Trans. Iowa. Hort. Soc., 75: 268-277. (1940)
Clark D. Paris and T. J. Maney

Much has been written about Ophelia since it was introduced by William Paul of Waltham Cross, Herts, England in 1912. This salmon-flushed Hybrid Tea Rose is very well known to every rose grower, although, at present, it is not grown to the extent that was in past years. Unfortunately, there is very little definitely known about its origin. The whole situation was reviewed in an unsigned article in Horticulture, January 15, 1934 issue, part of which we quote:

"Much has been written about the origin of the Ophelia rose, which, when first exhibited in London at the great International Show of 1912, aroused no undue comment. I have learned from Walter Easlea that prior to his leaving the now-extinct firm of William Paul to start on his own account, he was making numerous crosses with Antoine Rivoire, Pharisaer and Prince de Bulgarie; he has not the least doubt that Ophelia had either the first-named or the last as its seed parent.

"Not having flowered his latest crosses before he left the firm in 1910 and not knowing its seedling number, he is unable to say from which cross Ophelia arose. Its closeness to Prince de Bulgarie is fairly obvious. Incidentally, the late E. G. Hill, writing in the Rose Annual for 1919, expressed interest at the reported haphazard origin of Ophelia inasmuch as he had learned previously while in England that it was a seedling of Antoine Rivoire. In his opinion, everything in Ophelia pointed to that variety.

"When one dips back into history, one finds that Pernet-Ducher sent out Antoine Rivoire in 1896, Prince de Bulgarie coming from the same raiser in 1902. Pharisaer, a seedling of Mrs. W. J. Grant sent out by Hinner in 1903, may have been one of the parents of Ophelia but for a certainty either Antoine Rivoire or Prince de Bulgarie was the seed parent and in all probability one or the other was the pollen parent. The family connection between these latter varieties need not be doubted as Pernet-Ducher closely inbred, often using undisseminated seedlings. Indeed, it is not unlikely that some of his later Pernetianas, including Souv. de Claudius Pernet, containing the blood of Antoine Rivoire and the bringing together of Ophelia and Souv. de Claudius Pernet, was the probable cause of the remarkable coloring that was attained in Talisman."

Regardless of its ancestry, Ophelia has proven to be one of the most important progenitors of the modern roses. The great rosarian, E. G. Hill, was one of the first to realize its potentialities. While on a trip to England shortly after its introduction he bought most of the available bud wood of Ophelia and sent it to his establishment in Richmond, Indiana. We are indebted to him for many of the best known descendants of Ophelia, e.g., Mme. Butterfly, Columbia, Premier, Hill's America, Joanna Hill and Sensation. The last two are creations of his son, J. H. Hill.

Many rosarians have known that Ophelia blood has greatly influenced modern roses. One enthusiastic writer wrote that nearly all the new introductions can be traced to Ophelia. In the study upon which this article is based only about one-third of the recent roses have Ophelia ancestry. Of the 67 Hybrid Teas and Climbing Hybrid Teas of known parentage described in the 1939 American Rose Annual, 22 can be traced to Ophelia. In so far as can be determined by a review of the rose literature, including the 1940 American Rose Annual, 483 named varieties are descendants of Ophelia. Of this number 307 are seedlings and 176 are sports. The sporting characteristic is of especial interest as this tendency seems to be inheritable. This variety by itself has given rise to 24 sports and many of its descendants have sported so frequently that the majority of the recent Hybrid Teas that sport freely can be traced back to the Ophelia. By using the same criterion one might deduce a possible ancestor of Ophelia. A genealogical study made of Mme. Caroline Testout has revealed that it too has sported frequently. Since this characteristic seems to be inherited, it is possible the Mme. Caroline Testout is an ancestor of Ophelia. As stated before, both Antoine Rivoire and Prince de Bulgarie are creations of Monsieur J. Pernet-Ducher. It is an established fact that he used Mme. Caroline Testout rather freely in his hybridizing work. This also seems to bear out the theory that either Antoine Rivoire or Prince de Bulgarie may be one parent of Ophelia.

In table I, the seedlings that are descendants of Ophelia are listed. The parent, or parents, with Ophelia blood are marked with an asterisk (*). Table II lists the named sports of Ophelia and its descendants.


Variety Seed Parent Pollen Parent
A. Dvorak Mme. Butterfly* Gorgeous
Adele Roselandia* Clarice Goodacre
Adolf Deegen Ophelia* Wilhelm Kordes
Adolf Grille Dance of Joy (Cathrine Kordes* x E. G. Hill)
Advance Comtesse Vandal* Mrs. Sam McGredy
Agnes de Puy Lady Battersea Honeymoon* x Mme. Butterfly*
Agnes Foster Wright Charles P. Kilham Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Alice Harding Souv. de Claudius Pernet Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Alois Jirasek Mme. Butterfly* Mrs. George Shawyer
Ambassador Mme. Butterfly* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
American Pride Sport of Grillodale* Mme. Butterfly*
Angelita Ruaix Duquesa de Penaranda President Herbert Hoover*
Angelus Columbia* Ophelia*
Aurore Boreale Etoile de Hollande x Ville de Paris Sensation*
Autumn Sensation* Souv. de Claudius Pernet*
Barbara Ward Royal Red Columbia*
Barcelona Sensation* x Templar* Lord Charlemont
Baron Jacques Riston Mme. Butterfly* Rev. David R. Williamson x Gorgeous
Beatrice McGregor Sensation* Unnamed seedling
Beauty Crusader Premier
Bedrick Smetana Modesty Ophelia*
Bloomfleld Abundance Silvia* Dorothy Page Roberts
Bloomfield Completeness Bloomfield Perfection* Mme. Butterfly*
Bloomfield Decoration Silvia* Arndt
Bloomfield Giant Mme. Abel Chatenay Mme. Butterfly*
Bloomfield Mystery Blanche Frowein Bloomfield Abundance*
Bloomfield Perfection Danae Bloomfield Abundance*
Blumenschmidt's Elfenkonigin Ophelia* Julien Potin
Bozena Nemcova Priscilla* Silvia*
California Beauty Dame Edith Helen Hollywood*
Campina Comtesse Vandal* Mme. Louis Lens
Canadian Jubilee Priscilla* Commonwealth*
Candlelight Souv. de Claudius Pernet Mme. Butterfly*
Captain Glisson Joanna Hill* Sweet Adeline*
Carillon Charles P. Kilham Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Carito MacMahon Cayetana Stuart Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Carl Kempkes Dance of Joy Mary Hart*
Carmelita Matchless* Milady
Carrie Jacobs Bond Premier* Unnamed seedling
Cascadia Mme. d'Arblay Bloomfield Abundance*
Cathrine Kordes Mme. Caroline Testout x Willowmere Sensation*
Charlotte Armstrong Soeur Therese Crimson Glory*
Charlotte E. van Dedem Roselandia* Ville de Paris
Chieftain Hadley Talisman*
Christobel Frau Karl Druschki Mme. Butterfly*
Colette Berges Red Columbia* Ami Quinard
Columbia Ophelia* Mrs. George Shawyer
Commonwealth Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Comtesse Anna de Bruce Charles P. Kilham Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Comtesse Vandal Ophelia* x Mrs. Aaron Ward Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Cornelia Ophelia* Mrs. Aaron Ward
Crimson Glory Seedling of Cathrine Kordes* W. E. Chaplin
D. Laura Pinto de Azevedo Pink Pearl* Constance
D. Maria Antonia Pacheco Mme. Butterfly* Johanniszauber
Dainty Bess Ophelia* K. of K.
Dardanelle Premier* Ophelia*
Dark Secret Radiance Hollywood*
Daybreak Violet Simpson Ivy May*
Direktor Rebhulm Mme. Butterfly* Angele Pernet
Dolly Madison Sport of Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Unknown
Double Ophelia Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Dr. Hiram de Puy Mme. Butterfly* Honeymoon*
E. J. Ludding Premier* Hill's America*
Ebby van Beat Pharisaer Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Eclipse Federico Casis Joanna Hill*
Eddie's Advent Mrs. Sam McGredy Edith Krause*
Edith Felberg Unnamed seedling Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Edith Krause Mrs. Charles Lamplough Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Edwin Markham Ophelia* Hoosier Beauty
Eleta Sensation* Unnamed seedling
Elite Charles P. Kilham President Herbert Hoove*
Ella Guthrie Premier* Unknown
Ellen Willmott Dainty Bess* Lady Hillingdon
Ellen Zinnow Souv. de H. A. Verschuren* Sunstar
Ellesmere Ophelia* Unknown
Elli Knab Cathrine Kordes* W. E. Chaplin
Elsie Beckwith Ophelia* Mevrouw Dora van Tets
Emily Rhodes Seedling of Golden Ophelia* Zephirine Drouhin
Empress Seedling of Ophelia* Unknown
Erato Ophelia* x R. multiflora Florex*
Erich Frahm Dance of Joy Mary Hart*
Felicity Ophelia* Hoosier Beauty
Florex Mme. Butterfly* Premier*
Fontanelle Souv. de Claudius Pernet Columbia*
Fortschritt Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Gloria Mundi
Frank Reader Golden Ophelia* Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Frau Mathilde Batz Unnamed seedling Ophelia*
Freude Dance of Joy Geheimrat Duisburg*
Friendship Templar* Talisman*
Fritz Hoger Hadley x Comte G. de Rochemur Cathrine Kordes*
Fruhlinsgold Joanna Hill* R. spinosissima hispida
Gaiety Mme Butterfly* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Garden Gem Mrs. E. T. Stotesbury Hill's America*
Gartendirektor Nose Royal Red Templar*
Geheimrat Duisburg Rapture* Julien Potin
George C. Thomas, Jr. Bloomfield Completeness* Attraction
George Dakin Ophelia* Mrs. Henry Morse
Girona Li Bures Talisman*
Gisele Alday Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Lallita
Giuliana Borgatti Ophelia* Ville de Paris
Glamour Comtesse Vandal* President Macia
Gloaming Charles P. Kilham Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Gloria Premier* Primrose
Gloria di Roma Sensation* Dame Edith Helen
Gold Mine Golden Rule* Mrs. Aaron Ward
Gold Star Souv. de Claudius Pernet Talisman*
Golden Ideal Roselandia* Joanna Hill*
Golden Ophelia Ophelia* Unknown
Golden Rule Ophelia* Sunburst
Golden Wedding Souv. de H. A. Verschuren* Yellow seedling
Goldenes Mainz Fontanelle* Julien Potin
Good Cheer Talisman* Templar*
Good News (Radiance x Souv. de Claudius Pernet) (Joanna Hill* x Comtesse Vandal*)
Gotha (Souv. de H. A. Verschuren* x Sunset) Mevrouw G. A. Van Rossem
Governor Phillip Ophelia seedling* Black Boy
Govita Perez Mme. Butterfly* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Granat Barcelona* Chateau de Clos Vougeot
Gratia Unnamed seedling Pius XI*
H. C. Valeton Golden Ophelia* Aspirant Marcel Bouyer
Harriet Neese Ophelia* Harison's Yellow
Hazel Alexander Ophelia* Unknown
Helene de Montbriand Souv. de Claudius Pernet Ophelia*
Herman Eggers (Pink Pearl* x Templar*) Florex
Heros Johanna Tantau* Etoile de Hollande
Herrenhausen Eva Geheimrat Duisburg*
Hill's America Premier* Hoosier Beauty
Honeymoon Ophelia* Sunburst
Humboldt Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Ignasi Iglesias Angel Guimera (Souv. de Claudius Pernet x Mme. Butterfly*)
Imperial Potentate Ophelia* Hoosier Beauty
Indra (Ophelia* x R. multiflora) Florex*
Insulinde Ophelia* Johkheer J. L. Mock
J. H. van Heyst Comtesse Vandal* Edith Nellie Perkins
J. Otto Thilow Hadley Souv. de H. A. Verschuren
James Walley Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Jan Abbing Columbia* Etoile de Holland
Joan Davis Ophelia* Unknown
Joan Frueh Ophelia* General Superior Arnold Janssen
Joanna Hill Mme. Butterfly* Miss Amelia Gude*
Johanna Ropcke Dorothy Perkins Ophelia*
Johanna Tantau Dorothy Perkins Ophelia*
King Midas Rochester Mary Hart*
Kraljica Marija Frau Karl Druschki Golden Ophelia*
Kronprincess Ingrid Else Poulsen Dainty Bess*
Kurt Scholz Cathrine Kordes* W. E. Chaplin
Lady Canada Mme. Butterfly* Premier*
Lady Rachel Vernay Annie Laurie* Lord Charlemont
Lady Trent Rosieriate Gaston Leveque* Federico Casas
Lady Willingdon Ophelia* Premier*
Ladylove Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Lal Commonwealth* Unknown
Lemania Sensation* Unknown
Leontine Contenot Joanna Hill* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Lestra Hibberd Joanna Hill* Sweet Adeline*
Lida Baarova Ophelia* Unknown
Lily Kemp Mme. Butterfly* Capt. Ronald Clerk
Lois Crouse Mme. Butterfly* Unknown
Louis Walter Seedling of Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Charles P. Kilham
Louisa Schultheis Golden Ophelia* Ruhm von Steinfurth
Louise Krause Mrs. Beckwith Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Lubra Climbing Ophelia seedling* Black Boy
Lucile Hill Unnamed seedling Rapture*
Luis de Brinas Mme. Butterfly* Federico Casas
Lustre Ophelia* Hoosier Beauty
Lydia Briarcliff* Florex*
Maid of Kent Ophelia* Mrs. W. J. Grant*
Magestic Hoosier Beauty Premier*
Margaret Spaull Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Mary Hill Ophelia* Sunburst
Matchless Premier* Unknown
Max Haufe Joanna Hill* R. rubiginosa magnifica
Max Krause Mrs. Beckwith Souv. de H. A. Verschuren*
Maywood Charles Douglas (Killarney x Ophelia*)
Maywood Red Premier* Unknown
Mazzini Mme. Butterfly* Gladys Holland
Mevrouw Amelie Muller Golden Ophelia* Golden Emblem
Mevrouw Dr. L. Crobach Pink Pearl* Red Star
Miss Amelia Gude Columbia* Sunburst
Miss America Joanna Hill* S. M. Gustav V.
Mme. Cochet-Cochet Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Cecile Walter
Mme. Desmars Ophelia* Constance
Mme. Emilie van der Goes Columbia* Irish Fireflame
Mme. Fraculy Ophelia* Constance
Mme. Henri Gillot Rochefort* Seedling of R. lutea bicolor
Mme. Jules Fontaine Lamarche Sensation* E. G. Hill
Mme. Plumecocq Roselandia* Ville de Paris
Mme. Steinbach Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Cecile Walter
Mohican Unnamed variety Briarcliff*
Mohican Templar* Gunston Hall
Mrs. Herbert Hoover Ophelia* Hoosier Beauty
Mrs. J. D. Eisele Premier* McGredy's Scarlet
Mrs. John Cook Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Mrs. L. B. Coddinton Templar* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Mrs. Lenon Radiance Premier*
Mrs. Mary D. Ward Double Ophelia* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker Mme. Butterfly* Unknown
Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont Ophelia* Seedling of R. lutea bicolor
Mrs. Prentiss Nichols Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Mrs. Theonville van Berkel Briarcliff* Mrs. Sam McGredy
Mrs. Walter T. Sumner Ophelia* Hadley
Mrs. Warren Lenon Hoosier Beauty Premier*
Neige-Parfum Joanna Hill White Ophelia x Unnamed seedling
Nestor Bolderdijk Comtesse Vandal* President Macia
Norfolk Harmony Comtesse Vandal* Mrs. Sam McGredy
Opal S. M. Gustave V Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Painted Lady Crusader x Premier* Golden Pernet
Peach Blow Mme. Butterfly* Unnamed seedling
Pearl of Baltimore Ophelia* Glorified la France
Pearl S. Buck Joanna Hill* Etoile d'Or
Peggy Ophelia* Red Letter Day
Penelope Ophelia* Seagull x Seagull
Phoebe Ophelia* Verna Mackay
Pilarin Vilella Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Lucia Zuloaga
Pink Beauty Ophelia* My Maryland
Pink Dawn Joanna Hill* Unnamed seedling
Pink Pearl Ophelia* General MacArthur x Van Houtte
Pink Perfection Premier* Baroness Rothschild
Pink Royal Columbia* Mme. Butterfly*
Pius XI Ophelia* Unnamed seedling
Polly Seedling of Ophelia* Mme. Colette Martinet
Premier Seedling of Ophelia* Mrs. Charles E. Russell
President Herbert Hoover Sensation* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Primavera Sensation* Julien Potin
Prinzessin M. van Arenberg Ophelia* Los Angeles
Priscilla Unnamed seedling Ophelia*
Prof. Bento Carqueja Ophelia* Mme. Edouard Herriot
Professor Ibrahim R. macrantha, Daisy Hill Talisman*
Queen Margaret Hunt Templar* Ami Quinard
Queen Marie Mme. Butterfly* Lamia
R. M. S. Queen Mary Briarcliff* Mrs. Sam McGredy
Raffel's Pride Talisman* Unknown
Ramon Bach Louis de Brinas* Condessa de Sastago
Recuerdo de Doctor Ferrari Sensation* K. of K.
Red Boy Charles K. Douglas President Herbert Hoover*
Rektor Foerster Golden Ophelia* Mme. Caroline Testout
Rio Rita Mme. Butterfly* Premier*
Rochefort Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont* Charles P. Kilham
Romeo Seedling of Edith Part Ophelia*
Rose Dawn Joe Hill Mrs. George Shawyer x Ophelia*
Rosieriste Gaston Leveque Mme. Butterfly* Jean C. N. Forestier
Rotarian Ophelia* Unknown
Royal Visit Picture Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Roze Koningin Seedling of Lady Sylvia* Etoile de Hollande
Rudolf Alexander Schroder Mrs. Herbert Stevens Pius XI*
Santa Barbara Clara Watson Ophelia*
Sarah Wright Ophelia* Emma Wright
Saturnia Sensation* Julien Potin
Scarlet Beauty Mme. Butterfly* Premier Supreme*
Senateur Potie Mme. Butterfly* Carito MacMahon*
Senator Red Columbia* Premier*
Sensation Hoosier Beauty Premier*
Signet Premier* Talisman*
Signora Piero Puricelli Sensation* Julien Potin
Simone de Nanteuil Ophelia* Mme. Victoria Gagniere
Sincerity Seedling of Comtesse Vandal* Mrs. Sam McGredy
Sirius Unnamed seedling Lubra*
Snow White Johanna Hill* White Briarcliff*
Souv. d'Angele Opdebeeck Golden Ophelia* Golden Emblem
Souv. de Catherine Fontaine Souv. de Jean Soupert* Mme. Edouard Herriot
Souv. de Denier van der Gon Roselandia* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Souv. de H. A. Verschuren Golden Ophelia* Seedling of Sunburst
Souv. de Jean Soupert Ophelia* Feu Joseph Looymans
Staatsprasident Pats Ophelia* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Sterling Mme. Butterfly* Unnamed seedling
Sunrise Pilarin Vilella* Rosa Gallant
Suntan (Nanjemoy x [Mme. Gregoire
Stachelin x Bloomfield Comet])
Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Swantje Johanna Tantau* Professor Gnau x Joanna Hill
Sweet Adeline Rapture* Pernet
Sweet Sue Joanna Hill* Night
Tacoma Ophelia* Honeymoon*
Talisman Ophelia* Souv. de Claudius Pernet
Tarantella Charles P. Kilham President Herbert Hoover*
Templar Crimson Queen Premier*
The Chief Charles P. Kilham President Herbert Hoover*
The Indian Sensation* Unknown variety
Token Mme. Butterfly* Premier Supreme*
Topaz Johanna Tantau* Professor Gnau x Julien Potin
Treasure Island Comtesse Vandal* Mme. Nicolas Aussel
Vainqueur Sensation* Unknown variety
Vera Cruz Frank Reader* Johanniszauber
Vestal's Torchlight President Herbert Hoover Unnamed seedling
Victor Ophelia* Killarney Brilliant
Vierlanden Senator* Florex*
Virginia Dare Joanna Hill* Unnamed seedling
Vivid Mason Premier* Mme. Alexandre Dreux
Werner Dirks R. macrantha Daisy Hill Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
White Briarcliff Briarcliff* White, H.T.
Wilhelm Breder Fontanelle* Julien Potin
William Nickerson Priscilla* William F. Dreer
William Wright Walcott Seedling of sport of Richmond Ophelia*
Winsome Premier* Hoosier Beauty
World's Fair Dance of Joy Crimson Glory*
Yellow Dot Rapture* Betsy Ross*
Yosemite Charles P. Kilham Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont*
Zlaty Dech Admiration Talisman*
Zulu Queen (Cathrine Kordes* x E. G. Hill) Fritz Hoger*