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'Knock out' rose receives Texas superstar and earthkind designation

DALLAS -- It has been called the perfect landscape shrub. Virtually disease-free, Knock Out rose has received the Texas Superstar and EarthKind designations by horticultural experts at Texas A&M University.

According to Dr. Steve George, Texas Cooperative Extension horticulturist in Dallas, Texas A&M presents these titles to plants that have undergone rigorous field trial testing to demonstrate they add beauty to a landscape with minimal maintenance and maximum protection for the environment.

Knock Out was first introduced in 2000 and hailed a "breakthrough shrub rose" by the All-American Rose Selections because of its exceptional disease resistance and hardiness. It was one of three roses to win the prestigious AARS award for outstanding garden performance in 2000.

The rose was first brought to the attention of scientists by Dr. Brent Pemberton, a rose researcher with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Overton.

"I have had it in field trials at the Overton Center since 1998," said Pemberton. "From the beginning, this rose was special. In a field trial where no disease controlling fungicides were used, Knock Out plants retained their foliage in stark contast to the roses around them."

During a four-year research study at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Dallas, scientists found Knock Out to be one of the finest landscape roses that they had ever tested. During testing, no pesticides of any kind were ever applied.

"It has proven to be almost resistant to black spot, the fungal disease that is the scourge of roses across much of the United States," said George. "It is also resistant to powdery mildew and aphids. It is cold-hardy throughout the state and will grow in a wide range of soils (even highly alkaline clays) and is very heat- and drought-tolerant once established."

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Contact: Jennifer Paul
j-paul@tamu.edu
972-952-9232
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
6-Apr-2004


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