Rosa rugosa, originally an east Asian species of wild rose, produces tough hybrids with legendary survival attributes, including repelling deer.
Hardy and sturdy, rugosas beguile when they blend with the landscape. Sadly, an unfortunate stereotype of Rosa rugosa in the environment, particularly along sand dunes in maritime landscapes, persistently conveys a hardscrabble image of sprawling, unrefined stragglers. Their steadfast scents, determined flowering, and distinctive leaves affirm their unmistakable presence.
In fact, their species name, rugosa, is derived from their rugous, i.e., wrinkled, foliage. In particular, their aromatic tendency toward intense redolence of cloves dissuades deer from remaining in the vicinity of Rosa rugosa hybrids. Five Rosa rugosa hybrids that excel at repelling deer include:
• 'Agnes" (1922),
• 'Blanc Double de Coubert' (1892),
• 'Hansa' (1905),
• 'Scabrosa' (1950), and
• 'Thérèse Bugnet' (1950).
All five are classified for plant hardiness to Zone 4 (minus 30 to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit; minus 35 to minus 29 degrees Celsius).
These five hybrids also enchant with their contributions, not only to safeguarding, but also to prettifying, gardens.