She's or He's?

seil zone 6b MIDecember 8, 2012

In another recent thread on Antiques it was pointed out that Young Lycidas is a "he" not a "she". The original poster admitted that she had a hard time calling roses "he". I do too. Oh, the ones like Mr. Lincoln and my Trump Card I can manage but if the rose name itself isn't a man's name I generally call all of my roses "she". There are some exceptions though, I think. For some reason I always think of Veterans' Honor as a male rose. That may sound bias because, of course, there are many women in the military, but for some reason that rose is just the quintessential male preferred style rose, big, bold and bright red! Are there other roses that you always think of as "he" instead of "she"?

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sandandsun(9a FL)

Fun question, seil.

And what about "it?"

I didn't want to bring it up in the discussion of the rose in another thread, but Evelyn, for example, is from its name actually male. The derivation of that conclusion going something like this: named after being chosen by Crabtree and Evelyn; Evelyn, of Crabtree and Evelyn, is supposedly a Mr. John Evelyn who lived in England in the 1600's.

When writing about Evelyn in that other thread, I intentionally skirted the issue - using "it" or "Evelyn" because so many assume that the name is reserved for girls. This part I'm not certain of, but when pronounced I've always heard the masculine Evelyn as eve - lin, instead of ev - uh - lin.

And my beloved Francis Dubreuil is named for the turn of the 20th century hybridizer, homme de France, and will always be "he/him" to me. Unless, with very good fortune, I can one day call him "grandpere."

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Graham Thomas always seemed male to me. And +1 for Veteran's Honor, I think of it as male as well.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:39PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Absolutely he's and she's, even w/o gender names. Charisma is a Peter Pan sort of boy; MGAngel is male; Praire Clogger is male; Old Blush is male; Pickering 4S is male; Moonlight is female; Poesie is female; Ferndale Red is female; Banshee is female....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:32PM
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And don't forget Evelyn Waugh, he was an English writer... a good one, too!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Ha HA!! I have a hard time with roses being "He"

I suppose part of it is that mom has no idea the name and calls them all she. Or that flowers seem more feminine than masculine. Or that they bare "fruit" in the hips. I call the rest of the fruit trees she too.

Of course the showy, messy and protected Jacaranda and Oaks trees are he's.

And I suppose all the nut trees too.... :D

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Campanula UK Z8

'fraid they are 'it' for me too... apart from one exception - my beloved madame gregoire staechelin, referred to as 'the matriarch' (or 'slashing witch' by mr.camps who is exactly the height to get viciously snagged by a wayward cane).

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Catsrose I see Old Blush as female, all those nicknames it has like Old Pink Monthly, lol.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:10PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Interesting...I guess the majority of mine I think of as females, or "its." The ones I think of as males are because they were named after men (Duc de ..., Mr. ...)or their names are of the more harch sounding languages like German or Russian. (French names are always female to me lol). One that I always thought of as a male was Kaiserin Friedrich, but it was apparently named after a woman! Old Blush is a female :)

A few of mine that I think of as male for no real reason:
Antico Amore
Rose de Rescht
Darlow's Enigma
Stanwell Perpetual


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:14PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Great story, sandandsun! I didn't know the history behind the name and have thought of it as female. But I did know from the spelling of Francis D. that it was male.

Yes, like I said, the male named ones like Graham Thomas I don't have a problem calling he's, Lucille. It's the ones that don't indicate any gender in the name that I find I've always referred to as she's. Names like Crimson Bouquet, Folklore, Hot Cocoa and such.

Catrose, I love your Chrisma/Peter Pan image. Fits that rose to a T! But I have to agree with Lucille that Old Blush is a Grand Dame!

So funny, Tammy, because I always think of my Rose de Rescht as female. That bright pink and heavenly sweet scent I guess. I find that I think of most all pink roses as female. Most reds I think could go toward the male side. Whites, mauves and the oranges can go either way I guess. And I guess the paler colors would go to the female for me and the darker ones would be more able to be male. Sheesh! On that note I guess if there were a blue rose it would have to be male, lol!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:03PM
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I've got at least one that's transgendered. I love Betty White, but she started out as Andre le Notre.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:14PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

My observation has been that whether male or female, first or last, the name Evelyn in England is pronounced Eve-lyn. In the recent movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", the Judy Dench character's name was pronounced Eve-lyn. I was corrected many, many years ago in college about my pronunciation of the name Evelyn Waugh, who was born American and later lived out his life in England--he preferred the English way. I could never think of the rose, Evelyn, as a male, that's for sure. But Ascot and Wild Blue Yonder are male, but I'm not sure about Ebb Tide. I'm leaning toward female on that one. Diane

Are there other transgendered roses out there besides Betty?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:21PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

I guess I'll have to reconsider Old Blush, spend more time getting to know him/her.

Another transgender: When I first bought St. Leonard's, VG was selling it as Jeanne d'Arc. To me, she still is. But I might get another and call it St Leonard because St Leonard is the patron of political prisoners, which appeals to me.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:38AM
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Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

Well, I have a 12 yr old cat named Sophie who spends HIS days out in the garden, so obviously I'm just going to call things whatever I want. lol! I don't think I really ever call anything IT though. Everyone's a boy or a girl I guess. Veteran's Honor is definitely male, as is everything with a boy name and Easy Does It- NO idea why! Purple Tiger is a boy too. Yeah... I got nothin.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I just cannot call any of my roses "it". It is just way too impersonal, and I feel way too personal about them. If one stands out as definitely male - e.g. Just Joey or Young Lycidas - I call them he. If I have a question about their "identity", I default to she - feels pretty intuitive for me, roses are so feminine. Charisma - definitely a she at my house. I'm bad - I think of Veterans Honor as he. Miss All American Beauty - no transgender questions about her, 100% she!

Hot Cocoa - there's a perfect transgender opportunity - can't you just see him now, all dressed up!! Or DOUBLE DELIGHT!!! PERFECT! I've never thought about this before - I'm going to wet my pants. Barbara Streisand - I don't know you guys - I think she lends herself to a perfect transgender theme! Cherry Parfait?!

Did you ever do that little trick as a kid - take your first pets name, and the first street you lived on, put them together and if you were working as a, well, lady (or man) of the evening, that would be your call name. Mine would be Candy Scottholm. Amazing how many rose names have that edgy sound to them when you think of them in this way.

OMG - so now, do you refer to transgenders as he or she? I think she when they're in dress, so when they are covered in blooms they are she, and when not, they are he!!!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:23AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Oh, gosh, now we're into transgender roses, lol!

Hot Cocoa I could see going either way but NO WAY I could ever see Double Delight as a guy! Too purdy, frilly and smelly to be a man.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:10PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

This is hilarious.

I can't resist this.

You do know, don't you, that like many if not most plants, roses are hermaphroditic? The stamens are male parts and the pistil contains female parts. And the overwhelming majority of roses have both of them -even if both parts are not completely functional in some roses.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Seil - I think you've started one of the funniest threads I've read! Sandandsun - what a marvelous twist you've added. So really, that means for EVERY rose - he and she, or heshe are appropriate, so we're all right! I think the only wrong is "it". That's just not polite.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Do you determine gender by bloom? After all, many roses are grafts, their bottoms are a different rose than their tops.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 1:57PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Ok, sandandsun, I can't even pronounce that one, lol! But, yes, I do understand that they have both male and female parts for reproduction because I breed them too. But they're our loves and friends and you can't just call them "it". That doesn't seem right.

Yes, Lucille, I think it has to be considered from the scion not the root stock. While I work to keep the roots happy hopefully I don't have to interact with that part much. The top plant part, on the other hand, I visit with daily. And oh, yes, I talk to them all the time!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Don't know why, but I think of Old Blush as a "he".

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Campanula UK Z8

um, my peppers and potatoes are 'it' (well, more precisely, 'them') and I get very personal indeed when I am eating them.
Is this (to me) odd attachment to gender something which applies to all plants or just roses? Specifically named ones? Only certain types and families? True, the majority of plants are hermaphrodite (dioecious) but I am certain I wouldn't refer to a holly or a poplar (monoecious) as he or she, either.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:57PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

maybe it's just me, but I think lucille's twist is the funniest of all. It was difficult to breathe, and my cheeks are wet and they hurt!

I don't want "it" to become politically incorrect.
The plant, "it, and I mean no disrespect." No no no no oh no! LMAO!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:44PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

This just brought to mind a problem that I've been having lately. We have an 8 month old Plott Hound who has recently discovered that she can grab hold of the 1 gallon pots in my pot ghetto and carry them around the yard. So far, the only real casuality has been Wedding Cake, which she dumped and I can't for the life of me find the actual plant LOL (maybe she did really eat him...yes, he's a him to me).

HOWEVER, the reason this popped into my mind is because last week I found my potted General Jack in the middle of my yard and was yelling "Dixie, why would you bring General Jack out into the yard?? He needs to stay in the pot ghetto" ...not realizing one of my neighbors was on their back deck! I can only imgine what a looneytoon they think lives at my who refers to plants by name and identifies them as "he" and "she" :)


    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:59PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Apples, peas and tomatoes are girls; carrots, beans and zucchini are boys--obviously.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:32PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

catsrose, you forgot cucumbers (sorry). Diane

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:32PM
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amandahugg(SS19 CA)

Actually, all roses are hermaphroditic. Only the names give them some sense of one way or the other.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:03AM
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mirendajean(Donegal, Ireland)

Readibg this thread makes me homesick for the good ole USA. I simply can't imagine asking my Irish Neighbor what gender she assigns to her roses...

After reading Seil's first post I thought of my Summer Song. I've always thought of him as a boy just befor his voice cracks.

I've always thought of Hot Cocoa as a sexy, frothy Chippendale.

Top Marks is a guy because he's in the Army

My other males:
Red Velvet Carpet Rose - he looks like a porter who deserves a good tip
The Fairy
Winchester Cathedral
Orange Sensation

My ladies:
Double Delight
Margaret Merrill
Joie De Vivre
English Miss
Sweet Magic


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:25AM
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