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'.