In 1967 Alec Cocker (of James Cocker & Sons in Aberdeen) and Jack Harkness were swapping ideas on rose breeding, when Alec had the brainwave of using Hulthemia Persica. This Persian native withstands heat, drought and freezing and blooms with simple yellow flowers of five petals.
Each petal has a red blotch at its base, a ring of five red marks that form a red centre to the flower. Alec visualised it as a path toward beautiful, robust roses with a crimson heart at the centre of their flowers. In 1976 a limited edition of three hybrids appeared.
In 1985 we offered three further hybrids, ‘Tigris’, ‘Euphrates’ and ‘Nigel Hawthorne’, still obtainable today. All of these had mainly Hulthemia Persica characteristics. All three are repeat-blooming, their growth is rose-like, their flowers are large. They represent a giant step towards realising Alec Cocker's original idea.