Monday, December 28, 2009

85-05-21 revisited

I was sorting through my 2009 photo library and ran across this seedling photo (and many others!) I thought worth sharing.

This is a cross of 'Yellow Charles Austin' X 'Out of Yesteryear'. 2005 was the last time I used 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent, simply because I had seedlings from the Bracteata line I felt had moved more in the direction I wanted to go. (The problem with using 'Out of Yesteryear' as a parent is that it rarely breeds strong colors. Most seedlings will be off whites, as seen here)

85-05-21 is one of the better Bracteata hybrids I have produced: it has a compact, full shrub growth habit (it appears to remain about 2 X 2 feet), attractive bloom form and a very strong, rich scent. Unfortunately it also has another trait that is far less desirable: it doesn't propagate easily from cuttings, and so I regard this as a "near miss", unlikely to appear in commerce. I may distribute this to a few friends in the business to see if they can do any better than I was able to in propagating it. Perhaps its something about my climate it doesn't respond well to.


  1. Hi Paul.
    In you opinion, does 85-05-21 have the characteristics to drive a demand for it as a grafted "tree rose"?

  2. Hi George,
    Well, it has another strike against it: its white. White roses don't sell well; they are thought of as something to plant only for contrast or accent. So, I don't think its worth pursuing in a big way. I don't have a lot of patience for roses that MUST be grown grafted. We've had quite enough of that in the past century and the grafting practice has gotten us into far too much trouble, IMO.

    Too bad, this is such a pretty rose, and I wish you could SMELL it; it is one of the best scents.

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  4. I can only imagine the fragrance.
    I wonder what has influenced this hybrid in it's pedigree to make it a difficult one to strike?

  5. George,
    This much I can tell you: you can get easy to root seedlings from parents that are very difficult to root, and you can just as easily get difficult to root seedlings from two parents that are very easy to propagate. And FYI, in my climate 'Out of Yesteryear' isn't particularly easy to root. So many possibilities in a tetraploid population, anything can (and usually does) happen.

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  7. I hear what you say Paul.... I need to adopt a more fluid approach to my thinking about matters to do with rose breeding.

  8. I would say that one of the most "fluid" ways of thinking about rose breeding is this: recognize that as much as you care to visualize a specific result, you will get things you never conceived of and it is wise to teach yourself to recognize truly original seedlings and treat each as a door that begs to be opened. Open as many as you can!

  9. "teach yourself to recognize truly original seedlings and treat each as a door that begs to be opened. Open as many as you can!"

    That's cool!

    If this rose is a near miss... is it fertile to use to get closer to the mark? Paul... here in Australia we see the white flower carpet roses EVERYWHERE... they must sell in the millions here. It would be nice to have alternative landscaping whites that offer more than just health... don't get me wrong, the white flower carpet is one of my favourite of the FC clan, but compared with this seedling it doesn't really rate. The beautiful OGR-type flowers with a hint of apricot would make an awesome mass planting if its propagative traits could be improved.

  10. Simon,
    This seedling doesn't make anthers and has never set seed, so I regard it as a dead end. It has a sibling that is pollen fertile and a deep yellow that I am using instead, as it holds much potential, or so my intuition tells me!

  11. mmmmh... it's a real beauty

    ¿what abour micropropagation in vitro?

  12. Tissue culture of roses has yet to become practical from a cost perspective, since traditional methods are still by far more economical. Its just not good enough to invest that kind of energy/money in, to be honest.

    Thanks for your comments!