Guillot Fils, The Man Who Changed the History of Roses

Jean Baptiste André Guillot
Jean Baptiste André Guillot

Without him the history of roses would be different. Because Guillot Fils (Guillot son) or Jean Baptiste André Guillot, as his full name, managed to create something extremely important: the distant 1867 introduced the first hybrid rose from seed.

Until then, in order to create a new variety, the roses were propagated asexual. The asexual or vegetative propagation of rose was – as it is today – either by rose wood cuttings or grafts on rose rootstocks of the desired variety.

As rootstocks used mainly Rosa canina, that with the very flattering name ‘dog rose’, or/and Rosa rubiginosa, eglantine or sweetbriar.

The first rose of the Hybrid Tea group ‘La France‘, created in 1867 by Guillot Fils.

Rose Variety 'La France' (1867)
Rose Variety 'La France' (1867)

The New Page in History of Roses by Guillot Fils

The vegetative propagation of plants consisted and is an extremely useful and practical method for the mass propagation of plants but does not create new varieties of plant species.

The creation of new varieties is always carried out with the sexual propagation of plants, that is, by the nature propagation of the species.

Guillot’s son, having embraced this principle, innovated and changed the history of roses. Without a systematic way, he succeeded crossing Hybrid Perpetual ‘Madame Victor Verdier’ – a natural hybrid – with the ‘Madame Bravy’ Tea rose, to bring to light of this world, the famous ‘La France’ rose.

But his contribution to the opening of a new colorful page in the history of roses is not exhausted with ‘La France’, which launched the new type of modern rose with the name Hybrid Tea.

His achievements include the creation of the roses type called Polyantha as well as the creation of the first almost yellow color rose of the Tea type ‘Mme. Hoste’.

Guillot Fils, The Man Who Changed the History of Roses

Guillot Fils, the History of Roses - Rose Variety 'Catherine Guillot' (1861)
Rose Variety 'Catherine Guillot' (1861)
Guillot Fils, the History of Roses - Rose Variety 'Mignonette' (1880)
Rose Variety 'Mignonette' (1880)

Few Biographical for Excellent Mr. Jean Baptiste André Guillot

Jean-Baptiste André Guillot was born on December 9, 1827, a landmark year over the history of roses and the history of regattas, since then held in Tasmania, the first  Australian regatta on the Derwent River.

And we may ignore the names of the regatta boats, but we know enough the name and profession of Guillot father.

The father was called Jean-Baptiste Guillot (Guillot Père) and was a nursery owner and rose producer in La Guillotière, Lyon. Main care and concern was the propagation of new varieties of roses for commercial purposes. In the father’s business, Guillot son makes his first professional steps.

In 1850 Jean-Baptiste André Guillot marries Catherine Berton and in 1852 opens his own nursery in the Montplaisir area of Lyon.

In 1855 the son of the son Pierre was born. Jean-Baptiste André Guillot, before handing over the business to his son Pierre, is forever nominated to an honorary member of the (Royal) National Rose Society in London, as well as displacing Paris from a rose-capital for Lyon’s sake.

Jean-Baptiste André Guillot dies on 9 September 1893. Some of the historical rose varieties of the Guillot Père and Fils, except ‘La France’ (1867) and ‘Mme. Hoste’ (1887) are:

  • ‘Mme. Brevy’ (1848)
  • ‘Mme. Falcot’ (1858)
  • ‘Catherine Guillot’ (1861)
  • ‘Catherine Mermet’ (1869)
  • ‘Paquerette’ (1875)
  • ‘Mignonette’ (1880)

The nursery that has been created, Guillot, continues to thrive to this day, being an international reputation, and Australia continues to organize regattas in the 21st century.


Guillot Fils, the History of Roses - Rose Variety 'Mme. Falcot' (1858)
Rose Variety 'Mme. Falcot' (1858)
Guillot Fils, the History of Roses - Rose Variety 'Catherine Mermet' (1869)
Rose Variety 'Catherine Mermet' (1869)
History of Roses - Rose Variety 'Paquerette' (1875)
Rose Variety 'Paquerette' (1875)


References to yet another historical article on Kalliergeia’, titled Guillot Fils, The Man Who Changed the History of Roses, are presented alongside the great Belgian troubadour Jacques Brel with its great Amsterdam song.

With Pomp and Circumstance

From a Belgian to a Frenchman: Jacques Brel in the thrilling rendition of the Amsterdam song.


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