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Botanical convention for labelling roses?

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
I’m thinking of getting some engraved labels (standard 3 lines of text) for my roses, since my handwriting is rubbish and I have an increasing collection of old roses, whose mainly French names sometimes escape me! As they are not cheap, I would like to get it right. I don’t really need ROSA in there as I know they are roses, but otherwise is there a particular ‘correct’ order? The name is the most important so I would like that bigger, but should the name be in capitals or italics or doesn’t that matter? For the breeder’s line, I have seen the country and date in brackets and not in brackets!


Mme. de Sévigné
Bourbon, clg.
Moreau-Robert. France, 1874


Bourbon, clg.
Mme. de Sévigné
Moreau-Robert. France, 1874

Anyone know?



  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,004
    I don't know, but I prefer the top version, as it gives me the information in the order I'd  need it. And I'd forget the brackets,  maybe save a little money !
    Nice idea, especially for old roses, they are lovely, tough and have stories to tell. Some of the names are like incantations :)
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,142
    Interesting. What kind of labels are you thinking of?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557
    I vote for the top one too. As @Buttercupdays says, start with the name (in bold or bigger so it stands out) then the Type and lastly who bred it and when - makes sense to me.
    That's enough detail for anyone to be able to identify the rose

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
    Yes, I could ultimately just choose the order I like, I’m just curious as to how a botanical or rose garden would do it. In the example given here, the Rhodie, the name is in the middle in large type with secondary info relegated to the margins:
  • My great grandfather made his own engraved labels. Well worth doing.

    I'd go for the top version, or even just

    "Belle de Crécy', 1843" as sometimes less is more.

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,393
    I don't think it matters too much these days but it should be like this..

    Rosa 'Mme. de Sévigné'
    [Moreau-Robert, 1874]
    Bourbon, clg.

    ..if a found rose, or i.d uncertain..
    Rosa ''Surpassing Beauty''
    Hybrid Perpetual

    ..note, single quotes for known cultivar, square brackets for breeder and date of introduction, and double quotes where i.d. is not known.

    Rosa can be replaced with R.

    Other forms are used for specie roses and sometimes the use of italics. Or you could just copy Peter Beales Roses..

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,216
    @Nollie Top one would be my thoughts too.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
    Oh that’s interesting @Marlorena, thanks, especially that the breeder/intro date is put before the rose class when I would have thought the latter more important. It’s good to know the convention even if one then decides to break it!

    The top version of my example is certainly winning the popularity stakes and is probably the most practical. Hmm, I need to play around with some layouts and see what fits/looks best..
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,142
    What will you engrave onto?
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,801
    I think you should use whatever suits your purposes, but agree it's good to know the convention so you can break it in an informed way 🤣. To that end, the parts in botanical Latin (ie: Rosa or R.) should technically be either in italics or underlined (not both). 
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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