Pronounciation: RO-sa bank-SEE-a
USDA 6-8 (deciduous), 9-11 (evergreen)
Landscape Use: Landscape accent plant, ground cover for slopes, raised planter beds, overhanging trellis and arbor.
Form & Character: Mostly evergreen climbing rose, arching, cascading, sprawling.
Growth Habit: Evergreen, thorn-less canes of great vigor. sprawling, training and climbing to 50 or more feet if left unpruned.
Foliage/Texture: Small medium green pinnately compound leaves on green thorn less stems; medium fine texture (fine textured for a rose).
Flowers & Fruits: Clusters of axillary white to yellow small
flowers, single or double, not fragrant, borne on old wood produced the previous growth season, fruit inconspicuous to sterile
Recognized subspecies include:
Single yellow flower - R. banksiae lutescens
Double yellow flower - R. banksiae lutea
Single white flower - R. banksiae normalis
Double white flower - R. banksiae banksiae or R. banksiae alba-plena
The single form, Rosa banksiae normalis, is believed to be the original wild form. More commonly grown now are the double varieties. R. banksiae banksiae was the first to be botanically described, introduced from Canton, China in 1807 by William Kerr to Kew Gardens, England and named after the wife of Sir Joseph Banks (at that time the director of Kew). It is unclear if this is a hybrid cultivar, as both double and single forms are found in the wilds of China. The white Lady Banks' rose was once the most common in cultivation, but largely became replaced by the double yellow (subspecies lutea).
Seasonal Color: Abundant floral color in mid spring (mid March in Phoenix) for about one week.
Light: Partial shade to full sun.
Pruning: Prune only after flower until July. Never prune during fall, winter, or spring before flowering lest one desires to have no flowers during the following bloom time!
Propagation: Asexual semi-hardwood cuttings, or either softwood cuttings during the growing season or hardwood cuttings during winter.
Disease and pests: Virtually pest free in Phoenix.
Additional comments: Lady Banks' rose is an excellent accent climbing rose for Phoenix. It is best grown where its enthusiastic vigor need not be restrained. Grow it as a naturalized plant or over a sturdy (very sturdy) structure. The Guinness Book of World Records identifies 'The Tombstone', a double white Lady Banks', as the single largest rose plant in the world. Located near its namesake, Tombstone, Arizona, it covers 8,000 square feet and was planted in 1855 by a homesick bride.