Cultivars Developed by Prairie Pioneer Plant Breeders

4-1 Tilia x flavescens 'Dropmore', Dropmore linden

A legacy of prairie-hardy plants from pioneer horticulturists.

Les Kerr (1902-1983) was Superintendent of the Forest Nursery Station in Sutherland, Saskatchewan (now part of Saskatoon) where he established the artful landscaping that is still in place today. Prior to this he worked on fruit breeding at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba. In the collection:

  • Malus x 'Pink Cascade' ornamental crabapple
  • Malus x 'Sutherland' ornamental crabapple
  • Caragana arborescens 'Sutherland caragana - an upright selection of common caragana.


Percy Wright (1899-1989) was a plant breeder and promoter of horticulture in the Saskatoon area, for which he received the D. R. Robinson Award from the Saskatchewan Horticultural Association in 1976. Mr. Wright also was a plant nursery owner and a writer. In the collection:

  • Malus x 'Thunderchild' ornamental crabapple - remains a very popular variety that is resistant to fireblight.
  • Rosa x 'Hazeldean' rose (R. spinosissima x Persian Yellow) - a beautiful and hardy yellow rose given a Scottish name for the "Scotch" rose parent.


Dr. Cecil Patterson (1891-1961) became the first head of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1922. A tireless promoter of prairie horticulture, he also directed the landscaping at the University during this time. In the collection:

  • Prunus x 'Patterson Pride' plum (native plum x P. salicina) - a deep red plum of excellent quality.


Frank Skinner (1882 -1967) of Dropmore, Manitoba, was a dedicated plant breeder and nursery owner with a large legacy of hardy plant material for the Canadian Prairies. In the collection:

  • Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore scarlet' honeysuckle (L. sempervirens x L. hirsuta)
  • Tilia x flavescens 'Dropmore' linden (T. americana x T. cordata)
  • Lonicera x bella 'Dropmore' honeysuckle (L. tatarica x L. morrowii)
  • Prunus padus var. commutata 'Dropmore' mayday
  • Rosa 'Beauty of Dropmore' rose
  • Syringa x prestoniae 'Hiawatha' lilac (S. villosa x S. reflexa)


Georges Bugnett (1879-1981) was a French Canadian writer, plant hybridizer, and self-taught botanist living on a farm near Edmonton, Alberta. In the collection:

  • Lonicera caerulea var. edulis 'Georges Bugnet' honeysuckle
  • Lonicera caerulea var. edulis 'Julia Bugnet' honeysuckle
  • Rosa 'Marie Bugnet' rose
  • Rosa 'Therese Bugnet' rose - remains a popular, hardy cultivar