Peter Harris passed away

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david zlesak
Posts: 475
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:27 pm

Peter Harris passed away

Post: # 73241Post david zlesak
Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:32 pm

Peter Harris, long time member of RHA and past newsletter editor, passed away August 12th. Peter shared many of his seedling selections with friends and loved helping to preserve, share, and better understand historic roses. He bred the rose Hydrangealicious introduced by Star Roses and Plants. He especially loved working with the yellow foetida/spinosissima hybrids.

I will miss our phone conversations. I admire his passion for education and effective communication through the written word. One project we worked on together that I especially treasure is characterizing different forms of 'Harison's Yellow' that Peter was able to obtain from different parts of the country. It was fun to learn through DNA markers they were all the same clone (with evidence for some minor mutations) after ~200 years of being moved with settlers throughout the US. We didn't find evidence that any of them were seedlings that kind of looked like 'Harison's Yellow'. Here's a link to that abstract.

Peter loved rose adventures and learning. He leaves a rich legacy of friendship, service, and generosity to our RHA community.

henry kuska
Posts: 1107
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: Peter Harris passed away

Post: # 73242Post henry kuska
Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:47 pm

Thank you David. Very sad but not unexpected. His obituary is at: ... 1e6f4.html

One can get an idea of some of his rose hybridizing contributions from the following link: ... 128&tab=32

I was particularly grateful for his sharing his seedling, R15.

Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:19 pm

Re: Peter Harris passed away

Post: # 73243Post bvanderhoek
Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:55 pm

David, thank you for posting. Peter Harris was a mentor to me in rose hybridizing and newsletter editing. We shared a love of yellow roses. My Golden Wings will forever be dedicated to him, as he said it was his favorite rose. Thanks, Henry, for sharing these good links. The obituary gives a hint of Peter's wide interests and talents.

John Moe
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: Peter Harris passed away

Post: # 73244Post John Moe
Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:03 am

I will ever be grateful for the assistance that Peter provided me when I was elected General Director of the Rose Hybridizers Association. He had an excellent background in hybridizing as well as the knowing how to coordinate the efforts of a network of hybridizers that spanned the globe in more than 20 countries. He was the editor of our newsletter during many of the nine years that I was the GD and never more than a phone call away when I needed some guidance on a particular issue. I too, as Betsy wrote, grow 'Golden Wings' and it is one of my favorites as well. His rich legacy and friendship will long be remembered by the members of the RHA.

Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Peter Harris passed away

Post: # 73246Post MidAtlas
Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:54 pm

This is very sad to hear. I also miss Peter calling me and chatting for hours at a time! He also worked to import Rosa praelucens into the U.S. (though I'm not sure if it was successfully cultivated here).


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