Sunday, June 27, 2010


Two years ago I was in conversation with David Zlesak and lamenting the fact that Ralph Moore's famous 0-47-19, although a good breeder for many purposes, tended to produce a vast majority of pink or white seedlings. (Out of the small percentage of repeat bloomers it bred: more than 2/3 are once blooming) David suggested that I try his Polyantha shrub 'Candy Oh Vivid Red' on 0-47-19, as he felt that it could impart better color. As a bonus, it was a confirmed diploid (as was 0-47-19) and so I could establish a remontant diploid line out of R. wichurana, hopefully in red. Well, clever fellow that he is, David's hunch was right; 66-09 has indeed produced a handful of good rich red seedlings. The selection displayed here is one of about 5 that have very rich coloring. All selections so far have been 5 petaled, which isn't surprising considering the parentage. All have glossy Wichurana style foliage and most have a distinct Musk scent. (No sweet component whatsoever)

At this point I am visualizing these selections as breeding specimens only, but who knows. Perhaps one or two of these will mature to have excellent garden-worthiness properties, in which case they may become candidates for release. I;ll post photos of some of the siblings as they mature.

This cross was made with the goals of creating a breeding stock plant that was 1) a diploid, 2) well pigmented in the red range, 3) exhibited many of the R. wichurana traits such as disease resistance, attractive foliage, abundance of bloom and ease of propagation. With any luck, some or all of these criteria will be found in this seedling, or one of its siblings.

I cannot comment on the mature growth habit of the shrub. That is to be determined in the next 24 months. I list this as a diploid seedling since both parents are confirmed diploids. It is unlikely that it is anything but a diploid.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rosa soulieana

What a rose this is. I can't think why more people don't use this diploid in breeding. I'm putting Belle Poitvine pollen on it this morning :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Praise for one of my favorite roses.

I am so pleased when I read reports like this. 'Marianne' is one of my all time favorite once blooming roses, and I say that not because it came from my efforts as a breeder, but because it is truly such a fine rose and offers so much. This year, for the first time, I have found and collected sufficient anthers from my two mother plants to be able to pollinate a good fifty or sixty blooms on a few roses. I have no idea whether or not the pollinations will result in seed production, its too soon to tell. If I can obtain a rose as fine as 'Marianne' but with remontancy, I will be very pleased indeed.

'Marianne' = 'Duchesse de Montebello' X 'Abraham Darby'. Registered 2001. Available from Rogue Valley Roses.

Friday, June 11, 2010


By growing a population of self pollinated seedlings from a
prospective breeder, you discover that it has some serious genetic
flaws that disqualify it as a breeder. This would be one of those
times :-/

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

77-07-12: update.

I have been so busy trying to keep up with the hundreds of tasks that all have to be done in May and June and regrettably, blog posts often get dropped from my "to do" list. Tonight, however, I will make an effort.

This is one of about six selections I have now culled down to from the cross made in 2007 of ('Penny Ante' X 'Tradescant') X L83. The seed parent is a proprietary hybrid of mine that I often use for breeding to get both good color and vigor into my work. It turns out to have been an excellent choice with which to mate L83, the AgCan Kordesii breeder.

Seedling #77-07-12 is my favorite of this group, with its heavy, dark glossy foliage and the 4" double red and purple blooms, reminiscent of a slightly less double 'Charles de Mills'. It has a modest "modern rose" fragrance that is neither strong nor remarkable, but pleasant just the same. The foliage has so far been completely immune to Blackspot, whereas other seedlings immediately next to it have lost 80% or more of their foliage to the disease. While I am considering this as a "finished" variety (IE: headed for market) I am also working on proceeding with it as a breeder, crossing it with its siblings and one of the yellow L83 hybrids, the idea being to improve further on the excellent disease resistance of these L83 seedlings.