Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Old dogs and new tricks

I've said this before and its worth mentioning again: 'Joycie' is a remarkable rose to use in breeding. It will take pollen from just about anything and produce loads of viable seeds that germinate well. Even more important, it is very malleable, unlike its relative 'Sequoia Ruby' which I spoke of recently. (Both 'Joycie' and 'Sequoia Ruby' share the same seed parent: 1-72-1, which I'll tell you about in an upcoming post)

The seedling pictured at left is 52-04-03, a cross of 'Joycie' X 'Maréchal Niel'. As you can see, this rose is heavily influenced by the pollen parent, a Tea-Noisette from 1857. I doubt 'Maréchal Niel' has been used in breeding is quite some time (although I see the clever and innovative Louis Lens has a 1995 hybrid listed using it with R. helenae.)

52-04-03 has been slow to mature, as one would expect from a cross like this. Tea hybrids usually are slow to build up size, and finally, at four years of age this one is showing its potential. It doesn't much like my climate, which isn't surprising, so I have budded it last year onto R. multiflora and will keep a specimen in the greenhouse where it will perform better. The photo is of that bud grafted specimen in a five gallon container, taken two days ago. This will be a warm climate hybrid, I expect, and in the right situation it will make a climber. How big it will ultimately get is anybody's guess at this point. I'm guessing modestly large: 8 to 10 feet, perhaps.

This beautiful seedling bears clusters of nodding 3.5" blooms that open slowly and last a long time. In the open garden, the coloring is quite a bit richer with hints of antique gold. It has a moderate Tea fragrance that at 10 or 11 in the morning is quite wonderful. It has recently formed a new shoot from the base that has about 9 blooms forming on it, indicating that it may be capable of making bold displays. It is also nearly continuous with bloom, cycling rapidly. Sounds promising?

I will begin propagating this a bit later on this season. It may require an understock to perform its best, we'll see.


  1. Hi Paul,

    I saw your link in my stats page and came to see what your blog was all about. What gorgeous roses! Do you sell your plants, too? Where are you located in the Pacific Northwest? Would love to come interview and photograph you and your work the next time I'm in the area!

    Thanks for adding me to your "Who I'm Reading" links. I appreciate the nod!


  2. Wow, that is beautiful. I live in Florida so it sounds very promising to me!