The queen of England and the First Lady of the United States should get together for a toast. As the result of several interesting happenstances, a rose named in honor of Queen Elizabeth helped create a new rose that quite recently was named in honor of Rosalynn Carter. The rose will be introduced and two dozen of the plants will be on display at the flower and garden show opening March 3 at the D.C. Armory.
In the early 1950s, rose hybridizer Dr. Walter Lammerts of California created a rose that was a cross between Charlotte Armstrong, a hybrid tea, and Floradora, a floridbunda. He liked it well enough to enter it in the All-America trials. When it became apparent it might win an award, he started thinking about a name. Some time previously he had seen Princess Elizabeth at Niagara Falls, Canada. Deciding to name the rose for her, he sent several of the plants for the Royal Garden in England and asked permission to name the rose for her. She gave her consent.
The rose won the 1955 All-America award. Lammerts also created Chrysler Imperial, Charlotte Armstrong, Golden Showers, American Heritage, Starfire and Ben Hur, among others.
Queen Elizabeth definitely was not a hybrid tea (like mother) or a floribunda (like father). Lammerts called the rose a grandiflora and a new class of roses became established.
Someone (he won't be identified here) told Mrs. Carter there should be a rose named for her, and asked for her permission to work on it. She gave her consent.
He asked Richard Hutton, president of Star Roses, West Grove, Pa., if there were an unnamed rose suitable to name for Mrs. Carter. Hutton said he had one he thought would fill the bill.
Shortly before his death in 1976, Richard Hutton's father, Sidney Hutton, who built Star Roses into a nationally known high-grade nursery, traveled to Europe to see the new roses being grown there.
From 1912 until 1965 when he died, Gerrit deRuiter of Hazerswoude, Holland, made important contributions to roses of the world. He started with little or no financial support -- only his love for growing roses. When cutting budwood in Aug. 1914, he found a pretty, red, flowering shoot coming from a plant of Orleans rose.
From this shoot a year later, DeRuiter's first novelty, a Polyantha rose, Miss Edith Cavell (also known as Nurse Cavell) was developed. He found many other sports and raised more than 20 varieties of the Orleans-type roses, most important of which was Gloria Mundi, the first pure vermillion-orange rose. When introduced in 1929, it was a complete color break, greatly admired, and the recipient of many awards. He hybridized Carla, a hybrid tea, introduced in 1964, a soft salmon-pink color coming from a cross of Sweet Repose and Queen Elizabeth.
In 1965, two weeks after he received the All-America award for Europeana, which he created, DeRuiter died. His son Gijsbert now does the hybridizing for the DeRuiter organization.
Gijsbert created a grandiflora rose of coral-red flowers with an orange tone, classical hybrid-type bud form, delicate fragrance, and bush of medium size with a high center. It was a cross of Queen Elizabeth x Scania.
Richard Hutton, very much impressed by it, arranged to grow it at Star Roses nursery. It is now the Rosalynn Carter rose. A number of the roses will be planted on the White House and Smithsonian grounds as soon as the weather permits.
The rose will be available for purchase this spring only in the Washington area, and it is expected to be available nationally by fall 1978.