Seeking a source for Hulthemia persica aka Rosa persica

Hello all, a brief introduction, I am new to this forum but have grown roses for over thirty years. I have been in association with Ralph Moore for about twenty of those ( I am from that area) and count among my friends Kim Rupert and others. I have a degree in Nursery Mg’t. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and reside in the Palm Springs are of California. I am ardently seeking a source for the above mentioned species to be used in breeding. Any leads are greatly appreciated, going to Europe is not out of the question and paying for propagation sources is not a problem. Harkness is no longer working with the species, Cocker has it but isn’t letting any go and I have received no response from Beales. I have contacted Manners and Byrne with no success as of yet though they have been most kind as have been Phillips and Rix. The search goes on. I already have access to most of the known hybrids but am seeking the true original species only. Thanks in advance. Robert

I could had sworn that Ralph Moore had the species… Have you tried Ashdown Roses? I think they might have it a year ago, or it may had been the its hybrid ‘Tigris’.

Hi Enrique, Mr. Moore has ‘Tigris’ only. As for Ashdown I am sure Kim would have alerted me to it’s availability there. Kim has been searching for me as well. Thank you for your reply. Robert

I remember reading somewhere that Chris Warner was working with the species–not sure if that meant the pure species or with the hybrids. Good luck on your search. I’ve been looking as well, but not seriously.

Hi Robert:

I do not have any leads for you. I know that Chris Warner is working with hybrids, but I am not aware that he has the species.

May I ask, why?


Hi Jim and Joan, thanks for responding. A good friend and fellow amateur rose breeder is doing experiments inducing ploidy in various species. In order to more properly and scientifically estimate the results of planned breedings it is important to have the species. No one really knows what genes are contained in ‘Tigris’ for instance, (it’s speculative only) and so this makes things much harder to predict as to results. My friend has a degree in genetics and so comes from a much different perspective in rose breeding than most of us. He also has far more time to devote than do. I may eventually benefit indirectly through his research. Hulthemia is not one of my areas of particular interest. Mr. Moore is pretty close to having a commercially viable product but there is little Hulthemia left as a result, NOT that it isn’t fascinating! =) Robert

Does anyone know how to contact Chris Warner? I would like to ask him for permission to use a photo of his of his new ‘Tiggles’ (Baby Love x Tigris) in a publication. You can E-mail the contact info to me directly if you don’t feel comfortable posting it on the forum.

Thank you,


Robert, does Ralph Moore have any plans to release any of those hybrids anytime soon? I’ve been dying to see a pic. And it would be nice to see more ‘Tiggles’ pics.

Hi Enrique, I think he’s still evaluating them. It looked to me like he was pretty close to something worth releasing. The foliage is almost clean now (most of the earlier generations mildewed and had poor foliage quaility) The growth habit still seemed to need improvement but he may have worked that out by now. Some of blossoms really “pop” with that red eye. I didn’t care for the fade on most of the earlier “Halo” series but of course they were all out of a selection of ‘Anytime’ and had no hulthemia influence. He’s been trying to use ‘Anytime’ with Hulthemia among other things. Mr. Moore has never been one to rush to market. He sometimes evaluates for years before deciding on anything. We’ll just have to be patient. ‘Tiggles’ does sound interesting. I wonder if it’s clean? ‘Baby Love’ may have been what ‘Tigris’ needed. Thanks, Robert

Hi Robert…

I was wondering if Mike Lowe might have a lead for you.

While is specializes in old roses and hard to find varieties, he also does a lot of work in finding old and abandoned varieties and might have something for you.

You can reach him at:

Here are a few comments from several sources:

Dick Streeper:

Hulthemia persica a natural cross-genus hybrid with a rose… From this, Jack Harkness produced ‘Tigris’… H. persica and ‘Tigris’ are very difficult to breed and propagate and are not of commercial importance – except n the breeding program of Chris Warner.

The rose H. persica has one big thing going for it, namely, an absolutely unique coloration of bloom with immense potential. It has several things going against it, including a once-a-year blooming habit, failure to bloom on new wood, and an inability to be propagated in any way other than by seed (which precludes most commercial production). All of these qualities can be bred out, but it takes thousands, or perhaps millions, of hybrid crosses through many generations to reach something of commercial merit…

Peter Harkness:

Rosa persica grows in southwest Asia with stems and leaves unlike those of any other rose, and a distinctive scarlet eye at the base of its canary yellow petals…p. 11: R. persica is unique in having bright yellow petals with a rich splash of scarlet at the base. For years people questioned if it was a rose at all, noting the flowers, the curious grey-green leaves, which are unlike those of any other rose, and the gooseberry-like springy stems armed with narrow spines.

p. 26: Used by Cocker and Harkness in their breeding programs in the 1960s.

Tommy Cairns:

HULTHEMIA… The one species is distinguished from Rosa by the simple leaves without stipules and small, solitary flowers with a dark eye…

H. persica (Michaux) Bornmueller (Rosa persica Michaux; Rosa berberifolia Pallas; Rosa simplicifolia Salisbury; Hulthemia berberifolia (Pallas) Dumortier; Lowea berberifolia (Pallas) Lindley). Introduced 1790… Flowers buttercup-yellow with a scarlet eye [yb]…

I’m just wondering, what other Hulthemia species are there?

Hi Meg, I’ll try Mike Lowe. We think we may have found a European source for Hulthemia. If we’re successful with it we’ll try to make it accessible to those interested. The germ plasm for some of these species is very limited and these things shouldn’t be lost. I have no idea if the native range of this species is endangered or not. It may still be a common weed for all I know but it shouldn’t be this hard to find for hybridizers. Thanks! Robert

Have you tried High Country Roses ( Haven’t looked at their website, but believe they are located in Utah and have a lot of species roses or might have some leads if they don’t have it.

i wonder if it might be easier to obtain seed from a botanical garden? i tried a few years ago to obtain seed from various seed sharing groups with no success, but i didn’t try botanical gardens. i think it is possible that the Montreal Botanical Garden has R. Persica, and Claire Leberge the rosarian there, is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Perhaps she, or some other garden might be willing to part w/ seed. Dunno how viable R. Persica seed is though. Best, joe

Greetings and thanks to all or you for your suggestions. As of this morning we are to be receiving Hulthemia twigs for budding. If we are successful in getting it propagated, we plan on making it generally available to all serious parties. I’ll try to post to the forum once we are successful. Of course it will be awhile! As we know rose culture takes time. Sincerely, Robert

Robert, Do you know if anyone has found a way to graft hulthemia? The references I’ve seen, said it can only be propagated by seed. I’ve often wondered, now that there are hulthemia hybreds, if one of those would be graft-compatable with hulthemia?


Hello Joan, great question. We have some new hybrid seedlings from tigris and we are going to try those as an interstock. Even if they take for a short time, incompatability can be overcome by keeping the clone in a reproductive state, or perhaps by then then we will have some own-root specimens. All we can do is try and hope. In any case after this experiment we may have an answer to your question. Thanks, Robert