Percy Wright's Rose Catalog from Saskatchewan

I think we owe thanks to Margit Schowalter for putting her Father’s copy of Percy Wright’s catalog on HelpMeFind.

By clicking on “Plants Referenced” the roses are listed, with comments from Mr. Wright.

Thank you, Margit and if not you, a general thanks to who ever made this possible.

Interesting read and like his frank and pragmatic commentary and descriptions - challenge to find that type of catalogue writing today.

Interesting comments about banshee, I have grown it for two years in a shady spot. Must note I assume I have it based on Pickering redefining their Minette as Banshee - made it through winter with little damage and bloomed. Surprized he did not recommend it, maybe I just have started to weigh hardy as an all driver and quality second - mine is too young to see if the same critique is valid in my garden and I can start to gripe about it.

So many apparently lost roses for the prairies …

“So many apparently lost roses for the prairies…”

Considering the challenges of the Prairie climate and the fact there wasn’t much in the way of public rose gardens located in this geographical region to preserve them, I sometimes think it is amazing we have retained as many Prairie developed rose cultivars as we have. In some cases, obtaining them for preservation at the Devonian Botanic Garden rose garden from the only source left more than 50 years after they were developed. Example, the Georges Bugnet Rugosa ‘Lac la Nonne’ from Alaska, after it was lost in Canada.

Another example is Percy Wright’s Rugosa ‘Musician’. In the early 1970’s, he sent a very small sucker of this cultivar to his rose breeder friend, Dr. Casmir Mekdeci’, who lived in North York (Toronto). Fortunately it survived, because any other plants existing (likely only one or two) at that time were lost. This cultivar is now established in three Canadian public rose gardens (Montreal, Edmonton, Brooks).

The preservation of existing Prairie developed roses now looks fairly good, particularly with many more of them now being planted at the re-developed St. Albert Botanic Park rose garden (located just north of Edmonton, Alberta).

One more item to add to this thread.

It is a sad irony that the person (Percy Wright), who did the most to promote rose culture on the Canadian Prairies and developed many cultivars cold hard to this region, has never been properly honoured for doing so. For example, there is no public park named for him in the city of Saskatoon, where he lived for many years. The Heritage Rose Garden established a few years ago at Saskatoon’s Forestry Farm Park should rightfully have been named the Percy Wright Rose Garden. Obvously, people who decided on the name were ignorant of his important contributions to horticulture on the northern Great Plains. But then some of the voters didn’t even know who he was. It was a disgusting event and the guilty should be ashamed of themselves.