Bright as a Button
March 9th, 2024


Shrub Rose

After more than 55 years of collecting and planting roses, I have to admit to being late to adding a Persica rose to my garden, my choice being ‘Bright as a Button’. That said, the Persica collection of roses has its own interesting history. Firstly, recognising the origins of the name, Persica, a rose from Persia, today’s Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan. It is also noteworthy that despite this ancient history the original rose, still growing on the arid steppes, in dry harsh conditions, is considered a weed and an impairment to 21st century agriculture, consequently being ploughed-in or used for firewood.

So how did this rose find its way into our gardens albeit only readily available in the last 20 years?

The lineage of Rosa Persica is an anomalous species that at one time placed it in a separate genus- Hulthemia.

The development of the modern hybrid was initiated by Jack Harkness (England) and Alex Cocker (Scotland); however, it was British breeder Chris Warner who continued their work to bring this variety of hybrids to market. Warner is an award-winning breeder renowned for healthy no-spray garden roses and Bright as a Button is categorised as a “novel” Persica. It meets the criteria of a specialty rose that requires little care to maintain its shape, foliage and constant blooming.

Recorded as symbolising perfection, beauty and elegance the 5 petalled flowers, borne in clusters of up to 10 blooms on longish canes, lives up to this reputation.

Bright as a Button, bred in 2002, is considered probably the best of the Persica varieties winning European trial awards in the 2000s.  It is the distinctive eye at the base of the flower surrounded by prominent bee attracting stamens that is the unique definer.

This shrub rose is highly disease resistant, growing approximately 1x1metre and is rarely without flowers from spring to autumn.  It has fragrant, single, medium-sized blooms of deep pink to pale pink which retain their colour.

It is indeed a worthy addition to a rose bed, offering easy care, fragrance, attracting bees and contrast.

Available in 2024 from Wagner’s Rose Nursery and Silkies Rose Farm 

Text: Bev Scott