Yellow banksian rose
Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’
The Banksian rose is a garden favourite around the globe. It originates in west and central China and is grown for the masses of blossom produced during the middle of the spring season. This sudden splash of yellow contributes significantly to the wonder and joy of the floral spectacle that is undoubtedly the essence of the spring garden. Spring is all about new growth and plants bursting forth into bloom and this old fashioned rose certainly achieves that. Various forms of Banksian rose are cultivated, although the yellow, double flowering Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ is the most popular amongst local gardeners and acknowledged as the most floriferous and showy of them all. They are described as shrubs with long, leggy climbing stems that can reach lengths of up to 12 metres. The evergreen leaves are compound, comprising of three to seven leaflets. Leaves and stems are smooth and usually free of thorns. The small, double, pale-yellow flowers are borne in clusters along lengths of the stem. They last for three to four weeks before falling and creating a carpet of spent petals beneath the plant.
Banksian roses are often planted on pergolas, trained up walls and along fences or simply left to grow into large sprawling shrubs that sometimes require support from beneath. One popular planting combination with this yellow rose is Petrea volubilis (Blue petrea) as they always seem to flower at the same time in spring creating a spectacular, contrasting show. Banksian roses are easy to grow, enjoying rich, well-drained soil and a bright, sunny position. Only prune or trim plants after flowering to maintain shape or keep them in check. Do not prune in winter, when most roses are cut back, as this will remove most of the flower buds for the approaching spring season. The yellow banksian rose may be deemed old fashioned and is no longer as popular with gardeners as it was a few decades ago but it is nevertheless a reliable and rewarding plant that never fails to make an impression every spring. They are really deserving of a spot in large gardens.