Friday, June 12, 2009

The search for yellow in R. bracteata hybrids.

Parentage: 'Charles Austin' X 'Out of Yesteryear'.

I've mentioned this before: it can be very difficult to get good coloring in seedlings when using 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent. However, once in a while luck drops something decent in your lap. This seedling is the best yellow I have had from the Bracteata breeding line so far. It may not be the most sophisticated bloom in terms of shape and petal count, but it has a beautiful rich yellow hue and it holds its color for quite a long time. It appears to have excellent resistance to Blackspot, which is a great thing. It has no discernible fragrance though. Its long basal canes break into bloom along most of the upper half of their length, with one to five blooms per lateral. It makes an attractive shrub overall.

I'm not sure this has merit as a "finished product" and so I am currently using it solely as a breeder to see if it passes on its color and excellent growth habit to its progeny. I will soon be seeing some of its first offspring bloom, so with luck I will start to get an idea of its potential as a breeder.It does not appear to set seed but its pollen is fertile. It is entirely possible that it is a triploid, as 'Out of Yesteryear' produces both haploid and diploid pollen.


  1. So here is a question for you. If you use a parent that produces pale seedlings often? Lets say that you have a really nice seedling from a cross using this parent but it is pale. But otherwise it is very good in all other respects. Would you use it for further breeding. Is there a descent chance of breeding something with good color or is good color really hard to breed for.

  2. Hi Paul, this yellow is brilliant. The yellow in a sunrise. I like it allot. One of my rose gardens is in a star shape. It worked out to have six points. One point sits empty awaiting the 'right' yellow. Three of the points are home to Barden roses; Oshun, Incantation and Dolly Forever! Then I have an Austin/Falstaff and Ebb Tide. The bed is shaped like a star as a romantic gesture. Thus the yellow rose is important. I love Jeri Jennings but all the others are shrubs. I worry the musk characteristics will be out of place. Paul, there aren't allot of 'to die for yellows' out there! So kudos to you and 86-05-20! What is the goal? A blend, more petals? Gees, the foliage is a great green already. I can't wait to see the final outcome. Enjoy the weekend Paul. Regards, Rod

  3. That really depends what the track record of that parent is. Lets use 'Out of Yesteryear' as an example, since thats the rose I referred to here already. It often produces seedlings that have excellent vigor, beautiful foliage and interesting/attractive growth habits. However, it also frequently produces offspring that are white or near white, and petal texture is often disappointingly thin. In my experience with this line of breeding, the white-to-pale problem seems to persist through multiple generations. So in this case, if I got an excellent seedling from 'Out of Yesteryear' that had a lot of things going for it, but was white or very pale, chances are I would not use it in breeding because the lack of color would likely remain an issue.

    However, it really comes down to the pedigree of the plant in question. Certain breeding lines tend to breed good color, regardless of appearance. I have a seedling 11-02-07 ('Sequoia Ruby' X 'Guinee') that tends to breed dark reds and crimsons regardless of what the other parent is. Case in point: two years ago I put R. arkansana on it and the resulting seedlings have bloomed for the first time this Spring. Of the 8 seedlings I planted out, all but one is a dark 'Guinee" red/crimson. The other is a deep pink. If I got a pale seedling from this group that otherwise had many traits I wanted to pass on to another generation, I wouldn't hesitate to use it, knowing that this line of breeding appeared to have tendencies to breed deep colors.

    I have found that after 15 years of work with roses, the knowledge of how certain plants behave as breeders is possibly my most valuable tool in my tool kit. Its all about paying attention to what happens when you try various things and remembering your results. I should take better notes about such things; as it it, I rely far too much on memory!

  4. Rod,
    An increase in petal count would be the first issue to tackle, yes. If it had 3X the petals I would consider it a "finished" rose. Glad you like it, thanks.