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Peter Boyd

Rose Expert

United Kingdom

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Rosa spinosissima cultivars, the ‘Scots Roses' Phenomenon c.1800-1860 and its Nordic legacy


A few single and double cultivars of Rosa spinosissima, known as ‘Scots Roses' or 'Scotch Roses', had been selected or bred by 1799 but hundreds of cultivars were raised in Britain in the period 1815-1830 and smaller numbers in mainland Europe and North America. Charles Darwin was intrigued by the phenomenon. Problems of nomenclature are examined. By 1840, there were apparently more cultivars of R. spinosissima in commerce than all the Albas, Centifolias, Damasks and Gallicas combined but Scots Roses virtually disappeared from nursery catalogues within a few years. Scots Roses and other R.spinosissima cultivars became very popular in Nordic countries, being initially introduced to Sweden from Britain in the 1830s. They were the most frequently “found” roses during the Swedish POM Roses project and some surviving cultivars mark 19th century Swedish communities in North America. New cultivars have been bred in several Nordic countries in recent years.


Peter Boyd followed a professional career as teacher, palaeoecologist, environmental archaeologist and museum curator. He has written numerous articles about Rosa spinosissima and its cultivars and is completing a major book. He holds a National Collection [Plant Heritage] in the U.K. He has been a consultant at major rose collections in Europe and for the Swedish POM Roses project. He has lectured in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Seminar Day Tickets

We are so very happy to welcome you to our seminars on the 3rd and 6th of July at the congress center Kalmarsalen in Kalmar. This will be a unique occasion for all of you who have roses as your special interest to learn more.

This will also be a very good chance for you who work with roses, or perhaps with tending and planning urban environment, to attend seminars where rose experts from all over the world will share their knowledge on different aspects according to the rose.

Starting at 1 195 SEK.