Today, I'd like to introduce you to a "surprise" rose; one that you don't often hear or read about, but one that could be a great one for your garden. I picked it up almost 10 years ago for $5 during an end-of-the-season sale at a Manhattan store that no longer exists. It was a potted rose, but I'd never heard of it at the time. After growing it for a decade, I'm now unable to understand why we don't see and hear about it all the time.
|'Golden Fantasie' in September, 2012|
Roy Byrum, as a rose breeder, is as unknown to me as his roses were, and it is difficult to track down any information on this Richmond, Indiana native who shares my Hoosier background. Byrum hybridized roses from the 1930's through the 1970's, and although there are 52 other roses listed under his name at helpmefind.com, I'd never heard of any of them. Several seem to have been introduced through the Joseph H. Hill nursery of Richmond Indiana, and 'Golden Fantasie' is the only one of these listed with a modern registration name. Byrum is listed in an 2011 article titled "Did Plant Patents Create the American Rose?" and you can find him as the holder of any number of plant patents. He was issued plant patent #154 in 1935, and obtained others running clear through 1976, often in association with the Joseph Hill company, which was a huge source of cut roses in the middle of the 20th Century.
I'll keep searching for more information about Roy Byrum, but if you run across 'Golden Fantasie', at any price and in any condition, I'd advise you to grab it up and plant it in your garden. You'll never be sorry.