This article is from the Rose Gardening FAQ, by Bill Chandler firstname.lastname@example.org, Jolene Adams email@example.com, Brent C. Dickerson firstname.lastname@example.org, Karen Baldwin email@example.com, and many contributors
Hardiness - R. wichuraiana crosses were made to introduce hardiness into the
modern roses like Hybrid Teas. The first attempts were made by the Brownells
of Rhode Island. Further work has been done by Kordes and Tantau in Germany.
Buck (Central U.S.A.) has made progress, as has the Morden program (Canada).
Colors - Truly, roses are still evolving. The hand of man is pushing this
lovely flower in ever-stranger permutations. After all, now we are pursuing
the "true blue" rose!! Manipulation of the genes for color is being
attempted, with some progress along the front of isolating the blue color
from some species and introducing it into others. Only time will tell.
The Black Rose, on the other hand, may always remain an enigma. How many
flowers do we have in Nature that are truly Black? We call deep red, deep
chocolate, deep purple and deep violet tones 'black'. So far, the only Black
Rose has been the product of chemical manipulation (dyes) and fervent
imagination -- but, who knows? This barrier may also crumble before the need
for an "unusual" rose!