CAJUN MOON, HYBRID TEA ROSE
Cajun Moon (WEKonine) is one of the most beautiful and popular exhibition hybrid tea roses in the country. Best known as a sister seedling of the great exhibition rose, Moonstone, Cajun Moon has also been making a name for itself on rose show trophy tables from coast to coast since its formal introduction by Weeks Roses in 2002.
Hybridized by the rose wizard of Weeks, Tom Carruth, Cajun Moon was not intitially scheduled to be introduced to the buying public at all. How it came to be introduced is a rather good story, and I am a lover of good rose stories.
To begin with, both Moonstone and Cajun Moon hybrid tea roses are crosses of ARObipy x WEKjoe. They were grown in blocks side by side at Weeks Roses, and are very similar to each other in appearance. In 1999, it was decided by Weeks to introduce the rose variety codenamed WEKcryland, which would ultimately become known as Moonstone, under the name of Cadillac DeVille. Since these rose varieties were so similar, Weeks had no plans to introduce the sister seedling, WEKonine. At about that time, Weeks sold their multiplication blocks of Cadillac DeVille to Spring Hill Nursery. Spring Hill apparently received both the block with Moonstone and the block with its sister seedling, which would ultimately become Cajun Moon hybrid tea rose.
Shortly thereafter, Weeks Roses changed the name of Cadillac DeVille to Moonstone, and the rose became widely distributed commercially throughout the country. A number of top rose exhibitors purchased roses from Spring Hill that year under the name of Cadillac DeVille. One of those exhibitors was Lynn Snetsinger, who shared the following with me: "When we all started showing Moonstone, we realized there were some slight differences between the two (primarily lighter color and fewer thorns on Cajun Moon). Further investigation revealed the mix-up, so the sister seedling was registered as well and was named Cajun Moon."
Cajun Moon never received as wide a commercial distribution as its sister seedling, Moonstone, and it was officially released three years later. It is unlikely that you will find this rose in your local garden center or nursery. However, despite its limited release, Cajun Moon has become one of the most sought after exhibition roses in commerce. It was on the Top Ten List of winning hybrid tea show roses in the nation last year, according to the recognized authority on such statistics, Bob Martin of Roseshow.com. That's pretty good for a rose that's rather hard to get!
Personally, I am very pleased that Cajun Moon was introduced to the buying public, since Moonstone does not grow well in my microclimate. It produces vegetative centers for most of the year in my garden. However, Cajun Moon produces perfectly gorgeous, show-worthy blooms year round. As a real bonus, Cajun Moon is practically thornless, particularly on the upper half of the cane, which is a real joy when cutting and pruning it.
The blooms on Cajun Moon are very large and pure white with a very fine pink edging. It is registered with the American Rose Society as a white, near white & white blend (w). The delicate pink edge on each petal gives it a fragile look that is reminiscent of fine porcelain, although in actuality, its petals are rich and full of substance. The blooms present from 34 to 42 petals, which come together beautifully into a glorious, high-centered form.
By way of growth habit, Cajun Moon presents an upright rosebush that reaches from four to six feet in height. Stems are long and straight and average about 18" to 28" long. The foliage of this rose is dark green and glossy, offering a beautiful backdrop to the exquisitely lovely exhibition blooms. The only possible detriment to this stunning hybrid tea rose is that it has little or no fragrance. However, on the positive side, it has very good disease resistance and good remontance (re-bloom) as well.
In summary, Cajun Moon is not only a great show rose, but is also a wonderful garden rose that is sure to reward any home gardener with breathtaking long-stemmed beauties throughout the growing season. These roses have a vase life of four to five days, which makes them perfect for cutting for the home. For those who will go the extra mile to find it, and you will most certainly have to mail order it, Cajun Moon will be well worth the effort. This outstanding hybrid tea is available from various online nurseries. Add the romance of the Louisiana bayou to your garden soon with the beautiful Cajun Moon!
© Copyright Suzanne Horn. All rights reserved.
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