Mrs. Theodosia B. Shepherd Descriptive Catalog of California Flow

roseseekFebruary 21, 2012

I've just completed the latest archive of the historic Theodosia Shepherd Descriptive Catalog of California Flowers. Mrs. Shepherd grew her roses and many other types of plants at her nursery in "Ventura by the Sea" in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries.

Ventura wasn't that large of a city 115 years ago, but there was great wealth from oil and other natural resources. She offered 85 roses in 1898, 80 of which are uploaded and referenced on HMF at the link below. Five are documented in the Comments section as they aren't easily matched to any roses we have information about.

Mrs. Shepherd is considered the founder of the California seed and cut flower industry. Quite an achievement for a woman business person over a century ago. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Mrs. Shepherd's Roses

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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Thank you Kim. Here is yet another thing I was unaware of.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:31PM
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roseseek

You're welcome! I've just uploaded an additional two dozen or so roses from her company's 1913 catalog, which was a few years after her death. All but those requiring more research to match are represented, making the total around a hundred varieties.

One you may find very interesting is "Little Midget" linked below, an actual catalog listing for rose seeds. It's long been known many roses have been distributed as seed. Here is a documented catalog offering of dwarf, repeat flowering, hybrid multiflora seed. How many "found roses" such as the various "versions" of Pacquerette and Mignonette we battle over, trying to determine which is the correct form, are actually the results of these types of seed?

I offer that we will see even more of it in the future. Many are trying their hands at rose seed raising. We already have several 'versions' of Slater's Crimson China, Miss Lowe Types and many others, which are likely self seeds of one another. As sources for these dwindle and they become less common, one of these days, someone who has raised seed from them is sure to have their seedling identified as the "long, lost stud China"! Wait and see... Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Little Midget

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 7:59PM
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rosefolly

I'm curious. Is there any connection between Renee Shepherd of Renee's Garden (and before that Shepherd's Seeds) and Mrs Theodosia Shepherd? Shepherd is a common family name, and the horticultural world is wide, but it would be a interesting coincidence.

Rosefolly

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:39PM
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roseseek

Very interesting thought, Rosefolly. I've just emailed them to ask. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks! Kim

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:58PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

There probably is not.
Not directly, anyhow. Mrs. Shepherd did have children, but they were not connected with her nursery, and are said to have been "a disappointment" to her.

She was living alone at the time of her death, her husband having pre-deceased her. After her death, friends ran the nursery, and a descendant of one of those friends does live in Ventura County, still.

The catalogs in question, btw, were copied from originals owned by the Ventura County Museum of History and Art, which does not restrict the use of copies of the material.

Jeri Jennings
Heritage Roses Group

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 4:51PM
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roseseek

I heard from Renee Shepherd of Renee's Garden today. I'd emailed asking if she was related to Mrs. Shepherd. Here is her response. Kim

Thanks for your note.
No ,I am not related but I have enjoyed reading about her work .
sincerely
Renee Shepherd

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:16PM
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bellegallica_zone9(9)

Small world. I was going to mention Renee Shepherd, too. I've bought seeds from her several times. (This year I'm trying her "French Perfume" lavender.) But I've noticed she sells miniature rose seeds which she calls "Angel Wings." I've never tried them, though.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:39AM
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lookin4you2xist(9b)

California sure is a different world from Florida. Interesting collection. Thank you to both the Ventura County Museum of History and Art, and to you as well Kim, for posting this. I can not think of many places that actually sell mini rose seeds.
Regards,
Andrew Grover
St. Pete Fl.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:35AM
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roseseek

You're welcome, Andrew. Thank you! There was such an incredible wealth of material and information out there, which many will never know of or see without taking the opportunity to share them on sites like HMF. There is a thread on the Rose Hybridizers Association about Rosa multiflora nana, which these are also known as. When you think about it, so is The Gift and all the associated hybrids and sports. One post points out that they're still offered by a German source.

Renee's Gardens still sells "Angel Wings", "of a Dutch selection". The catalog states they're easily grown from seed, flower the first year, grow to about 18", and bloom in "clusters of dainty, petite blossoms in classic rose shades of shell pink, deep rose and white". The description is very much in line with Mrs. Shepherd's words written a century ago.

Keeping this in mind, is it any wonder there are so many unknown early-type polyanthas out there? How many versions of Mignonette, Pacquerette and others have you encountered in collections of found roses and specialty growers? This is what Ralph Moore obtained, raised and used to breed Fair Molly. It's the rose he called, "Rosa Polyantha nana". Europeans grew them from seed just as we did and also continue to offer the seed. As easily as multiflora self seeds, anyone wishing to germinate them should have no difficulties raising some fun, pretty, old fashioned looking garden plants. Because of their strong affinity to multiflora, they should be quite cold hardy, and probably very likely to be susceptible to Rosette Virus. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Angel Wings miniature rose seeds, Renee's Gardens

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:07PM
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