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"Irène Watts - in commerce as” rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 127-000
most recent 15 APR 21 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 13 APR 21 by scvirginia
Would it be better to have this record say Irène Watts (in commerce as), rather than just having the name in quotes with (Kluis, floribunda) after the name?

If so, should the name still be in quotes? It isn't really a foundling with a made-up name...
Reply #1 of 9 posted 14 APR 21 by Patricia Routley
Yes I think so - but I am not seeing things too clearly today. I will change the “study name” from
"Irène Watts (floribunda, Kluis 1929)" to
“Irène Watts - in commerce as”

My feeling is that the above should still be in double quotes, because its real name is ‘Pink Gruss an Aachen’. It should lessen any confusion between the extinct [?]
‘Irène Watts’ (china, Guillot 1895) and
“Irène Watts - in commerce as”
Reply #2 of 9 posted 14 APR 21 by Margaret Furness
There is a problem with that, because there's another rose, "Agnes Smith" in commerce as Irene Watts in Australia - the found rose which is one of the candidates for Hume's Blush.
Reply #3 of 9 posted 14 APR 21 by Patricia Routley
Yes, that is a problem. Who is the nursery please? I am not too sure about how to handle this.
Take a look at the “Agnes Smith” file and see the three separate foundling rose names.
Then imagine if we added the last name below.

‘Irène Watts’ (china, Guillot 1895)
"Irène Watts - in commerce as. Pink Gruss an Aachen”
"Irène Watts - in commerce as. syn “Agnes Smith”

What do you think?

(Later edit. I won’t bring up the NZ ‘Comtesse de Labarthe’ misnaming)
Reply #4 of 9 posted 14 APR 21 by Margaret Furness
I suppose it could be "Irene Watts (in Australia)".
Messy whichever way you do it.
Reply #5 of 9 posted 15 APR 21 by scvirginia
I think most U.S. nurseries sell 'Pink Gruss' as 'Pink Gruss', not as 'Irène Watts', but I can't say what the story is with European rose vendors... Did Beales ever finally admit that they really didn't have 'Irène Watts' for sale?

If most rose nurseries are aware that 'Irene' is really 'PGAA', and therefore not selling it mislabeled, would it make sense to just have "Not Irène Watts" as a synonym for 'Pink Gruss'?
Reply #6 of 9 posted 15 APR 21 by Patricia Routley
Virginia - re Beales. Yes, it is in the references.

Margaret - Andrew Ross mentioned today that whilst they do have “Agnes Smith in their garden, they have never had it available for sale.
He said that their ‘Irene Watts’ has a button eye and I have suggested that it may well be ‘Pink Gruss an Aachen’.

I am going to leave the name as just "Irène Watts - in commerce as”, but I have added a Note to the main page about the other roses which have been sold under this incorrect name.
Reply #7 of 9 posted 15 APR 21 by Marlorena
I find the Beales business rather amusing... when I wrote to them a few years ago they refused to acknowledge that 'Irene Watts' was not the China rose and insisted to me that it was, and the 2 roses were different..

It seems to have taken them best part of 30 years to now acknowledge that it's Pink Gruss an Aachen, as 'Irene Watts' has disappeared from their website, with full disclosure that it was incorrect...

I also notice the Pink Gruss an Aachen clone they are selling is the Klaus and Konning version, which is the one they used to sell as 'Irene Watts'... when I grew both together I found this clone to be much the better.. planted almost side by side and given the same treatment, this clone produced double the buds of the Spek version...
Reply #8 of 9 posted 15 APR 21 by scvirginia
Marlorena, I had your comparisons in mind when I asked if Beales ever actually acknowledged that they did not have the real 'Irène' for sale. They were kinda on again/ off again for a bit.

I hope you are well and your garden is full of buds and blooms.

Reply #9 of 9 posted 15 APR 21 by Marlorena
..Hi Virginia, and thanks... really hope you and yours are well too, what with everything at the moment..

..yes bit of a saga with this rose... I might order another one, I sort of miss it.. but it mildewed quite a bit for me..
take care.. x...
Discussion id : 121-859
most recent 31 MAY 20 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 30 MAY 20 by billy teabag
There are a couple of pieces of information that should probably be in references but I am unsure whether it's OK and if yes, then how they should be listed.

1. information from David Ruston regarding the provenance of certain roses in his collection and budwood nursery. Private correspondence, June 2003.
"Irène Watts - Imported from Peter Beales. Planted in 1982. Budwood distributed in Australia under the name Irène Watts but came to realise identity was wrong. It was the pinker form of Gruss an Aachen. This was confirmed when I visited Peter Beales Roses."

2. from Peter Beales Roses forum, October 2008:
“We became aware that Irene Watts was wrong a few years ago and I have now corrected this to Pink Gruss an Aachen.” Peter Beales 30-10-08
The link was but it no longer links to this discussion.
Reply #1 of 11 posted 30 MAY 20 by Patricia Routley
I’ve tucked them in Billy. Many thanks.
Reply #2 of 11 posted 30 MAY 20 by billy teabag
Thanks to you Patricia.
Reply #3 of 11 posted 30 MAY 20 by Marlorena
This doesn't appear in the references so I'll just put it here, in case anyone happens upon it and finds it of interest... you may already know all about it...
... the origins of this mistake are, as often the case, with Rosarium Sangerhausen in Germany.. I'm not sure of the year, maybe early 1980's... the rose author James Russell acquired a rose from there named 'Irene Watts - China hybrid'... he passed this rose onto David Stone, Head Gardener at Mottisfont, England... who then distributed it to several nurseries including Peter Beales… after a couple of years Mr Stone noticed that Gruss an Aachen sported to the same pink rose... he tried to correct the error but by then nurseries preferred to keep the name 'Irene Watts' over the German one... and so it continues..
Reply #4 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by billy teabag
Many thanks for this information Marlorena. It is wonderful to have reliable information so we can understand the provenance of roses and the reasons for incorrect names.
By chance, yesterday someone also shared a link to a January 2016 GardenWeb forum thread, where David Stone shared the same information.

On 7 January 2016 he wrote:
"My name is David Stone. From 1978 to 2014 I was Head Gardener at Mottisfont Abbey, England. The rose pictured and purporting to be Irene Watts is, in fact, 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'. I received it from Sangerhausen in the early 1980's and distributed it in the belief that it was the true 'Irene'. However, a few years later, a plant of 'Gruss an Aachen' sported a pink branch the bloom of which proved identical to the "Irene" I had received from Germany! I have yet to find the true china variety, and have been attempting to correct my original error for many years. Unfortunately most nurseries prefer the erroneous name, as it is more appealing than 'Pink Gruss an Aachen' ! However, I keep on trying!
What's in a name? Quite a lot, really! 'Pink Gruss an Aachen' is a beautiful variety in her own right and deserves to be correctly named.
Plant, grow and enjoy!"
Reply #5 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by Patricia Routley
I've been adding and moving references (out of 'Irene Watts' and into "Pink Gruss an Aachen'). I've marked 'Irene Watts' as believed extinct or lost. There are heaps of photos still left in that file, and I am not volunteering to move them to 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'. The photographer members themselves are going to have to front up for that.

Thank you Marlorena and Billy for your help.
Reply #6 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by billy teabag
Thanks Patricia.
There are a couple of extra red herrings in the "Not Irène Watts" story.
1. The New Zealand rose mentioned in Nancy Steen's book, which turned out to be 'Comtesse de Labarthe'/ 'Duchesse de Brabant'.
2. The Australian rose found in the Rookwood cemetery that has been distributed under a number of names - "Agnes Smith", Odorata and Irène Watts.
"Agnes Smith" was circulated as Odorata after Lilia Weatherly suggested it was 'Hume's Blush' but to date I haven't been able track down how or why it also came to be distributed under the name Irène Watts.

I'll dig out any references regarding these roses.
Reply #7 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by Marlorena
..thanks Billy and Patricia... I remember reading that forum post from Mr Stone, it was in the Australian section... Just for the record, my paraphrasing came from an article David Stone wrote in the Historic Rose Journal, published here, no. 50 Autumn 2015 titled The Conservation of Old Rose Varieties at Mottisfont...
..I don't know if it's available to read online, as one had to subscribe to receive it...

..You and others all do such sterling work there, I always enjoy catching up with your often detailed investigations..

...super sleuths !...
Reply #8 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by Patricia Routley
Billy - I’ve left the Duchess de Brabant items in the Irène Watts (china, Guillot 1895) file.

Marlorena - I added the Historic Rose Journal No. 6 and 8, and I’ll add the No. 50 reference to the Pink Gruss an Aachen file tomorrow morning.
Reply #9 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by HubertG
This discussion has brought back a memory for me. Maybe close to 20 years ago the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney had a rose garden which contained quite a few mature Teas and Hybrid Musks as well as old climbers on a pergola. There was a bush (maybe two) which was labelled as 'Duchesse de Brabant' but to my mind it simply wasn't Brabant/Labarthe because I was familiar with that rose at the time. It was exactly the same colour as Labarthe, but the flowers were very double almost exactly like the formation of 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'. The petals were thicker than Comtesse de Labarthe (I remember feeling them) and the scent was different. I remember thinking how odd it was that the Botanic Gardens would have a rose mislabelled because as far as I could tell all the other roses were labelled correctly and I remember wondering what Tea it might have been. Just reading now in the comments that New Zealanders grew an "Irene Watts" that they called 'Duchesse de Brabant', I thought that perhaps this was Irene Watts/Pink Gruss an Aachen, but from memory the bush must have been close to 6 feet tall, and it was open and spreading (unlike Comtesse de Labarthe's hedgy growth), so really too tall to be Pink Gruss an Aachen, and it had no yellowish/apricot tones to it either.
It's a moot point I guess because all those roses were eventually removed, and it doesn't help clarify the Irene Watts confusion, but I thought I'd mention it for the record.
Reply #10 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by Margaret Furness
Public gardens have a problem with no-hopers who think it's original and witty to move labels.
Reply #11 of 11 posted 31 MAY 20 by HubertG
That could very well be the case, Margaret, but the garden was semicircular and very symmetrical and the plants were mirrored in pairs to the best of my memory and nothing else seemed mislabelled and there was no real Comtesse de Labarthe there that I remember. I used to enjoy visiting it. I think they ended up removing all the plants because of a soil disease.
Discussion id : 84-221
most recent 10 APR 15 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 9 APR 15 by true-blue

A little detail, but you might want to correct the name from Irene to Irène, i.e. if you want to keep the name despite the fact you have stated on the same page: "The name 'Irene Watts' is incorrect for the rose described here, although that name is still used in commerce."


Reply #1 of 2 posted 10 APR 15 by Patricia Routley
Thanks Bob. We love little correct details.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 10 APR 15 by true-blue
Discussion id : 9-647
most recent 24 JUL 05 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 23 JUL 05 by Melody
Does anyone know how well Pink Gruss an Aachen will perform in partial shade? The area I want to put one receives about 5 to 6 hours of sun scarttered throughout the day, but I can trim back some tree branches to allow more sunlight if necessary. Also, does anyone know how to pronounce the name?
Reply #1 of 1 posted 24 JUL 05 by The Old Rosarian
Gruss an Aachen should do okay with 5 hours of sun, especially if it get the noon type of sun. Gruss an Aachen sounds like Gruss an, now you pretend to clear your throat to spit, Aaacken.
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