HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
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most recent 19 MAY 16 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 17 MAY 16 by NikosR
Duchesse de Brabant is now not shown as a synonym though the rose is searchable by this name. Funnily enough DdB is maintained for the climbing 'version'. Regardless of which is the historically correct name, I think this creates more confusion rather than settling the issue. I believe DdB should be given as a synonym to CdL. The rose is sold as DdB both in the US and in Europe so providing this name as a synonym should help users. Both this rose and its climbing sport should be treated equally with regards to the naming.
Reply #1 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by Patricia Routley
The Australian girls (Tea Roses: Old Roses for Warm Gardens) found no reference to the name Duchesse de Brabant’ before the 1980s. Not to heed their research seems as though we are rejecting the work they did. Your excellent point that both the tea and the climber should be treated equally is well taken. We have made the incorrect names ‘Duchesse de Brabant’ and ‘Duchesse de Brabant Cl.’ both hidden synonyms so they are still searchable, but the main name is shown as ‘Comtesse de Labarthe’ for both the bush and the climber. Thank you NikosR for helping to fine tune HelpMeFind.
Reply #2 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by NikosR
I believe that DdB should be a NOT hidden synonym. What's the point of a hidden synonym? It just adds to confusion. I knew that Ddb is also called CdL but I was initially confused when I searched for it and found only the climbing version and CdL. What if someone is not aware of this? Should one go through the fineprint to find out he's looking at the same rose? Since the rose is known and marketed in the US and in Europe as DdB (not to mention ARS calls it like this), that should be a not hidden synonym. All this not withstanding the fact that the 'proper' name for the rose should be CdL. Just add Ddb as a real synonym and point out that it seems the proper name should be CdL. However, it's your call.
Reply #3 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by billy teabag
Just to clarify - it is true that we found no reference to the name 'Duchesse de Brabant' on Australian rose catalogues or Australian rose literature before the 1980s but the rose was widely known as 'Duchesse de Brabant' in the USA by 1900 eg. the Dingee and Conard 1901 catalogue lists 'Duchesse de Brabant'.

There is no dispute that the rose was introduced under the name 'Comtesse de Labarthe' but how and why it acquired the synonym 'Duchesse de Brabant' is a question we were unable to discover an answer to.

'Duchesse de Brabant' is listed as a synonym of 'Comtesse de Labarthe' in a number of articles and publications dating from the 1880s - eg. Ellwanger (1893 edition) lists 'Comtesse de Labarthe', noting 'Duchesse de Brabant' as a synonym.
Reply #4 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by Rose_Insanity
Especially in light of what Billy had to say about the use of the incorrect name since the late 1800's, I have to agree with Nik that DdB should NOT be a *hidden*, but rather a visible, synonym. Since DdB is the the most used in commerce, not having it visible makes it too easy for someone not familiar with the rose to find the listing for CdL, then acquire it thinking they have a completely different rose than DdB. With DdB listed as a visible synomyn it prevents someone making that mistake.
Reply #5 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by scvirginia
I very much agree that hidden information is not consistent with transparency, and causes confusion for users. Even if the hidden synonym takes users to the correct page, there isn't anything on the description page to reassure users that they are at the right place.

Someone who wants to buy 'Duchesse de Brabant' and searches HMF for a vendor may get confused by ending up at a record for a "different" rose; that person probably doesn't care what the rose was originally called; they just want to buy one.

My two cents,
Reply #6 of 23 posted 17 MAY 16 by Greenman
I feel the real issue here is that this rose is still widely in commerce under the name Duchesse de Brabant, and we need to be able to research what the rose we are preparing to buy is like. There are many roses listed with recently invented names under which they are sold. Cinderella, for example, has the name True Pearl listed with it because a marketer decided to advertise several miniature roses with a Pirate theme, and True Pearl was the name chosen for Cinderella in this scheme. Since many sources list this rose as the Duchesse de Brabant, wouldn't it be fair to include that as a visible synonym. It would perhaps be different if there were another claiment to the name Duchesse de Brabant, but as this is not the case, I don't see the advantage of hiding this name.
Reply #7 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by Patricia Routley
On my (Administrator’s) screen, I see:
Also referenced as: Duchesse de Brabant, Comtesse de Labarathe, Shell, Countess Bertha, The Shell Rose (tea, Bernede 1857), Mademoiselle de Labathe.

I have taken a moment to have a look on my husband’s computer and am disturbed to find this section missing. So while these “Also referenced as….” names will point you to the correct page, I do agree that they should be shown. The hidden name feature was added quite late in HMF’s life and perhaps might yet need some adjustment.

If all the names (above) were shown as synonyms, then depending on which one you click on, there would have been no way of telling which was the original name. If we clicked on “Countess Bertha”, it would show in THE name and all the others, including ‘Comtesse de Labarthe’, would be shown as synonyms of “Countess Bertha”. Again, if Bermudians (and others) click on “Shell”, it would appear as THE name, with ‘Comtesse de Labarthe’ shown as a synonym of it. The intention was that HelpMeFind point the way as to the original name for the rose and I really liked the “Also referenced as…”. Please bear with us while we sort this out.
Reply #8 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by scvirginia
I'll just quickly point out that there are two American references to 'Duchesse de Brabant' dating to 1875. I don't think it's impossible that they started out as separate roses, but were later confused in commerce and/or determined to be 'synonymous' for exhibition purposes...
Reply #9 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin
The point of hidden synonyms is to prevent rose listings from having dozens of synonyms that are often obscure, misspelled, alternate spelling, or nursery specific variations. As such, synonym type assignment is at times a subjective decision and that is where HelpMeFind as a mutable resource really shines. HMF from its conception has been about the pooling of insight, experience, and expertise of the rose community world wide.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to make a case for changes to both our underlying data and our presentation. We greatly rely on our user community to constantly refine, correct, and improve HelpMeFind.

In this instance, the use of this hidden synonym appears to generate confusion so it is likely we will change it to a standard synonym.

The point of referencing the various hidden synonyms also has merit but the jury is still out on that one; hidden synonyms are typically misspellings and various forms of abbreviations that are necessary primarily/only for improving HMF's search capability. The inclusion of synonyms has many obvious advantages but it also has some not so obvious disadvantages. As is often the case, there are very few perfect solutions.
Reply #10 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by scvirginia
I do think that HMF's rose records should show all of the commonly used names for that rose, regardless of how the names were acquired. I will go further and say that commonly used spellings such as 'Solfaterre' (which is the ARS official spelling and almost as old as the rose itself) ought not to be hidden.

I can maybe see a case for using the hidden names "feature" for roses which have numerous mis-spellings, since that could theoretically assist users to find a rose record without cluttering up the description page, but I think it's probably better to avoid adding every mis-spelling/ typo as a synonym, and figuring out a better way to display (not hide) the spellings/ names in common use.

Why HMF volunteers need to be the judges of which one name is the pure, unsullied, properly spelled name as intended by the long-deceased breeder is beyond me. In many cases it isn't possible to know what the original intention was. But that seems to be the concern; if all synonyms are displayed equally, how will HMF users know which is the truly-best name for the rose? To me, the obvious answer would be to change the way names are displayed so that the best name looks different from the others (a bolded font might work).

I do not mean to sound flippant; in most cases there IS a clear best name. But in cases when the references don't provide an obvious best name, display the synonyms equally and let the users who care decide for themselves.

Reply #12 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin
First, thank you both (Virginia, NikosR) for your input. Above all, user input is the guiding force behind HelpMeFind. I'll address these issues point by point.

"should show all of the commonly used names". First, that is primarily what HMF currently does. Second, please consider the fact terms like "commonly used", "best", "widely used", or "sensible" are subjective. What shall we use for a definition of commonly or widely used? Is that 60% of the nurseries; referenced in 3 or more publications; used in rose shows in countries X and Y but ignoring country Z ?

Who shall we entrust to define said formula and what do we tell those that question its veracity. Further, what resources are available to apply a possibly labor intensive process ? At some point subjective decisions have to be made. You can move that point around but you can not eliminate it. What you can do is refine and improve upon the process to reduce the the subjective elements as much as possible. To that end, HelpMeFind has always been open.

"could theoretically assist users to find a rose record" . There is nothing theoretical about this need; this is how databases work. There are technical aspects of software systems that frequently complicate presentation and trade offs are necessary.

"figuring out a better way", We're always open to suggestions but please keep in mind HMF is severely constrained by it available resources, both man power and computational. If a change requires individuals to comb through HMF's 50,000+ rose listing to reclassify names that's simply not possible with our resources... unless one embraces HelpMeFind's concept of our website as a tool and not a service. As the tool it has always intended to be, HMF resources envelop the world-wide rose community at large and posts like yours serve to correct, refine, and improve our website.

"displayed so that the best name looks different". "there IS a clear best name". Yes, this is true and this is what HMF currently does in most every case. I fear we are extrapolating the impact of some specific cases to the entire database.

"in cases when the references don't provide an obvious best name, display the synonyms equally and let the users who care decide for themselves." This is currently how HMF works, but still, keeping in mind, in a global setting, your opinion of the "obvious best name" may not be shared by all.

Rose names are a thorny (pun intended) issue to be sure. Please keep in mind HMF draws on many diverse resources (publications, nurseries, rose shows, historical catalogs, etc.) for its information and we do our best to reconcile the frequent variations we find. And let's not forget about the language issues involved. Please also keep in mind there are technical limitations as well as resource constraints and HelpMeFind will never be perfect but with your help we can get closer.
Reply #15 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by Spectrograph
Duchesse de Brabant is a very common name for this rose, and should not be hidden. I understand there is a large list of synonyms for many older roses. However, this is the name of the rose in commerce, in historical references, and in current gardens. For example, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens exhibit this rose solely as "Duchesse de Brabant". Hiding this name not only creates confusion, but makes this site less useful to the general public. I see no reason to have this extremely common name hidden on this entry.
Reply #17 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by scvirginia
I do not understand your reply. Your response to my suggestions is both "we're already doing that" and "it would require too great a strain on our resources to do that".

As a volunteer administrator who has added thousands of references to HMF, I see what is hidden, and can't recall seeing anything in the hidden names that would be confusing were it to be unhidden. And of course, going through every single rose name is neither possible nor necessary, but I would like to hear a good justification for hiding names, because I haven't yet. Unless "there are technical aspects of software systems that frequently complicate presentation and trade offs are necessary" is the reason.

If HMF policy is to display commonly used names, I don't understand why 'Duchesse de Brabant' and 'Solfaterre' are currently hidden. If one searches for 'Solfaterre', one ends up looking at several rose records. How many users will know that the record with 'Augusta' (syn. 'Solfatare') is (probably) the correct choice? Likewise searching for 'Duchesse de Brabant' and not finding it. Hiding these names is far more confusing for users than displaying the names. Is there an HMF guideline about when names should be hidden and when they should be displayed? Are 'Duchesse de Brabant' and 'Solfaterre' somehow more wrong than, for example, 'Marie Pavie' and 'Paul Neyron'?

I don't ask for the sake of argument; I ask because I would really like to know if HMF has guidelines in place for how to handle "thorny" rose names. It might be useful the next time I add a plant record with more than one name referenced.

Reply #20 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin

You (mostly) answered your own question - "there are technical aspects of software systems that frequently complicate presentation and trade offs are necessary".

Attempts to formalize a specific policy for recording names has been fraught with complications. It is not a simple issue by any stretch of the imagination and yes many of the issues are technical in nature. Even excluding the technical issues, who's definition of "common use ", "wide use", or "best" do we go with - those are completely subjective terms.

For example, there are many instances of where nurseries have misspelled or even misnamed a rose on their website. These names need to be included for HMF's search to be of any use but you certainly do not want to start listing them all on the individual rose pages. They too will cause confusion.

There is no perfect solution here. If one stops and really gives thought to explicitly codifying a procedure to record names to suit HelpMeFind's objectives, over a global multi-language audience, and within technical constraints it is both a daunting task and one very likely to not gain a consensus.

We have almost two decades of experience around how difficult it is to get a consensus on much simpler issues.

"If HMF policy is to display commonly used names, I don't understand why 'Duchesse de Brabant' and 'Solfaterre' are currently hidden." I can't answer that question. I would agree in THESE cases these aliases should be listed as standard synonyms that normally show up.

HelpMeFind, like any resource is not perfect but the difference is HMF is mutable and as long as we have people like yourself and Patricia (and many others over the years) that generously give of their time and energy to make it better it will continue to be the most comprehensive, publicly available rose related database in the world.

There are steps we can take to reduce user confusion. Possibly we can include a comment where a guest has searched by one name and we've displayed what we feel is its equivalent. Or possibly we need different levels of 'hidden' names where while a name is not considered a common use / wide use / best synonym it is still noted on a rose listing.

Of course system changes and enhancements cost money and far too many people seem to think HMF runs on fairy dust. As expected, this translates into an unfortunately slow progressing project list.
Reply #22 of 23 posted 19 MAY 16 by scvirginia
Regarding the steps that can be taken to reduce user confusion, I'm not sure what you mean by a comment for a user who is redirected to a record not searched for, but it sounds like that would require something like an explanatory pop-up message, or something as technically complex.

I do like the idea of names "not considered a common use/ wide use/ best synonym" still being noted somehow at the description page. If I search for "Shell Rose" and end up at the record for 'DdB'/ 'CdlB', I might be confused at first, but if I see 'The Shell Rose' listed on the description page, I will feel reassured that I ended up where I intended to end up.

Reply #11 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by NikosR
Any widely used 'nursery' name (being that a different name or different spelling) means it is a name by which a buyer will encounter that rose in commerce. As such, if this name does not appear in the rose description it is guarranteed to create confusion. The case under discussion is one of the most obvious ones (virtually no one is selling the rose under the name CdL in the US or Europe - the two largest rose markets in the world and according to the Australian Tea book, it is sold under both names in Aus, many influential rose books refer to it as Ddb etc etc etc) but lots of other cases may exist. I believe that a standard sensible policy should be decided on and this should not be left to the judgement of any individual volunteer administrator.
Reply #13 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin
Please see reply to scvirginia and thanks for your input.
Reply #14 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by NikosR
This will be my last comment in this particular thread. I think you're making a big deal out of a trivial thing. If you feel you really need to, it IS trivial to google a name and get a fair impression of how commonly this is referenced on the net. Had you done that you might not had decided to virtually 'erase' the name DdB from HMF memory. It is much less trivial to take an informed decision on which name is the 'proper' name for a rose and make all others disappear. from sight.. It will also have implications leading to confusion when someone reads the references, the comments or looks at the pictures of a rose (as is currently the case for this particular rose). Gosh, what's wrong? Im looking at CdL but I'm seeing pics of DdB and everyone is commenting on that rose... I think your new policy is unfortunate and will make every user's life more difficult and I fail to see why this should be so.
Reply #19 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin
Yes, I agree this is certainly being blown out of proportion.

This is about this specific rose not having a common alias listed. This ONE rose, although there are very likely others. This hardly calls for a revamping of HelpMeFind's policies and procedures. Why this rose is missing this standard synonym is a perfectly valid, and welcomed, question especially given this synonym is included in our references.

In the end, the system worked: someone in the rose community generously took the time to point out an error and make HelpMeFind better. That's what HelpMeFind is all about. It's a tool for all of you to best collect, organize, and disseminate the wealth of rose knowledge around the world.

Using a single rose to infer our policies are not sensible or we are lacking in our research is quite a stretch.
Reply #16 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by Spectrograph
If only one name must be displayed, I see no reason why it should not be Duchesse de Brabant. I have never seen Comtesse de Labarthe exhibited in a public garden, but I have seen Duchesse de Brabant. Searching the listings of nurseries, I see dozens offering the Duchesse, and none on the first page of a Google search for Comtesse de Labarthe. As other commenters have noted, the name Duchesse de Brabant is not a new name for this rose, there is documentation for it. As commenters noted above:

"'Duchesse de Brabant' is listed as a synonym of 'Comtesse de Labarthe' in a number of articles and publications dating from the 1880s - eg. Ellwanger (1893 edition) lists 'Comtesse de Labarthe', noting 'Duchesse de Brabant' as a synonym."
Reply #21 of 23 posted 18 MAY 16 by HMF Admin
HMF supports displaying multiple names. The issue is which names to display as frequently a name used for a particular rose is simply a nursery's careless misspelling.
Reply #23 of 23 posted 19 MAY 16 by Patricia Routley
A most interesting and informative discussion. All synonyms have been added back and you may now take your pick of whatever you would like to call this rose.
Reply #24 of 23 posted 19 MAY 16 by NikosR
Thank you.
most recent 4 MAY 16 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 3 MAY 16 by Greenman
Rose Listing Omission

Lauren Elizabeth Loe

Bred by Linda Loe, available from Long Ago Roses. In her email to me, she wrote: "I should have a Lauren Elizabeth Loe. I haven't registered it on hmf yet. It is a fairly new seedling from my Cl. Crimson Glory plant. It seems to be a climber, has medium sized deep pink to crimson blooms with a whole lot of petals. It is beautiful, full, and very fragrant. But sometimes it balls." Maybe it would be better to wait until Linda Loe registers it herself, but since mine just arrived and I use hmf to keep track of my rose list, I thought you might put a page with at least the name and with Linda as the breeder up.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 4 MAY 16 by Patricia Routley
'Lauren Elizabeth Loe' added. Thanks Greenman. I am happy that you are using the HelpMeFind rose list facility. I think it is a superb world-wide facility for keeping track of which roses are commonly grown, endangered or long gone.
most recent 30 APR 16 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 30 APR 16 by Greenman
After 4 years I am donating this rose at the annual local plant giveaway, for no other reason than that it had gotten too large for an all container garden, and I felt it would be happier if it could stretch its roots and branches as well. The plant had a long, large spring flush but I never got any repeat. It was _super_ hardy, one of the very few plants that could be left outside in a pot during the winter and show no dieback at all. (This is zone 6, but it survived a very cold winter three years back when it was still rather small),
most recent 23 MAR 16 SHOW ALL
Initial post 3 MAR 16 by Palustris
'Arcadia' does not have this type of petals: they should be very short similar to 'The Fairy.' Also the color is incorrect. Burlington rose nursery is the only source of the true 'Arcadia' in the world.
Reply #1 of 5 posted 4 MAR 16 by Gascogne
This rose, is, in fact, Arcadia, from Burlington. I acquired it from a devout rosarian who purchased it from her. It is authentic.
Reply #2 of 5 posted 5 MAR 16 by Palustris
I really hope that you are correct. Please note how different the rose I provided to Burling looks in the photos. It would be tragic to have the wrong rose distributed as 'Arcadia' after being rescued from extinction. I hope you will monitor the rose you received to ensure that it does look like the rose in my photos once it gets larger. The petals are very short, the flowers tiny and appear to be sliced off with a knife they are so flat once they are open. The color is red to maroon. I am relying on you to ensure that the wrong rose is not distributed or photographs distributed when we are attempting to ensure Walsh's legacy is not forgotten.

Thank you,
Vernon Brown
Reply #3 of 5 posted 5 MAR 16 by Gascogne
Well, all I can do is assure you that the fellow I got my roses from is an avid rosarian, who got many roses from Vintage Roses before they closed over the years, and knows many people in the rose community, inclduing Burling. He told me that only Burling and he have the remaining Arcadia Roses left, and he gave me his, along with nearly 70 other rare vintage/ heirloom roses since he moved.

When I shot these pics, the buds were just opening. You must know as a photographer that the color you see in the screen is not always true or the same as another... Your screen is calibrated differently than mine. Color is affected by time of day, and roses change color depending on the temperature. The cooler the weather, the more intense the colors. Here in Kansas City, it can get quite hot during the late Spring/ early summer when this rose is blooming. Only a few of my dedicated "reds" are deep burgundy RED in intense heat. Also, red is a hard color to photograph; I am not a professional photographer, but I do know when I shoot red roses it never comes out true. I have been absent the last couple summers managing family matters when she (Arcadia) is in bloom but I will post newer photos when I can. The fellow friend of mine would have absolutely no reason to lie or mislead anyone in the rose community. I am, however, surprised that it took this long for someone to dispute the provenance of this one. cheers.
Reply #4 of 5 posted 6 MAR 16 by Greenman
I was the person who gave Arcadia to Gascogne. I assure you, it is the same plant I obtained from Burlington's as Arcadia. The roses are more red in person, though I only saw it bloom once before I had to give it away, it was growing enormous and I was in the process of moving. Here is a screenshot of the order I had with Burlingon's: Hope this clears up any confusion.. maybe Arcadia is one of those roses that is slightly different in different climates, after all the midwest is quite different from New England where the parent plant is or from California where Burlington's is.
Reply #5 of 5 posted 23 MAR 16 by Palustris
Thanks for responding. Unfortunately I didn't get a notification from HMF when you responded a couple of weeks ago.

I gave the rose to Burling under the direction of Anne Belovich. Dan Russo identified the rose in Woods Hole, MA where Mr. Walsh had his gardens so the provenance is sound. I appreciate very much your chiming in because I think everyone who worked to bring the rose back into commerce would be very sad if the wrong rose was distributed as 'Arcadia.' Anne has the rose in her collection of American rambler roses and has donated that collection to a garden in TX as a permanent repository.

I am really astonished that the rose looks so different under different growing conditions. You can see my concern if you look at my photos of the rose that Dan identified. I have seen this rose growing for a decade or more and while I certainly can easily identify it on Cape Cod with no problem. I never dreamed it would look so different grown elsewhere.

I hope you and Gascon understand that my only concern is for Mr. Walsh's legacy; I have no personal reason for disputing the identity of the rose in the photo. I hope that in the future Burling will be able to release into commerce all the Walsh roses found in Woods Hole and Falmouth, MA. and that you will enjoy collecting them.

Best wishes,
Sandy Brown
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