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150th rose a ray of sunshine

Monday 12 August 2019 2:26pm

Otago University rose in bloom.

A ray of sunshine landed in Dunedin last week with the arrival of the newly-released Otago University 150th anniversary rose.

The 150 roses arrived at Mitre 10 Mega from Glenavon Roses in Tauranga, ready to be potted up by a group of staff and friends of the University on Thursday.

University Events Hub assistants Sophie Ehlers and Bailey McLean getting Otago University roses ready for potting.

The eye-catching yellow hybrid tea rose was developed by Glenavon rose breeder Rob Somerfield, and it is described as “a rose that has shapely warm yellow blooms, mostly one to a stem.

The label of the Otago University rose.

“The plant never seems to be without a flower and is a lovely variety to pick. The bush is of medium vigour with glossy mid-green foliage and great health.”

Mr Somerfield says he’s very happy with the Otago University rose.

“Yellow roses can very difficult to breed, and this is a good yellow rose with a lot of flowers.”

He says developing the rose was "a little bit special to me as my daughter’s been at Otago for the past five years”.

The bare-rooted roses have been potted into University-blue pots, with 50 of them going to the University and the other 100 to be given away as gifts during the anniversary year.

Next year the rose will be available to the public, although a few are available this year through Wairere Nursery.

“They’re a wonderful promise of sunshine to come in the middle of our winter,” says 150th Project coordinator Kerry Buchan.

150th Project Coordinator Kerry Buchan labelling some of the 150 Otago University roses.