HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
most recent 10 OCT SHOW ALL
Initial post 24 MAR 06 by John A Starnes Jr.
In 1982 the Tampa Rose Society told me that all the "Cracker Roses" all over central Florida were from cuttings originating from roses sold by the renowned Holmes Nursery on Mothers' Day of 1932. In the late 80's I added "Pink" to the name after Malcolm Manners and a founding member of his rose group said that "Cracker Rose" technically referred to the red China "Cramoisi Superieur/Louis Philippe" despite this pink China, which he felt he had never encountered, being traditionally called that by countless elder Floridians. He felt folks were simply mistaking 'Old Blush' for this rose but came to realize that his huge hedge of OB on the campus WAS in fact "Pink Cracker Rose" upon noticing the classic traits: VERY rare hip set, extreme vigor that can enable it to be a pillar rose, a tendency for large bloom clusters on the tips of spring basals, and a higher petal count. PCR exhibits amazing health and nematode resistance in Florida where so many roses languish and fail, plus roots easily from cuttings. It has proven VERY sterile in my breeding work. When Joyce Demits saw Malcolm's hedge of PCR on his campus she immediately felt it was ''Burbank' and showed me traits from both parents in both the foliage and the blooms. For years I'd been buying any and all pink Chinas to compare and had come to the same conclusion. Prior to that, my best guess had been the triploid form of 'Old Blush' about which there is very scant data. But that could help explain the sterility.
Reply #1 of 15 posted 4 APR 06 by Kim Rupert
Hi, John. Thank you for posting this information! Have you noticed any scent from the new growth tips or peduncles and sepals? That may help to determine its ancestry. You might also contact Sequoia Nursery about sending them some of this plant. Mr. Moore knew the Burbank rose and has sought it for years in hopes of incorporating it in breeding. He may be of help identifying it as Burbank or not.
Reply #2 of 15 posted 4 APR 06 by John A Starnes Jr.
Thanks Kim....should I call/e-mail Carolyn? John
Reply #3 of 15 posted 4 APR 06 by Kim Rupert
Boy! That response was quick! LOL! Either way, your choice. A phone call will get a quicker response, but an email doesn't interrupt progress and is more cost effective. An email can also be shown to Mr. Moore more easily. I'd post a link to the great photos you posted to Help Me Find, too. He may be able to identify it from those, but a plant in the hand is worth many thousands of photos, as you know. Thank you! Kim
Reply #4 of 15 posted 25 DEC 15 by scvirginia
This is an old discussion, but I'm wondering if Mr. Moore ever got a chance to look over this rose, and if he had any opinion about whether it might be 'Burbank'.

Reply #5 of 15 posted 25 DEC 15 by Kim Rupert
If he did, I never heard his response, unfortunately.
Reply #6 of 15 posted 25 DEC 15 by scvirginia
Thanks, Kim... I was wondering if this rose could be 'Balduin', Peter Lambert's HT ('Charles Darwin' x 'Marie van Houtte'). According to early records, it was widely planted in the South (often as 'Helen Gould'), and is sometimes described as being deep pink with darker outer petals.

I don't grow a Pink Cracker Rose, so can't say if it could be an early HT.

Thanks again,
Reply #7 of 15 posted 26 DEC 15 by Patricia Routley
Well it could be a HT for all the information given on the main page!
Not even a basic colour is listed! sigh......
Oh - I see Mel Hulse opened this file back in 2006. He is quite forgiven.
What about if I add the following?
Class: China
Colour: pink, darker edges.
Double in summer, very double in autumn
Clusters on large basal shoots
Scent: sweet fruity
Rare hip set, sterile
Height: 5 feet?
Possibilities: 'Old Blush Climbing', 'Burbank', 'Balduin'
Reply #8 of 15 posted 26 DEC 15 by Kim Rupert
You're welcome, Virginia. Thank you, Patricia, I think those would be great additions!
Reply #9 of 15 posted 26 DEC 15 by scvirginia
Yes, something is better than nothing, and can be corrected if need be.

I noticed that a FL nursery was selling a "Cracker Rose Pink" that looked quite different from the photos at this record. I would not be astonished to hear that more than one pink rose in Florida (or the South) goes by the endearment "Cracker Rose", but I think we need to wait for someone who grows something by that name to volunteer some more details.

Reply #10 of 15 posted 2 MAR 16 by AquaEyes
I know I'm adding to an old discussion, but.....

I have 'Napoleon' from Vintage Gardens growing in a south-facing bed against the side of a house. Many of the traits I see mentioned here also apply to 'Napoleon' -- vast increase in petal count in Autumn, I have yet to see a hip form, vigorous growth and THICK basals on my almost 3YO plant, "gobstopper-like" candy fragrance. John Starnes had commented on a pic of my plant which I posted to Facebook that he thought 'Napoleon' might be a possible identity, but he didn't mention what made him scratch that off the list.


Reply #11 of 15 posted 15 JUN 21 by mmanners
I hesitate to reopen this thread and to comment, in that John Starnes and Joyce Demits are no longer among us and can't reply. Yet I think, for the sake of historic accuracy, I should make some gentle corrections.

1. I certainly did not create the concept that 'Louis Philippe' is the Florida Cracker Rose; that has been quoted by many rosarians over many decades. While it is often mixed up with 'Louis Philippe', 'Cramoisi Superieur' is NOT also referred to as the Florida Cracker Rose.

2. I have no idea where the idea came from that the "cracker rose" was this pink rose, or who in the Tampa Rose Society may have begun that story. But in nearly 40 years of growing old roses in Central Florida (just 20 miles east of Tampa), I have never, ever heard anyone but John make that claim, or even suggest it. Nor am I aware of his Pink Cracker Rose having ever been found anywhere outside the greater Tampa area. Certainly, in Polk County, I've never seen one. I had quite a challenge getting a copy of it for study, in that no one seems to grow it. At last, a friend in California sent me a known-true start of it.

3. This part is rather messy, in that there were misconceptions, but not as John remembers them. We had a large hedge of a rose on our Florida Southern College campus that we thought was 'Old Blush'. When John and I looked at it, he pointed out that it was different from 'Old Blush', in that it never set hips. I don't recall him mentioning his cracker rose at that time (this would have been late 1980s). I agreed with him, but then did not have a name for it. Joyce Demits visited our gardens in 1991, and she recognized the hedge as 'Napoleon'. John has always remembered that event differently from me, but I have Joyce's note to me, identifying it as 'Napoleon'. Until then, I had never heard of 'Napoleon', but Joyce assured me that's what we had. Since then, many China rose experts have seen it, and everyone seems to agree it's 'Napoleon'.

4. Re. Scvirginia's comment -- yes, nurseries have sold the rose known as 'Pink Pet'/"Caldwell Pink" as "Pink Cracker." I'm not sure if other old pink roses may also have been sold under that name.

5. We grow 'Old Blush', 'Napoleon', "John Starnes' Pink Cracker," 'Burbank', and Sacramento's "Not Alice Hamilton." They all certainly have resemblance to each other, and we've run DNA tests on all but John's rose, and with the PCR tests we've used, they come out as identical (but then, so does Hermosa!), so their differences are so minor at the genetic level that the PCR test doesn't catch them (perhaps single-point sports of each other).

6. Of all of these, I'd say 'Napoleon' is the closest to being identical to JSPC. But at this point, I'm not willing to say they are identical. Our Pink Cracker is growing in our greenhouse, and I really need to put it out in the garden, next to 'Napoleon', for a good comparison.
Reply #12 of 15 posted 16 JUN 21 by scvirginia
Obviously, I can't speak to what Mr. Starnes may have said or thought, but I have a longstanding impression that a 'cracker rose' is any of the crimson China roses found growing in the South. At this point, I can't remember how I came by this notion, but I don't think I just made it up out of nowhere.

The story about the rose being found all over Tampa because of one Mother's Day promotion during the Great Depression strikes me as unlikely. Looking at old catalogs for Florida rose growers, I see that 'Texas Wax' was often used as an understock by nurseries there... do you think that could be the Pink Cracker?
Reply #13 of 15 posted 16 JUN 21 by Patricia Routley
Texas Wax was R. indica major
Reply #14 of 15 posted 16 JUN 21 by scvirginia
Yes, or possibly a China/ Multiflora hybrid. Lots of diiferent forms of R. indica major.

As Dr. Manners pointed out, different forms may be genetically identical, but look quite different. I'd expect R. indica major to be very like—if not identical to—'Napoleon', say...
Reply #15 of 15 posted 10 OCT by Kim Rupert
Hi Malcolm, were you able to plant JSPC out in the garden near Napoleon to determine if they differ? It would be an interesting question to determine an answer for while it's possible. Thank you! Kim
most recent 20 DEC 22 SHOW ALL
Initial post 24 NOV 12 by Marnix
This Rose is a continiously flowering Rose in my garden, so it is much more than occasionally repeating in in the Netherlands. A beauty and nice colored hips (much!) in autumn/winter.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 24 NOV 12 by Jay-Jay
En je wilde 'm volgens mij nog wel wegdoen, vanwege de kleur, een paar jaar terug!
Reply #2 of 2 posted 20 DEC 22 by mmanners
In Florida as well, as long as we dead-head it, it repeats regularly and heavily. If not deadheaded, it makes great masses of hips, with little repeat bloom.
most recent 9 JUL 22 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 9 JUL 22 by mmanners
If GoldenAge is still active here, I'll apologize -- answering their query only nine years later! Our 'Maréchal Niel' came to us from Greg Grant, in Texas. Details of his finding it can be found on pp. 114-115 of the book "The Rose Rustlers" by Greg Grant and William C. Welch. 2017. To summarize, Dr. Bill Welch discovered it in the back garden of a home in Bryan, Texas. Greg sent it to me. We tested it for the viruses causing rose mosaic disease shortly after receiving it, and it was not infected. It has since been tested by PCR and remains free of all known rose viruses.

We graft nearly all of our roses on 'Fortuniana' rootstock, and that's what I did with this rose. The result was easily the most vigorous rose I've ever grown, quickly climbing to the top of a 16 ft (3 meter) structure. The description here says it occasionaly repeats, but for us, it is seldom without at least a few flowers.

It deeply resents pruning, and I have killed a plant of it simply by pruning one back toward the top of an 8-foot (2.44 m) trellis.

While I often chip bud roses, I find this one very difficult to bud -- most of the buds die. However, it is extremely easy to cleft graft, so that's how we propagate it (with leaves, under mist).

I'm posting photos today, of our plants.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 9 JUL 22 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
That's a stunner Malcolm.
most recent 27 FEB 22 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 27 FEB 22 by ldmont
Xochimilco has been an excellent rose in my Zone 9b yard. Well-mannered growth habit (about 3 feet tall after about 15 months), very attractive flowers with repeat blooming and quite healthy.

I can't detect much scent, but that may be me.

PS - I would like to post a positive comment about 'Xander', but so far it is not listed on HMF. It is also a lovely rose with beautiful single flowers, tidy growth habit and quite healthy.

Edit - I erroneously said this rose was bred by Malcolm Manners - it's not and I have amended my post accordingly. My apologies.
Reply #1 of 5 posted 27 FEB 22 by Patricia Routley
Could Xander be Xanadu? …answers own question. No Xanadu is double, you have said Xander is single.
I’ll jog Malcolm’s memory and see if he can add Xander.
Reply #2 of 5 posted 27 FEB 22 by mmanners
I have not introduced a rose named 'Xander'. Perhaps it's by someone else? Or if mine, perhaps misnamed? 'Xiuhcoatl' is single pink with Kordesii-type shiny "holly" foliage. I can't think of anything else of mine that it might be.
Reply #4 of 5 posted 27 FEB 22 by ldmont
I have amended my comment to delete the erroneous reference to you. My apologies.
Reply #3 of 5 posted 27 FEB 22 by mmanners
Ah! I tracked it down.

Xander is by Al Whitcomb (recently deceased). He apparently did not register it. I've suggested to Rose Petals Nursery (who carry it) that it really needs an HMF entry.
Reply #5 of 5 posted 27 FEB 22 by Patricia Routley
Good tracking Malcolm. ‘Xander’ now added.
Now you can do that comment idmont.
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