Saturday, June 13, 2009

R. foliolosa

Rosa foliolosa is such a pretty species, I don't know why I haven't used it in breeding more than I have. I acquired this plant about 10 years ago when someone kindly sent me a few seeds collected from their plant. I don't know how mine measures up against other specimens but it is a very handsome plant and a beautiful flower. Mine is a very "rugosa rubra" hue of magenta and the flower is large: about 2.5 inches across. It starts to flower fairly late compared to the native R. nutkana and a bit after R. virginiana, and well after R. rugosa. Blooms have an excellent "wild rose" fragrance. R. foliolosa is listed as a diploid and so I am using it in breeding with that fact in mind.

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.


  1. Hi Paul,

    Sorry for going against the 'reply if you want to germinate these seeds' request... I'm not replying for that :)

    What I was wanting to mention is that 'Ann Endt', as you probably already know, is a foliolosa x rugosa hybrid that I am hoping will work as a seed parent as well... Mine set quite a good number of OP hips this year. These seeds are currently in the fridge to test for 'germinability' (if there is such a word). For a cross with rugosa, 'Ann Endt' seems to have lost that dense covering of spikey thorns common to rugosa pretty quickly to be replaced by far fewer small hooked grey thorns (other roses like 'Othello' make Ann Endt' look thornless!). I have been looking at foliolosa myself and noted that in the photos shown on HMF the stigma on foliolosa are characteristically pink in colour and those of 'Ann Endt' are more yellow. I was thinking your 'foliolosa' looked a little more like 'Ann Endt' due to the yellow stigma, which is also reported to reach around 6x6ft, than foliolosa which I guess night confirm its hybridity as you suspect. Now... If your foliolosa hybrid is fertile and 'Ann Endt' appears to also be fertile then I wonder what other species crosses with foliolosa might also prove fertile to produce more fertile diploids??? There aren't many descendants listed on HMF though... Maybe 'Ann Endt' is worth pursuing in the same way as your rose is too???

  2. Simon,
    You did know that Jocelen Janon has a hybrid out of 'Ann Endt', didn't you? Clearly its fertile and well worth exploring as a breeder. Take a look:

  3. Yep - that's what I based my assumption on. I found it interesting that two species hybrids involving foliolosa and (possibly) different species should prove fertile when other species hybrids often lack this factor.

  4. "I found it interesting that two species hybrids involving foliolosa and (possibly) different species should prove fertile when other species hybrids often lack this factor."

    I think that R. foliolosa has some tricks up its sleeve that we don't yet understand. Why this hasn't been widely used as a parent I don't know. Perhaps because Dr. Basye's hybrid is pretty much useless as a breeder people have been discouraged by it. Who knows?

    The more I look at it and think about it, the more I tend to see my R. foliolosa as a hybrid, and the fact that its fertile and has proven to produce remontant offspring makes it that much more encouraging. In fact, I am off to the garden in a moment to spread its pollen on a few things, including the beautiful Lens Hybrid Musk 'Rosy Purple'.

  5. Paul,
    I would love to try them out. Always open to having any new genetics in the yard.

  6. Is zone 10b correct for'AE0605'? I could not imagine having to really over winter in Tampa Bay.

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  8. Andrew,

    I was looking at this too and think it must be the zone for the area in which Jocelen Janon lives in New Zealand. This is where the rose was bred and would suggest it probably hasn't been tested anywhere else this point so its true hardiness is unknown. I've spent some time in Auckland and would agree that it would be around zone 10a-10b there. He could send it to Christchurch to have it tested... it gets very cold there. My feeling is, given the parents listed, that it would be quite hardy in colder climates, especially as 'Ann Endt' is quoted as being hardy to zone 2a on HMF. I can't imagine that much hardiness being lost in one cross with anything.

  9. I assumed the same thing after looking at Ann Endt. Thank you Cherokee Hill.

  10. Paul,
    I would enjoy giving it a try, if you still have some seeds available (although I feel I'm taking shameless advantage, since you just sent me pollen! ;)

  11. I know how you feel Annaka. I have recieved so much from others over the last two years and have had nothing to give back. I hope one day fairly soon I will have something to give to others besides kind words of encouragement.

  12. Annaka,
    I will gladly package up some of these seeds and get them to you ASAP. Feel free to take shameless advantage of what is offered. After all, you will become a participant in an interesting experiment and we all stand to benefit from that. :-)

    I will need a mailing address, please:
    trospero at gmail dot com

  13. Paul,
    Many thanks! Hopefully in a few months I'll at least have some interesting results to share!

  14. From your picture and description I support your guess: you have a foliolosa x rugosa hybrid.
    Years ago I raised a few hundreds such plants taller than parents and rather erect with nice brighter shaded flowers some with colored stigmas and all fully fertile.

  15. Pierre,
    That is VERY interesting indeed. This plant shows no Rugosa character, but that doesn't mean much, really. Curiously, one of the seedlings from a cross of my "Foliolosa" X 'Little Chief' looks strikingly similar to 'Basye's Purple, but the blooms don't open as flat. Very curious.

  16. I just discovered your messages two month later... sorry.
    Auckland is in an USDA 10b Zone.
    I have several seedlings from Ann Endt which will be budded in January 2010 and tested in coller areas of this country. One is spotted (ala Alain Blanchard). I will see what it gives...
    I believe 'Ann Endt' is an older cultivar (probably from Vilmorin) renamed by the Kiwis.
    We must keep in mind that the R. foliolosa as we know it in the rose nursery is incorrect. R. foliolosa of the wild is a white rose, sometimes pink. Not that big purple rose I saw around, at least In New Zealand, Australia and USA.