March 30th, 2009
Rose ‘Ducher’

rose Ducher
March 21, 2009

My roses rarely look like photos in rose books: you know, with hundreds of flowers cascading over a dense green bush. So my China rose, ‘Ducher’, is taking my breath away right now every time I catch a glimpse of it. I can’t quite capture the effect because the white flowers reflect the light in such a way that it looks like a bush covered in tissue paper flowers.

‘Ducher’ is said to be the only white China rose. (It’s pronounced “doo shay” according to the Aggie’s Earthkind Roses site. I’m glad they include that because I’m always in a muddle over French names.) They are ivory white, meaning they have a very slight yellow, rather than pink, tint. Depending on the light, some flowers seem to glow from within. The flowers are about 3 inches across and rather flat. They have a lemon-y scent. The petals fall rapidly when the flower is finished so there are never ugly brown flowers drooping on the plant as is sometimes a problem with white roses.

rose Ducher

The bush is very dense and twiggy and looks nice even when it’s not blooming. The leaves are a flat medium green. New growth is very red. The stems are almost thornless.

Garden History

This is my second ‘Ducher’ rose. I planted the first one on the south side of the yard. It only got winter sun and so bloomed well in winter. Several years ago it succumbed suddenly to cane dieback. When my neighbor built a wooden privacy fence on the north side of my yard, I was able to begin taking out the nandina hedge. I decided I wanted to replace the roses I’d lost in the 2006 drought. ‘Ducher’ was the first replacement–the only rose I’ve bought twice.

rose Ducher
Rose ‘Ducher’. March 28, 2008. Austin, TX

The new situation has suited it. I thought the first one was a nice little rose before. This one is like the snow queen. These two photos were taken almost exactly a year a part and it’s doubled in size in every direction. The Antique Rose Emporium says that ‘Ducher’ is smaller than most China roses and a good candidate for containers. With only my experience of my first ‘Ducher’ I would have agreed. This one’s now about 4 feet tall and 5 feed wide. You’d need a pretty large container.

rose Ducher
Rose ‘Ducher’. March 21, 2009 Austin, TX

This year ‘Ducher’ began blooming on February 6th and each week has become more and more laden with flowers. These last two weeks it’s upstaged everything else in the garden. I really love ‘Ducher’. Although the individual flowers are not as arresting as ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ the overall effect of the bush is very attractive. And it’s not at all fussy. It doesn’t need a lot of pruning and it seems resistant to most diseases and pests. Basically all I’ve had to do is plant it where it got enough sunlight and make sure it got enough water. In a year when most of my plants were simply surviving the drought, ‘Ducher’ has been thriving.

by M Sinclair Stevens

17 Responses to post “Rose ‘Ducher’”

  1. From Carol at Lost Valley Gardens:

    MSS – wonderful photos of a beautiful plant! Thanks for sharing. Your garden is looking great. Very inviting.

  2. From Annie in Austin:

    What a lovely reward for buying the same rose twice, MSS! Ducher looks very happy cavorting with the larkspur and bluebonnets.

    I actually lifted up a pot of Ducher while at Flora Rama/Zilker Gardenfest on Saturday to catch the fragrance. Now wish I’d bought it!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. From Vertie:

    It does look great. I may have to look into it if I kill another of my roses. All the flowers look great. Some of the larkspur you gave me are flowering, and I love them. I’ve even thought of marking the prettiest (darkest) ones like so I can keep their seeds. I doubt I’ll actually do it (too lazy), but you have got me thinking.

  4. From Lzyjo:

    Beautiful flowers! The rose bush has such a lovely habit, it would like right at home in a beautiful English cottage garden.

    So would I. — mss

  5. From Diana - Austin:

    Your photo of ‘Ducher’ does look like something out of a coffe table book – it’s stunning. And it’s grown wonderfully for you – that must be the perfect spot. I’d love the lemon scent. I was admiring the roses at Zilker this weekend — did you go? Their roses were all beautiful in bloom as well.

  6. From Sheila:

    What a lovely rose! I am partial to white roses for their simplicity and purity and this one is a good example of those qualities.

    I’m a big fan of white flowers. I like being able to see them in the twilight or the moonlight. And when it’s hot, white flowers look so cool and inviting–like women in white linen dresses at a summer party. — mss

  7. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    I wish ‘Ducher’ was hardy here. It’s such a lovely Rose, and to know that it doesn’t have the yucky brown faded petal problem makes it a nearly perfect Rose. I’m so glad you’ve got something wonderful happening in your garden now.

    This is my garden’s moment. A very short and fleeting moment. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see it last year. — mss

  8. From Lori, Austin TX:

    Wow! I got my Ducher last spring and it struggled and looked miserable all summer and is only now starting to grow and flower. I hope it looks like yours someday!

    With roses, as with a lot of perennials, third year is the charm. Sleep, creep, leap and all that. — mss

  9. From compostinmyshoe Charleston, SC:

    I have always loved this rose. First grew it when I was at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC and have never fallen out of love with it…..makes me want to get another one for my garden in Charleston!

  10. From Dawn:

    Wow, your Ducher really is beautiful. And it’s so perfect paired with a Zanthan Larkspur. My favorite! 🙂

  11. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    ‘Ducher’ looks like a jewel in your garden. I see it and think I should grow some roses in my garden!

  12. From angelina:

    It is gorgeous. I think white roses are an acquired taste and I’ve slowly been acquiring it. Now I want Ducher.

    But c’mon, I’ll bet if Souvenir de la Malmaison bit it you’d buy a second one!

    I’d absolutely replace ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. And I’m tempted to replace ‘Sombreuil’ and ‘Gruss an Aachen’. — mss

  13. From jodi (bloomingwriter, NS):

    What a glorious rose, MSS–it looked like it was MADE of China, when I first looked at it. I have only a couple of white ones: Sir Thomas LIpton, Henry Hudson, Souvenir du Philemon Cochet, Pristine Pavement and Snow Pavement (the latter is almost lavender, but is described as white). The only drawback to the white roses here is that the fog causes them to ball up like soggy tissues. Don’t expect that’s a problem for you…

    Actually balling and powdery mildew are typically big rose problems in Austin. Although we don’t get as much rain as we’d like, we often have quite high humidity when the wind blows up from the Gulf of Mexico. Our ground can be cracked and parched but the air oppressively humid. However, because of our 19 months of drought, the roses do seem to be having less problems this year. The two that give me the most trouble balling are ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ and ‘Blush Noisette’ (both pink but very double). — mss

  14. From Teresa:

    The Ducher rose is so beautiful it looks transparent like if was made porcelain. I wish i could have the same luck you have with the Roses I have.

    Why is it that sometime they bloom one year and the next they don’t. Do you know he reason?

    You really don’t want the same kind of luck I have with roses. I’ve managed to kill half the ones I’ve planted during our horrible droughts of 2006 and 2008/9. Most of my roses bloom well in the early spring before the trees leaf out and there’s still some sun. Then they sulk all summer. I think the biggest factor in getting roses to bloom is ensuring they get enough sun (6 to 8 hours) and enough water (1 inch a week). I feed mine with bone meal in the early spring and topdress frequently with sifted compost. — mss

  15. From Rino, Arlington TX:


    I have a new Rose “Ducher” that I planted in a pot with a Dwarf Bottlebush and other annuals to make a composition. My rose is a small one and it has to grow a lot still. From your pictures it seems like Ducher thrives in the dappled shade of a tree! That is good to know because I was worried whether the tree on top of my pot would compromise the growth of my rose! Thank you! I love white roses a lot! They are classy!

  16. From James, Austin TX:

    I recently purchased (March 2011) the rose ‘Ducher’ (on recommendation of Texas A&M). I am delighted to learn that: 1) the rose can become fairly large; 2) the rose can handle dappled sun, and, 3) at least one person in Austin has had success growing it. Ah! Nothing like a little vicariously acquired positive reinforcement to stimulate a person’s optimistic attitude.

    I don’t know if I’d say I was successful at growing ‘Ducher’. I’ve killed two of them. The second one I had, which got sufficient sunlight, just bloomed itself out. It went crazy growing and then succumbed suddenly to rose cane dieback. But it was lovely while it lasted. I’d plant one again if I had a sunny spot for it. — mss

  17. From Anne - Sugar Land, TX:

    My Ducher rose in Sugar Land, TX is just gorgeous this year. I love its lemony aroma. It gets very little sun, was hit by the drought, and it has no diseases. I am going to buy another one this year.