"Martha Gonzales"

(Pronounced: MAR-th-ah gon-ZAL-es)

ALSO KNOWN AS:

"Martha Gonzales"

 

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"Martha Gonzales" is a "found" red China rose with delicate dark gray-green foliage and bright red single flowers. It forms a compact bush up to 2' high.

 

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"Martha Gonzales" is in bloom most of the growing season and the bright red flowers are particularly pleasing against the uniquely colored foliage.

 

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The flowers are small (1-1/2"), single, and unscented, but they occur in great profusion.

 

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The flowers can be very bright, and during cool but mild winters the flowers turn velvety and are much larger than normal (3" to 3-1/2").

 

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"Martha Gonzales" are not too common, but when they appear, they are small, spherical and red.

 
 

 
GENERAL
INFORMATION:

"Martha Gonzales" is a small twiggy 2' - 4' China rose with single bright scarlet flowers. Its foliage is a unique shade of dark gray-green, and the new growth is dark red.

It is an excellent choice for a low hedge or mass plantings, and has become very popular with landscapes.

 
BOTANICAL
GROUP:

Chinensis

 
GROUP:

Found

 
CLASS:

Ch

 
SEED
PARENT:

Unknown  

POLLEN
PARENT:

Unknown  

BREEDER:

Unknown  

INTRODUCED:

"Martha Gonzales" was found by Pam Puryear in Navasota, TX at the home of Martha Gonzales in 1982, and introduced by the Antique Rose Emporium in 1991.  

DATE:

1984 [ United States ]  

PLANT SIZE
AND FORM:

Height:    2 '     to    4 '           Width:    2 '     to    3 '



"Martha Gonzales" forms a small compact twiggy bush that may range in size from 2' -4'.  

FOLIAGE
DESCRIPTION:

The dense foliage is a unique flat gray-green, and the new growth has a dark red tinge. The leaves are rather small and pointed. "Martha Gonzales" does not normally shed its foliage in the winter.

 
FOLIAGE
FRAGRANCE:

None.  

BLOOM
FREQUENCY:

C - Continuous. "Martha Gonzales" starts blooming in mid-spring (April in the Texas Hill Country) and continues to bloom profusely, off and on, until frost.

 
BLOOM
DESCRIPTION:
Flower Size:    1.00"      to      2.50"           Cluster Size:    3      to      5           Petal Count:    5 to 5          

"Martha Gonzales" flowers are single and small (1-1/2" in diameter) and open flat like a wild rose with fairly prominent gold stamens and a slight white eye around the stamens.

White rays from the eye may extend into the center or along the edges of the petals. In cool weather, the color darkens somewhat and the size of the blooms may increase to 2-1/2".

 
BLOOM
COLOR:

mr. Medium Red. "Martha Gonzales" blooms are bright crimson red, and do not fade at all as the blooms age. They have white eye centers and occasional white stripes on the petals.

 
COLOR VARIATION:

In cool weather, the color darkens somewhat and the size of the blooms may increase to 2-1/2".  

FRAGRANCE:

SF - Slightly Fragrant. "Martha Gonzales" has a very pleasing slight fragrance, but the fragrance dissipates rapidly in hot weather, leaving no noticeable fragrance.

 
HIPS:

Globular; Red; 3/8". "Martha Gonzales" are not too common, but when they appear, they are small, spherical and red.

 
CLIMATE:

Zones 7 - 9  

CULTURE:

"Martha Gonzales" is rather drought tolerant and will bloom and perform satisfactorily in partial shade, although it prefers bright sun. There are no apparent disease problems.

 
PROPAGATION:

"Martha Gonzales" is easy to root and is readily propagated from cuttings.

 
OTHER
CHARACTERISTICS:


    ** Tolerant of poorer soils
    ** Good for bedding or mass plantings
    ** Suitable for hedging and fence rows
    ** Requires sunny location to thrive
    ** Suitable for growing in pots
    ** Suitable for use as a ground cover
    ** Widely Availabile

Because "Martha Gonzales" blooms so profusely, periodic removal of spent blossoms with hedge shears is recommended to encourage continued production of flowers.

 
ANECDOTAL
INFORMATION:

"Martha Gonzales" is a found rose with a truly heart-warming story behind it. As the story has been passed down to me, Pam Puryear, a well known Texas Rose Rustler, and Dallas rosarian Joe Woodward were rose rustling.

While they were driving in when they spotted the roses in the yard of a lady named Martha Gonzales while still a block away. Mrs. Gonzales kindly let them take cuttings of her 'Old Blush' and 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' specimens.

Joe Woodward insisted that they should also take cuttings of the "little red China" rose, although Pam was not particularly enthusiastic about it. Well, the "little red China" rose turned out to be a treasure.

When Pam returned the next year for some more cuttings, the house seemed to be vacant, the rose was gone and it seemed that Martha Gonzales had passed away! But that is not the end of the story.

In the fall of 1999, I was contacted by the granddaughter of Martha Gonzales who had seen this web page and wanted to know if I had a picture of Martha Gonzales (the woman, not the rose). I sent a picture and learned that Martha Gonzales was still alive.

Martha Gonzales was told that her little rose had become really famous. She passed away the spring of 2000, but her name lives on in this wonderful little rose that was snatched just in time from oblivion and possible extinction.

 
REFERENCES:

American Rose Society. Modern Roses 10. Shreveport, Louisiana: American Rose Society. 1993, p. 348.

Antique Rose Emporium. The Antique Rose Emporium 1988 Catalog. Independence, Texas: Antique Rose Emporium. 1988, p. 19.

Druitt, Liz. The Organic Rose Garden. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company. 1996, pp. 14, 30, 93, 152.

Welch, William C.. Antique Roses for the South. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. 1990, pp. 7, 139.

Welch, William C.. Perennial Garden Color. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. 1989, pp. 209, 238-239.