Monday, December 28, 2009
This is a cross of 'Yellow Charles Austin' X 'Out of Yesteryear'. 2005 was the last time I used 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent, simply because I had seedlings from the Bracteata line I felt had moved more in the direction I wanted to go. (The problem with using 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent is that it rarely breeds strong colors. Most seedlings will be off whites, as seen here)
85-05-21 is one of the better Bracteata hybrids I have produced: it has a compact, full shrub growth habit (it appears to remain about 2 X 2 feet), attractive bloom form and a very strong, rich scent. Unfortunately it also has another trait that is far less desirable: it doesn't propagate easily from cuttings, and so I regard this as a "near miss", unlikely to appear in commerce. I may distribute this to a few friends in the business to see if they can do any better than I was able to in propagating it. Perhaps its something about my climate it doesn't respond well to.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
A few days ago I snapped a few informal pics of the Fall foliage colors on some of my L83 hybrids. Then last night a friend sent me photos of some of his R. rugosa Fall foliage, and those were quite spectacular. So, that prompted me this morning to collect a few nice leaves and take them into the "studio" and do proper pics.
The first image shows a group of L83 seedlings, several of which displayed very rich yellow coloring, and a few had good reds as well.
The second image is a selection of leaves from R. carolina, which typically puts on a brilliant Fall display. The one leaf at lower right in the. R. carolina image is a first generation R. foliolosa hybrid (R. foliolosa X 'Little Chief', in fact) and this cultivar always produces great Fall color.
Normally my plants of the F2 'Basye's Amphidiploid' hybrid produce excellent Fall color also, but this year they haven't done as well. Most of the garden is not coloring particularly well, in fact, likely because we have had only one mild frost so far.
I think that breeding for the feature of good Fall coloring in rose foliage is worthwhile and generally overlooked entirely. Don't you agree? ;-)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Above: 'Baby Austin', 2001. A second generation R. soulieana hybrid rarely exceeding 10" tall.
On September 14, 2009, at 102 years of age, Ralph S. Moore passed away. I doubt there is anyone reading this blog today who does not know that Ralph was a pioneer, an innovator whose influence on modern rose breeding has been global. Many modern roses have Moore rose genes in their pedigree, and for good reason: Ralph's roses are easy to grow, prolific with bloom and have great genetic diversity. Moore roses are often also very easily propagated; something Ralph regarded as very important for the future of the modern nurseryman. There are so many things Ralph gave us that we should be thankful for.
Some years ago Carolyn Supinger, Ralph's nursery/office manager, shared with me a stack of Ralph Moore's writings that had been archived in the office for many years. Carolyn knew that I had an interest in playing the role of unofficial "biographer" for Mr. Moore and so she arranged for me to have copies of most of the written materials from the office. Among the stacks of paper we found there, one article in particular stuck out when I read it: it contained a carefully distilled page that summarized what I have come to think of as the core philosophy of Mr. Moore's work ethic. This brief article reads more like a "note to self" than anything else, which indeed perhaps it was. The following is a direct quote from the first page of the note:
I Believe In Miracles
(or Stick Around For Fifty Years and See What Happens)
by Ralph S. Moore
In any endeavor there are four things which contribute to success. These are:
A. Communication: Word of mouth / Directed study / Books, etc. / What the market wants.
LOOK AT YOUR PLANTS: - they can communicate a lot, viz.:
- Fertilizer, etc. to the breeder
- Small differences / bending the plant the way you want it to go.
- The "Burning Bush" experience. (see explanation below)
- Its is being in it for the long haul
- It is overlooking failures and disappointments
- It is knowing it is all worthwhile
- It is finding a way
- It is seeking advice, but not being bound by that advice
- It is "STICK-TO-IT-IVENESS"
- It is sometimes separating that VISION into parts which step by step are attainable
- It is being ready to change course
- It is finding a better way
- It is seeing the whole as though it were already accomplished; a reality.
*end of quote*
To elaborate on what Ralph often described as The "Burning Bush" experience, I can add the following: to me, he described this as the experience whereby a person can become so focused on the goals immediately in front of him that he neglects to look around him and see what else is happening. If the hybridizer does not look carefully at his results, important and subtle features and shifts might go unnoticed, and so opportunities can be lost. Knowing how and where to proceed can be greatly influenced by recognizing when a new door has opened. This was a very important aspect of Ralph's scientific mind and it kept him alert and watchful all of his life, in all ways.
My personal thanks to you Ralph, for all your many kindnesses and for sharing both your knowledge and your plants in order to further my own breeding goals.
Ralph Moore obituary at The Valley Voice
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Is that all a hybridizer is? This quote suggests that there is no creativity, discipline or talent involved in the creation of a new cultivar. I find this sentiment quite naive. If you are going to say that "The raw materials, the genetic material of the rose belongs to everyone and no one" about a rose breeder, then can you not say the same thing about the words an author uses, or the notes a composer uses? How is that different?
There is a faction that believes that living things shouldn't be patentable, and that they are not true creations, but something outside of the realm of human creative force. I tend to think this is just sour grapes on the part of some people: they don't like having to refrain from propagating and distributing a patented organism, feeling that it should be free for everyone to do with as they wish.
So, what is the work a plant breeder does? Is it art, or just craft with a heap of luck and chance thrown in? Are we like a roomful of monkeys, tossing pollen randomly at thousands of blooms, hoping for something worthwhile to spring forth?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It sets seed readily with a wide range of pollens, propagates easily and is immune to Blackspot and Mildew. It does not repeat but has the genes for remontancy in it.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Something I really like about some of my R. wichurana hybrids: generally they are very easy to propagate from cuttings. On August 7th I struck about 35 cuttings of the above hybrid and today they are fully rooted and ready to pot up. Thats just shy of 13 days. I just inspected these a few moments ago and I'm guessing that these could have been ready for potting up two or three days ago, so rooting may have happened in 10 days. What could be better than that?!
This is a small shrub about 2.5 X 2.5 feet, almost constantly in flower with clusters of 2" old fashioned blooms that open peachy and age to cream/white. Blooms have the typical Wichurana "apple" scent. Disease resistance is excellent, although it will get some Blackspot when disease pressure is extreme. I know little about its Winter hardiness since my climate doesn't really allow me to test for that. Parentage is 0-47-19 X 'Crepuscule'. It is a sister seedling to the Wichurana Ramber 'Mel's Heritage'.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This little fellow is a seedling I have long ignored, planted out in the long beds of Ralph Moore hybrids. Bred in 2002, its a cross of 'Oakington Ruby' and 'Little Chief'. I made this cross just as an experiment, really, to see what good ol' 'Oakington Ruby' might have up its proverbial sleeve.
This seedling is very dwarf, about 5" tall but spreading to 14" wide. It produces masses of blooms, with up to 80 flowers on a single basal panicle. Each bloom is about dime-sized. I never noticed this before, but it sets seed. I should leave the seeds where they are, but knowing me......
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Last year I made one final attempt with Lens's 'Rosy Purple' (exceptionally good rose, disease free without chemical intervention) and crossed it with 'Vineyard Song' and 'Violette'. Both crosses yielded some fine seedlings, but the 'Violette' cross did better. This is one of the nicest ones. I can only guess whether this will become a climber or remain a shrubby Polyantha type shrub. I rather hope it is the former. It has a pleasant Musk fragrance, no sweetness to it, but rather "herbal".
Thursday, August 6, 2009
R. bracteata has been a difficult species to work with, and I think part of the problem lies in the fact that the first hybrids made with it, like Moore's 'Muriel', were created using tetraploids. I have a feeling that mating it with a diploid instead might prove useful for furthering a breeding line of this kind. With that in mind, I pollinated my R. bracteata a few weeks ago with the well-known miniature breeder 'Magic Wand', also a diploid. I expected this cross to fail, but much to my surprise, I now have about a dozen fat hips forming on my R. bracteata, with 'Magic Wand' as the pollen parent. Now to see if there are actual viable seeds formed in the months ahead. We shall see.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Looking at the AgCan breeder L83 you would never guess it would be capable of producing double offspring. And yet, it frequently does. Many of my selections from three crosses made in '07 are at least semi-double (15 petals or more) and some are intensely double. Take this seedling 77-07-03 for example; double in the style of many of the Old Garden Roses displaying "quartered" blooms, packed full of petals arranged in a swirl. This seedling also happens to be a pretty good repeater (compared to its somewhat reluctant siblings), grows with abandon and yet is maintaining a shapely, restrained architecture. So far it has shown complete immunity to all diseases. If that continues to be the case, then this selection may have a future in commerce. If it has Winter hardiness, as many L83 seedlings do, then even better!
FYI, as the tedium of my routine settles in, what with all the weeding and watering and dull chores to do, I am posting less and less often these days. I need a vacation, to be honest, and yet I have to maintain things. So, don't expect a lot of detailed blog posts in the next month or so; I'm just not enthused about adding yet another task to my to-do list at the moment!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It has become glaringly obvious to me, especially this year, that the most interesting plants (evaluated on foliage, architecture, vigor and health) are coming out of the species, the Canadian Explorers and L83. In comparison, the "cookie cutter" crosses, IE: modern shrub X modern shrub and that sort of thing (aka: stirring the same old pot 'o' genes) rarely results in something unique, vigorous or particularly healthy. This is an important reminder to me illustrating just how stale the modern rose gene pool has become, and how badly an injection of widely varied genetic material is needed. It has become very clear to me just how much roses like 'William Baffin' and 'John Davis', to name but two, really have to offer us in the search for improved garden roses. Crosses using Kim Rupert's 'Orangeade' X R. fedtschenkoana hybrid are even more remarkable, with their feathery, bluish matte foliage and exceptional vigor and beautiful growth architecture. This is a hybrid I will be using much more in the next few years. (/me makes a note to post a photo of one of these seedlings)
Speaking of which, I must go fetch more 'John Davis' pollen today for freezing, to be used in the greenhouse next April/May.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tom Carruth's 'Midnight Blue' has turned out to be a decent breeder for me, often delivering shimmering purples and amaranths and occasionally black-reds, as illustrated here. This is one of the 49-08 seedlings blooming for the first time. I wouldn't normally consider 'Smoky' as a parent, but I made this cross on a whim last year. This is the only seedling I kept from a small group of seedlings. The color and petal texture cannot be photographed accurately; you should see how velvety the petals are, and the quality of the deep garnet coloring. It is branching from the base even before the bloom is fully open, which is hopefully an indicator of good shrub architecture. Time will tell.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I've mentioned the Moore Wichurana breeder 0-47-19 several times before, and I thought I should show some of the work thats coming out of it. I use it with the goal of improving disease resistance, plus it often brings added vigor to a breeding line, and the seedlings are generally very easily rooted from cuttings.
Illustrated here is 56-06-05, a cross of 'Joycie' X (0-47-19 X 'The Yeoman')*. The pollen parent, listed as 42-03-01, is a vigorous, once-blooming climber with glossy, disease free foliage and clusters of butter yellow blooms at most every leaf axil along the arching canes. 42-03-01 rarely sets seed and its pollen is only marginally fertile, but I have persisted in getting seedlings from it since it is an opportunity for improvement of the health and vigor of the breeding line. 56-06-05, the yellow seedling pictured here, is the first seedling from 42-03-01 worth mentioning so far, and I hope it passes on its health and vigor to another generation.
56-06-05 is also a vigorous climbing plant, with bright grass green glossy foliage that so far has had no problems with disease. Blooms are fully double and about 2.5 inches across, with a pleasant, but mild Tea (phenolic) scent that often accompanies yellows. It took two years for this seedling to mature enough to start flowering, which is a reminder that sometimes its worth keeping an interesting seedling, even though it may not bloom the first (or second!) year. I'm much more inclined to keep un-bloomed seedlings from unconventional breeding lines in the hopes that they may have traits of value in furthering the line. 56-06-05 appears to be fertile, as it has produced seed hips with several pollens. I won't be able to comment on fertility till next Spring when I find out if these seeds germinate or not.
Note to breeders: I have a couple plants of 42-03-01, the pollen parent of the seedling above, if anyone is interested in working with this seedling.
* 42-03-01 is listed as 0-47-19 X 'The Yeoman', although I have reason to doubt the parentage. I suspect this seedling may in fact be a 0-47-19 X 'Out of Yesteryear' seedling that got mislabeled, since it bears a strong resemblance to several seedlings from the latter cross. It is also suspicious that a cross using 'The Yeoman' would produce anything in yellow, whereas 'Out of Yesteryear' easily could.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
'Suzanne' has played a significant role in the breeding of the Canadian Explorer series of roses, contributing both disease resistance and Winter hardiness. The key hybrid in creating the Explorer roses was a seedling by Robert Simonet of 'Red Dawn' X 'Suzanne', with deep pink semi double blooms. Ian Ogilvie and Felicitas Svejda at Morden and AgCan took this hybrid on for breeding and in combination with R. kordesii' and others, created the Explorers. 'John Davis', 'William Baffin' and 'Champlain' all include 'Suzanne' in their pedigree.
All of these Explorers are fine roses, but the question is, what else can 'Suzanne' offer us? I have done some preliminary work in yellow using the fertile triploid 'Golden Angel' crossed with 'John Davis' and obtained some buffs and soft yellows that appear to be fertile (have set open pollinated seed). The next step is to cross the best of these yellows with each other to intensify the yellow (hopefully) and then start working 'Suzanne' into the mix. With this in mind, I have also a selection of Spinosissima hybrids this year that are 'Condoleezza' X 'William III', from which might come some non-pink hues if I'm lucky. I will select from these seedlings next year when they bloom and incorporate these with 'Suzanne' and the buff colored 'John Davis' hybrids. 'Condoleezza' has shown itself capable of producing clear yellows and peachy tints in breeding, so I am hopeful something of this sort might appear.
I think the Hybrid Spinosissimas are very beautiful and valuable landscape-friendly shrubs that should be explored in breeding to expand their color range while retaining their hardiness and disease resistance. In a decade or so, I just might have made some progress in this area, with repeat bloom thrown in as well!
'Suzanne' on HMF
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
As the years pass, you discover seedlings that grab your attention for one reason or another. Perhaps one stands out as very different from its siblings, or one might have an architecture feature you like, or superior disease resistance. While it might not be immediately apparent what purpose such a seedling might serve, it is wise to hang on to it and culture it and wait for its purpose to be revealed. I know that sounds a bit too mystical to be appropriate for something as systematic and planned as rose hybridizing, but the concept has meaning.
Take 42-03-02 illustrated here, for example. It is a selfing of the Moore breeder 0-47-19. It bears a striking resemblance to the Moore Hybrid Wichurana except that it has deeper coloring and is a 2.5 foot rounded shrub, always in flower. As its parent is a known diploid, I am assuming this is also and so I now use it in breeding specifically to further diploid breeding lines. It accepts a wide range of pollens and makes seed with about 50% viability in most cases. Testing the limits of its ability this year, I put some strikingly dissimilar pollens on it, including a 'Schneezwerg' F2 seedling and 'Scabrosa'. I have also used my R. foliolosa on it, and all of these pollens have resulted in healthy, fat hips.
My recommendation to breeders is that when a seedling grabs your attention for some reason, pay attention. It might prove to be a stepping stone at some point down the line, It might not tell you what its purpose is today, but it might turn out to be meaningful in a few years time and you'll be glad you kept it.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
With the advances in genetic testing and DNA sequencing, it has become possible to perform tests on historic roses to determine the facts about their ancestry in ways we never could before. Case in point: the Damask roses. In 2000, an article was published in Gene magazine in which the researchers studied the genes of key Damask varieties to determine which species contributed to their creation.
From the article "Triparental origin of Damask roses" comes the following abstract:
"Damask roses are one group of old rose varieties and a key material in old European rose improvement in the 19th century. To clarify the origin of Damask roses, we selected four varieties as the oldest Damask varieties and examined the relationship between the Damask varieties and their putative ancestors at the molecular level. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis of the Damask varieties proved that they had an identical profile, indicating they were established from a common ancestor. They have never been allowed to reproduce sexually; their reproduction depends entirely on vegetative propagation. We identified three Rosa species, R. moschata, R. gallica and R. fedschenkoana, as parental species of the original hybridization that contributed to forming the four oldest Damask varieties by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer of ribosomal DNA. We also found that all the four oldest Damask varieties had chloroplasts derived only from R. moschata, as judged from psbA-trnH spacer sequences. This triparental origin of the four oldest Damask varieties can explain some morphological characteristics of the four oldest Damask varieties, like fruit shape, leaf color and the 'Moss' character."
Authors: Iwata, Kato, Ohno
Reference: Gene: 2000-Dec; vol 259 (issue 1-2) : pp 53-9
A few years ago Kim Rupert sent me cuttings of one of his R. fedtschenkoana hybrids, where 'Orangeade' was the seed parent. The plant illustrated above is that hybrid. This is, in a sense, a primitive Damask and may have value as a source of some of the same genes that make the ancient Damasks such valuable shrubs. I am currently using this Rupert hybrid in breeding and it appears to be fully fertile as a pollen parent, and although it has never set seeds for me, Kim tells me it does so in his desert climate. Since both seed and pollen parent are tetraploids, I am assuming this hybrid is as well and I will proceed on that assumption.
The Rupert hybrid is a tall arching shrub with bluish-green foliage and loads of small (1.25") white blooms, about 15 petals per bloom. It is a freely suckering plant and extremely healthy in my climate. The blooms don't always open properly, which I think is a response to our weather cycles in the early Summer. The blooms have a very odd Musky-soapy scent that many people would find unappealing.
I will soon post a photo of one of this year's seedlings derived from this R. fedtschenkoana hybrid.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Occasionally, if you are very lucky, you will find mutations called "sports" among your roses. What you see here is a striped sport of E. B. LeGrice's 'Jocelyn', one of his "brown" Floribundas. I have had this for a couple of years now, and I'd have distributed it by now except that it has proven difficult to propagate. I'm trying some different techniques now to see if I can get some plants started. Curious, eh wot?
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
I don't really understand how this happened, but it suggests that R. foliolosa is a bit of a trickster, capable of producing offspring that look similar to 'Basye's Purple' when crossed with a variety of other roses. It may be important to note that 'Little Chief' is almost certainly a diploid, and it is highly likely that this "R. foliolosa" is also. The thing to do now would be to grow a population of open pollinated seeds from the "R. foliolosa" I have and see what the offspring look like. I suspect there will be noticeable variation and a percentage will look like this. I have sent out some seeds from my "R. foliolosa" and so perhaps the recipients will be able to report their results.
PS: it is of interest to me that this purple seedling appears to be fertile as both seed and pollen parent and I will be working with it more, now that I know that. If anyone wants to try pollen from it, I am willing to share it. Comment to request it.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
However, two individuals stood out among the group as being quite distinct. Both of these had denser foliage with more rounded, larger leaflets that were quite downy when young. Blooms come in clusters of three to a dozen at the axils along the canes and are pink with a white eye. Take a look at the shape of the receptacles in the lower left photo: tubular and elongated! There is a light, pungent musk-like scent to the blooms. Both plants have bluish canes when young and neither has ever set seed to my knowledge. Both are about 8 feet tall now, upright but arching from the top third or so. Neither gets Blackspot or Mildew.
I suspect these roses were all seed grown and the two I saved are conspicuously hybrids with something else they were growing in the field. Do any of you recognize any of this rose's features? Does it remind you of any other species?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
This is a charming little species, with its one inch cool pink, sweetly scented blooms that start in mid-June and continue on and off through August. It tends to prefer damp locations, and shade, whenever possible. I have a couple of hybrids from last year that are now making sturdy shrubs in the test garden, but none have bloomed yet.
The plants of R. pisocarpa here on the farm are mostly thornless, especially towards the outer canopy of the shrub, and it is always graceful with its upright habit that tends to arch horizontally towards the top of the plant. I'm hoping to capture some of its graceful architecture in its offspring, as well as its cluster flowering habit and perfume.
All of the literature I have encountered lists this as a diploid, so it might be very useful for anyone wanting to work on a Winter hardy line of diploids. Pollen, as always, available upon request.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
If you read the descriptions of R. foliolosa, it is repeatedly stated that this is a low-growing, suckering shrub between 18" and perhaps as much as three feet. It is frequently referred to as thornless as well. Now, my specimen is a non-suckering shrub nearly 6 X 6 feet, with an average number of small, hooked thorns. The bloom color is generally listed as being white to pale/medium pink, where my plant has deep magenta blooms. I have a vague recollection that the person who gave me the seed stated that (for reasons I do not recall) they thought these seeds may be hybrids and not pure R. foliolosa. The fact that my plant deviates significantly from the average description makes me wonder if it isn't in fact a hybrid with something else, probably another species? Who knows. Since I know this is both seed and pollen fertile, the possibility of it being a hybrid makes it potentially even more valuable as a breeder.
One thing I can tell you is that years ago I made a cross of my R. foliolosa X 'Little Chief' and the three seedlings I saved all have some degree of remontancy. One of these three looks remarkably like 'Basye's Purple'! (more about that plant soon) And so, I think its high time I put this plant to work in my breeding.
Oh, one last thing: I have some seeds collected from this plant that are last year's crop. They are likely still fertile, and I am willing to distribute some of these with other hybridizers who are interested. Comment if you want to try germinating these.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I've mentioned this before: it can be very difficult to get good coloring in seedlings when using 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent. However, once in a while luck drops something decent in your lap. This seedling is the best yellow I have had from the Bracteata breeding line so far. It may not be the most sophisticated bloom in terms of shape and petal count, but it has a beautiful rich yellow hue and it holds its color for quite a long time. It appears to have excellent resistance to Blackspot, which is a great thing. It has no discernible fragrance though. Its long basal canes break into bloom along most of the upper half of their length, with one to five blooms per lateral. It makes an attractive shrub overall.
I'm not sure this has merit as a "finished product" and so I am currently using it solely as a breeder to see if it passes on its color and excellent growth habit to its progeny. I will soon be seeing some of its first offspring bloom, so with luck I will start to get an idea of its potential as a breeder.It does not appear to set seed but its pollen is fertile. It is entirely possible that it is a triploid, as 'Out of Yesteryear' produces both haploid and diploid pollen.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Case in point; the shoot pictured here. (Click to see a full sized version) This shoot, which is now about 18" long, is new wood from the base of the plant, and yet it has terminated in a cluster of bloom. There are several other new basal shoots that are 24" or longer and starting to show flower buds at the tips as well. Now, this is still a young plant and so I can't really say for sure how remontant it is, but this looks promising. I hope this plant in particular is fertile so I can move forward with a diploid line from R. clinophylla. Who knows what kind of tricks this species has up its sleeve, since we know very little about its behavior as a breeder.
Note the fine pubescence on the receptacles of the buds.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The rose pictured here (click photo to see a full sized version) is one of my first hybrids using my R. clinophylla. This is seedling 92-06-03, bred using a self seedling of Ralph Moore's 0-47-19 I grew years ago called 42-03-02.
This seed parent, 42-03-02 is a fully remontant pink/purple with 5 to 9 petals, blooming in large panicles of 1 inch blooms on a 2.5 X 2.5 foot plant. It is highly resistant to all diseases and although not tested for its ploidy, I expect it is a diploid, like its parent. It also happens to be quite fragrant. I have not used it extensively as a parent until fairly recently, choosing it more often now because I have a use for a disease resistant diploid in my work. (You'll read more about that in the months to come, I'm sure)
Back to 92-06-03: this is the most colorful of the three seedlings from this cross to bloom so far. There are four more that have not yet bloomed and they are behaving as though they have genetic problems, so I expect they will be discarded this year. The plant in the photo has long arching canes that bloom along the length of the cane all in one quick flush, with side buds following shortly after. Each bloom lasts 2 days and then drops cleanly. This clone has a slight fragrance. This plant and its two siblings are being used as both seed and pollen parent this year to determine if they have fertility. I am using some old standard diploids with them, such as 'Old Blush' and 'Trier' with the hope that these will allow me to step forward with some remontant, fertile diploids in the next generation. The beautiful ferny glossy foliage on these (especially 92-06-02, which you can read about here) is something I want to retain, but with this ancestry, I suspect these will be evergreen, warm climate roses only. We shall see!
Monday, June 8, 2009
This is one of several seedlings selected from 50-08 so far and I sense there will be more. It shows signs of being very fast with reblooming, a trait it would have picked up from 'Dragon's Blood' I expect. And yes, it has a strong fragrance.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
What follows is a bit long, but well worth the read, in my opinion. Dr. Basye specifically mentioned 'Commander Gillette' in reference to working with the Amphidiploid with the goal of Blackspot immunity in mind. The following is a quote from an article written by Dr. Basye in the 1980's.
"May I outline just one plan of attack which I would consider if I were that young rose breeder? I would consider starting with a nucleus of three tetraploids: 'Commander Gillette, and the two amphidiploids, 67-305 and R. kordesii. These three stud roses carry genes of the four species carolina, rugosa, abyssinica and wichuraiana, all of which are highly resistant to Blackspot. And 'Commander Gillette' has the potential of removing the thorns."
"We would begin by crossing the two amphidiploids and growing a population of F1 seedlings. We would expect no great variation here in Blackspot resistance, but if there should be, let us select the best ones for selfing. In each of the resulting F2 generations of selfs we have a segregation of characters and thus a better chance of variation in Blackspot resistance. Again we select from each F2 the plants with the highest resistance. Let A designate this final group of plants of highest resistance. We would hope that their resistance equals or excels that of the two amphidiploids. In any case, we now have plants that carry genes of rugosa, abyssinica and wichuraiana. "
"It remains to introduce the fourth species, R. carolina, and take the first step in the thorn problem. 'Commander Gillette' is ideally equipped for this. I mentioned in a 1985 article that the cross 67-305 X 'Commander Gillette' produced a rose, 77-361, which was free of thorns and bristles and had perfectly smooth midribs of the leaves. Recently, I repeated this cross and confirmed this possibility. But before making the cross Ai X 'Commander Gillette', where Ai denotes a member of the group A, we first make a cosmetic change in 'Commander Gillette'."
" 'Commander Gillette' itself is free of thorns and bristles and has smooth midribs. Among the selfs, however, the bristles will often appear; also a rare thorn or a slight roughness on the midribs. Those recessives are easily bred out by several successive selfings. The criterion for success in such a self is that one further selfing produces a population completely free of the undesirables. One reason I have not done this before in my other breeding work is that it can lead to the loss of other recessives that are desirable. For example, 'Commander Gillette' contains a latent gene for recurrency which might be lost. I nevertheless recommend the cosmetic change for the labor saving dividends it will pay down the road - not a small item."
"We return now to the crosses of the type Ai X 'Commander Gillette' where Ai denotes a member of the group A, and 'Commander Gillette' has been subjected to the cosmetic change described. A small percentage of the seedlings of this cross should be free of thorns, bristles and roughness on the midribs. Several successive selfings of each of these should produce one or more plants homozygous with respect to each of the three traits. We repeat this routine for each member of group A. All the roses so obtained form a group B. Our final group G comes from selecting from B the plants with outstanding resistance to Blackspot."
"To further reduce the labor of the operation just described, it might be best to use the reverse crosses, 'Commander Gillette' X Ai, and mix the pollens of Ai."
"Of the group G we can that each rose it it has high resistance to Blackspot, is homozygous with respect to freedom from thorns, bristles and roughness of the midribs, and, last but not least, carries genes of four of nature's noblest roses."
Final note: I will make pollen of my Amphidiploid F2 seedlings available to anyone (in North America) who wants to experiment with them.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Oh, and in case you are interested in R. virginiana as a breeder, its a tetraploid.
Someone asked in the comments whether 'Banshee' ever sets seed. This photo depicts seven seeds I found in one hip on my plant of 'Banshee', from last Summer. I have no idea if these would be fertile or not. (Click on the thumbnail for a larger view)
120-06-02 = 174-02-17 X "Grandma's Hat". The seed parent is discussed here in a previous post. This cross was done to do several things: 1) determine what qualities the seed parent was capable of passing on, 2) to see how two extremely different roses would behave when mated, and 3) to determine if any of the health aspects of "Grandma's Hat" could be transmitted to offspring. "Grandma's Hat" is an old Bourbon/Hybrid Perpetual that was rediscovered a number of years ago, and much speculation exists over its true identity. For the most part we can only make guesses. Whatever its true identity, it is a superb rose that in many climates is one of the healthiest of repeat blooming Old Garden Roses one could wish to grow. It repeats generously, has good vigor and an outstanding fragrance. Whats not to like?!
The seed parent is a cross of a miniature and the Bracteata hybrid 'Out of Yesteryear'. I have not used it a lot in breeding till 2006 when I decided it was time to explore its qualities more aggressively. I got three seedlings from it with "Grandma's Hat" as the pollen parent, and the seedling pictured here interests me a great deal. The color is richer than the photo suggests, being deeper and more of a true crimson than pink. The plant has good vigor and best of all, it is not getting any Blackspot (or Mildew) in the test garden, even with another seedling towering over it, raining down Blackspot spores. It also has an appreciable "old rose" fragrance. I am now testing it as a pollen parent with some of the better disease free roses I grow, like the Robert Basye hybrids.
Monday, June 1, 2009
If anyone reading this blog wants pollen from this to experiment with, just post a comment and I'll get some pollen ready to mail out.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Click on the image to see the larger image.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I have R. woodsii pollen to spread around.....gotta run!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In 2007 I made a few crosses using the Agriculture Canada breeder L83 by Dr. Felicitas Svejda. It is basically a R. wichurana and R. rugosa selection, multiple generations long. It also happens to be a tetraploid, making it particularly useful in breeding with modern lines. There were three crosses I got large numbers of seedlings from and L83 was the pollen parent in every case. 'Seed parents were: 'Golden Angel', 1-72-1 (Sister seedling to 'Rise 'N' Shine') and a proprietary red Floribunda I use extensively in breeding. Out of at least 70 seedlings of each cross, at least 40 of the two yellow groups were saved and potted into gallons and about 60 seedlings from the red cross were potted on.
77-07, the red group, has been the most fruitful. I would estimate that about 35% of these, a much higher number than expected, have been strong reds and several have been large blooms and very double. In the photo, 77-07-08 shows what some of the more double ones have looked like. Several of these have had fragrance and there was one that was a purple very similar to 'Tuscany'. So far about 20 of the reds have been moved on into 5 gallon containers and will be moved outside to watch their progress. This has been a very exciting group of seedlings and I am eager to continue trying new ideas with L83.
Last Fall, some members of the Rose Hybridizers Association received some of my surplus seedlings from the 77-07 group, so this information will be of particular interest to you. Have any of you seen any of the seedlings flower yet?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Very busy day, so I can't go into any more detail. I hope to get another photo later today. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I recently mentioned 174-02-17, one of my Hybrid Bracteatas that I use for breeding. It isn't a very attractive shrub in itself, with its wild, wiry horizontal growth and somewhat sparse foliage and small blooms. But it does breed some very good things, particularly attractive shrub architecture. The seedling pictured above is one of the best offspring I have obtained from 174-02-17. ('Hot Cocoa' was the pollen parent) 119-06-01 is the only seedling I got from this cross, and its quite remarkable. At two years of age now, it has built into a very full 3 foot wide shrub with excellent form. The plant is densely foliated with dark glossy leaves and the plant is full right down to ground level. No bare knees on this rose! New basal shoots tend to be quite horizontal, a trait from the Bracteata parent, and they grow more upright as they develop. This makes for a very well rounded plant outline. Blooms are 3" in diameter and quite full, globe shaped. The petals drop cleanly, and there is a pleasant "modern rose" scent. The soft orange blooms are produced in clusters of three to 25, opening sequentially over a long period. Happily, this cultivar is easily propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings.
For me, this represents a nearly ideal shrub in terms of its architecture, bloom presentation and overall effect. I am now using 174-02-17 (its seed parent) extensively in breeding to further explore its capabilities. Funny how you can ignore a seedling for years and not consider its potential as a parent. It just goes to show you that its smart to try out many of your seedlings as parents before you dismiss them as "near misses".
Monday, May 18, 2009
Well, I have been working with the Moore line of Hybrid Bracteatas for several years now and it has become very clear that the biggest battle with these is getting decent color out of them. Ralph Moore's most attractive hybrid of the group (for me) is 'Out of Yesteryear', whose parentage is 'Sequoia Gold' X 'Muriel'. 'Muriel' is Moore's first successful cross using R. bracteata (crossed with 'Guinee') that was fully fertile and able to carry forward the line. 'Muriel' is a tetraploid, as is 'Sequoia Gold', but when these two were crossed, 'Out of Yesteryear' resulted and it turned out to be a triploid! How two tetraploids mated to produce a triploid is a bit of a mystery, but there you have it. Even more interesting, 'Out of Yesteryear' is a fully fertile triploid, contrary to the mytholgy of triploids being infertile. You can use its pollen on pretty much anything and get loads of seedlings from it.
I've done plenty of crosses with 'Out of Yesteryear' over the years and there are some excellent traits it passes on, and some not so great ones. Its offsrping tend to have excellent vigor, beautiful foliage and often very beautiful blooms packed with petals. Many are often fragrant as well. However, seedlings can be very thorny, the petal texture too thin and rarely do you get anything with strong coloring. Many seedlings are just white. So when I get a seedling that has decent color, I'm inclined to explore it as a stepping stone towards Bracteata hybrids with good color, which leads me to these two.
174-02-17 = 'Sheri Anne' X 'Out of Yesteryear'. One of its siblings tested as a tetraploid and I suspect this is also. It is a thorny plant that is more horizontal than vertical, with smallish glossy foliage. It blooms at many nodes along the previous season's canes and can bloom in large clusters sometimes. Blooms have a vaguely HT shape when in bud (see photo) but open to a flat 2.5 inch shape. Color is a medium red in bud, fading to a pale red/pink. It sets seed with most any pollen, but seed fertility is low at about 10-20%. However, when it does produce seedlings, a high percentage of them has something about them that warrants further evaluation. Offspring tend to bloom in big clusters with compact, graceful architecture and good color. One of my favorite new shrubs came from a cross of 174-02-17 X 'Hot Cocoa'. (More about this soon)
33-03-03 = 'Twilight Skies' X 'Muriel'. Why, you might ask, did I select the mauve miniature 'Twilight Skies' as the parent for this cross? Because it was there! I had grown it for two years when it was new and it set seed readily, bloomed like mad, so I thought why not? It was untested and might have qualities that would make it worthwhile as a parent. The seedlings from this group were mostly lavender/pinks with one coral colored one in the mix. Several were grown for two years and all but 33-03-03 were discarded for poor vigor or unattractive blooms. 33-03-03 is a semi-climbing plant with dark green glossy foliage and 2.5" medium red blooms that fade to a reddish pink with age, about 25 petals, cupped in form. It blooms in clusters all along the arching canes, repeating in flushes through the year. David Zlesak kindly did ploidy tests on some of my Bracteata seedlings for an article we were co-authoring*, a few years back and it turns out that 33-03-03 is a tetraploid. It is fertile in both directions and should be compatible with most other tetraploids.
174-02-17 and 33-03-03 happen to be growing side by side in one of the greenhouses, both descended from R. bracteata through 'Muriel', and both were selected for their relatively strong coloring. Yet it never occurred to me to cross the two together....until now. The idea (and hope) here is that some of the more interesting Bracteata traits might be reenforced while retaining the vigor, repeat blooming habit and red coloring of each. Anything could happen of course. I might end up with a load of diseased seedlings with no vigor and no rebloom. Its possible the seeds might not even germinate, assuming I get seeds at all! We shall see.
*See: Bracteata Gene Counts Article
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I have just moved this seedling from a 5 gallon container outside into the garden for further evaluation. In another year I will have a better idea of its merits (and flaws). It has a very decent fragrance, but the blooms are a bit on the small side at 2 to 2.5 inches. The color of the half open buds is amazing and defy photographing; almost black they are such a deep Amaranth purple.
In the weeks to come I will likely present numerous test seedlings, as the 2007 and 2008 crop are all coming into bloom now.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
1) Try not to handle the receptacle (ovary behind the petals) with your fingers, as the oil and bacteria on your hands can cause the developing hip to rot.
2) Leave at least one row of petals on the pollinated bloom when you are done. There is evidence that suggests you get a better rate of "take" when you leave some petals on the bloom while the pollen is settling onto the stigma.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I obtained about 21 seedlings from cross 47-06, none of which bloomed in their first year of growth, which was Summer of 2007. They were moved into gallon pots to mature for the following year. In 2008, three of these bloomed: one was a deep orange five-petaled flower with a dark rusty-red overlay, one was a very double ruffled hot pink 2" bloom and one was a very large medium pink Tea-shaped bloom on a vigorous plant which would obviously be a climber. In fact, that latter is proving to grow in very much the style of a Gigantea climber with classic Gigantea foliage and large, vigorous canes bearing a few hooked prickles. The rose illustrated here is that seedling. As you can see it holds it blooms in a pendant fashion, which is wholly appropriate for a climber that will present its blooms from several feet above the viewer's head.
Now, in Spring 2009, fourteen of the 47-06 group have bloomed and for the most part are quite disappointing. None has strong yellow coloring except the five-petaled orange-red one. Most are pinks with varying degrees of yellow, and a couple are phototropic, developing a red blush with age. I have pollinated a few of these, and used their pollen elsewhere, to determine if any are fertile. I believe 'Joycie' is a tetraploid, and 'Fortune's Double Yellow' being a diploid, these seedlings are likely triploids. (Although work David Zlesak and I did with the Moore Hybrid Bracteatas showed that seedlings of mixed ploidy crosses did not always have the ploidy expected of the cross) With any luck this big pink seedling will be fertile, as it would be fun to create some new Hybrid Gigantea climbers for mild climates.
I have documented the rest of these seedlings with photos and will show these in the next few days. I just need to make time to prepare the photos, but with the pollination season in full swing right now, that could be difficult! Stay tuned.