Nursery Fraud

Magazine of Horticulture 3(7): 246-248 (July 1837)
Art. II. Roses—new Varieties.
By An Amateur. (Gideon B. Smith, Esq.)

In one of your numbers of last winter, a correspondent, writing from Philadelphia, mentioned the monthly cabbage rose, that they had in Philadelphia, in such terms that I immediately sent to the person whom I guessed was the writer, for the monthly cabbage rose spoken of, referring to the Magazine for the description. He sent me the rose—and what do you think it proves to be? Why, the Gloria de France; the same we have had for some time, and of which one of our gardeners (Mr. John Feast,) had an abundance of saleable plants, the stock of which he got from Philadelphia. There is no mistake about it—the plants are in bloom, and speak, as loud as full-blown roses can speak, for themselves. Besides which, the label on the plant which I received bears this inscription, (in the hand-writing of the person of whom I obtained it, and who I guess to be the author of the article above alluded to in your Magazine.) The label is "Gloria de France, or Monthly cabbage." Now, sir, what is the object of giving a new name to this rose, but to enable the person to sell them to those who had them before under another name? When your Magazine arrived here with the notice of the monthly cabbage, all our gardeners and many amateurs were on tiptoe to get it. I got the start of them in my hurry to be cheated, and saved them the expense and trouble of getting what they already possessed. The rose is a very fine one, and is not inappropriately called the monthly cabbage; but its other and well known name should have accompanied the new one, to prevent mistakes, and paying dearly for duplicates. By the way, the monthly cabbage sells for something more in Philadelphia than the Gloria de France, which I suppose is to pay for the trouble of giving it a new name.


Tilton's Journal of Horticulture and Florist's Companion, 6: 372 (Dec 1869)
The Sublime of Impudence

We do not think a better exemplification of impudence rising to the height of sublimity could be found than in the following anecdote of a tree-dealer, whose place of business was not a thousand miles from Boston. This person called himself a nurseryman, and had a little piece of land a few miles from the city, — just enough for him to talk about his "nursery-grounds." One day, a gentleman who wanted a good-sized Bartlett pear-tree called on Mr.____, the tree-dealer. He found him at his "grounds," and stated his wishes to Mr.____, who at that moment had hold of a pear-tree standing by him. "Well," said Mr.____, "this tree that I have got hold of is a Bartlett; and I should think it is just about what you want." The customer asked the price, and Mr. replied that he would sell it for five dollars: it was worth more; but it had been dug up and heeled in; and, sooner than set it out again, he might have it for that price. It seemed to be a good tree, and cheap: so the gentleman took it, paid his five dollars, and carried the tree home, and set it out; and, being of good size, it was not long in coming into bearing. Its owner then put some of the fruit in his pocket, and went to see Mr.____ again.

"What kind of pears are these?" said he, showing the tree-dealer a handful. "Well, I don't know," was the reply; "but I should think they were button-pears." — "Button pears, indeed! wouldn't you think they were Bartlett pears?" "Bartlett pears ! they're no more Bartlett pears than a French turnip is a Bartlett pear." — "Well, Mr.____, at any rate, these pears grew on a tree that I bought of you for a Bartlett pear-tree." — "Are you such a d____d fool," was the rejoinder, "as to expect a tree is going to bear Bartlett pears the first year?" Of course, there was nothing to be said after that.


American Florist, Volume 2(38): 269 (Mar 1, 1887)
Substitution
"Rose Grower"

A lady in a neighboring town sent the required price to a distinguished (?) florist for twenty-four roses—all different varieties—and on their coming into bloom she had those three time-honored servants of the rose grower—Bon Silene, Sprunt and Safrano—but she got twenty-four labels, all different "purchasers' choice," and doubtless the gentleman filling the order thought she got all she was entitled to; but what a reproach on honorable dealing?

Another pernicious practice is seemingly gaining ground; that is the changing of names of not only new plants but time-honored varieties of plants that have been known for a generation—instances are numerous where noted plantsmen have renamed plants for heroes of the south in order to catch trade in that quarter; but how can we check this? By exposing and upholding the matter, until for very shame they cease doing it. Let the society at its next annual meeting give Mr. Robert Halliday the time necessary and he will show the ugly features of this last-mentioned disease, and he has a remedy as well. Let the executive committee faithfully carry out its programme; let the blow strike where it will, and the voice of the Society of American Florists will say amen.


Vick's Monthly Magazine, 11: 117-118 (Feb 1888)
SUBSTITUTING
A. W., Placer Co., Cal.

One, who did not like red Roses, made out a list without one of that color. But a few months afterwards it was found that several belonged to the obnoxious class.


American Garden 110-111 (Mar 1888)
NOTES FROM ST. FÉRÉOL DE PONSONBY
ROSES—DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDESUBSTITUTION—PRIMULAS
F. LANCE

"This rose was received as Queen of Queens, which, as you know, was introduced a couple of years ago at a pretty high price. It was so attractively described that Mr. Velhausen quite set his heart on possessing it; but, as you can plainly see, it proves to be Achille Gonod, a result somewhat provoking, to say the least, and justifies the display of a little bad humor on his part." His dogmatic rejoinder was absolutely stunning, and came near annihilating my remaining remnant of self-possession. "If he has been misled by a glowing account of a rarity he was unacquainted with, then it's his own fault."


American Garden 9(4) 147-148 (Apr 1888)
NOTES FROM ST. FÉRÉOL DE PONSONBY
New Roses—Substitution—Guarantees of Name.
F. Lance.

No doubt a restricted number of florists will find it somewhat embarrassing to place themselves in a position that will enable them to confidently assure the public that their roses are true to name. Maintaining satisfactory precision in nomenclature cannot fail to prove extremely irksome to men who have been accustomed for years to violate the fundamental principles of rose genealogy. The new regime will involve the adoption of a systematic method whereby their roses may be kept correctly labeled, and will quite naturally entail no little care and circumspection in handling them. It was ever so much more convenient and expeditious under the old system to take roses at random from a heterogeneous stock and with obliging complacency label them with the names which the orders of their confiding customers called for. What wonder, then, that a single variety often appeared with unblushing effrontery under a score of different titles, but blooming time was sure to reveal the mendacity of the "Original Old Jacobs."


American Florist 4(79): 156 (Nov 1888)
Substitution

We give below a copy of a card posted up in the packing room of an establishment doing a catalogue trade, for the instruction of employes filling orders. This concern indignantly denies that substitution is ever practiced at their place, but admits that "errors will occur in spite of every precaution." After perusing this card it would seem that it would be largely an "error" for a customer to get even one variety ordered true to name.

Perle des Jardins Safrano
Jean Pernet
Mme. Margottin
Isabella Sprunt
Marie Van Houtte
   
Duchess Edinburg   Mme. de Vatry
Aline Sisley
Souv. de David
 
The Bride Cels, Tea
C. Cook
Bella
Mlle. Rachel
   
Mabel Morrison   Coquette des Blanches
Olga Marix
Perfection des Blanches

We are informed that the list is changed from time to time to suit the stock on hand. No wonder that they are always able to "fill complete" any order received.

Let us no longer dally with this matter. Decisive action is necessary. The substitutor is a criminal and should be punished as such. He is guilty of obtaining money on false pretenses.

If the trade or the national society would crush out this practice let them take legal action in every case where conclusive proof can be obtained. Fear of the consequences would then deter those who have lost all sense of honor. The Florist stands ready to publish to the trade the names of any who may be convicted.


Popular Gardening and Fruit Growing, 4: 89 (Jan 1889)
The meaning of Substitution

The following instructions are posted up in the packing room of a certain establishment for the employees who fill catalogue orders. After noting this it would seem largely an “error” for a customer to get even one variety ordered true to name. For Perle des Jardins give Safrano, Jean Pernet, M. Margottin, Isabella Sprunt or Marie Van Houtte. For Duchesse Edinburgh, either Mme. de Vatry, Aline Sisley or Souv. de David. For The Bride give Cels Tea, C. Cook, Bella or Mlle. Rachel. Substitute for Mabel Morrison, Couquette des Blanches, Olga Marix or Perfection des Blanches. We are informed that this list is changed from time to time to suit the stock on hand, so that they are always able to "fill complete" any order received. Let us no longer dally with this matter, but act decisively. The substituter is a criminal guilty of obtaining money under false pretenses, and should be punished. If the trade or the National Society of Florists would crush out this practice let them take legal action in every case where conclusive proof can be obtained. Fear of the consequences would then deter those who have lost all sense of honor.—Amer. Florist.


The National Nurseryman 2(5): 55-56 (June 1894)
Rochester, NY
SOME RESULTS OF SUBSTITUTION

"It has occurred to me to recount some of the notorious swindles in horticulture caused by the lack of exclusive rights to new productions. After the Isabella grape had been generally disseminated, it was named Payne's Early and sold as a new variety earlier than Isabella. Being 'a product of nature,' there being no law against so doing, why should not the grower put money in his pocket by such means? Eureka was another name given to it at Attica, N.Y. That the Isabella has been frequently introduced under new names is shown by the fact that horticultural authorities mention as many as sixteen synonyms.


American Rose Quarterly (1930)
Is General Jacqueminot in American Commerce?
By G. A. STEVENS, Harrisburg, Pa.

When I came to Breeze Hill in 1924 I found numerous plants labeled Général Jacqueminot which did not correspond to my plant in any particular. The bushes were thin, with waxy foliage, much bronzed in the young state, and the flowers were semi-double, rather small, and dark, purplish crimson. In consulting with Dr. McFarland about the differences I found that he took no exception to the variety he had, and apparently recognized it as the Général Jacqueminot he had always known.

Unconvinced, I obtained specimens of Général Jacqueminot from various sources to compare with the Breeze Hill plants, and found in every case that the rose supplied was identical with them. The Breeze Hill plants came, in 1912, from a local nursery which does not specialize in roses. The curious thing about the matter is that I have been conducting a similar hunt for the true Prince Camille de Rohan, and in every case get the same variety for both Rohan and Jacqueminot! And neither is true!


Fhe Rose Annual (Royal National Rose Society) 38-53 (1975)
Tea-Scented Roses A Survey
L. ARTHUR WYATT

Although 'Niphetos' was also used for breeding, of even greater importance was 'Mme Bravy', sent out in 1846. This is an excellent grower, very free with its cupped cream blooms with pink overtones and a fragrance which has been likened to "expensive face-cream". In the days when honesty in the horticultural trade left much to be desired, unscrupulous nurserymen across the Channel found it financially expedient to cash-in on the high reputation of 'Mme Bravy' by re-introducing it at various intervals under no fewer than six names.