February 13, 2012

Award-winning hybridizer is one of the nation’s leading rose experts

Feb. 13, 2012


Tom Carruth Named Curator of the Rose Garden
   Photo by Terry Reilly

SAN MARINO, Calif.—Award-winning rose hybridizer Tom Carruth, 59, has been named the E. L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. He replaces rosarian Clair Martin, who retired last July after 28 years in the position. Carruth joined the staff on Feb. 8.


Well known in the horticultural community, Carruth was director of research, marketing, and licensing at Weeks Roses in Wasco and Pomona, Calif., one of the nation’s leading commercial wholesale rose growers, where he has led the company’s hybridizing efforts since 1988.


“Tom’s name is synonymous with roses, and I can’t think of a better person to follow Clair as overseer of the rose collection,” said James Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington. “Few people could match his expertise in the field. His knowledge and passion for roses will be an asset not only to the garden itself but to educational efforts benefitting visitors, docents, and Southern California gardeners.”


Carruth will be responsible for The Huntington’s three-acre Rose Garden, which showcases more than 1,200 cultivars and some 4,000 individual shrubs. Established in 1908, the historic landscape is among the most beautiful areas of the grounds, frequently cited by visitors as a favorite Huntington attraction.


During his long career as a rosarian, Carruth has introduced more than 100 rose hybrids, among them such notable blooms as ‘Ebb Tide,’ the development of which represented a true color breakthrough for its stable, deep purple tones. He has won numerous national and international awards, including, most recently, the American Horticultural Society’s Luther Burbank Award for outstanding plant breeding.


Recognition by All-America Rose Selections (AARS) is the gold standard for roses, and Carruth is credited with creating more All-America roses than any other living hybridizer—11 in the past 14 years. AARS is a nonprofit association dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses. Among Carruth’s AARS winners developed for Weeks are ‘Julia Child,’ ‘Scentimental,’ ‘Cinco de Mayo,’ ‘Hot Cocoa,’ ‘Wild Blue Yonder,’ ‘Strike it Rich,’ and ‘Betty Boop.’


A native of Pampa, Texas, Carruth received a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a Master’s degree in plant breeding from Texas A & M University. He has worked in the California rose industry since 1975 and is a frequent public speaker. 


Contact:  Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140,


# # #

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found online at

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

Read More