Fr. Hugo vs Harrison's Yellow

cath41(6a)August 15, 2014

How does one distinguish them? I think I remember someone saying that one is very thorny and the other is not but which is which? That old rose garden has one or the other (as yet unmolested) but I do not know which one. Fr. Hugo appears to be hard to find so if it is Fr. Hugo I will attempt a rescue even though it was established in the garden only after several tries and the ground is so hard as to be almost undiggable (is that a word?. BTW the rose is very thorny.


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Cath, there are great differences between the two. Both are yellow flowered, but Harrison's Yellow is a brighter yellow, with larger flowers and they are double. Hugonis' flowers are paler, single and smaller. Harrison's has brighter green foliage and there is some scent to the growth tips, sepals and peduncles which Hugonis doesn't express. Harrison's wood is brown to gray, where Hugonis' is redder. Both can be quite thorny, though Harrison's are gray and Hugonis' are redder, at least mine are. There are good photos of both on Help Me Find-Roses and those may help you more easily determine which you're looking at. You can even post photos for others to see and perhaps help you figure out what you're looking at. In my experience, Harrison's suckers more freely than Hugonis. Mine has never suckered. Kim

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:33AM
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Thank you so much for your detailed descriptions and differentiation. Given that the plant has suckered extensively and that I did not notice red thorns nor red stems, I conclude that it is Harrison's Yellow. It was given to us as Fr. Hugo but I have always had reservations. It feels good to have this cleared up.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:08PM
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Hi Cath, you're welcome! If you or someone has photos of the flowers, that will immediately identify the rose. Or, at least clear up which of these two it is. If it's double, it could also be Persian Yellow, the double, yellow Foetida. Do you remember if the new growth tips and sepals smell like Juicy Fruit gum? That's a dead giveaway that it's a Foetida. Kim

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:21PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It is very unlikely to be Foetida unless Indiana is a *lot* drier than here. As near as I can tell, Foetida is almost ungrowable on the east coast.

Hugonis is a larger shrub, but Harison's Yellow is much coarser. The foliage is larger, the growth habit much less graceful. There have been times when 'How to prune Harison's Yellow so it looks decent' has been an Antique Forum FAQ.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:30PM
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I took pictures of this rose in 2012 (I am nothing if not fast) but still do not know how to post them nor how to retrieve them from the disc. This has been a wild week: one family member major surgery Monday, another to a major health clinic (on short notice yet) on Tuesday/Wednesday, fever and chills for 2 days beginning Friday and family house guest with 2 large dogs beginning Thursday night. Things are resolving well but I have not yet potted the roses - hoping for Monday. The pictures on HMF lean toward a Harrison's Yellow identification.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Dang, Cath! I'm sorry! I hope all the major health issues and the chills/fever successfully resolve themselves quickly! You know houseguests will. Once things get back to the normal high-pitched crazy, we'll help you figure it out! Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:51PM
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