Sunday, April 19, 2009

How did THAT happen?!

Rosa foliolosa is one of the native North American species. It has somewhat feathery foliage and small, deep pink blooms. It is a pretty species but unremarkable, at least until you use it in breeding. R. foliolosa is an odd one. It has been used twice in combination with R. rugosa to produce 'Ann Endt' and 'Basye's Purple', and once with 'Hansa' to produce 'Purple Springs'. I used it once about 7 years ago, on an impulse, by putting pollen of 'Little Chief' on my R. foliolosa. I don't recall exactly how many seedlings resulted, but four were kept in the end: two very dwarf plants with tiny foliage and 3/4" double pink blooms, a 3 foot shrub with larger foliage and 2" bright red semi-double blooms (more about this one later) and one that looked remarkably like 'Basye's Purple'.

It appears that you can use R. foliolosa in combination with a variety of other roses and you will end up with some seedlings that look like 'Basye's Purple'. The seedling pictured here has similar bloom color, similar feathery foliage and growth habit (minus the suckering) and the same crimson pigmenting inside the canes. It reblooms several times in the growing season and has some scent. Unlike 'Basye's Purple' though, this seedling sets seed easily. I've never used it in breeding till now and I am waiting to see if its open pollinated seeds germinate. (I sowed these rather late) Who knows, maybe this will be a useful link in breeding Winter hardy shrubs with improved disease immunity.


  1. Have you ever tried 'Ann Endt'? I bought it this year to try as well because it was a mix of the two species you mention and it is a lovely dark purple/red.

  2. Paul, that's a beauty! I've been trying for years without success to breed using 'Basye's Purple,' with no success (to be honest, I can hardly get Basye's itself to grow; I think it really hates my soil). Rosa foliolosa, eh? Will have to look into that, because Basye's has the most stunning dolor I've ever seen.

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  4. Dolor, you say? I wasn't aware that it was suffering in any way, but how does one tell?

    Main Entry: do·lor

    Variant(s): or chiefly British do·lour \ˈdō-lər, ˈdäl-ər\

    Function: noun

    1) obsolete : physical pain —used in old medicine as one of five cardinal symptoms of inflammation
    2) mental suffering or anguish