and the color is to die for! I'd take the thorns anytime, it would be worth it!

  • lesmc

    I know about the thorns....but I love my French Lace. Look at that picture, takes my breath away!! My favorite is Guinevere, tho. I never hear much about this rose and it is a workhorse in my garden and similar to F.L. Just an outstanding rose that stays clean and is never without bloom. Maybe I just got hold of a good one. If you like French Lace please look up Guinevere. Lesley

  • fig_insanity Z7a E TN

    Hoovb, that's exactly why FL hasn't been shovel pruned! lol. If I could get THAT bloom on a less thorn-ridden plant, I'd grow a 1000' hedge of it!


  • ken-n.ga.mts

    I'd go with Snow Bird. French Lace's blooms are beautiful but the bush will drive you crazy. Own root, it doesn't have enough "umph" to grow correctly and give the blooms anything under them.

  • TNY78

    I still ADORE the look of French Lace, but for now I settled on Snowbird :) I can deal with the thorns fairly well, if I have a location that me and the dogs don't need to walk through...although, those places can be hard to find!! Out of Yesteryear is the one that jumps to mind when I think of terrible thorns, but the blooms save it from the shovel-prune list.

    Beautiful Pic HoovB!!! Thanks for sharing...thats the kind of pic that got my attention on HMF too!

    Ken & John, thanks for the regional input. I'm no-spray so it would prob spend the entire season defoliated. I canb deal with it, but if I can avoid it, I do :)

    Lesley, I'm going to have to look into Genvierre...I really like the old fashioned looking blooms that some of the moderns have. I think it comes from my OGR preference, but there's quite a few moderns that catch my eye too.

    What I ended up ordering, in case anyone is curious :)

    Blushing Lucy
    Geant des Batailles
    Phantom of the Opera
    Rene Andre
    + the freebies of course ;)


  • windeaux

    I have to agree with Jim. In my experience, 'French Lace' on its own roots is a dud. I've had very mixed results with modern roses on their own roots, and VERY little success with own-root florist roses.

    Due to its long availability as a garden variety, it's easy to forget that FL was initially slated to be introduced as a greenhouse rose. It certainly shares characteristics with other florist varieties I've grown -- very faint fragrance and a noticeable preference for frequent feeding, for example.

    TNY78, since you prefer Floribundas over HTs, bear in mind that FL is an atypical Floribunda. Think of it as a compact HT; or, if you accept Grandiforas as a distinct category, as a stunted one of those.

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