Rose Name Project

With our Editor’s permission, I would like to poll the readers here to share the information about why the names you’ve chosen for your roses were selected. Alice Flores and I brain stormed the idea of collecting the “whys” behind the roses names created by those of us who aren’t Jackson and Perkins, David Austin, etc., and with Help Me Find’s blessing, include it on the rose pages for the individual roses on Help Me Find.

We’ve already begun receiving information from people far and wide and have been amazed at the romance, thought and effort put into selecting names for our “children”. We ask the information be about roses which have been in commerce, sold by someone rather than those we all have in our gardens which never see anywhere other than home.

Roses, like memories, can provide immortality to those for whom they are named. Far too little information is available about those valued sufficiently to have roses named for them. I know there are some funny stories out there about why some of the unusual names have been chosen. I, for one, wonder what the story behind “Happy Butt” is!

So, would those of you who have named your roses and had anyone offer them for sale please take a few moments and jot down what names you’ve chosen, and why? Who are those lovely people you’ve chosen to remember with your rose names?

Once you’ve gathered your stories, if possible, please put them in a Word doc and send to Alice Flores at . Alice has graciously accepted the task of compiling the information for Help Me Find so it can be assimilated into that impressive data base. There is no time limit, though it would be nice to obtain the information sooner rather than later. I made the request of

Ralph Moore just two weeks before his death. Now, we are working backward to gather what we can of his “whys”.

I, We, appreciate your participation and generosity in sharing these often very personal reasons. I am certain it will add a fascinating facet to Help Me Find. I am also certain it may well create some interest in roses many people may have never heard of.

Thank you!



I have some interesting anecdotal stories behind some of Griffith Buck’s roses that I could share.

However, we are trying to wrap things up here before we leave for California, so I could send Alice something after we get back in late November if that would be OK?

The story goes that the breeder, Bill Carlson, wanted to name a rose for his boss, Gladys. He took the “Glad” and made it “Happy”. He then took the “**s”, and changed it to butt. So now we have a rose named “Happy Butt”!.

Hi Kim,

Here are some stories of the naming of my roses:

Honeybee It was going to be a Horticulture club fundraiser at the U of MN. We propagated it up to have some for sale and over the years have propagated it up for future sales. It has been used in some black spot research and due to its unique resistance/susceptibilities is among the international collection of cultivars for an international race array. When Jayne Roberts from Walters Gardens came to meet with us in Hort club for the perennial plants we were ordering from her, she brought her dog, Honeybee. Honeybee had beautiful blond hair. The rose has a soft apricot yellow color and Honeybee the dog was the inspiration for Honeybee the rose.

Catherine Guelda is the name of Jeff Gillman’s daughter. He really likes mauve/purple and this rose caught his eye often and it was named in honor of his new daughter. It won a silver ARC certificate and has been for sale in limited quantities from Roses Unlimited.

Candy Oh! Vivid Red (‘ZleMartinCipar’) The trademark name was given by the marketer Tim Wood because the color of the blooms reminded him of a red car paint color called Candy Apple Red and Candy Oh! was a song I believe too by the Cars. The variety name is to honor the late Dr. Martin Cipar who was the potato breeder for Frito Lay and the father in law of my MS advisor, Dr. Christian Thill (potato breeder at the U of MN). Dr. Cipar was very inspiring in his retirement to me and all of Dr. Thill’s students. He also valued ornamentals.


Thank you Kathy and David. I’ve sent Alice the link to these posts for inclusion. Kim