HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
Patricia Routley
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Initial post 4 days ago by HubertG
The description page for 'Alexander Hill Gray' says "sets no hips". I've always found mine sets hips (which hold seeds) fairly readily. I find this a bit puzzling.
Reply #1 of 18 posted 4 days ago by HMF Admin
And this is exactly why comments like yours are so useful and what makes HMF so special. At some point in time, a permanent reference indicated otherwise and now we know that reference is in question based on your experience.

We need more people take the time to share their experience - Thanks !
Reply #2 of 18 posted 4 days ago by Patricia Routley
I certainly wouldn't discount that reference Admin. What we need is more of them to say if this rose does, or does not set hips. The fact that we show just one 1922 descendant indicates that it does not, and therefore there is a possibility that HubertG has received a rose other than 'Alexander Hill Gray'. Every reference is valuable.
Reply #3 of 18 posted 4 days ago by HubertG
Thanks HMF Admin,
This site is a veritable commonwealth of rose knowledge; the more contributions the better.

Patricia, I have two bushes of AHG ordered from different nurseries maybe 5 years apart. They are both the same and both do set hips. They do look the same as other AHGs in Australia posted here (I've posted a few photos of mine too) This is a double rose but not what I'd call a full one and so they have normal looking reproductive parts and, if insects can get in, I can't see any reason (barring an odd ploidy) why it shouldn't set hips. That's why I thought the no hips reference was unusual. By the time AHG was introduced Teas were waning in popularity, so that is probably the likeliest reason it wasn't used much in breeding, in my opinion.
Reply #4 of 18 posted 4 days ago by HubertG
There are in fact a couple of hips on Margaret Furness' photo here:
Reply #5 of 18 posted 4 days ago by Patricia Routley
That is interesting HubertG. They are hard to see, but I do see them.
I suspect Margaret didn't note them as she has said in her more recent photo 315211 that her plant didn't set hips.
Unfortunately 'Alexander Hill Gray' never came my way, so I have no first-hand experience. How else can I help here?
Reply #6 of 18 posted 4 days ago by HubertG
Best to wait for more comments on this topic, I'd say.
Reply #7 of 18 posted 4 days ago by Margaret Furness
Maybe it varies with how the weather has been. There's nothing on mine now that I would call a hip. It doesn't flower much in a dry summer.
Reply #8 of 18 posted 4 days ago by billy teabag
Do your 'Alexander Hill Gray' plants have prickles HubertG?
Reply #9 of 18 posted 4 days ago by HubertG
No, it's virtually thornless. I took some photos this morning of a few hips on one of my AHGs, which I'll post later.

Its thornlessness was the reason I had previously questioned whether it might have in fact been Mme Derepas-Metrat, one of the other "Yellow Cochets", because that was nearly thornless according to references, and thornlessness is a rarity in early roses.
Reply #10 of 18 posted 3 days ago by HubertG
There were five hips on one of my plants this morning. I didn't check the other plant. The split hip is one I collected about April, showing the seeds. I do think the weather conditions play a part; AHG does tend to ball a bit, so if it doesn't open, it won't become fertilised.
Reply #11 of 18 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
HubertG, I have added a few more references. I have more but it is late and I don't think any more are relevant. Take a look at the 1939 reference. I suspect there may be different versions of 'Alexander Hill Gray' in Australia as the 1998 reference says this rose fades. Most other references says it deepens.
Reply #12 of 18 posted 2 days ago by Margaret Furness
The plant at Renmark derived from the one at Bishop's Lodge, via John Nieuwesteeg. Mine has fallen off my list of provenances, but it's likely it was a spare from when I grew the one for Renmark from cuttings (which is partly why I have too many roses).
Reply #13 of 18 posted yesterday by HubertG
Patricia, lots of good new references! The most puzzling aspect for me is not so much the hips or whether the colour fades or deepens but the fragrance which is nearly always described as strong. Sangerhausen gives AHG an 8/10 for fragrance, which is the same they give Marechal Niel, and they also only give Mrs Foley Hobbs (which I find has a stronger fragrance than AHG) a 5/10. I'd only rate AHG about a 3/10 for fragrance. I know fragrance is very subjective, but I think I have a good nose.If the fragrance description in old references varied a lot, or if there were lots of omissions on the fragrance description, I could understand, but it is fairly consistently rated as strong.

Margaret, did Bishop's Lodge have a known specimen of AHG, or was it a found bush that was later given AHG as it's identity? Maybe there are two versions of AHG in Australia. Maybe Mme Derepas-Metrat is one of them, after all they were both "Yellow Cochets". Does your Bishop's lodge AHG with the needle-like thorns have a good fragrance?

Also the 1925 Darlington (English) reference is puzzling because it describes a plant "up to 8-ft, or a little more under glass". My two bushes are barely waist height.
Reply #14 of 18 posted yesterday by Margaret Furness
I think the Bishop's Lodge plant would have been identified by John N and David Ruston. As far as I know, but am willing to be corrected, none of the BL plants were labelled.
The plant from Melbourne General Cemetery was identified by Roy Rumsey, who had grown it years earlier.
I'll check fragrance when it flowers again, but I'm not a good judge. My plant is small too so far.
Reply #15 of 18 posted yesterday by HubertG
I just found and uploaded a 1919 catalogue photo of a whole bunch of 'Alexander Hill Gray' (photo Id:319773). There are thorns visible on the stems and although they don't seem "needle-like" because they are fairly wide, they are quite straight. If it is to be believed, it is also interesting in that the flower form seems to vary considerably from what I grow as AHG. I'd be interested in seeing more of Margaret Furness' prickled Bishop's Lodge AHG later on when it's in flower to compare.
Reply #16 of 18 posted today by HubertG
From "The Garden", Oct 10, 1908 page 493:

...there are other Roses not yet distributed which have obtained a gold medal. To refer to them would be going beyond the scope of these notes; but an exception, however, must be made in favour of a yellow Tea named A. Hill Gray. This Rose promises to be a favourite for the garden and suitable for exhibition. The growth is branching but somewhat slender, free-flowering habit, blooms fairly full, colour yellow, shaded white.
Joseph H. Pemberton"

And from "The Garden", Sep 26, 1908, page 465


A. Hill Gray. - A Tea raised by Messrs. Alexander Dickson and Sons of Newtownards, Ireland. A beautiful Rose of excellent shape, well staged on a tall stand. Delightful pale yellow colouring, fragrant and a good grower; undoubtedly the finest Rose staged in the class. The award of a gold medal was practically unanimous. Good Teas are scarce and are very welcome, especially when up to exhibition standards.
Herbert E. Molyneux"
Reply #17 of 18 posted today by Patricia Routley
Thanks HubertG. References added.
Reply #18 of 18 posted today by billy teabag
I've just added a few more references to Alexander Hill Gray, including a couple (1954 and 1938) that refer to thornless stems.
most recent yesterday HIDE POSTS
Initial post 3 days ago by Robert Neil Rippetoe
Why do so many listings present as, "thornless (or almost)", when very clearly they are not?

Is this part of the default system at HMF?

If so it really needs to be corrected.

Thanks, Robert
Reply #1 of 5 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
HelpMeFind has just two choices:
1. armed with thorns / prickles
2. thornless (or almost)
(for which I am a little pleased actually, as I have rose bushes here which on occasions can have four prickly canes, and one utterly smooth cane.)

The source link (David Austin website) says of 'Carolyn Knight': apart from colour, all other characteristics are the same as 'Summer Song' from which it sported.

The U.S. patent for 'Summer Song' says:
Prickles: Quantity.--On main canes from base: Ordinary, 4 per 10 cm stem length. On laterals from main canes: Ordinary, 5 per 10 cm per stem length. Form.--Concave curved inward. Length.--9 mm. Color when young.--Greyed-Purple Group 185A with Yellow-Green Group 146D at tip. Color when mature.--Greyed-Orange Group 164A at base, Greyed-Purple Group 184B at tip and along upper edge. Small prickles: Quantity.--On main stalks: None. On laterals: None.

If you can work out from that what we should list, we would be delighted to correct things.
You might like to see some homework I did to teach me about prickles years ago:

PRICKLES (prickles, bristles and glands)
Thorns spring from the wood. Stiff and immovable. A Bougainvillea has thorns
Prickles grow from the bark and can be easily rubbed off. Roses have prickles. Stiff and immovable.
Bristles can be moved as the hairs in a brush

Prickle Colour Immature _______ Mature _______ Old ________
____________ red, brown, grey, white, black

Prickle Duration
Caducous when they fall with or after the leaves and don’t stay on the wood long than 2 years.
Persistent when they become entirely woody, very hard and stay several years on the old wood.

Prickles - Where and number
Thornless; Almost thornless; Few thorns; Prickly;
Sparse (placed without order here and there); Grouped (several close together at certain places, while lacking in other place); Close-set; Dispersed; Scattered; Bristles (gallica); Intermingled with bristles (centifolia); Single; In pairs; Geminate (placed in pairs); Often paired; Infrastipular or stipulary (just below the base of a leaf or stipule)

Prickle - Shape
Simple; Compound (as in R. simplicifolia (Hulthemia persica); Alike - (all straight or all hooked);
Dissimilar (some straight, others hooked); Sharp spines; Thin sharp; Needle-shaped; Curved; Large curved (tea, bourbon); Slightly curved; In an Arc; Hooked; Very hooked; Falcate (hooked like a sickle); Straight; Nearly straight (alba) ; Flattened; Thin; Slender; Thick; Wide; Broad at base; Narrow at base; Width variable; Dilated at the base; Base enlarged; Base thick; Base compressed; Base decurrent (prolonged stemwards); Winged thorns; Wing-shaped; Thorny; Strong; Fierce; Weak (easily pushed off - gallica); Short; Long; Equal; Unequal;
Prickle - Size____________

Colour ______________;
Bristles can be moved as the hairs in a brush. Bristles; Rare; Sparse; Grouped; Numerous; Innumerable; Close-set; Stiff; Soft; Equal; Unequal; glandulose (topped by a gland; Stiff glandular hairs; Aciculi (needles); Setiform - thorns degenerated into bristles.

Colour ______; Sessile (no stalk); Pedicellate (stalk) ; Spherical; Oval; Disformed (irregular form);
Fragrant; Scentless; viscous.
Reply #2 of 5 posted 2 days ago by Andrew from Dolton
I just looked at 'Summer Song' and the older growths have a few prickles scattered amongst them. However, there is a new shoot about 1M long and that is liberally armed with longish rather flat hooked prickles all along its length. From the photograph you can see the difference between the raspberry-purple coloured and greyish colour of the new and old prickles.
Reply #3 of 5 posted 2 days ago by Robert Neil Rippetoe
Options given for entry at HMF are inadequate.

As any rose grower will tell you, very few are "thornless or almost".

The flaw in the system makes it impossible to discern those which truly are.

It's too bad this wasn't caught years ago because correcting all the entries is going to be an onerous chore.

In the future there will be many which are truly smooth. Breeders are making this possible.

"Thornless" is a poor choice of words in the first place as taxonomists tell us roses have prickles not thorns.

The software needs an update.

Thanks, Robert
Reply #4 of 5 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
I have changed 'Carolyn Knight' to "armed with thorns / prickles".
Yes, it is too bad, and it will be an onerous chore. Do you want to help?
Reply #5 of 5 posted yesterday by Robert Neil Rippetoe

You do have a way of coming right to the the point. I appreciate that.

Has anyone defined yet how to be more precise in categorization?

If changes are to be made, they really must be made right, or as best possible.

Should prickle size be part of the equation?

It's daunting to think of the labor needed.

I wonder if anyone might come up with an algorithm that would clean up most listings in one fell swoop?

I mean most are going to fall into an "average" category.

Having the discussion is a step in the right direction.

Thanks, Robert
most recent 2 days ago SHOW ALL
Initial post 7 JAN 16 by AquaEyes
Has this been compared to 'Francis E. Lester'?


Reply #1 of 4 posted 2 days ago by Tearose
I took a piece of FEL with me a few years ago when I was going to San Juan Bautista. I held my piece against the plant there and couldn't find any difference. I'm pretty sure all the old climbers in that part of the park came from Roses of Yesterday, with the clincher being that the rose they had labeled a multiflora turned out to be Laure Davoust, which Francis Lester had found and sold under the name Marjorie Lester.
Reply #2 of 4 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
Shall I merge "San Juan Musk" with 'Frances E. Lester'?
Reply #3 of 4 posted 2 days ago by Tearose
Reply #4 of 4 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
Done. (I seem to have a memory of the two of us tiredly resting on a rock somewhere out of Dunedin, New Zealand in 2005 and asking each other: what are you going to do in the future.)
most recent 2 days ago SHOW ALL
Initial post 11 days ago by perpetua
how can such a tiny young plant produce such big gorgeous blooms?I'm new to gallicas and the more I see of them,the harder I fall in love!I'm just a tad worried that I won't prune them nicely,but I hope to improve with time.duchesse d'orient will definitely be on my next rose order.
Reply #1 of 6 posted 2 days ago by Alma
Did you notice, that Duchesse d'Orient is no Gallica? It is sold as a Gallica but probably a Portland Rose.
Reply #2 of 6 posted 2 days ago by perpetua
No,I hadn't noticed.I'm very new to Gallicas(and to roses in general,only 5 yrs experience),but I love my Portlands;I grow Jacques Cartier,Yolande D'Aragon,Sidonie,Indigo and Comte de Chambord and I adore them all.I'm planning to buy Pergolese and Glendora,Duchesse de Rohan,maybe also Arthur de Sansal this fall.I'm afraid I couldn't for the life of me tell which rose family a plant belongs to.My knowledge and my tastes remain quite rudimentary.With a few exceptions,I'm fairly disappointed with my modern roses;I plan to replace them with old ones.Climbers,again with a few notable exceptions,have been driving me crazy,as I still struggle to give them an appropriate shape(and fail miserably most of the times).Moss roses intrigue me,even though I grow only Salet,which I absolutely adore.Will definitely be buying some Mosses too this fall(william lobb,soupert et notting,henri martin,mme louis leveque)
Reply #3 of 6 posted 2 days ago by Andrew from Dolton
'Duchesse d'Orient' has little hooked prickles as most portlands do and leaves growing close to the flowers very much like your 'Jaques Cartier' does. If you like gallicas I can give you suckers of 'Rosa Mundi', Officinalis', 'Charles de Mills' and 'Camieux' if you would like. There is a wonderful book called ROSA GALLICA by Suzanne Verrier it can be bought cheaply second hand on Amazon, it will make you want to grow them even more...
Reply #5 of 6 posted 2 days ago by perpetua
Yes,Jacques does have leaves very close to the flowers!Thank you so much for the offer,but I think I'll start with grafted ones and then have fun making my own cuttings.So far I have managed to root 3 Gruss an Coburg puny cuttings,one Grace and in late April,an Ingrid Bergman red new sprout that I had accidentally broken off.I believe Ingrid has taken root because I've noticed red leaves under the bottle.I'm a bit scared to lift the bottle to know for sure.Thank you so much for the book recommendation,I can use any help I can get with gallicas.
Reply #4 of 6 posted 2 days ago by Nastarana
Why is the name shown in quotes? Was this a found rose? I agree it looks like a Portland, as witness the drooping, soft leaves.
Reply #6 of 6 posted 2 days ago by Patricia Routley
"Double quotes" is the international signal for a found rose. 'Single quotes', or none, denotes a bred and named rose.
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