Lesser Known Buck Roses?

I was looking at Chamblee’s rather exhausting list of Buck roses they have for sale for next year, and I was wondering if anybody knew some real gems among the Buck roses to possibly include in a breeding program? I know “Carefree Beauty”'s legacy with the ‘Knockout’ roses, and have a young plant of that, other than that though all really I’ve heard are positive things about Earth Song’s heath here in Maryland as well as Apple Jack’s breeding potential, though they’re not offering it this year it seems. I’m surprised at how many Buck roses there actually are, which got me thinking if there are any that deserve some more attention than they receive.

I have a pretty high tolerance for a plant shedding leaves as long as it doesn’t weaken, grows new ones and reblooms (if it supposed to). Got some supermarket HT/Mini’s that do just that, and they don’t bother me at all, but of course disease resistance for breeding would be excellent.

I was looking at Rural Rhythm, which seemed interesting since it’s got some gallica in there, but the color seems rather bland. Anyone ever try this one?

Anyway, in general are there any hidden gems among the Bucks worth utilizing more than has been done so far? If so ,which ones should I invest in that would do okay in Maryland? Again, I’m tolerant of some disease, nothing is perfect.

Also, on a bit of a digression, my Roseraie de l’H

These are probably not lesser known but still I find them good ones. Prairie Star does very well in the cool of autumn here in eastern KS. Relatively little disease. I like the subtle pink/yellow color.

Summer Wind is very disease-resistant and reliably reblooming single, bright pink I’d say, not orange like some photos on helpmefind.

Applejack is fine for disease but never repeats for me. Colors pretty true on helpmefind.

I’ve not tried breeding with any of these until this year when I tried PS. The others are not in my color range and are singles. Both SW and AJ set OP seeds well enough.

I am having good luck with Sevilliana :slight_smile:

I even got one seedling with reverse speckles! (American Honor x Sevilliana)

Prairie Squire is a lesser-known Buck which got top rating in a two year study of Bucks at Iowa St Univ. Others getting good ratings were Pearlie Mae, Aunt Honey, Honeysweet, Winter Sunset, Carefree Beauty, Earth Song.

The study’s criteria were health and “landscape performance.”

Because I absolutely love Knockout, I purchased Carefree Beauty. She is a wonderful continuous bloomer with large informal double fragrant flowers. This year she is covered in huge hips. So now I’m looking towards purchasing these:

Folksinger (A cross I could do myself but sunsprite hates me…one lousy bloom this year…would be fun to backcross with knockout seedlings)

Winter Sunset

Prarie Sunrise

Prarie Dawn

I know everyone always recommends Country Dancer & Distant Drums.

Because I absolutely love Knockout, I purchased Carefree Beauty. She is a wonderful continuous bloomer with large informal double fragrant flowers. This year she is covered in huge hips. So now I’m looking towards purchasing these:

Folksinger (A cross I could do myself but sunsprite hates me…one lousy bloom this year…would be fun to backcross with knockout seedlings)

Winter Sunset

Prarie Sunrise

Prarie Dawn

I know everyone always recommends Country Dancer & Distant Drums.

I’ve got a few Buck roses that I am using. Folksinger makes a nice seed parent, but it has fairly bad mildew problems for me this year. Prairie Harvest also make a nice seed parent and does not have the mildew problems, same with Earth Song. Aunt Honey is clean and more winter hardy, but I have not had a germination from it. This is my last year of trying to work with it. Prairie Sunrise is gorgeous, but I have not tried working with it yet. I made a few crosses with Wild Ginger this year using it as a seed parent. Looks like they took. Distant Drums has great color and scent, but comes up short in the disease and winter hardy department for me. I have only used it as a pollen parent.

I have about 11 Buck roses. Last year Dorcas had BS so bad that I should have shovel pruned it. But instead I moved it to a different garden and so far this year it

Hi Max,

I have not tried any breeding with Bucks- still at the stage where I am “playing around” with OPs and trying to get my act together with seed sowing (pretty good with rooting cuttings by now}.

I have Queen Bee which is a beautiful medium to dark rich red slightly on the scarlet side (no bluing). It is a tall somewhat floppy shrub or a low climber. It’s health is reputed to be not the best but I have had no blackspot on it the 3-4 years I have had it (Richmond, VA)and its care has been minimal. This was one of the later Buck introductions while he was still living. By the way, it is a double, with the spiraled high center. The thing I remember reading somewhere was that he commented that he felt more could be done with this rose as a parent.

Maytime is a BEAUTIFUL single rich pink with a white/yellow center. It grows tall but self supporting (saw a mature bush at Almost Heaven Roses). It’s parents are Elegance (a double Brownell light yellow climber-non repeating I think) and Prairie Princess, a very hardy Buck climber with some repeat- he used this A LOT in his breeding. So, you should get some doubles with this. I recently moved it up to NY where I am moving and last week was up there and it was full of hips (missed the blooms, darn). Very healthy plant.

Prairie Harvest and Winter Sunset were healthy for me also. Nice shrub roses and good double spiraled bloom form. Had them growing next to each other and loved the intermixture of the yellow and apricot blooms.

I love the Bucks, find them hardy, healthy and good garden plants in general. The big thing lacking is fragrance (he was working on hardiness and disease resistance and had smelling issues so I have read). Henry had an EXCELLENT point awhile back about crossing different Breeder’s lines. My thoughts are to cross them with the Austins to bring in the fragrance from the Austins and combine them with the healthiness and smaller size of the Bucks.

Good luck,


Hello Max,

I’m in Maryland too but have only tried a handful of the Buck roses. ‘Prairie Harvest’ is one that I remember doing fairly well here. Some others that I remember planting were: ‘Earth Song’, ‘Summer Wind’, ‘Distant Drums’, ‘Hawkeye Belle’ and ‘Folksinger’. All of these Buck shrubs seemed to have decent health and survived (much longer than average) my total neglect treatment. It’s not really a fair test of gardenability to plant roses in a field and leave them to fend for themselves [for years] against disease, critters, grass, weeds and trees. But it wasn’t really planned to be that way , that’s just the way it happened. They all eventually died, although I think a piece of ‘Distant Drums’ might still be trying to resprout. I also had a plant of ‘Applejack’ in a more hospitable location and it did very well for many years before it was dug out, to make room for other plants. It never repeated for me, either.

My wife’s grandmother [near Gettysburg, PA] has had a beautiful plant of ‘Prairie Sunrise’ for years – although I think she might occassionally spray or dust her roses.

I’ll have to get out and survey what roses have actually survived the total neglect planting and post it for you, because I can pretty much guarantee that these ones will grow very well for you in Maryland, with even minimal care (mowing around).

Best wishes, Tom

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I’m really trying to play with roses to see what works and what doesn’t since I do want, in my spare time to try breeding, and since Dr. Buck seemed so earnest and honest in his breeding attempts, I thought it might be nice to include some of his roses in my own ‘gene pool’ which right now consists mostly of young plants that haven’t really given me the opportunity to hand pollinate seriously yet. I tried a bit this year, and only a few seemed to take on such small plants, they might be OP though, as many of my applications did not yield any hips. I need to nail down technique.

Has anybody tried Rural Rhythmn? It’s a Buck derived from an Austin English Rose. While English roses are notoriously bad here, I’m intrigued by the gallica heritage.

Also, I meant the Roseraie de L’Hay hip to be very “rugosa” in character, lol, I’ve had gallicas on the mind. I did pick the hip, it was quite orange. Got ten seeds out of it, way more than I expected from a supposedly sterile shrub.

Max, this one seems up your alley imo.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/plant/pl.php?n=206&tab=1

W.R.T Rural Rythmn, though I have not grown it, I did have a conversation about it with someone who did. That person said it was a beautiful rose but a weak grower and that at times it struggled in Zone 5 Nebraska.

Its for that reason I didnt buy it.

One of my favorite Buck roses is Honeysweet. Its not the strongest plant but has very rich coloration for a buck. Aunt Honey is a great rose. Hawkeye Bell can be a fantastic rose or it can be a very ugly rose. At its best, it can be very beautiful. At its worst, its a mess of balled saggy brown flowers.

Freckles is a great rose and very floriferous. The guy in Nebraska claimed that Quietness is one of the best buck roses. Distant drums can be very nice but is a weaker buck.

I am not overly fond of Pearlie May myself. Its fairly bland in coloration though seems very healthy.

Earthsong is great. Golden Unicorn and Wintersunset are both nice and when the weather is cooler, are very beautiful. They do ok w.r.t. disease. Golden Unicorn will set hips with about everything but seems to produce week seedlings

Folksinger is a good rose but I dont like the way the blooms age. Turn brown and crispy. It can produce so many blooms that deadheading can be a chore. Gets powdery mildew like mad.

Link: www.outdoorsresource.com/images/ruralrythamnew.jpg

Regarding Aunt Honey: is it as disease resistant as Country Dancer and Earth Song?

I have Aunt Honey and Earth Song and they are about 9 feet apart. Earth Song has some Black Spot on it, Aunt Honey does not. Aunt Honey did develop some BS late in the season last year, but not much. I didn’t have Earth Song last year.


Aunt Honey would always get some black spot in the fall for me. Only affected the lower leaves and was not very apparent.

I take that back. When I got home from work I checked my roses again and there is some BS on Aunt Honey, but not as much as on Earth Song.