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Roses and Sustainability

Professor Joseph BuddBecause of the adverse climate in Iowa the sustainability of roses has long been the focus of rose research and breeding at Iowa State University. These 130 years of research began first with the work of Professor Joseph Budd in 1877, which brought hardy rose varieties from remote Russia and China to Iowa for breeding purposes.

Again in 1912 Professor Thomas Maney worked on hardy under-stocks and hardy climbing roses. Professor Emil Volz took up the rose work in 1921 when he developed trial gardens and evaluated new rose varieties in the Iowa climate. Dr. Griffith Buck in 1949, the most prolific of  the rose researchers at Iowa State University, continued with roses by developing over ninety rose varieties winter hardy and disease resistant for Iowa. Read more about

Earth-Kind® and Iowa State University

This eye towards sustainability is carried on today at Iowa State with the latest method of rose evaluation known as Earth-Kind®. Earth-Kind®, a program started at Texas A&M by Dr. Steve George, is designed to evaluate landscape plants (initially roses) for their sustainability in the landscape.    

Earth-Kind® Roses have roots at Iowa State University in two ways, first because of the Griffith Buck roses. These roses known for their hardiness and disease resistance were among the first to be evaluated under this new system and were supplied by Iowa State University. Secondly the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station is the location of one of the Northern Earth-Kind® Rose Trials under the direction of Dr. David Zlesak at the University of Wisconsin.  

Read the chronology of 130 years of rose research at Iowa State University that takes a look at the past and carries on into the future.

The term, EARTH-KIND®, and associated logo are trademarks of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System Read more about