Saturday, April 25, 2009

Modern Mosses: 10-05-09

Although people like Ralph Moore laid down the essential ground work for the modern mosses, it is still a difficult path to follow. Part of the problem is that you are adding another factor into the equation (all the other desirable traits + mossing) and so selecting for all of the qualities you want means you have even fewer seedlings to pick from. Fortunately there are some plants in my arsenal that makes the job a whole lot easier. Moore's 'Scarlet Moss' is one such rose. Not only does it pass on good mossing, with 'Dortmund' represented twice in its pedigree it readily passes on rich coloring.

The seedling pictured here, 10-05-09 came out of a cross of 'Condoleezza' X ('Sequoia Ruby' X 'Scarlet Moss'). The pollen parent is a short plant with 2.5" very double cherry red blooms and moderate mossing, and is a sibling to my commercially available 'Unconditional Love'. The seed parent,'Condoleezza', a Ralph Moore mossy Floribunda, is a modestly mossed pink flowered shrub that often shows a bit of an orange/yellow center. 'Condoleezza' is one of my best seed setters. You can put any pollen on it and get seeds that germinate easily and soon after sowing.

In this cross I was pleasantly surprised to discover not only some reds and deep pinks among the seedings, but this heavily mossed number that opens to bright, clear yellow semi-double blooms. (Two more photos here) There was also one very strong orange mossed seedling in this group which I will post about at some future date. 10-05-09 is a small shrub, not quite a miniature and not quite a Floribunda, about 2 X 2 feet and very full. It blooms in big clusters in flushes all season.

Last year I stopped deadheading it and it formed seeds readily, so this year I plan on using it in breeding to see what it might do. I'm not entirely satisfied with the size of the plant; I'd rather have a full-sized bush with larger, fuller blooms.


  1. Nice moss, Paul! Good job!

  2. Hi Paul,

    How does 'Unconditional Love' do as a parent compared to it's sibling above? I guess all three parents in the above rose would be good to have, yes?

    Thanks Mike

  3. I have never pursued 'Unconditional Love' as a parent, so I cannot comment on that. The pollen parent used in the cross above was destroyed by Gophers two years ago, so its extinct now. I already offered a few remarks about 'Condoleezza' above. Its a useful parent sometimes, but it depends where you want to go.

  4. Something that your blog has really helped me to see is how important it is to have a seed parent that reliably sets lots of seed that germinate easily. I tend to think that you choose two plants whose characteristics you'd like to combine. But if that cross doesn't produce good seed, then it's of no use.

    However, does choosing the seed parent for it's fertility affect your breeding goals in ways you don't want?

  5. "However, does choosing the seed parent for it's fertility affect your breeding goals in ways you don't want?"Well, you can't select a seed parent JUST because it sets seed readily, it has to have something you want in it for the cross you have planned, obviously. I have several excellent seed setters that I will not use anymore because they have shown me that they don't have anything to offer my work. They may have been used many times by many breeders and contribute certain qualities that some breeders found of value, but if its not a style of rose I want, then I just abandon it. There's no point in working with a pink Floribunda if what you want to get are bright red groundcover hybrids, you know?!

    Also, almost any rose you use in breeding is going to give you SOME nasty surprises or do things you don't want/expect. Thats just how the game works. If a plant repeatedly does things you don't like, then you have to find something else that does.

  6. Oooooo... that's a really mossy one, and so pretty. Great job. Have you've done any more work on Scarlet-Nightmoss? You gave me that one years ago at and it's gorgeous right now... the buds remind me of that one. Very soft looking moss-- not stiff like other mosses. I've never done any work with your Scarlet-Nightmoss, but I'm interested in reading a new blog about that rose. Take care, Enrique.