Forum home The potting shed

PLEASE HELP me identify this Climbing Rose

kimaotungkimaotung Posts: 5
edited April 2021 in The potting shed
Hey guys! I bought two Etoile de Hollande climbing roses from a nursery in September 2019, and I think that they might not actually be Etoile de Hollande. The first time they flowered, the blooms were bright pink (see picture). They've grown a lot since then and flowered again this season and the blooms are red (sometimes look very deep pink). But the blooms are huge with tonnes of petals and I'm just not convinced whether they are actually EdH. They are flowering lots in April when EdH are meant to start flowering in June.

I need them to be EdH roses because I want them to cover the entirety of the front of our house, and they are the only red climbing roses I could find that grow up to and over 6 metres tall. 

What do you think? Is this an Etoile De hollande rose?

This was the rose when it first bloomed in 2020, as you can see it's bright pink

The sign says EdH but the buds are light pink (2020)

These are the roses now (April 2021)

The rose heads are very large, about 10 cm wide with loads of petals (April 2021)

As the bud starts opening it looks more like a classic EdH rose, so maybe they are?? I'm just confused!


  • After doing some digging, I'm pretty sure these are 'Ena Harkness' roses. I say this because the necks are very weak and so the blooms droop, I have to tie them up. Also, because it's flowering in April. Anyone have any thoughts?
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,560
    I have both Etoile and Ena - both are really dark red.
  • Fire said:
    I have both Etoile and Ena - both are really dark red.
    Interesting. It does look red now, it's just so bizarre that it started off bright pink...
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,560
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,138
    Unlike Fire, I don’t have this rose, so can’t say either way, but may I ask where your are based? The fact that they are blooming beautifully now makes me think you are not in the UK, unless you live in a very mild part of the country. My ‘red’ roses are often pink in the heat here in Spain. Also first blooms are often atypical in colour and form and yours has settled down into red it seems. Some of the photos of EdeH on this site are rather pink, large, nodding blooms are mentioned, petal count varies - check out the description, photos and member’s comments:

    Compare also foliage colour, prickles, etc., i.e. look at the similarities and differences of the whole plant, not just the blooms. Hope you solve the mystery!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,560
    edited April 2021
    I have both but can't ID by looking at the photos. As Nollie says sun and heat can change a roses habit and colour. I imagine varying nutrients in the soil would change characteristics somewhat too. My Ena does often flower in April but one of my Etoile has been covered in nearly open buds and would have started flowering weeks ago if it had been warmer in London.

    I would say that Etoile is a triffid. I got about two metres of growth from the canes last year, early in the season. Perhaps put in an Etoile now for good measure, sourced from a good rose grower like Trevor White, and see how you go. If you do have Ena underneath, it would still look great.

    My Dr Jamain is supposed to be dark red but its colour is all over the shop - from fuchsia to magenta to neon pink to raspberry to blood red - all on one plant.

  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,266
    First, where do you live? If you have it flowering now, you have to be somewhere very warm. This means that the usual flowering times are irrelevant for you. Roses don't read labels, they flower when it is warm enough for them. Weather can also affect the colour and the size.
    I checked the photos on helpmefind (linked above by Nollie) and there seems to be a lot of variability in the colour. I have no reason to think that your rose isn't EdH.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,560
    As I mentioned, my Ena usually starts flowering in April in London.
  • These replies are SOOO helpful! I have learnt so much from you all (as a pretty novice gardener), thank you so so much! I am based in London, UK. So not a warm climate exactly, which is why I lean towards thinking the roses are Ena Harkness as they flowered early.

    I love the suggestion of planting an EdH rose anyway and letting it grow alongside/over the current roses. Because of my scepticism around the plants, I actually bought a new EdH rose online and planted it at the start of this year. As you can see circled here:

    I just *pray* they have sent the right thing, as I'm becoming more aware that when you buy plants online they can often send the wrong type. Sadly, as I'm in London I don't have any Garden Centres around that sell EdH climbing roses.

    @Fire thanks for suggesting Trevor White! They don't currently have EdH in stock so I ordered *another* EdH from just to increase my changes (I clearly really want EdH roses ha). I'll grow it in a pot for a year and if it's the right plant I'll replace one of the existing climbing roses in the flower bed.

    Thanks again everyone!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,560
    edited April 2021
    I have been closely studying red rose habits as never before, which has been useful. These this is Ena 20th April 2019

    - - -

    - - -

    Below are three varities from left to right - Ena, middle is Etoile and left is Crimson Glory. I think you maybe right with your 'diagnosis' that you had a Ena by mistake. I'm not expert at all, but the Etoile here does seem to have much more 'ruffly' petals (techincal term :D).

    I have had Ena for around seven years but Etoile are pretty new in for me and this will be their first full flowering year. They grew like mad but didn't flower at all last year. I added lots of manure and watered a great deal.

    Where abouts are you in London?  I learn a lot from the rose thread - it's worth keeping an eye there is you are interested to learn more about roses (a new season's thread has just started).  Where you can, I think it's best to buy from specialist growers for roses, like with clematis and trees. Roses growers like David Austin, Trevor White, Peter Beales, Eastcrofts etc. It is a difficult time of year to buy some roses, as winter dormancy is the usual period.

    It will be fascinating to see how your roses get on. Try some fish, blood and bone or rose food to give an extra boost, once growth has started in earnest. It's a dry spot, right by a wall, so make sure to water lots and give as much sun as possible (not shaded out by other things).

    I hope that's useful. Feel free to message me.

Sign In or Register to comment.