Article (newspaper) (Jul 2014) Page(s) 2. Includes photo(s).
Patricia Routley: In 2000 I bought a superb hybrid tea from Mostly Roses Nursery in Newlands. At that time its name was unknown, but the story that came with it was that a dying Lithuanian lady had given the rose to the Gosnells Hospital. Someone else later took wood of the rose to Mostly Roses Nursery and between the two of them, they gave it a study name of “Gosnells’s Hospital Red”. Its story stuck in my mind because I recalled a 1996 Heritage Roses in Australia journal story of a Lithuanian lady smuggling into Australia a slip of her favourite rose sewn into her coat hem. Years later, three ladies visited here and my rose was blooming beautifully. It is a deep dark red with thick petals made of velvet. As we stood in front of the rose, I told them of its history and one lady was transfixed. “She came from Lithuania”, explained Sue. I could see Sue could hardly wait to leave so she too could call in at Mostly Roses Nursery on their return journey and buy her own bush of “Gosnells Hospital Red”. I have always loved this rose but had never researched it, just accepting that Lithuania is a long way from me and I don’t speak or read Lith. A year later another nursery lady from Mt. Barker, WA visited and told me it was ‘Toro’. “How do you know?” I asked. “It is unmistakeable,” she said. She was right, for in 2005 when visiting Vintage Gardens Nursery home garden in California, there was my rose growing beautifully and labelled ‘Toro’. I simply must know all about my roses, so back home, I went to my books and began to note the name of Uncle Joe, 1972 connected somehow with ‘Toro’. Putting my questions to HelpMeFind.com brought the response that the name ‘Toro’ was a fraud, and that the real name was ‘Uncle Joe’. So the name of my rose was changed yet again for the final time (but carefully keeping in my records the additional and original provenance - came as “Gosnells Hospital Red”.) This rose is a big fat, red rose with dark velvety tints. It opens slowly with a round bull-nose center in the middle of the bloom and you can see that a bloom is coming and can watch it daily. Even when it opens, it is a long lasting rose. You get your money’s worth with this one. It has a fine strong fragrance that you breathe in deeply and then go to heaven. This fragrance was obviously inherited from its (seed) grandparents ‘Mirandy’ 1944 x ‘Charles Mallerin’ 1947. It was not disclosed which rose was the pollen parent. It is very good in hot weather with long flowering stems and the advice is to prune it only lightly. It can be a very tall rose. In Sunnybank, Queensland this rose was said to grow 3.5m and this author also said it can be a fruit fly’s delight. Because of its round bull nose center and the height of the bush, the fruit fly probably think it is some luscious plum.
Book (2009) Page(s) 145.
Jean Newman. Reliable Roses, Victoria. ‘Toro’ Wyant 1973 Dark red blooms; good exhibition form.
Book (Apr 1993) Page(s) 618.
Uncle Joe Hybrid Tea, dark red, 1972, ('El Toro'; 'Toro'); ('Mirandy' x 'Charles Mallerin') x Seedling; Kern Rose Nursery. Description.
p82-6 Dr. A. A. Ferris. Chirnside Park, Victoria. My best roses, all of which I still grow, are listed below with their estimated year of introduction into Australia. 1976. ‘Toro’ and ….
p83-2 ibid. ‘Toro’ is magnificent only in Melbourne’s heat wave conditions ….
p91-11 Mr. David Barnett. Smithfield, NSW. ‘Toro’. Two well established bushes. Blooms are too tight. Not good in wet weather. Colour poor. Healthy growth. Best in autumn.
p92-11 Mr. Kevin Johns. Sunnybank Queensland. ‘Toro’. My very best, in warm weather. Has large well shaped blooms, does not like the wet, also blueing can be a problem, until you know how to treat them. Can be a fruit fly’s delight, so it must be sprayed with Rogor.
p99-11 June and Don Phillips, Riverton, WA. ‘Toro’. A tall upright bush producing large dark red blooms of exhibition form. They are at their best during the summer months – coming out well and lasting a long time.
p340. ‘Toro’ See ‘Uncle Joe’.
p344 ‘Uncle Joe’ (‘Toro’) HT. (Kern Rose Nurs., 1971) (‘Mirandy’ x ‘Charles Mallerin’) x unnamed seedling. Fl. Dark red, very dbl., high-centered, very large; Fol. large, dark, leathery. Very vig., upright; tall growth. dr.
p56-26 Dr. A. S. Thomas. A Survey of Ratings. ‘Toro’. Exhibition. U.S. (regarded in most places as identical with ‘Uncle Joe’.
p103-2 Maurice Duce, Mansfield, Queensland. The slow types such as ‘Red Queen’, ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and ‘Toro’ are done [pruned] the earliest.
p107-2 Kevin Johns, Sunnybank, Queensland. There are some tall roses that must only be pruned lightly. One example is ‘Toro’ which at my home has reached a height of 3.5m with stems in excess of 1.2m. If I prune ‘Toro’ hard I get thicker stems with huge flowers of a harsh colour that will not open. ‘Toro’ must be made to work hard. Prune lightly leaving as many stems as possible. The flowers on weaker stems have a much brighter velvet colour and open freely.
Book (1983) Page(s) 27.
Dr. Allan Ferris, Chairnside Park, Victoria. Eighteen Roses Distinct. As emergencies I would like to have ‘Toro’ (hot weather only or grown in the glasshouse.)
p85-2 Dr. A. A. Ferris. Lilydale, Victoria. Exhibition Roses in a Fibreglass Hot House in Melbourne. The twelve cultivars chosen were: ‘Toro’ and….
p85-3 ibid. …and blooms of ‘Toro’ with stems up to 90 cm.
p86-1 ibid. Variation in colour was the most striking difference observed in our fibreglass-sheltered roses. Red roses were fine for colour…. And ‘Toro’, the latter being almost black but without the bronze sheen which it may have in the open garden.
p86-3. ibid. By crowding plants together we also found room for extra bushes of ‘Toro’ and….All of these cultivars produced better blooms in our glasshouse than did the same cultivars in the open garden.
p520. ‘Toro’ HT (Wyant, ’72) ‘Karl Herbst’ seedling x ‘Big Red’. Very large, very dbl., high centered, very fragrant, red. Fol. Large, soft. Very vig., upright; abundant bloom. mr.
p525 ‘Uncle Joe’ HT. (Kern Rose Nurs., ’71) (‘Mirandy’ x ‘Charles Mallerin’) x unnamed seedling. Very large, very dbl., high centered, dark red. Fol. Large, dark, leathery. Very vig., upright; abundant bloom. dr.
p139 Dr. A. S. Thomas. The following are here to stay: 1975. ‘Toro’.
p141-5. Ibid. Toro HT. (Wyant 1972), ('Karl Herbst' x 'Big Red'). A tall grower with perfectly formed dark red flowers.
p141-7. ibid. ‘Uncle Joe’ HT. (Kern, 1971) (‘Mirandy’ x ‘Charles Mallerin’). Though said to be of different breeding, this rose is extraordinarily like ‘Toro’.