What's in a name?

redwolfdoc_z5(5)January 8, 2014

Just curious:

Has anyone bought a rose purely for its name?

And conversely, are there any that you simply can't bring yourself to purchase because of an unfortunate moniker?

I was reading a new book on roses I got for Christmas and there was an amusing sidebar about rose names chosen for marketing purposes. The author mentioned a series of 12 roses named after the signs of the zodiac. Apparently "Cancer" didn't sell at all - and it didn't get much better when they changed it to The Crab. I've also wondered about the seven dwarf polyantha series - not sure I'd want a rose called Sneezy!

On the other hand, I keep looking up "Tipsy Imperial Concubine" because of that name. Sadly, the pictures on HMF don't thrill me.

:) Karen

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I would be reluctant to buy a rose named after an unloved political, or public, figure, though this hasn't come up as a practical issue. One of the worst name choices I ever heard of was a rose named 'Benson and Hedges Gold'. Who on earth had the idea of naming a rose after a cigarette?

This post was edited by melissa_thefarm on Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 0:50

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 12:38AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

As we've mentioned before on this forum, many of us would avoid buying certain roses named after politicians or other famous people we disagree with. Can't compromise my politics in the garden, after all!

I've always wondered why anyone would name a rose Ketchup and Mustard--strange. I'm sure their are stranger ones out there--like Gladys Butt.

Yes, the name Tipsey Imperial Concubine has always intrigued me also--and I've never really liked its looks, unfortunately.

One name I love for a rose is Earth Song--so poetic and appropriate, a rose blooming being the "song" the earth sings. Cool, isn't it.

I also like French names I have trouble pronouncing. Don't know why, but they seem mysterious and suggestive and "aristocratic"--guess there is a bit of a snob hidden down deep in me? Souvenir de la Malmaison just sounds so special--and the rose itself is very special.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:07AM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

The only rose to my knowledge I have rejected based on its name is Rosie O'Donnell, who is so abrasive a performer I wouldn't want to look at her name in my yard. Fortunately, Cliff Orent has a sport of that rose called Trump Card that has all the nice contrast with a better name. True, I learned recently that Cliff's rose was named for Donald Trump who is abrasive himself, but since the name was actually a subtle slam at the individual named I can live with that.

Kate - I think the rose you're referring to is Happy Butt, named for a boss named Gladys (say it out loud and separate the syllables to get the connection). I actually sought that one out because of the name as I love the pun and it's a nice counterpart to the lovely snob-inspired roses that I can use my French and German training to pronounce. I'm with you that rolling things like Bremerhafen Stadtmusikanten off my tongue gives me a certain special satisfaction.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 2:30PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Happy Butt--that's the name. I remembered the "Glad-[a]ys" part because that was my mother's name and I never knew anyone else with that name.

I couldn't bear to have a Trump rose in my garden--even if it was sneering at him!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 4:33PM
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I have to agree about Earth Song - that's a lovely name. And Ketchup and Mustard - I don't think I could own that one! Benson and Hedges, really? That's terrible!

Found another sidebar in the same book - apparently the DA Crocus Rose was named by a charity. Crocus is not a reference to that sweet little harbinger of spring, but an acronym for Colo-Rectal Cancer Understanding and Screening!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I will never look at Crocus Rose the same again......

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Alistair Clark named a rose 'Black Boy', apparently a deliberate reference to the indigenous peoples of Australia, so the defense of "inadvertance" cannot be claimed here.

Do you really want to have to tell your neighbors you are growing a rose named 'Black Boy'? I know I would give that one a pass if I lived where it could be grown.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:31PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I have thought for some time that the name of the rose, Astrid Grafin von Hardenberg, had an interesting background. Astrid was the daughter of Carl-Hans Graf von Hardenberg, a man who opposed the regime of Adolf Hitler and was involved in the plot against him. For this activity, the family estate of von Hardenberg was confisticated, but von Hardenberg managed to avoid execution. In 1998, Astrid created a foundation in memory of her father, Carl-Hans, which promotes the education of young people. Tantau named their beautiful rose in honor of Astrid. Diane

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Diane - how wonderful! AGvH is at the top of my wishlist, and the provenance in the name is icing on the cake!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:25PM
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I'm a bit late to this one, but the Princess in Crown Princess Margareta is part of the reason I chose her for my first "real" rose. I just love referring to the Princess and how she's doing. :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Ahh . . . 'Benson & Hedges Gold'. It's been years since I had the pleasure, but one can hope that the rose is/was as pleasurable as its namesake.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:59PM
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