Sunday, May 30, 2010

74-07-01: Tuscany Superb X R. arkansana

I made this cross in '07 with the idea of working the lovely native R. arkansana into my work, without resorting to using modern China-derivatives in order to preserve tetraploidy. And so, I turned to an old favorite: 'Tuscany Superb'. (FYI the Gallicanae are almost all tetraploids by nature) I am particularly interested in R. arkansana because of its exceptional Winter hardiness, its complete immunity to disease and the fact that my specimen (seed grown in 1999) blooms at least three times a growing season, with long rests between flushes. Could this be a remontancy trait that can be incorporated into new species derivatives? We'll see.

I obtained only four seedlings from this cross and unfortunately, all have been *ahem* a tad weak in the vigor department. Mind you, that isn't going to prevent me from using this selection in breeding. I can always abandon this avenue should the offspring turn out to be wusses: nothing ventured, etc, etc. It does, however, have a rich and complex "wild rose" fragrance that can undoubtedly be capitalized upon. I'd be interested in crossing this with 'Therese Bugnet' except that TB is a diploid, so I'll leave that out of the equation for now. I may, however, turn to the Hybrid Spinosissima 'Suzanne', which has been reported as being a tetraploid. For now, recovering remontancy without sacrificing disease immunity is paramount; color, my friends, will have to wait ;-)


  1. A wise friend of mine once said 'Build your house first and THEN paint it'. He was talking about rabbit breeding but it applies equally to roses (and everything else IMO).

    I can really see the 'Tuscany' stamens in this. I love this feature and would love to see it in a fully remontant rose so that it can shine all year long! Here, 'Tuscany' is not so disease resistant... it's too warm tipping the balance in favour of the fungi and it doesn't flower reliably due to fewer chill hours. I've used it this year with 'Route 66' and am eagerly watching seed in the fridge as we speak :)

    R. arkansana has, apparently, been imported into Australia at some point as it is on the allowable seed imports list... I would be keen to try and get some seed some time to try it as well over the next few years. One thing I've noticed with a lot of these species is that although they have amazing winter hardiness traits they also seem to be adaptable enough cope with heat as well... maybe not humidity but definately heat. Rubiginosa is a weed here from down here in Tasmania all the way up into Queensland towards the tropic of Capricorn! It's all very interesting!!!

  2. You might want to try "Dots Enough," I've noticed that after a heavy bloom in the spring it carries on blooming sporadically for the rest of the summer.

  3. I just wanted to ask wheather R. arkansana repeat flowering in America´s wild , because cultivated here in Slovakia so (2x). My plant has a deep crimson red color with milky overtone. I saw seeds from two colored arkansana this fall. Please, have you any breeding experience with such one? :-/