Rosa 'Firefighter'

The rose I keep by the computer at all times is 'Firefighter' (Orard, before 1998):

Rosa 'Firefighter'

'Firefighter' has run through a number of names:  'Red 'n Fragrant', 'Hacienda', 'Roxanne Pallat', and in the US, 'Firefighter'.  I've noticed that roses with multiple names are more often than not excellent roses.  My guess is that the patent-holder or hybridizer really believes in the quality of the rose, and keeps trying with different names, hoping the plant is the hit it deserves to be.

'Firefighter' started its career as a fragrant florist rose, went through a couple other names, and then was picked up by Edmunds and renamed as a tribute to the NYC firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.  They both  deserved  and received a beautiful tribute in this rose. 

Though the color is not a pure crimson red like that of 'Veterans Honor', or 'Beloved', it is a true red, not a dark pink.  The red is dusky, on the cool blue side of red.  'Firefighter' has a few minor flaws, none of which are that terrible:  the plant is slow to establish and blooms very little the first couple of years.  After that, it turns into a huge perfume manufacturing plant, pumping out fragrant bloom after fragrant bloom.  Another minor flaw is the shape of the unopened bud, which is small, and often asymmetrical.  I speculate that the small unimpressive buds are partly to blame for this roses's relative obscurity.  It is a surprise to see such  beautiful flowers develop from such sad little buds.  But they do!

The great virtues of 'Firefighter' are the wonderful fragrance, the dusky red color (red and fragrant and disease resistant are rarer than you think), the very good, if not perfect, rust and mildew resistance, the long, straight, strong cutting stems, and the bloom production, which is wonderful.  I can usually have at least one or two 'Firefighter' blooms in the vase by the computer from April thorough January.  The greatest feature of 'Firefighter' is that strong sweet rose fragrance.  Lean back in your chair and a waft of perfume drifts into your nostrils.  Shift a little, and more perfume.  Walk into the room:  perfume.  This is a good one!   If it seems as though I am besotted with 'Firefighter's perfume at this moment:  yes, I am!


  1. I was just wondering about roses that reincarnate with different names yesterday! I have one that was a 'tribute' rose that was only available for one year. I assume it was renamed the next year, but it was terrible for black spot and mildew! It kind of outgrew the problem eventually but I always wonder which rose it is now!

  2. Hi Sheila,

    Did you check ? If you know the old name, it may lead you to the new name...I have another rose, 'Matilda', that's also been called 'Charles Aznavour', 'Pearl of Bedfordview', and 'Seduction'!

  3. Couldn't agree more. It's at least as good, overall, as Alec's Red, but more resistant to rust and mildew, and really, truly red. I think it's the current best approximation of the holy grail of hybrid tea roses.

    I keep one just outside my front door, so that I can smell it every time I leave or return.


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