US (CA): How rare rose collectors save some flowers from extinction

When you think of roses, you may not think of them as rare. You can easily find commercially grown roses at your local florist or even at the grocery store. But when it comes to unique heritage roses, there is a world of collectors and preservationists working hard to keep them alive amid numerous challenges including commercial trends, disease, pests, and climate change.

Last weekend, a group of collectors gathered in Southern California to bid on some of the rarest roses in the United States. Many roses on the auction block are no longer available commercially -- some were being offered for the first time in the US.

The society's annual auction, which Bagnasco noted has been around for 22 years, is one of the ways private collectors are helping keep some roses from extinction. Gardeners have always been at the mercy of the weather, but recent drought conditions, water shortages and wildfires have impacted certain gardens across the country. "Climate change makes it tougher to grow roses," said Steve Singer, owner of Wisconsin Roses. Heat exacerbates the presence of spider mites and other insects, and roses need a lot of water to grow, he explained.

The society's annual auction, which Bagnasco noted has been around for 22 years, is one of the ways private collectors are helping keep some roses from extinction. Several private gardeners don't just grow rare roses -- they are also helping keep preserve them by exchanging them with other collectors. 

Read the complete article at www.cbs58.com.


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