A Rosa xanthina by Any Other Name Might be a Kerria japonica

Like the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman, the Yellow Rose of Texas was not a rose nor was it from Texas.

Reasonable people can differ on both “empire” and “yellow,” but the bright colored bloom most agree to be in the folk song is a kerria, named after the Kew Garden “plant collector” who identified it in China, William Kerr.

While the plant was claimed to be native to Japan, Kerr collected it in China. The…