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"Banshee" rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 94-839
most recent 10 MAY SHOW ALL
Initial post 8 SEP 16 by Byrnes, Robert L.
Shouldn't this be merged with 'Minette'?
Reply #1 of 25 posted 9 SEP 16 by HMF Admin
For now... these comments serve to highlight the likelihood but we had hoped for some additional feedback.
Reply #2 of 25 posted 9 SEP 16 by Byrnes, Robert L.
Thank you for your quick reply.
Reply #3 of 25 posted 4 APR 19 by StefanDC
I'll argue that 'Minette' should be a separate rose from the varieties that are synonymous with 'Banshee'; quoting myself from a post I made some years ago on GW:

"I am certain that 'Banshee' is a hybrid - probably of Rosa virginiana (or some variant or hybrid of that species) with a European old garden rose; it's just impossible to say precisely what class that other European parent may have been without rigorous testing. "Minette" is absolutely the same rose, but it is NOT the 'Minette' of Vibert, which was an alba and whose old descriptions absolutely rule out the possibility of it being the rose masquerading with that name today. That mistake was made by a European rosarian visiting Sangerhausen, where the rose we know as "Banshee" (and which has other, equally valid old names in Scandinavia) was mislabeled as 'Minette', and careful review of the evidence was not conducted before drawing a wrong conclusion and perpetuating that incorrect name throughout Scandinavia. That mistake has arrived on our continent now through Canada, and although the gentleman I spoke with at Pickering agreed to change the name in their catalog this fall (adding that their plant came from Corn Hill, where the owner had said it may be the same as 'Banshee'), I find that they have not done so. I would bring it up with him again, but this tends to make people cross."

So in my opinion, our confusion between 'Banshee' and 'Minette' only started rather recently, and the real 'Minette' may or may not still exist.
Reply #4 of 25 posted 4 APR 19 by jedmar
We will have to rework 'Minette' by Vibert and "Suionum"
Reply #5 of 25 posted 5 MAY by scvirginia
In the interests of accuracy, might it be a good idea to add "Minette" (in commerce as) to the "Banshee" record, and move the photos here from the Vibert 'Minette' record?

Reply #6 of 25 posted 6 MAY by jedmar
I have reread the comments to 'Minette' and to 'Banshee' and am still puzzled. It seems that the rose labeled as 'Minette' in Sangerhausen is that not the original 'Minette', however I have not found the reasoning behind this. I will work through the Norwegian paper of 2010 mentioned in one of the comments and maybe the answer is there. In any case there is a good description of the original 'Minette' from 1829. It would be great iIf one of our Scandinavian and/or German friends could ciompare this with the Sangerhausen 'Minette' and Rosa suionum.

Virginia, it may be easier at the end to change the 'Minette' record to "Minette (in commerce as)" and move only the references relating to Vibert''s rose to a new listing. 'Banshee' is again a different case.
Reply #7 of 25 posted 6 MAY by StefanDC
Actually, I don't think that 'Banshee' is really a different case from "Minette" (in commerce as); we had pretty well sewn up the case that the so-called 'Minette' of Sangerhausen is 'Banshee', and at the time we were debating this on GW (now Houzz), there were photos available of the plant there. Those are apparently no longer online, sadly.

Unfortunately, the entry for the alba 'Minette' will forever need to be watched for new photos of, and comments pertaining to, 'Banshee'!
Reply #8 of 25 posted 6 MAY by jedmar
Appreciate your comments! I think you are mentioned in the translation of the Norwegian text we just added to 'Minette'. I saw in Houzz that in 2008 you were seeing differences in "Banshee" and Rosa x suionum : "I suspect that there are some differences between the Sangerhausen rose and those grown previously in Scandinavia as Rosa x suionum or Mustialanruusu, etc. Its blooms have a characteristic button eye and symmetrical form I've never seen in another 'Banshee', the flowers come in larger clusters than I've seen 'Banshee' do, and the receptacle appears to be both less turbinate and much smoother than typically very glandular receptacle and sepals of 'Banshee'. I do not normally find pictures of other 'Minette' specimens in Scandinavia or elsewhere like that at Sangerhausen, leading me to believe that either wood was never spread from that garden, or it has been slow to spread compared to the dominance of the pre-existing plants."
We intend to separate Vibert's 'Minette' from the 'Minette' (in commerce), ; however need somem more positive documentation before we think of merging the latter with "Banshee".
Reply #9 of 25 posted 7 MAY by StefanDC
[I had trouble posting with the links, so I had to do some creative editing--see my next reply, but you'll have to stitch the "http" and "https" back together with the "://..." if you plug them into your browsers]
Reply #13 of 25 posted 7 MAY by Give me caffeine
There's a restriction of one active link per post. I assume this is an anti-spam precaution. If you try to paste two or more url's the site throws a wobbly, but one is ok.
Reply #15 of 25 posted 8 MAY by StefanDC
Thanks, that's good to know! I thought I was going crazy for a moment. That may be helpful as an anti-spam precaution, but I hope that no one minds what I did (as opposed to posting three separate messages in order to include all of the links...)!
Reply #16 of 25 posted 8 MAY by Give me caffeine
It's a good dodge. I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it. There have been times when I've wanted to post several links.

I can't see anyone minding. You're not spamming, so no worries.
Reply #10 of 25 posted 7 MAY by StefanDC
It's a difficult thing to fully characterize 'Banshee'--particularly since it seems likely not to be just a single clone (although perhaps one or two seem to dominate). However, the different clones identified as fundamentally similar (foliage, prickles, growth, hardiness, receptacles, etc) have not been named in conjunction with their distinctions (usually having only to do with flower shape, color, and petal count, which in turn affects petal arrangement and balling), so there is no current way to handle their nomenclature on a clonal level. If you have read not read Leonie Bell's article in the 1977 American Rose Annual (also mentioned in a comment below), that is about as clear of a picture of the overall complexity as you will find anywhere.

I do not think that R. x suionum (misapplied, it would seem--see below) is distinct from 'Banshee' sensu lato; they are the same, and the button-eyed morph appears now and again just about everywhere under all of the various names we know 'Banshee' under. The only questions are as follows: Are plants grown as R. x suionum actually assignable to the original taxon that Sigfrid Almquist described (setting aside questions about the validity of that name for a moment)? One glance at the description is all that I need to say, unequivocally, "no"!

Here is the precise wording in the protologue for Rosa suionum: "R. (Gall. gl.) suionum AT. n. spec.: in Suicia media antiquitus culta cum R. francofurtana, corolla simplici alba, foliolorum forma et serratura omnio typi; hybriditatem vetant chromosomata certeraque omnia."

I am still figuring out some of that last bit, but here are a few key points:
1. No specimens were cited, nor any type specimen designated; now, if Almquist deposited any herbarium specimens anywhere, those would be very interesting to locate.
2. The rose he described was nothing like our modern 'Banshee', but rather, had simple (presumably five-petaled), white flowers. Almquist confirms this in the following article in the same journal (see below).
3. Most fascinatingly, this Rosa x suionum was growing together with R. x francofurtana, which is remarkably similar in certain characteristic features to 'Banshee', even though it does not seem likely to be at all the same plant. One wonders if its mention in the protologue might not have had some impact on the confusion that followed.

Here are a few links to check out:

The protologue of Rosa x suionum S. Almquist in Arkiv för botanik 16:23. 1921: https :// [this link needs to be pasted together with the space removed; I couldn't get it to post if I left it as an intact string, sorry.]

Almquist describes a bit more clearly the location, and repeats the description of R. x suionum that is absolutely nothing like 'Banshee': https :// [this link needs to be pasted together with the space removed.]

The story of how 'Minette' came to be the new name for these plants in Scandinavia, courtesy of author Hellmut Merker (who convinced himself and everyone else that Vibert's alba must be the same variety) and Hugo Lykke (who may have been responsible for the original mislabeling), in Merker, H. 1984: The Nordic Rose (Rosa suionum) unmasked. [The identification of Rosa suionum S. Almquist.] Swedish Bot. Tidskr. 78: 309-312: http :// [I have managed to OCR the text and translate it to English, as well, if anyone is interested. This link also needs to be pasted together with the space removed.]

What is really needed, ultimately, is a massive DNA study that includes many species and cultivars of good provenance, all vouchered, and hopefully represented by multiple accessions each.

More later, perhaps, but that should give everyone a bit more to chew on!
Reply #11 of 25 posted 7 MAY by jedmar
Well, those were very valuable leads! I have been able to trace and add most of the references to Rosa suionum. In the course I was shocked twice:
- First, as you mention, the original description of Almquist does not jive with the plant called Rosa x suionum today. However, in the article by Hylander & Nannfeldt in 1944, they refer to the original herbarium samples of Almquist and correct and detail the description. by rights, this rose should be named Rosa x suionum (Almq.) Hyl. & Nannf.
- Second, was the meager base on which Merkel made the identification as 'Minette'. He had received a pressed leaf and a description from Sangerhausen only! The two accessory leaflets at the base of the end leaflets were apparently his main reason for the identification, as Prevost mentions the same for 'Minette' in 1829. However, does that mean that there are no other similar roses which have this characteristic? I would have been loathe to assume that without a more thorough check, which Merkel apparently didn't.

Was there any later comparison made between the Sangerhausen "Minette" and Rosa x suionum (and documented)?

Just an addition: Lars-Ake Gustavsson in Sweden made a DNA-analysis of all found OGRs in Sweden. So, the basic data base for Rosa x suionum should be available. A comparison with the Sangerhausen 'Minette' and the Banshee-cluster is needed.
Reply #12 of 25 posted 7 MAY by StefanDC
Yes, this story is starting to come together again (at least, the latter-day Scandinavian portion of it); I read with great interest the excerpts that you have added to the references for Rosa x suionum! Now I am curious to know if Hylander & Nannfeldt actually designated a lectotype for this species based on material widely cultivated under that name, and in spite of the protologue. If no one has done so, then that name is still quite ambiguous in its application, and we must still consider the original description when applying it; it remains possible that an original specimen that Almquist collected will turn up and prove to be the very same single white rose that he described. I wonder, too, when he made the determinations of other specimens of Rosa x suionum, and if he could have eventually become confused himself, having seen it growing together with a plant he regarded as R. x francofurtana.

I am not aware if anyone has compared the Sangerhausen 'Minette' and publicized their work. Only the photos that were available previously (maybe they still exist somewhere) seemed enough to tell us that it was the same, but absent records of Sangerhausen's source for their accession, it still has little bearing on the case. Old descriptions of 'Minette' do not actually match our modern 'Banshee' (etc).

The point about the rose having regular meiosis and being tetraploid helps to point in the direction of a connection to Rosa virginiana or Rosa carolina. We in North America have very little doubt that it is from section Rosa (still known by many as Cinnamomeae), and its disease resistance and broad adaptability here only underscore that. The hybridization with some old European rose may or may not make sense, and may or may not be necessary to obtain the modified features of 'Banshee' (etc). Few of the majority of far-northern species in section Rosa are so capable of thriving without problems even in the hot, humid American South (ignoring what the flowers do). In fact, I first acquired 'Banshee' from a small nursery on swampy ground in southern Louisiana west of New Orleans! Truly, a thorough DNA study cannot come fast enough; it will certainly take a trans-national collaboration to make that work.

I noticed that there is a recent reference to the 'High Country Banshee' attached to this HMF entry, but that is well-known to be a very different, unrelated rose (they also recognize this, hence their renaming it to avoid confusion with 'Banshee').
Reply #14 of 25 posted 8 MAY by scvirginia
Something I've occasionally wondered about... historically, there were at least 3 different (or at least they received 3 different names) francfort/ turbinata roses that were sold in the northeastern U.S. in the mid-19th century:

Rose #1062, 'Ancelin', is described as "very large, deep rose, elegant", but a more detailed (1832) description in Ancelin's HMF references, mentions the extra leaflet situation, so that, at least, isn't unique to Vibert's 'Minette'. Vibert's 'Minette' was sold in England and France, but I haven't yet found mention of it being sold in the U.S., unlike 'Ancelin', which was advertised by several nurseries in the northeastern U.S. in the 1840's.

'Ancelin' was called a Hybrid China/ Turbinata. I haven't heard mention of "Banshee" having any China characteristics, but is that because they aren't there, or because they went unremarked for other reasons?

The other two roses listed in the Wm. R. Prince catalog are 'Aristote' and 'Frankfort'. I assume these 3 roses ('Frankfort' at least?) have already been considered for "Banshee", and there were discrepancies, or not enough information to form an opinion, but their being in commerce in the U.S. does suggest that they should be considered- or reconsidered.

I hope I have managed to muddy the waters a bit!

Reply #17 of 25 posted 8 MAY by jedmar
Good idea to check other turbinatas! I have added resp. completed all from Desportes (1828), Prevost (1829) and Nietner (1838). The last is the first who describes "Dornenlose Kreiselrose", as well as 'Ancelin' and other Turbinatas which he partly names Turbinata rappa (ex Rosa rapa probably). There were a number of these hybrid turbinatas commercialized. For 'Dornenlose Kreiselrose', 'Campanulata' and 'Orbessanea' he mentions up to 9 leaflets. Intersting are his comments to 'Turbinata Rosenbergiana' syn. 'Muscade noire': a large part of the buds rot. 'Muscade noir' or 'Muscade rouge' was named Rosa evratina Bosc. and said to have come from Carolina. Do we have here the link to Banshee?
Reply #19 of 25 posted 8 MAY by StefanDC
I agree that checking the other turbinatas is a good approach--this rose wouldn't have gone unnoticed, but I do think that it would be remarked as something unusual, even among that class. The main "turbinata" trait, its unusual receptacle shape, seems to derive from the involvement of certain section Rosa species, but it probably has arisen multiple times, and there is nothing about 'Banshee' (etc) that appears closely related to other turbinata/francofurtana roses. 'Ancelin' would be the wrong color, but 'Aristote' is at least closer in that regard; unfortunately 'Aristote' seems to largely gone unremarked in literature or is an obscure synonym for something else, so we may not be able to know more about it. Of course, William Prince would certainly have seen the differences that we see and would have indicated something in the description to give us a clue, so I suspect it was not listed there, or might just as easily have been relegated to the many second-rate roses listed at the end.

More importantly, though, this has all reminded me that I had once strongly suspected Leonie Bell to be correct in suspecting 'Turneps'/R.x rapa (syn. R. x fraxinifolia?) as the true identity (at least in the broad sense) of 'Banshee'. Looking at it again now, I can't think why I didn't pursue that further. The old literature very clearly stated that it originated in America, and the Rosarum Monogrphia of 1820 (see under the HMF entry for 'Turneps') even alludes to an apocryphal story that it had somehow come from Scotland, just like we see with 'Banshee'. It was also suspected to be from R. virginiana, at least in part. Its HelpMeFind entry has been combined into one listing with 'Rose d'Amour' and 'Rose d'Orsay', but those are not the same. I have a strong suspicion that our 'Banshee'/not-'Minette'/sort of R. suionum is really the old 'Turneps'/R. x rapa. That deserves some more digging into.
Reply #21 of 25 posted 8 MAY by scvirginia
My impression is that in the 1820's or earlier, R. rapa was understood to be a garden rose with a North American species (or more) in its ancestry. Brown was most famous for his Scotch rose breeding, but reportedly, he also worked with R. rapa.

I did see at least 2 early references to R. rapa = the double burnet-leaved rose. This may be because of the association of Brown with the Scotch roses, but possibly, R. rapa was already a hybrid with Spin. ancestry? Which would be quite interesting, but perhaps of limited value in tracking down the Banshee Rose.

As for Prince, Hovey, and any other North American nurserymen selling the turbinata hybrids, they may have had novelty interest, but perhaps weren't such great garden roses. If they suckered and balled, the nifty hips and/or unusual fragrance might not be sufficient to keep them in commerce.

I have wondered if there were a Rose d'Amour/ Golly Rose/ Rose d'Orsay connection to the mystery of the Banshee rose, even if the only connection is that they all date to early attempts to create popular garden roses by using croses with North American roses.

As for the practical question of how to treat all of these similar-but-not-quite-identical roses known by various names in Europe, and mostly as "Banshee" in North America, perhaps we should think of these roses as part of the same class of roses, instead of being the same exact variety. The "Minette-in-commerce" and "Banshee" records might be combined with the understanding they they all have certain things in common, but are not all identical?

Reply #22 of 25 posted 8 MAY by jedmar
Virginia, I would keep 'Banshee' apart from the Rosa suionum complex, at least for the time being. I think we have here two separate lines of investigation, which might get muddled if all lumped together.
Reply #23 of 25 posted 9 MAY by StefanDC
Personally, I think that R. x suionum of horticulture (this is essentially still a misapplied name at the botanical level, in spite of all of the protests to the contrary!), 'Banshee', 'Minette', and their other names will all be found to belong under R. x rapa. That will neatly classify them from a botanical standpoint (DNA investigations will need to be performed to determine what other species besides R. virginiana or R. carolina may be involved). Bell might have been right that 'Baron Louis' is the best name to use for the very double forms that today exemplify 'Minette' and 'Banshee'. If there is any hint of Scots briar in the background of R. x rapa, it is either quite dilute or else rather well-hidden by the contributions of its other parents. That can easily occur in the second generation of crossing, but would be quite unusual to see in the first generation.

I'm less sure about placing 'Rose d'Orsay' and 'Rose d'Amour' in R. x rapa, and I do not agree with their combination in HelpMeFind; at least one of these is probably just a double form of R. virginiana, as a number of investigators have concluded. While R. virginiana does not seem to be botanically identical to R. x rapa, just as Lindley observed, they are absolutely next of kin, and much closer to one another than either is to any other group by a mile. I would not be at all surprised to learn that it was a double form of R. virginiana or R. carolina that gave rise to R. x rapa, though; the number of petals it can have in very double forms is difficult if not impossible to achieve in breeding when one parent is merely single-petaled.
Reply #25 of 25 posted 10 MAY by scvirginia
I didn't mean to suggest merging Rose d'Amour, Golly Rose or D'Orsay with the Banshee types, but it wouldn't it be interesting to do DNA testing on all of those roses, and compare them...?
Reply #24 of 25 posted 10 MAY by scvirginia
No, I wasn't suggesting a merge yet, just musing that it might be better to think of "Banshee" and her European counterparts as more of a class than a variety, rather than trying to detail and separate out all the various strains.
Reply #18 of 25 posted 8 MAY by jedmar
Hylander & Nannfeldt do not seem to have designated a lectotype, although their article is so detailed. However, they seemed to have access to the original specimens of Almquist and think he made a mistake.
I have asked a couple of German friends to post pictures of 'Minette' with details. In their blogs and on Sangerhausen's own website, Minette does not have the accessory leaflets which were probabably the main reason for Merkel to state it synonymous with Rosa x suionum. Here the photo from the Rosarium:

Are those leaflets not so defining, and occur maybe only sporadically?
Reply #20 of 25 posted 8 MAY by StefanDC
It seemed to me that they alluded to Almquist annotating specimens that others had collected as R. suionum, but I didn't read anything yet that suggested he actually had prepared any of his own.

Yes, I think the accessory leaflets only appear sporadically, and are not a defining characteristic of the variety--you see them occasionally in a number of old damask, alba, etc. roses and even in R. moschata.

Still, I think we can go back further in time and show that this was already described, in which case the name R. suionum will be superfluous.

There is also a photo of 'Minette' taken at Sangerhausen here on HMF (it appears to be the first photo of that variety uploaded, actually). It clearly is the same rose as 'Banshee'--there is no doubt about it.

I'm going to focus my attention on 'Turneps', and then maybe on the sub-varieties that Leonie Bell mentioned, which may help to explain some of the variation that we see.
Discussion id : 87-405
most recent 2 FEB 16 SHOW ALL
Initial post 18 AUG 15 by Patricia Routley
Margit Schowalter has added an interesting 1966 reference today:
"The rose we know in Manitoba as Banshee was growing in several places in Sweden where it was labelled R. amoena grandiflora; probably it was brought to Canada by some settler from Sweden."
Where does the word ‘Amoena’ come from? What does it mean? A rose that changes shape?
I note HelpMeFind has two files and both roses have darker centers.
Amoena (hybrid perpetual, Soupert & Notting, 1878)
Amoena (tea, Unknown, pre 1836)
Reply #1 of 2 posted 1 FEB 16 by Raynyk
The word amoena means beautiful, charming, nice to see.

I'll attach a screenshot from Google books, a very suitable quote from the book The Common People of Ancient Rome: Studies of Roman Life and Literature by Frank Frost Abbot, 1965.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 2 FEB 16 by Patricia Routley
You're wonderful. Thank you. If I ever get the chance (bit late in life) I'll do my best to persuade a grandchild, perhaps, to name a daughter 'Amoena'. Like it.

I really do find it disappointing that nobody else has contributed on the Banshee and 'Minette' question.
Discussion id : 90-671
most recent 1 FEB 16 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 31 JAN 16 by Patricia Routley
Excellent photos uploaded today Jonathan Windham! In particular your photo 276471 of the leaf is also showing an odd little leaflet down in the bottom right hand corner. It seems the case for "Banshee" being identified as 'Minette' grows closer. I, in Australia, have only ever seen "Banshee" just once. Are there any opinions on why these two roses should not be merged?
Reply #1 of 3 posted 1 FEB 16 by Jonathan Windham
Thank you Patricia! That odd leaflet in the bottom right is not a rose or part of 'Banshee'. It's a vining weed growing around this stand of 'Banshee'. This rose has an incredible fragrance, but balling is a problem in many areas.

If you haven't already, I would recommend reading Leonie Bell's article "Banshee: The Great Impersonator"
Reply #2 of 3 posted 1 FEB 16 by Patricia Routley
What about the tiny leaflet that is just below the red weed and is standing in a vertical position (on my screen)? Is that part of the Banshee leaf?
Reply #3 of 3 posted 1 FEB 16 by Jonathan Windham
Discussion id : 90-553
most recent 26 JAN 16 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 26 JAN 16 by Raynyk
"Newer investigations (Stefan Lura and others) show that it is a turbinata identical to 'Rosa x suionum' in Sweden, 'Mustialan Ruusu' in Finland and 'Dornenlose Kreiselrose' in Germany."

Is there a reason why this rose is not merged with 'Minette' together with the others mentioned above?
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