Hansen Roses - research paper

With the authors permission, I am posting the following email. I believe she has already corresponded with some members of this forum. Others may be able to help her out.



Hi Margit, My name is Jean Pedersen, and I’m studying N.E. Hansen for my masters project at the University of Nebraska. I have compiled a list of plants introduced by N.E. Hansen, and I’m trying to determine which plants are still available. Do you know where any of these roses can be found?

Here is the list. The dates are introduction dates. The (*) indicates roses that were on record as being in Sangerhausen Germany over 40 years ago. The (#) indicates that ones that I have.

I would appreciate it if you put the list in the forum for me, but then I’m not sure if I know how to monitor responses.

I really appreciate any help anyone can provide.

Thank you!


Pedersen, Jean

E-mail Address(es):


1930 Alika (Gallica grandiflora)#

1927 Amdo rose (rugosa)*

1927 Ekta Rose (hybrid china)*




Hansen Hedge (Rosa woodsii?)

1927 Kitana Rose (rugosa)*

1927 Koza Rose (rugosa)*

1938 Lillian Gibson#

1927 Minisa Rose (rugosa)*

1927 Mrs. Mina Lindell Rose

1927 Okaga Rose*

1938 Pax Amanda

1938 Pax Apollo Rose#

1938 Pax Iola Rose

1907 Rosa Rugosa, Siberian Form

R. galactica grandiflora

Rosa Pavot (#1)

1927 Semi Rose (1913 Rosa laxa Retz.)

1927 Sioux Beauty Rose*

Tegala Rose*

Teton Beauty Rose*

1912 Tetonkaha Rose (rugosa)*

1927 Yanka Rose*

1927 Yatkan Rose*

1940 Yawa

1927 Yuhla Rose (Setigera)*

1927 Zani Rose*

1927 Zika Rose

1942 Zitkala

Pedersen, Jean

E-mail Address(es):


Seems to be Hansen isn’t so popular anymore. Lot of roses aren’t available anymore.

Mrs. Mina Lindell is a species found by Mrs. Mina Lindell, you sure this rose has to be on the list above?

More Hansen roses would be popular if they were available today, but they became unavailable in the trade long ago, when there weren’t many boutique rose nurseries that specialized in unusual varieties. Of course, many were once-bloomers and wouldn’t have mass-market appeal today, but they would still be grown and kept from extinction if they could be had.

‘Mrs. Mina Lindell’ was indeed found by the woman of the same name, but this is a list of plants introduced in the U.S. by Hansen, not necessarily bred or discovered by him. Here is the rose’s description so you get the picture:

“A beautiful dwarf semi-double, light pink, wild rose found by Mrs. Mina Lindelle in Butte County, South Dakota. Mrs. Lindell, under date of March 4, 1924, wrote: ‘These roses grow on the west side of a hill, and have noticed that there was a clump of single roses and then a clump of double ones near them. The roses grow about a mile from the Butte called Castle Rock in Butte County.’ Mrs. Lindell died in February, 1925. This rose is named in her memory by the surviving family. To find a double wild rose on the prairies of South Dakota is indeed noteworthy. The plant sprouts freely so it will not be necessary to bud, graft, or grow from cuttings.”

That rose was probably a double-flowered form of Rosa arkansana, and I believe doubles have been found of this species several times by various individuals, so it might be hard to prove which one was this plant even if they could be located on this continent.

Rosa laxa Retzius is grown to some extent and can be found in the background of Canadian Explorer roses, among others. HelpMeFind lists Greenmantle in California as a source.

It’s hard to say precisely what his Siberian form of Rosa rugosa was, because it doesn’t seem to match the modern version of Rosa x_kamtschatica_ Vent. being sold, which would have been my best guess. This is regarded as a hybrid of R. rugosa and R. davurica or R. amblyotis - and the clones today have smaller flowers than the typical rugosa rather than larger ones, which makes sense since R. davurica has quite small blossoms. Graham Thomas also thought it was inferior to plain R. rugosa, so we can be pretty sure he didn’t have the same plant as Hansen, whose description certainly makes it sound superior with flowers up to four inches across.

‘Zitkala’ is listed as being available from Heritage Rosarium in Maryland, and I believe that Suzy Verrier once had it at her nursery in Maine, but it isn’t listed there now if that was the case - it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Has anyone tried contacting Sangerhausen about their roses?

Grin…I’ve of course been in contact with Margit and Jean both several times…only thing I can add is that I do have a Zitkala large enough to do cuttings from (mine came from Suzy) and I also have a Pax Apollo (which is very nice!!) if anyone would like cuttings of it.

I haven’t tried contacting Sangerhausen lately (did a few years ago with no response). Did write Dortmund and they only have a N.J. Hansen rose (Chevy Chase). The reason I wrote Dortmund was because Gerd Krussmann (who worked at Dortmund) mentioned that Hansen’s Pax Iola was very similar to Tauschenshon except for a bit of color difference in the canes. I still don’t know how or why Krussmann compared the two or if he even did actually compare them other than photos?

Margit and I have been in touch because we’re both wondering about the “2 Lillian Gibsons on the market” discussion that surfaces every once in a while. I’m hoping we’ll be able to address that more indepthly this spring. Jean’s father has a Lillian Gibson growing at his farm so we may be able to do a comparison of it with the one most often sold today. This Lillian would I hope be the original…Jean’s father is Hansen’s grandson and still lives on the farm his parents had (this farm is only a couple miles from the university where Hansen worked). Unfortunately the family doesn’t have all the plants introduced either (sad, because at one time the university did have most if not all of them).

Feel free to request a cutting if you’d like one…I just want to get them out to others so they’re not lost completely. I have photos of the Pax Apollo on help me find. The Zitkala photo isn’t very good…rabbits love it and the photo is a couple years old but it is a very pretty plant now that it is older and I’ve kept the rabbits off better!

Think the link to helpmefind will work.


Link: 'Wendy in SD' plant lists

Here’s a description of Mrs. Mina Lindell from my father’s [Walter Schowalter] notes. 1973 - Brooks, Alberta Rose Garden. I believe ‘Athabasca’ is still there but (unfortunately) not ‘Mrs. Mini Lindell’.

"Mrs. Mina Lindell - species unknown, in some respects resembles R. woodsii. Height 1.25 - 1.50m. Primary stem prickled. Secondary stem smooth, or with one prickle below stipule. Sharp prickles on midrib.

Leaves 7.0 to 14.5cm. Leaflets 9 - 11, mostly 11. Leaflets 1.5 x .8cm to 4.5 x 2.2cm. Troughed on new growth. Leaflets coarsely toothed, elliptic to obovate, smooth.

Fruit oblate, erect, sepals erect, scarlet, averaging 1.4w x 1.2l.

Blooms same time as R. woodsii, and flowers same size. Bright deep pink, 15 petals, more attractive than Athabasca."

LOL! I was born near Butte County, haha. I can still see Bear Butte in my mind. I can barely remember any roses there, though. Everything of that nature was often very, very small from the harsh, abusive weather.

I was born in Lawrence County, which is the northern part of the Black Hills. Butte County was plains with random rivers/lakes here and there. It’s hard to imagine a double-flowering rose species there, but I guess it is possible!

I have to say, 1.25 to 1.5 meters doesn’t sound terribly dwarf and the flower color (light pink vs. bright deep pink) also doesn’t jive with Hansen’s original description. Sounds like the rose got switched with another at some point to me.

I’m going back through what copies I have of old bulletins from the university.

RE the Mrs Mina Lindell rose: The May 1927 Bulletin # 224 (Plant Introductions)and the June 1929 Bulletin # 240 (Hardy Roses for South Dakota) from the experiment station are both word for word what Stefan has.

I didn’t find any more detailed description in any of the ARS articles I have written by Hansen either. However, maybe the notes from Walter are after it has been cared for or of course might be a completely different rose too…hmm.

The 1937 ARS Rosa Rugosa Hybrids article by Hansen does say that “The Japanese form was introduced to England by Siebold in 1845. Russian botanists brought this rose at a very early date from Siberia to the botanical gardens at Leningrad. This Siberian form was imported by Prof. J.L Budd and was used in breeding experiments at Iowa State College, beginning in in 1892…” Budd was the hort. prof. at Iowa that Hansen worked for before Hansen went to South Dakota to become the hort. professor there.

I can’t remember if I’ve seen any reference to exactly where this Siberian form was found when Hansen was traveling through “Russia” but I’ll try to go back over the other couple of things I have.


The description of Mrs. Mina Lindell in Percy Wright’s 1950ish catalogue reads:

“Mrs. Mina Lindell - a double rose collected from the wild by the farm woman of South Dakota after whom it was named, and sent to me by Dr. N.E. Hansen. The species is unknown, but is probably closely related to Macounii or Woodsii. This is a better rose than Athabasca, with flowers of much deeper pink and somewhat better form. Fertile both ways and extremely hardy.”

Possibly the plant Dad described came from Percy.


That description sounds spot-on for the rose your father grew; we’ve got a little mystery here!

Here’s the last bits of info re Hansen Roses I can dig out of Dad’s notes:

Tetonkaha - Hybrid rugosa - Hansen

There seems to be half a dozen different forms of this rose in circulation. It seems Dr. Hansen was rather careless about keeping his stock unmixed. Mine was a four foot shrub with semi-double deep rose colored blossoms, produced in July. Very hardy.

Yatkan - Rugosa hybrid - Hansen

Very hardy, eight feet tall. Produces large, showy, deep rose semi-double blossoms in July. Blooms once, sets seed. Reliable.

Lilian Gibson - Red Star x R. blanda - Hansen

There are two distinct clones grown under this name. Both grow to six feet tall. Both kill back somewhat under severe conditions, both are covered with beautiful double roses on favorable years, both bloom once, and neither sets seed. The one usually considered the true Lillian Gibson has a few prickles, and the flowers are shell pink. The other, which I call Lillian Gibson Sibling, is completely thornless, and the flowers are a deeper rose color, slightly smaller, and not quite so double. At their best these are excellent ornamental shrubs.

Rosa laxa retzius - North Asia.

Widely planted as field hedges and game shelter. Sometimes grows more than 12 feet tall, very thorny, suckers. flowers single pink, but there are white ones. Small red hips. Not for home garden planting. Sometimes called Hansen’s Hedge Rose.

Alika - Rosa gallica Grandiflora - from Russia, introduced by Prof. Hansen

Canes to five feet, sucker freely. Large, attractive, dark colored foliage. Not completely hardy some years. flowers freely produced, large, flat, semi-double, bright light red, one of the showiest. Blooms once, sets seed.

Alika is available from several nurseries. Rogue Valley Roses is one of them. VERY healthy and vigorous rose, readily sets hips. Blooms are quite big and very charming. I think it is quite popular among gallica lovers.


I do have Zitkala but didn’t start any cuttings this year. My plant is huge, 7’ plus, and I’d be willing to share cuttings if anyone is interested.

I have Lillian Gibson, several plants from different sources that are all the same rose - shell pink semi-double, with a few thorns, mostly at the base of the canes, red canes and my Lillians are easily 10’ tall in my zone 5b.

I also have a hedge of something that I received as Lillian but is not(at least not what I consider Lillian.)This rose seems likely a Hansen and similar to Lillian but a bit earlier blooming with clusters of smaller,barely semi-double deeper

pink(not a shell pink)blossoms, and otherwise the canes and growth are very similar to Lillian.

Excerpt from letter by Robert Erskine to Walter Schowalter September 10, 1965

"The Lillian Gibson rose is a cross between blanda and a hybrid tea by N.E. Hansen. Blooms only once. I like it better than Betty Bland. It sets no seed but has pollen. I have seedlings of Will Alderman by its’ pollen but they never bloom.

I may be able to send you a root division of another variety that Percy Wright and Bert Porter imported from the U.S.A. as Lilian Gibson. But it is something different. This one is thornless and has smaller flowers than the true Lilian Gibson.

I have tried to collect Hansen’s varieties but have not had much success. I suspect the last mentioned rose is one of his."

This could be the Lillian Gibson Sibling Dad refers to.


Thank you for all of your input!

I have started a website where I am sharing information that I gather in my research of Hansen’s work.

Feel free to check out the website and tell me what you think.


Link: web.mac.com/jean.pedersen/Gardens_By_Jean/N.E._Hansen_Roses.html

Is Alika one of the healthiest gallicas?

It’s for sell on germany, maybe I add it to my order.

I have Alika from Suzy and it’s one of my three best Gallicas (with R. gallica and R. gallica officinalis). The colors are clear and bloom time is long, even in our May hot weather. The foliage is greener. I know that sounds funny, but a lot of gallicas have bluer-green or blue green with gray overtones, but Alika is a brighter clearer green (and is healthier here without the fall crud that some fuller-bloomed gallicas seem to get.)

If I didn’t know where Alika is from, I wouldn’t have thought it to be a rose for colder climates. (And it sets open pollinated hips readily.)

I’ve only had Alika for one year. It lost it’s lower leaves from anthracnoe last year. The only other gallica I have is Charles de Mils and it has been pretty healthy for me. Of the two I would say that CdM was healthier.

Ive put it on my order. Lets find out what opportunities this roses gives me.

Hi all,

This just in!

Mrs Mina Lindel is available from Sheila Holmes, Rocky Mountain House,AB for any Canadians that are interested (I don’t think she’ll ship to the US at this time). I just received an email yesterday from her, and this was one of the roses she has for sale, along with some other rarer Skinner selections.

She has it listed as fololows:

“MRS. MINA LINDEL” a double, soft pink, which is believed to be a pure wild rose from South Dakota. $20.00"

She included a nice photo of it too, if someone wants, I could forward it to them.

Koren in Saskatoon