HMF lineage function is unavailable

I am surprised and frustrated: the lineage function has been disabled for everyone apart from the paying public. Why?

My rose breeding does not earn me any money (far from it)

Ulrike (nagging and uncomprehending)

I have mixed feelings about this change of service. I can understand Steve’s financial needs to keep HMF running, (I gather this is a full time job for him and he also has several dedicated volunteers to help input and organize data) but I also recognize how frustrating this will be for many who use the Lineage tool for research.

However, Steve does need to generate some funds to keep HMF online and functioning. HMF has expenses. This was discussed a few times over the years and it was decided that there were two options: people would have to pay a small annual fee to get some of the more detailed features of the site or (horrors) solicit advertising to pay the costs. The latter solution is something neither HMF management nor its users want, and so we are being asked to pay a small fee for the service. I have no trouble deciding which of the two scenarios I find more appealing. I suspect most of you will come to the same conclusions.

Back when HMF started asking for voluntary donations, I gave them some money. HMF is a service I probably access 20 times a week or more, and so I figure I should help pay for it. I won’t say how much I gave, but I can tell you that I typically spend more on Espresso from the local Coffee shop in a two month period. If I can afford to buy Espressos, I can afford HMF. As they are fond of saying during public radio fund raising, at $24 a year thats only pennies a day. Please support the services you believe in and place value on.

Paul Barden

HMF has been providing services at their expense for years now.

Yes, it’s unfortunate they can’t do it forever but then most parts of the site are still free of charge. The owner accepted unsolicited requests for donations for years but the site it is still privately subsidized.

As you can imagine the hours required to design and maintain such a resource are enormous even with volunteers to help.

I’m surprised and thankful donations weren’t required long before this.

Many sites depend on things like pop ups to make revenue.

We should all be thankful HMF exists at all. The HMF database virtually eliminates the need to purchase any other rose reference permanently and the information is updated constantly. What more could you ask?

You will note the lineage function is still free to hybridizers who post their listings at HMF. That doesn’t mean a small donation wouldn’t be greatly appreciated.

I have no connection to HMF but then again I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m very thankful and I voluntarily made a small donation.

I want to make one other point. When you contribute to HMF you’re not supporting a money hungry corporation or some overpaid company executive in an ivory tower somewhere.

HMF is privately owned and began as a labor of love for a rosarian who is no longer with us. There are far worse things you could do with your money. The website is more or less a memorial to someone who had a vision.

“The website is more or less a memorial to someone who had a vision.”

And what a vision that turned out to be. Who knew ten years ago that Clara’s little project would turn into a resource more meaningful and more useful than the Modern Roses publication?! Much credit goes to Steve as well, for fully realizing HMF’s potential.

And yes, HMF’s request for financial support isn’t about profit, its about paying the bills.


I do not know the story of how or when HMF got its start. I would be interested in the story, perhaps this would be a good newsletter project for someone. Peter is always looking for articles.

I’m like Paul, probably spending more money on fancy coffees in 2 months than I just spent on my non-commercial HMF membership. The usefulness of this resource is amazing and it is something that needs to be preserved, added to and of course used by the community.


someone should name a rose after her. I sure don’t mind paying because I use it so much. Don’t know what I would so without it.


Clara was always private as is Steve. I’m sure the story will be told eventually when they are ready to make it public.

HMF is a great site, and obviously lives of lots of friendly people sharing their knowledge. I assumed they have some financial support by the companies they are recommending, but I don’t have an insider’s view behind the curtain. It would be interesting to learn more about their story.

Apart from that: no fancy coffee shops in our little town ; )


The rose on the HMF home page is named Clara. Look in the upper right corner of the image.


I use HMF so much and I did not mind donating a little money to help. I didn’t know about this “membership” thing at the time of the donation but it must have counted because I still have access to the lineage function. Donation or membership, I was very glad to help as HMF is a great resource that I wouldn’t want to be without.