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'Ritausma' rose Description
'Ritausma' rose photo
Photo courtesy of Marina's Garden. Crawfordville, FL
Commercially available
HMF Ratings:
82 favorite votes.  
Average rating: EXCELLENT-.  
White, near white or white blend Hybrid Rugosa.
Registration name: STRonin
Exhibition name: Polareis
Bred by Dr. Dzidra Alfredovna Rieksta (Latvia, 1963).
Introduced in Germany by Rosen Jensen-Lützow GmbH in 1988 as 'Kamtschatka'.
Introduced in Germany by BKN Strobel GmbH & Co. KG in 1991.
Introduced in France by Meilland International (after 1997) in 2004 as 'Polar Ice'.
Introduced in United States by Star Roses & Plants (Pennsylvania) in 2005 as 'Polar Ice'.
Hybrid Rugosa.  
Pink and yellow. [Light pink.].  Moderate fragrance.  25 petals.  Average diameter 2".  Medium to large, double (17-25 petals) bloom form.  Occasional repeat later in the season.  Fragrant buds.  
Medium, bushy.  Fragrant foliage.  

Height: 4½' to 7' (135 to 215cm).  Width: 6' to 7' (185 to 215cm).
USDA zone 3b through 8b.  Can be used for beds and borders, garden or landscape.  Very hardy.  Disease susceptibility: very disease resistant.  
Breeder's notes:
Light pink, fading to almost white. Flower has medium intensity fragrance (especially compared to other Rugosa hybrids originated by Dz. Rieksta, e.g. Parsla’, ‘Sniedze’ and ‘Liga’). Flower is of medium size. Flowers should be rather described as double, they have at least 25 petals normally. It has two flower peaks during the season.

Dr. Dz. Rieksta. As far as I have been informed, this cv. has been acquired by Strobel BKN, in Pinneberg, Germany from Leningrad Botanical Garden in late 1960-ies. The later had got their material from National Botanical Garden, Salapils, Latvia (then called Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences of Latvian SSR). Evidently, Mr. Strobel had not received information on breeder, given name and correct parentage. Later, in 1991, it was registered as ‘Polareis’ with IRAR, with statement that it came to them from Russia. I have not had a possibility to compare ‘Ritausma’ and ‘Polareis’ in cultivation. Its identity with ‘Ritausma’ has been discovered by side by side comparison carried out by Suzanne Verrier of North Creek Farm, an American rose nursery owner in Maine. The same conclusion has been got by Norwegian expert, Olav Kalleberg. The original name given by the breeder is ‘Ritausma’. The current situation is that it is being grown under both names, with ‘Ritausma’ being more often used in Baltic region and Scandinavia. (I do not know how wide is the usage of Polaris in northern USA and Canada, though.) We would like the original ‘Ritausma’ is kept and ‘Polareis’ proposed as its synonym.

[Interesting quilted gray-green leaves cover this extremely disease resistant and cold hardy plant.]
USSR (former) - Patent  on  1971
Dz. Rieksta has got a certificate of breeder rights for ‘Ritausma’ issued in 1971 by authorities of the former USSR. [According to the rules of former USSR, 1971, when this cv. got a certificate was a year of introduction/breeding, the reason why 1971 is sometimes considered as a year of origin of this cv. The actual year is 1963.]
Ritausma = Daybreak

Suzy Verrier of North Creek Farm says 'Polareis' is one of the stars in her nursery in Maine with its clusters of semi-double, cream blossoms brushed with shell pink and hints of apple green cascading over healthy, bright green rugosa foliage.

A correspondent from Finland emails, Here is what Suzanne Verrier tells about 'Polareis':
'Polareis' is an older rugosa initially imported from the Leningrad Botanical Garden in the 1960's. The name of the original rose was lost so the variety is now being reintroduced as 'Polareis'. This is a vigorous shrub; in its fifth season mine is 6'-7' high by as much wide. Clusters of creamy-white double blossoms blushed pink cascade cover this impressive shrub. It’s a show stopper and very much admired in our gardens.

[Polareis was introduced from Russia by Strobel in 1991.]

Ploidy checked by David Zlesak, February 2011.

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