American Rose Magazine 3(6): 103-104 (November-December
J. H. McFarland
The impression has prevailed that certain hybrids attributed to the late W. Albert Manda, a famous plantsman who for many years was the dominant figure in the United States Nurseries of the firm of Pitcher & Manda, at Short Hills, N. J., were the first Wichuraiana hybrids, and they were credited to Mr. Manda, presumably because his firm brought them into commerce. Thus, in the general accepted authority, Standardized Plant Names, published in 1923 by the American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature, there are credited to W. A. Manda as of 1898 and 1899, Evergreen Gem, Manda's Triumph, Pink Roamer, South Orange Perfection, and Universal Favorite.
In the office of the American Rose Society there is a meticulous desire to have accurate records and to provide the truth about roses. The publication, in 1930, of "Modern Roses," which described 2511 roses then in commerce, was the first orderly gathering of such information made available to all the rose world. The complete rewriting and revision of that work, now proceeding, is the further evidence of the desire of the Society to get things straight and keep them straight in respect to roses. It was in pursuit of this knowledge that attention was paid on a casual visit by the Editor and the late G. A. Stevens to the home of M. H. Horvath, at Mentor, Ohio, to what was there said as to the origin of these supposed first Wichuraiana hybrids. Mr. Horvath told of his experience, and in the 1930 Annual on page 203 was printed his careful story of the development of the Wichuraiana race. It appeared quite definitely that Mr. Horvath made the first hybrids, and that those made by the great Barbier of Orleans, France, and by the late M. H. Walsh, of Woods Hole, Mass., were in succession to Mr. Horvath's originations.
At the time the article above referred to was published, Mr. Horvath was not quite certain about the parentage relations. In a letter written to Secretary Hatton on August 16, 1939, Mr. Horvath, who had in the meantime looked up his old records, wrote thus:
"It was not in New Jersey where I was employed by the firm of Pitcher & Manda (also known as United States Nurseries) but after leaving P. & M., from where I went to Newport, R.I., that the birth of the Wichuraiana hybrids occurred. It was while I was absent from Newport, leaving my plants in charge of V. Vanicek, a friend of W. A. Manda, that the original hybrid plants were given to him, thus finding their way into commerce. Corrections may now be made, because I have found the record of the missing pollinate parent of the two pink hybrids. R. Wichuraiana X Agrippina gave two crosses, including Pink Roamer and South Orange Perfection. Two others, Manda's Triumph and Universal Favorite, resulted from crossing R. Wichuraiana X Paquerette, a small imbricate-petaled dwarf white Polyantha. Evergreen Gem is R. Wichuraiana X Maréchal Niel, and an old plant of this, I believe, is still growing on the back fence of my former home at Glenville, Ohio. It was there, incidentally, that one of the Barbier boys got his first lesson on Wichuraiana hybridization."
The true story of these important roses is thus recorded for general information.