The History of
Traditionally, roses have been beautiful to behold but not so nice to hold. All this has changed since the discovery of Smooth Touch® Thornless Roses by Harvey Davidson of Western Sun Roses in 1962.
Smooth Touch Thornless Roses
Harvey, who was working as a designer and builder, while breeding roses in his Californian backyard for a hobby, was aiming for disease resistant rose varieties when he accidentally discovered a thornless rose that he named Smooth Sailing. This was a floriferous creamy apricot rose that contained the gene that inhibits the growth of thorns. Harvey has developed new thornless roses through both inbreeding and outcrossing of his roses.
Each year Harvey plants about 3,000 to 4,000 seeds and of these about 800 germinate. Harvey keeps about 50 plants that look good, before focusing on only 5-10 unusual, thornless and disease resistant varieties . These are the cream of the crop and are promoted to the graduate section in his breeding program. The varieties that pass the quality control are then sent to rose growers around the world for testing in various climates and if successful are released commercially. This process can take 5-6 years.
All Smooth Touch® Thornless Roses are 95-100% thorn free. A few thorns may appear at the base of some branches but as the plant grows the thornless gene kicks in and the remainder of the plant is thorn free!!