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The Intrigue of Colour

Blackberry Nip Rose

Blackberry Nip Rose

Written by: Chrys Stevenson, BA (Hons I)

Known as a ‘showstopper’, one of our most strikingly beautiful, unusual and popular roses is Blackberry Nip.

This stunning hybrid tea rose was bred by Rob Somerfield of Glenavon Roses Ltd in New Zealand in 1996, but didn’t reach Australian shores until 2008. A hybrid of ‘Deep Secret’ and ’Old Port’, Blackberry Nip was Somerfield’s first commercially-released rose. According to Somerfield, the flower takes its name from an old fashioned liqueur, very appropriate given its ‘alcoholic’ lineage!
Now a hugely successful rose-breeder, Somerfield attributes his success, in part, to Blackberry Nip. Click here to see link

“If I hadn’t had Blackberry Nip and then had a follow up [Kaimai Sunset] that was also accepted well I may not have made it. It’s almost unheard of that a breeder’s first rose is a big success.”

Ranging in colour from magenta to deep purple, Blackberry Nip is prized, not only for its colour, but for the heavy, ‘old-fashioned’ fragrance of the roses you remember from grandma’s garden. Blackberry Nip’s strongly scented petals make wonderful potpourri. With a fragrance rating at the top of the scale, Blackberry Nip won the award for most fragrant rose at the Auckland Rose of the Year in 1999 and the Silver Star of the South Pacific National Rose Trial grounds in Palmerston North in 1998 – the highest award for a [then] amateur breeder.

The gorgeous colour of the flowers is complimented by Blackberry Nip’s unusual silvery-grey leaves and stems. With roses usually growing as single blooms on long stems, Blackberry Nip is a perfect choice for those wanting to buy or grow cut flowers.

Blackberry Nip also comes as a climbing variety. At the NZ Rose of the Year in 2013, Somerfield won best climber and most fragrant for Climbing Blackberry Nip, a sport of Blackberry Nip. The flowers of the climber are slightly larger than the bush rose but still develop on long stems which grow vigorously.

The Blackberry Nip bush does have thorns, but particularly easy to remove. Rob Somerfield insists the most important aspect of a rose is good health, so it follows that Blackberry Nip is very resistant to disease.
Eumundi Roses consider this rose to one of several they consider to be very hardy roses for Queensland conditions; certainly one of the easiest for novice gardeners wanting to enjoy the beauty of growing roses for themselves.

On average, the blooms of Blackberry Nip are about 110mm in diameter, with 35-40 petals, holding well as a cut flower or long-lasting bloom whose colour holds well and deepens as the flower ages. You can expect it to flower profusely and repeatedly throughout the season. The bush grows to about 1.5m x 1m and can be grown in a large pot.

Blackberry Nip is one of our favourite flowers, and, whether you’re buying flowers for a bouquet or a plant to grow at home, we think you’ll love it too.

Chrys Stevenson, BA (Hons I)
Freelance writer, blogger, researcher, presenter