'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

(Pronounced: MRS. DUD-lee CROSS)

ALSO KNOWN AS:

'Dudley Cross' , 'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

 

'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

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Mrs. Dudley Cross is wonderful thornless old tea rose that produces a nearly constant display of 3" to 4" very double muddled yellow blooms that blush to pink, and finally crimson, as they age.

 

'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

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The blooms open from long tight pointed buds and the petals quickly darken to pink in response to sunlight. If you like yellow roses, and you like pink roses, this is the rose for you!

 

'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

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The blooms start mostly straw yellow with tinges of pink on the edges of the petals.

 

'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

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As the blooms age and are exposed to more ultraviolet light, they darken dramatically to successively darker shades of pink. Because the blossoms on the plant are all different ages, a mixture of yellow and pink blooms are displayed.

 

'Mrs. Dudley Cross'

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The plant forms a sprawling bush when left to its own devices, but very large specimens have been noted. My first cutting came from a very old specimen at my next door neighbor's house in the Monte Vista Historical district of San Antonio.

That rose may have been planted shortly after the introduction of 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' in 1907. During its long lifetime, that plant has grown up to the eaves of the hours, a height of about 12 feet.

 
 

 
GENERAL
INFORMATION:

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' is a very hardy and care-free old tea rose with large, muddled, very double, yellow flowers that blush to ever-darkening shades of pink in response to sunlight as the blooms age.

 
BOTANICAL
GROUP:

Chinensis

 
GROUP:

OGR

 
CLASS:

T

 
SEED
PARENT:

Unknown  

POLLEN
PARENT:

Unknown  

BREEDER:

Paul, W.  

INTRODUCED:

Mrs. Dudley Cross was introduced by Paul in 1907.  

DATE:

1907 [ England ]  

PLANT SIZE
AND FORM:

Height:    4 '     to    8 '           Width:    3 '     to    5 '



'Mrs. Dudley Cross' has a vigorous and somewhat spreading growth habit that normally forms a dense bush 4' to 7' in height. Very old specimens may occasionally attain heights in excess of 10 feet.  

FOLIAGE
DESCRIPTION:

The foliage is large, olive to dark green, and glossy.

 
FOLIAGE
FRAGRANCE:

None.  

BLOOM
FREQUENCY:

C - Continuous. Mrs. Dudley Cross starts blooming in early March in the Texas Hill Country and continues to bloom prolifically and more or less continuously until first frost in November.

 
BLOOM
DESCRIPTION:
Flower Size:    .00"      to      .00"           Cluster Size:    3      to      5           Petal Count:    30 to 40          

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' flowers are large (3" to 4") and very double. The inner petals are very muddled and dense, generally obscuring the stamens. The flowers often occur in small clusters.

 
BLOOM
COLOR:

yb - Yellow blend. 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' blooms open a light canary yellow, but respond to sunlight by blushing to darker and darker shades of pink.

The effect of sunlight is apparent even on the buds, which frequently exhibit pink coloration outlining pointed yellow areas where the sepals shaded the outer petals as the bud grew and started to open.

 
COLOR VARIATION:

The blooms darken from straw yellow to pink in response to exposure to ultraviolet in sunlight.  

FRAGRANCE:

sf - Slightly Fragrant. Mrs. Dudley Cross has a very light tea fragrance.

 
HIPS:

None observed.

 
CLIMATE:

Zones 7 - 9  

CULTURE:

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' is a care free rose that is very easy to grow and tolerates poorer soils.

 
PROPAGATION:

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' is easily propagated from cuttings.

 
OTHER
CHARACTERISTICS:


    ** Tolerant of shade
    ** Requires sunny location to thrive
    ** Suitable for growing in pots
    ** Suitable for growing in greenhouses
    ** Availability is limited

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' makes excellent, long lasting cut flowers. 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' closely resembles, and is often confused with, an earlier tea rose named 'Marie Van Houtte'.

However, 'Marie van Houtte' has thorns and is somewhat more vigorous, to the extent that 'Marie van Houtte' has been called "Mrs. Dudley Cross on steroids".

 
ANECDOTAL
INFORMATION:

As the flower opens and ages, the petals blush pink from the outer margins and reverse sides of the petals, toward the center, and finally the bloom may appear to be totally crimson when fully aged.

My first specimen of 'Mrs. Dudley Cross 'was a cutting from a plant growing beside the house of my next door neighbor in the Monte Vista Historical area of San Antonio, a large neighborhood developed between 1890 and 1930.

My house was built in 1897, and my neighbor’s specimen must have been planted shortly after Mrs. Dudley Cross was introduced in 1907. Since that time her rose has grown to a height of nearly 12', reaching almost to the eaves of the roof.

The rose is planted on the east side of her house, under a towering pecan tree, which attests to the tolerance of 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' for partial shade.

During mild winters, this specimen of 'Mrs. Dudley Cross', which is in a rather sheltered location, never stops blooming completely, but the number of blooms is reduced sharply.

As the weather warms, the frequency and number of blooms increases sharply - a sure indication that spring cannot be far away. This was a very popular rose during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

 
REFERENCES:

American Rose Society. Modern Roses 10. Shreveport, Louisiana: American Rose Society. 1993, p. 394.

American Rose Society. Modern Roses XI. Shreveport, Louisiana: American Rose Society. 2000, p. 35.

Antique Rose Emporium. The Antique Rose Emporium 1988 Catalog. Independence, Texas: Antique Rose Emporium. 1988, p. 35.

Beales, Peter. Classic Roses. New York: Henry Holt & Company. 1997, p. 387.

Druitt, Liz. The Organic Rose Garden. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company. 1996, pp. 99, 156-157.

Welch, William C.. Antique Roses for the South. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. 1990, pp. 24, 26-27, 75, 121, 155.

Welch, William C.. Perennial Garden Color. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. 1989, pp. 213-214, 238-239.