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Yuki Mikanagi

Botanist & Curator


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Stories of Roses Starting with a Wild Rose in Japan: Rosa multiflora Thunb


Among the 16 wildroses native to Japan, the first to be given a scientific name was Rosa multiflora Thunb., named by a Swedish botanist Carl Peter Thunberg in 1784. I would like to tell the stories of roses originating from R. multiflora, first in Sweden in 2024, and then in Fukuyama in 2025. In Sweden, I would like to take up Polyantha roses, and in Fukuyama, Rambler roses. R. multiflora and its cultivars were introduced to Europe from China and Japan several times. The R. multiflora which became the origin of Polyantha roses was introduced from Japan. Around 1870, R. multiflora was sent to Lyon by a French engineer who was working at the Ikuno Silver Mine in Japan. Polyantha roses were raised from it, and the Poulsen family in Denmark introduced the first Floribunda roses by hybridizing modern roses with Polyantha roses. R. multiflora gave its luxuriously blooming nature to modern roses via Polyantha roses.


Yuki Mikanagi is curator of the herbarium and head of the department of botany of the Natural History Museum & Institute, Chiba (Japan), past-chairperson of the WFRS Conservation and Heritage Committee, a judge at the International Fragrant Rose Trials in Echigo Hillside Park (Japan), a board member of the NPO Rose Culture Institute and the Japan Horticultural Society.

Born in Chiba, Japan, she studied biology at Japan Women’s University and horticulture at Chiba University. When she was a post-graduate student at Chiba University, Mr. Seizo Suzuki (1913-2000), a prominent rose breeder, supported her research in many ways, and was influential in developing her interest in roses, especially wild roses and old garden roses.

Doctoral Thesis: ‘A chemotaxonomic study of flavonoids in genus Rosa’

Recent Papers: ‘Analysis of Floral Scent Components of Rosa foetida Herrm., a Rose with an Unpleasant Fragrance’ (2023, Hort. J.), ‘Rosa x mikawamontana Mikanagi & H.Ohba (Rosaceae), a New Hybrid between R. sambucina and R. paniculigera from Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan’ (2011, J. Jap. Bot.)

The WFRS Literary Award (2022): “The Handbook of Wild Roses in Japan”

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.