Environmental Laboratory

Environmental Monitoring and Disease Management on Greenhouse Roses

Oct 12 2007

Author: Dr Terry Mabbett on behalf of Burkard Scientific (Sales) Ltd

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Evolutionary plant breeding and production of modern roses for commercial cut flower use traditionally took place in Europe. Commercial production has recently shifted to tropical countries where roses are grown at altitude in unheated polythene greenhouses, rather than heated and environmentally controlled glasshouses. None of this was achievable without a continuous and crucial genetic input from Asia. Earliest introductions from Western Asia comprised Rosa gallica (so-called ‘French Rose’) from the Middle East and Rosa damascena (the Damask rose) also a red rose and a natural variation of R. gallica from Syria in the thirteenth century. Rosa fatida var persicana (Yellow Rose of Persia) as the name suggests had origins in what is now Iran and was brought in to Europe from Persia in the sixteenth century. Later but equally essential introductions into Europe were made from East Asia. The semi-double pink ‘Tea Rose’ (Rosa odorata) from Canton (China) in 1810 followed by the sulphur yellow ‘Tea Rose’ (another fragrant China garden rose) in 1824 was events without which today’s roses grown for commercial cut flowers could not exist. Countries like Ecuador in South America and Kenya in East Africa may now possess some of the fastest growing production systems, but established high quality cut rose production is also taking place in countries across Asia including Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Japan.

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