Naming Buck Roses

Dr. Buck evaluating his roses
Dr. Buck evaluating his roses
Courtesy of Special Collections
Department/ Iowa State University Library

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.

When asked about naming his roses Dr. Buck stated “Many of my roses were named mostly indirectly for my friends. An example would be ‘Aunt Honey’. The man that got me started on this rose breeding program at Iowa State had a wife whose name was Helen. Her little nieces couldn't say Aunt Helen, so I called a rose like they called their aunt, namely, 'Aunt Honey'. Others have "names that were appropriate to all the Corn Belt rural pleasures", e.g., 'Barn Dance', 'Applejack', and 'Prairie Sunrise'.  - Dr. Griffith Buck