Peter Harris/Wright/Ross Rambler

OK…so I don’t know if Peter is still involved w/ the hybridizers or not but saw he’d written an article a long time ago. What I’m wondering is, on the “help me find” page of Wright’s ‘Ross Rambler’ are two photos from Peter Harris…well, he lives in West Virginia…so…how did he get one of Wright’s roses from 1938…I’m just curious and wondering if he has other roses from this time period and these breeders that might not be identified. (I’m afraid my Hansen interest has spread to include Wright and Skinner)





The Ross Rambler was obtained by Joan Monteith from the Morden Experiment Station and distributed to me and some others more or less to ensure that it did not get lost. We hope to get it introduced into commerce again so that those who wish may get plants of it.

If you’re interested in the Skinner things, you might get in touch with Hugh Skinner, son of FL Skinner, the hybridizer. I got interested in the Canadian rose breeders back in the late 1970s when I began to realize the need for greater hardiness and disease resistance in our garden roses.

You might also want to read Paul Olsen’s articles about Percy Wright, FL Skinner, and other Canadian hybridizers in The Rosebank Letter (it used to be called this–is now called Roses-Canada). Check for a list of contents of back issues. Subscription rates are quite reasonable–something like USD 12.00 per year. I heartily recommend Roses-Canada–it’s well worth the money. If you want to subscribe, write to


Hi Peter,

Yes, very pleased to be in contact w/ Paul! He’s told me of several of Hansen’s roses that he’s found and will send cuttings/suckers to the university for me. I’m going to have to renew my subscription w/ Roses-Canada…I wrote a short note to Harry asking whether he might not be able to do a paragraph asking for Hansen info for me and ended up writing an article about how I’ve been searching for Hansen info…

Joan has also written me a note to my home today telling me that she’d gotten the cuttings and sent them on…just wondered if you’d lived here, went on a big “road trip” a few years ago…that type of thing.

I’m hoping to send the “found” rose mentioned in the other post up to Paul in hopes that he’ll help me figure out what it is…and am hoping to get some serious interest aroused across the state this spring…Hansen’s granddaughter has an article appearing in a magazine popular here and will also try to get AP newsrelease type article in the paper about that time telling about how Hansen has “lost” roses that might be around parts of the state.

Anyway, thank you for responding…never know, you might know something that would be good info and how do you find out if you don’t ask!

Thanks again,


Peter, were you the one who sent me R. virginiana for R. foliolosa about two years ago? Look at the pic I took during the summer. I’m like 99% sure that it’s R. virginiana, but I had some doubt and thought it could also be R. carolina.



No, I didn’t send that. Pretty, though.

Bringing this back up on top… Prairie Dawn is still in commerce and it has some Ross Rambler in it and it is. It may be worthwhile to breed this with a laxa hybrid such as Applejack and kordesii hybrid William Baffin. This should produce some hardy climbers with repeat bloom. This is turn can ultimately create a potential parent for future yellow cold hardy climbers…

I’ve already posted a message about the potential of using ‘Prairie Dawn’ in a breeding program with the Buck and Explorer Rosa kordesii cultivars, so I agree with Enrique in that respect. As far as creating “a potential parent for future yellow cold hardy climbers” by combining ‘Prairie Dawn’ with either the Buck or Explorer Rosa kordesii cultivars, I suppose it could be done but I’m inclined to go back to the Rosa laxa species and work from there. I don’t think it is that difficult to develop a hardy (Zone 3) yellow Climber or at least a Pillar rose. The genetic material is available to do it. The first results may only be a once blooming shrub with semi-double flowers but it would be a start. The problem is to develop selections that are disease resistant. Look at all the work (many years and several generations of breeding) that went into the development of the yellow ‘Morden Sunrise’, and then this cultivar turned out to be quite susceptible to mildew. Once Hybrid Tea or Floribunda germplasm is injected into a hardy rose breeding program, there are more problems with diseases. And as I understand it from the Morden Research Station’s experience, this is especially so when the goal is to obtain selections with yellow flowers.

Thanks Paul for that info. I typed up ‘Praire Dawn’ the search options and saw your post. Wow, this may have taken years to make this rose from scratch. Hopefully I can get pollen of this since I’ve heard a lot of good things about its disease resistance. I can’t comment on cold hardiness because it’s not an important issue for a person living in San Jose. But I’m so intrigued about cold climate roses, and especially for the search for a cold hardy yellow climber.