Friday, June 19, 2009

Recognize this?

Do you recognize this rose? Its pretty obvious, isn't it? 'Basye's Purple', right? Nope. This is one of four seedlings I grew several years ago from a cross of my "R. foliolosa" (in double quotes to indicate that I suspect this is not pure R. foliolosa, but a hybrid) and 'Little Chief', the Moore miniature descended from R. multibracteata and R. wichurana. (Code number 79-02-PFC)

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.


  1. Very interesting! How does its fertility compare with Basye's Purple? I have wondered how BP would perform as a parent, and based on a passing comment in a previous post it sounded like it was a bit of a problem.

  2. Annaka,
    Its too early to tell if this plant has merit as a breeder. Basically, I have ignored it for years until this Spring, collecting only some open pollinated seeds from 2008. I won't know until next year if it has any ability as a breeder.

    'Basye's Purple' doesn't form seed, in my experience, and I believe it has limited fertility as a pollen parent. I seem to recall that some friends have tried working with it and they reported that the seedlings they got were stunted and very unhealthy. I could be wrong, but that's my recollection.

  3. Paul,

    I wouldn't mind trying the pollen. Does the shape of this bush look better than Basye's Purple. Mine is very leggy and rather ugly. I have thought about using Little Chief. I don't know how it would do in zone 5 beside the fact that I don't think I could get it anywhere anymore. I do like its parentage though.

  4. 'Basye's Purple' for me does form seed if sparcely. Its pollen that has to be taken very soon is abundant and working with an appropriate mate.

    BP darker color is achieved combining rugosa and foliolosa. I stated years ago that I got many BP colored plants from foliolosa x rugosa simple or double. Wild foliolosa apparently never show these darker shades. These shades are closely linked to red stems and redish foliage with a shorter life that makes the plant look leggy.
    Along this line eight years later I am still trying for darker seedlings with better foliage. Some progress is made.

    Hope you find a better path Paul.

  5. Pierre,
    Do you have photos of any of these which we can see? They sound very interesting indeed!

  6. In the wild R. foliosa is white, sometimes pink.
    The one we have is 'wrong'. I have sevral seedlings in test I got from BP's 'cousin', Ann Endt.

  7. Paul, I am very intrigued by this plant. Would love to see add'l photos.

    As you know, I would love to see R. glauca, R. rugosa and R. fedschenkoana thrown into the mix with this down the road...

    Rogers Roses illustrates a red flowered R. foliosa, btw.


  8. Philip,
    It appears that R. foliolosa takes pollen from most anything and the result is often roses that look at lot like my seedling, and 'Ann Endt'/'Basye's Purple'. I suspect many of the cultivated specimens of "R. foliolosa" are in fact hybrids. As others have pointed out, the true species is pale pink or (more often) white.

  9. wow! Recent activity from Mr. Paul Barden in the web... (hip hip hooray)