RoseFile Database

Opening Night - Hybrid Tea Rose

Opening Night

Hybrid Tea. Bred by Zary in USA (CA) in 1998.
Rose Photo
High Centered
Bloom Size:
Large - about 5 inches
Cold Hardiness:
Zone 6 - Zone 10
Height & Width:
3 ft x 2 ft
Mediterranean Climates

Comments Great things were expected from a cross of two of the worlds best red hybrid tea roses. The outcome was good. Its hard to argue, however, that the rose clearly bettered either parent. It got a good measure of the hardiness and vigor of Olympiad, and some of the fragrance of Ingrid Bergman. It's not quite so dark red as either. With just the right cultural practices, Opening Night can produce perfect, high centered rose blossoms in a soft red that is just this side of coral. It's definitely not a rose for the sultry south where it will succumb quickly to blackspot. Similarly, zone 6b of New Jersey is only just warm enough for it to grow. In other words, it's another good rose for Mediterranean climates.

BTW: It seems to me that studying this rose can help us understand quite a bit about why the rose is "the queen of the garden" only in bits of California; why American gardners just about everywhere east of the Mississippi eschew all but David Austin and Griffith Buck roses; and why the American Rose Society keeps on losing members.

The HMF information for this rose lists the rose as "very disease resistant." The patent citation at HMF - a nifty feature for which we are very grateful, BTW - suggests that the rose has "resistance to rust and powedery mildew..." If we go to the first comment, posted by one James Moody of Missouri we discover that Veterans Honor when grown in Missouri is so prone to blackspot as to be completely defoliated by the disease. Missouri is a state in which roses are much more prone to blackspot than, say, California, Oregon, or Washington. But most states south or east of can be expected to have even more problem with the disease.

From the perspective of a gardener who must either spray toxic chemicals about his yard on a weekly basis or watch his rose die, a rose that dies of blackspot within a year or two of planting is certainly not "very disease resistant."

I have heard California rosarians claim "blackspot does not kill roses." It may possibly be the case in some spots in California, but I know for certain that the statement is false in New Jersey, for almost every hybrid tea and a good portion of the floribundas I planted there spent most of their first season defoliated by blackspot and did not return for more of the same treatment the next year. I have heard Arkansas and South Texas gardeners complain that hybrid teas and floribundas all are out of the question because of their blackspot problems. I expect that most places in between, and most places south and east of any line connecting these placed will have about the same problems. That's a lot of places. And it's a lot of people to exclude from rose culture - especially considering that everywhere north and east of that same line will have to be very picky in their choice of roses because of troubles with cold hardiness.

The American Rose Society and its local clubs need to think about how to celebrate the rose locally without excluding members further abroad. A good way to start is not to automatically exclude who cannot grow a rose by materially misrepresenting the efforts required to grow it. Such practices can only drive novice rose growers either away from roses entirely or away from the cliques that form around roses that will only grow in very elite and exclusive regions of the country.