Brown Velvet

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All University of Texas grads listen up! This is not your ordinary blushing pink, carmine red or pristine white bloom, this one is ORANGE. And not just your ordinary orange, but a real old-style, UT, burnt orange! It is tough as a Texas boot, too. I got the rooted cutting at a Texas Rustlers swap and brought it home to spend the night outside when a Blue Norther swept down straight from Canada without so much as a howdy-do and froze the poor thing solid, roots and all. Well, not deterred, it thawed and grew a little the next spring in a bed of alkaline clay gumbo. Suffering through the summer, I finally took pity on it and put it in a clay pot with some neutral potting soil to see if it really would grow and bloom. The next summer it did grow and boy did it bloom! Texas orange blooms without too much form, but a lot of color. Then came fall and cooler weather and wow! Three inch double blooms of burnt orange, shaded with a soft velvet brown. Holy cow!

The blooms have a mild fragrance. The bush has an upright growth with very glossy, dark leaves. Not exactly an antique, or even old rose since it was introduced into commerce in 1983. It is classified as a Floribunda and the winner of a Gold Medal from the New Zealand Rose Society. Hook 'em Horns!

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