Buck Rose Developments

Dr. Griffith Buck 1915-1991

Ruby and Griffith Buck (1991)
Ruby and Griffith Buck 1991

Dr. Griffith Buck Joined the Department of Horticulture as instructor in 1949 after receiving his PHD from the department. With his primary interest in floriculture and plant breeding, he immediately continued the 60 years of rose work of his predecessors. The most prolific of the rose researches and breeders at ISU, he is credited with the development of over 90 rose varieties most of which exhibit disease resistance and winter hardiness to the Midwest climate. In addition to rose breeding he also developed many varieties of geranium and other flowering plants. For a more detailed information about Dr. Griffith Buck, read his biography.

Dr. Buck’s Rose Breeding Goals

Dr. Buck’s primary goal for his breeding work was to develop rose varieties that were winter hardy and disease resistant for Iowa. In addition he looked for repeat bloom, good flower form, color and aging quality as well. In the difficult pursuit of  unusual colors in his breeding projects, he could often be heard to lament, “I can give you any color you want as long as it’s pink” - Dr. Griffith Buck. This made the development of the lavender blue rose Blue Skies, very gratifying. Dr. Buck did not concern himself with the development of show roses but concentrated on shrub types that could be used in the landscape.



Naming Buck Roses

Dr. Buck did not lack imagination when naming his rose varieties and it is even considered by some that his rose names are poetic. The poem, “The Roses of Griffith Buck” written using Buck rose names is dedicated to his wife Ruby. Read more about

Dr. Griffith Buck Roses

Dr. Griffith Buck developed many varieties of hardy, fragrant, and beautiful roses during his time at Iowa State University. As a respected member of the rose growers association and the rose growers community Dr. Buck was not only renowned for developing varieties such as "Carefree Beauty" and "Pearlie Mae" but also for his dedication to the industry. Read more about