Thursday, August 26, 2010

"R. souliolosa": 87-09-01

I put that name in double quotes because its not a species, but a hybrid between two species: R. soulieana and R. foliolosa. The idea here is to create something entirely new and distinct, using two diploid species with excellent hardiness and vigor. With luck, these seedlings will not suffer from the typical fungal disease either; the elimination of disease is a major goal for me now. Not disease tolerance, something the plants can live with and still survive, but something closer to true immunity. I have spent the Summer digging out and discarding numerous "collectible" Hybrid Teas and Shrubs that simply will not thrive without chemical intervention. My patience has run out: I don't want to grow any more "life support roses". (Today, 'Dame Edith Helen's head is on the chopping block. It is likely that 'Papageno' is next: off with their heads!)

The seedling's foliage is fragrant when touched, giving off a combined scent of Frankincense and Raspberries! It is pretty clear that this one is going to be vigorous and a semi-climbing plant, whereas its sibling more closely resembles its R. foliolosa parent, remaining more shrubby. No flowers yet, but then I don't expect to see any till next Spring. There is always the possibility that this cross (I have two seedlings, this is just one) will not have fertility to breed another generation, but I have a hunch it will be. I have another hybrid that is a diploid breeder (42-03-02) out of Moore's 0-47-19 (R. wichurana X 'Floradora'), crossed with an R. rugosa hybrid, which will have the ability to pass on remontancy while remaining a diploid. I'm trying to avoid getting into triploid territory for now, just to make things easier to deal with.

I will post photos of the 42-03-02 X R. rugosa seedling soon. It shows considerable Rugosa influence in its foliage.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

53-08-09 revisited.

I should be writing something substantial, meaningful, educational, but today I'm not in that frame of mind. However, I will share with you today's new photo of my current favorite seedling: 53-08-09 ('Midnight Blue' X L83).

Click on the image for a much larger view.

This is a Kordesii hybrid and as such, it may exhibit both superior Winter hardiness and disease resistance. It's still very young, and only recently transitioned out into the garden, so these aspects of its nature are yet to be determined. In the meantime, I am going to admire its wonderful color (no photo I take does its hue justice: it is a much richer, more vibrant purple/magenta than it appears here) I have learned that it is remarkably easy to propagate as well, something many modern roses sorely lack.

Friday, August 13, 2010

118-09-14: from R. pisocarpa

In June of 2009 I selected one of the local plants of R. pisocarpa to act as a pollen parent in a few crosses. R. pisocarpa is supposedly a diploid (14 chromosomes) which made it more attractive as a mate to some of my other diploid hybrids. This particular clone was a particularly dark pink form, with a compact habit. This pollen served as the male parent of the seedling shown here.

The seed parent, 42-03-02, is a selfing of Ralph Moore's Wichurana breeder 0-47-19, presumably also a diploid. I have used this plant in breeding a few times in years past with mixed results, but I was most often crossing it with tetraploids. Now I limit myself to pairing it with other diploids. (I have seedlings from it using 'Therese Bugnet' as a pollen parent, to name just one)

So, what is remarkable about this seedling? The fact that it is a repeat bloomer, flowering in its first year. Normally you would not obtain any repeat bloomers from a first generation cross with a native species, but it appears this R. pisocarpa has some secrets up its sleeve! Whether the plant has any merit as a garden shrub or as a stepping stone to better hybrids is yet to be determined, but this seedling makes me hopeful.

Click on thumbnails for a larger image.

118-09-14 is still a fairly small plant in a gallon can, with canes no more than 14" long. The foliage, architecture and overall "feel" is intermediate between the two parents, but leaning a bit more towards R. pisocarpa in my opinion. The foliage has been very clean so far, but I reserve judgment until it has lived out in the test garden for a while. (With R. wichurana strongly represented in its pedigree, plus 1/2 R. pisocarpa, I'm hoping for good disease resistance) The blooms have a fairly strong powdery scent, not unlike 'Marie Pavie'.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

99-08-01: Scarlet Moss X William Baffin

Having used both 'William Baffin' and 'Scarlet Moss' for several years in breeding, I have recognized that both have the ability to sire offspring with superior Blackspot (and Mildew) resistance. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, that the two should meet. This is one of three seedlings I have saved from this 2008 cross, and it is by far the better one. (the other two, although have promise as plants, are rather dull, deep pinks)

This shrub is an arching, large plant that appears to have much of 'William Baffin's habit, but possibly more lax. It isn't mature enough to know for sure how it will grow, but the clues are there. It is quite thorny, although the thorns are bent at the tips and not at all inclined to rip flesh, as some do. Blooms are 3" across, in clusters of five or more, about ten petals each and a clean, medium red as you can see. It is also obvious that the buds are decently mossy, a trait I expected to lose in this cross!

Now the thing is to determine how good its Blackspot resistance is. Its the first Summer out in the garden, so until it has seen a Spring, its premature to say anything about disease resistance. (Although it has been remarkably Mildew free so far, unlike most Mosses grown here)

If nothing else, this will find its way into the 2011 breeding schedule, to see what traits it passes along. It has set open pollinated seed freely and those will be germinated next Spring to evaluate the plant's potential.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fedtschenkoana hybrids: 20-09

20-09: L83 X (Orangeade X R. fedtschenkoana)

I was genuinely surprised to see these seeds germinate this Spring, and even as they grew I expected them to turn out to be selfs of L83. Now that they are a couple months old, its quite clear these are R. fedtschenkoana hybrids, with the matte bluish foliage that smells of Pine when rubbed. All three of these are remarkably intermediate in look between their parents. I can see distinct L83 qualities, and clear R. fedtschenkoana traits in all three. Of course, none of these has bloomed yet and I don't expect to see flowers until next Spring, but in terms of their pedigree, these represent potentially remarkable hybrids, unlike anything else before them.

Its curious how, after 15 years of hybridizing, I am now paying so very little attention to the flower style and color, favoring instead the development of unique and sturdier shrubs with better hardiness than their predecessors. (Click on the thumbnails for a full-sized image)

Shown here are a few images of all three plants, their overall appearance, foliage and thorns.