Monday, June 8, 2009

The search for purple: 50-08-03

I don't think anyone has done a more remarkable job of breeding new purple shrubs than Tom Carruth. Both 'Midnight Blue' and 'Ebb Tide' are astonishingly beautiful. I have done some of my own work using both of these in breeding, and happily, both set seed and both can pass on these rich colors fairly often. The tendency is to breed paler mauves and dark Beetroot crimsons (which is fine by me) but good solid purples can be had as well.

I can't go into a lot of detail describing this cross, since I have a LOT of work to do out in the greenhouse these days. However, here is its parentage: 'Midnight Blue' X ('Midnight Blue' X 'Dragon's Blood') The idea behind introducing 'Dragon's Blood' into the line was to increase the speed of rebloom (the pollen parent accomplishes this) and to intensify the color, if possible. It is also hoped that the offpsring will be better plants on their own roots. ('Midnight Blue' and 'Ebb Tide' have to be budded to perform their best, so Weeks Roses management told me)

This is one of several seedlings selected from 50-08 so far and I sense there will be more. It shows signs of being very fast with reblooming, a trait it would have picked up from 'Dragon's Blood' I expect. And yes, it has a strong fragrance.


  1. I like the rich dark coloring of this one.

    By the way the photo of the pink flower with the white eye that leads to your web site is that one of the basye's amphidiploid seedlings you where talking about in earlier post. It's a nice photo I like how the flowers lead your eye up wards. It reminds me of the arrangement many orchids have on their stem but not as exact in their placement.

  2. That is a R. clinophylla seedling that is in the queue to be discussed here shortly. Perhaps I will move it up to tomorrow's position and you can learn all about it then. Its a curious plant.

  3. I love the color. It is very gallica-like. It reminds me of Orpheline de Juillet. Is it big enough to tell what kind of shrub architecture it will have?

  4. Mike,
    All I can say so far is that it is making new growth behind the bloom and appears to have full foliage and wants to branch from the base. That may or may not indicate good architecture, I won't really know till at least the end of the growing season.

  5. Beautiful colour Paul! Just can't get enough of these lovely dark purples. My 'Ebb Tide' arrived the other day and I had it in a bucket of water to rehydrate after being in the mail for a week, took the kids out for a picnic, came back and my stupid dog had pulled it out of the bucket and chewed the top 6 inches off the plant *arrrggghhh* Not sure how long it had been out of the water... hopefully not too long. Of the five new roses in the bucket ('Hot Chocolate', 'Cecile Brunner' (shrub form), 'Jean Kenneally', and 'Many Happy Returns' + 'Ebb Tide') he had to choose this one!!!! Anyway... I planted it and cleaned it up and hopefully it will come good so I can also play with this too in the coming season... I stuck one of the top chewed bits I had to prune off into a pot to see if will strike so if successful I'll let you know how it does on its own roots.

  6. Good Morning Paul, I love the depth that Dragon's Blood give the rose. As if an old master painted it. You did it right!
    Last year my Midnight Blue, own root went into the compost pile! Weeks is right, it doesn't do well. That said, I have a great Ebb Tide on own root! 50-08-03 is lovely and I like that you want a it to rebloom. Those of us without acres need recurrent blooms.
    BTW Paul, since I found you and Rogue Valley Roses; I made my first order. Incantation and Dolly Forever will ship next Tuesday! I also put 2 Treasure Tails on wait list. Janet told me rooting is an issue.....can you comment on that?
    Paul, enjoy your day and make your magic!
    A Fan,

  7. ooooooooooo! want! drool!

    Yesterday I tried some Dragon's Blood pollen on Cardinal de Richelieu... keep your fingers crossed!

  8. /me crosses fingers for Fa.

    I don't really understand why Janet at RVR is taking a waiting list for 'Treasure Trail', since I made it quite clear that this rose had failed to propagate four years in a row, last year being the first time it succeeded. I offered it as a "limited edition" variety, with no promises to produce it again. I'll see what I can do this season, but I am making no promises to her about getting her plants of it. We'll see what happens.

    Thanks for your kind comments :-)

  9. Hi Paul, Janet says exactly that, no promises. Perhaps my exuburance for Treasure Trail is too overwhelming. I simply love it, the color, the moss, everything. One day you will surprise us! No worries, rod-

  10. I am waiting for Treasure Trail also, I have been looking at RVR daily. I guess I will buy another Dragons Blood as I want to try it with Maria Mcgredy. Also, do you think Treasure Trail would do alright in Tampa Bay ?

  11. Paul, I was so hoping to see Treasure Trail back on the RVR site, too, along with Rook and Siren's Keep. So sorry that Treasure Trail is hard to propogate. I should have jumped when I had the chance:( Maybe I will get on the waiting list just in case. There's always hope.