Collage showing Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid roses.

Northern Accents® Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid Roses Given New Life

March 15, 2021

Originally released in 2007 (Ole, Sven and Lena) and 2009 (Sigrid) the Northern Accents® Rose Series initially made a splash in Northern markets but as rose sales decreased during the recession, they became harder and harder for rose lovers to find. 

Enter Dave Schulte, of Schulte’s Greenhouse in St. Michael, MN. As a member of the Minnesota Nursery Research Corporation board, Schulte is often privy to the latest news and information about UMN horticultural variety development, but in 2020 he was more interested in bringing back some northern garden favorites with distinct Minnesota names. 

“With the many years of research that went into these plants and they were not being propagated, grown, or sold. I thought why not us?,” explains Dave Schulte. “Stan Hokanson and Steve McNamara walked me through the process of propagation and production so that we could be successful.”

Originally developed at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as part of the Woody Landscape Plant Breeding Project, Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid are descendants of UMN Rosa 36—a polyantha cultivar added to the University’s breeding program in 1992 for its valuable traits including continual bloom throughout the growing season, high rose black spot tolerance, reliable Zone 4 crown hardiness, and a dense upright plant habit.  

Lena, Ole, Sigrid, and Sven, tested as UMN Rosa 320, 215, 362, and 251, respectively, are all compact, ever-blooming roses with small flowers (1 to 2 inches across) that produce wave after wave of blooms throughout the season. Because the plants die back to the ground every winter, they reach a height of only 3 to 4 feet. But, unlike many roses, they possess excellent disease resistance and need no special care to survive winter in zones 4-9. They can simply be cut back to near the ground in early spring to encourage production of new growth that will produce flowers in the summer.

“The Northern Accents® roses were hybridized by former University plant breeder Kathy Zuzek,” explains Steven McNamara. “Kathy put a great deal of effort into developing and testing these hardy, compact, disease resistant varieties so they would provide many years of carefree enjoyment the landscapes of northern gardeners.  And they have performed well in warmer parts of the country as well.”

Northern Accents® Sven Rose is covered in stunning, lightly-scented violet flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches from late spring to late summer.

Northern Accents Sven Rose.Sven, Northern Accents® Rose, Rosa ‘BAlsven’
• Classification: Shrub
• Official Flower Color: Mauve blend
• Bloom Cycle: Ever-blooming
• Hardiness Zone: 4-9
• Height: 26-40”
• Flower Form, Size: Full, 1-1/2”
• Petal Count: 16-40

 

Northern Accents® Ole Rose is smothered in stunning, lightly-scented white flowers with shell pink overtones at the ends of the branches from late spring to mid-fall.

Northern Accents Ole Rose.Ole, Northern Accents® Rose, Rosa ‘BAlole’
• Classification: Shrub
• Official Flower Color: Light pink
• Bloom Cycle: Everblooming
• Hardiness Zone: 4-9
• Height: 30-36”
• Flower Form, Size: Double, 2”
• Petal Count: 17-25

 

Northern Accents® Lena Rose is blanketed in stunning white flowers with pink tips at the ends of the branches from late spring to early fall.

Northern Accents Lena Rose.Lena, Northern Accents® Rose, Rosa ‘BAllena’
• Classification: Shrub
• Official Flower Color: Pink blend
• Bloom Cycle: Ever-blooming
• Hardiness Zone: 4-9
• Height: 24-30”
• Flower Form, Size: Single, 1-1/2”
• Petal Count: 4-8

Northern Accents® Sigrid Rose features showy clusters of hot pink flowers with yellow eyes and white centers at the ends of the branches from late spring to early fall.

Northern Accents Sigrid Rose.Sigrid, Northern Accents® Rose, Rosa ‘BAlsigrid’
• Classification: Shrub
• Official Flower Color: Hot Pink
• Bloom Cycle: Ever-blooming
• Hardiness Zone: 4-9
• Height: 30-40”
• Flower Form, Size: Double, 2”
• Petal Count: 26-34

Look for all four varieties at Schulte’s Nursery this spring.

Northern Accents® is a registered trademark of the University of Minnesota.

Know to Grow

Northern Accents® polyanthas (meaning "many flowered") die back to the crown in winter, and by June will have regrown to two feet tall, with a profusion of buds and blossoms. They bloom all season, and need no special winter care. No special pruning is required. Deadwood should be removed in early spring. Cultivated roses perform best when fertilized with a balanced formulation in early spring after thaw, one at the end of the first spring bloom, and a final fertilization in mid-late July.