Plant Collections Network Buck Rose Collection

 Buck Roses Spanish Rhapsody with pink and yellow coloration

Reiman Gardens is the home of the National Buck Rose Collection

Photograph of Dr. Griffith Buck

Reiman Gardens’ Buck Rose collection is part of the Plant Collections Network (PCN), a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation and promote high standards of plant collections management.

Buck Roses were developed by Iowa State University professor Dr. Griffith Buck who believed roses should be as easy to grow as dandelions. During his nearly 40 years at Iowa State, he introduced 86 rose cultivars plus 15 geraniums and a heliotrope. Buck roses are on display in public gardens and enjoyed by home gardeners across the United States and in Canada. Dr. Buck anticipated today’s desire for low-maintenance roses and used traditional breeding and hybridization techniques to pioneer the National Collection of Amazing Roses, a development of roses that were easy to grow, disease resistant, and winter hardy.

Buck retired in 1985, and today Reiman Gardens grows many of his 86 roses as well as other Buck rose varieties developed or released from his original work. This collection also serves as a germplasm preservation site ensuring his work and passion for roses will continue.

Help us Locate the Missing Buck Roses

Dr. Griffith Buck with his buck roses.

Dr. Buck was frequently very generous with his work, giving away many cuttings. After Dr. Buck retired, his breeding nursery was destroyed. Yet, his generosity has proven fortuitous, as many of his friends and colleagues have been able to supply Reiman Gardens with cuttings of hard-to-obtain varieties. These returned gifts, and the Buck family’s personal collection, have allowed us to bring together nearly all of his rose varieties, which now comprise the Dr. Griffith Buck Rose Collection.

Today, the search continues for these few Buck cultivars, missing from any known collection. As it was Dr. Buck’s practice of sending roses to family and friends, not just in Iowa but around the country, do you have a Buck rose in your garden? Could a rose that you admire (or care for) be one of the cultivars that we are looking for? Send us an email at if you think you might have one of these missing Buck roses.