rosa rouletii
Photo: Rosa Rouletii - Wikimedia Commons

Most gardeners have heard of miniature roses, but are unaware of an even smaller dimension.

Today’s miniatures descend from Rosa ‘Rouletii’, which was discovered in 1919, growing in a Swiss Alpine village. Since that time, hybridizers like Ralph Moore have introduced hundreds of new varieties, which can range in size from 12 inches to over 3 feet. In 1957, Pedro Dot, the Spanish hybridizer, crossed two miniatures, ‘Perla de Monserrat’ and a ‘Tom Thumb’ hybrid to produce the world’s first micro-mini, ‘Si’. With a name as diminutive as the plant, ‘Si’ is considered to be the world’s tiniest rose. It seldom grows taller than 7 inches. The pale pink buds are the size of a grain of wheat, expanding into near-white semi-double flowers about 1/4 inch across. Petite leaves are dark green and in ideal proportion to the plant. ‘Si’ is best grown in partial shade, as it doesn’t like hot afternoon sun. The plant is very difficult to find and you can get on a waiting list at Rogue Valley Roses or email Burlington Rose Nursery to see when it will be back in stock.