Friday, April 15, 2011


26-09-14: Hansa X "Magseed"
I have owned Hansa for nearly thirty-five years, and this is the first time I have used it in breeding. (Although I used a twelve year old propagation of the original plant as the seed parent) It took fifteen years of meddling with rose genetics for me to realize how much I needed to be working with the Rugosas, although I occasionally used one or other of the Hybrid Rugosas in combination with various other moderns, usually with dreadful results. (I believe the Rugosas are especially incompatible with roses descended from the China section of the family, often resulting in severe health problems. If you have ever grown Rose a Parfum de l'Hay, you will know what I mean)

So in 2009 I rethought what I was doing with Rugosas and decided to take a rather different route: I combined strongly related Hybrid Rugosas with each other, and with various diploid species. This cross was inspired by David Austin's Rugosa, Mrs. Doreen Pike, a cross of Martin Frobisher and Roseraie de l'Hay. (Don't confuse the latter with aforementioned Hybrid Rugosa I spoke of disparagingly: these two are very different animals.) essentially Austin was crossing two roses of Strong Rugosa pedigree and recovered most of the Rugosa character, while introducing a more double, elaborate bloom form. The plant has also recovered much of the Rugosa health, which is a very welcome thing.

Back to this seedling, 26-09-14: it is now about 13 months old and about to open it's first bloom. The plant itself is indistinguishable from it's species ancestors, with the same bright green, rugosa foliage and stocky, thorny growth. This seedling, and all of it's 15 siblings, are completely disease free so far, but it's early to make any long term predictions about health until the selections have spend a couple years out in the garden. Still, I sense that these are promising. The exposed petals so far indicate a typical deep Rugosa magenta hue, which isn't a bad thing, in my opinion. I am hopeful some will be more of a red color, something inheritable from Magseed. (by the way, Magseed is a sibling of Linda Campbell, from a cross of the miniature Anytime X Rugosa Magnifica, with blooms that start out a bright Cherry red and fade to more of a magenta.) I am hoping that this seedling picks up some of Anytime's fast and generous rebloom habit. At this point, I can only guess. And hope!


  1. Interesting Paul, I didn't know about Mrs. Doreen Pike, but will seek her out. I understand what you mean about Linda Campbell, I've grown her for years and she is stunningly tough for Kansas.

  2. Congratulations, Paul! Can't wait to follow this one. Great idea! Kim

  3. This is absolutely true. Doreen Pike is a winner. She's not an oversized,scraggly bush. Her overall form is solid. She is also a departure from the oft repeated rugosa flower form. Her foliage is unusually light colored for any rose, but it's very healthy. Mrs Doreen Pike should be more popular. Good luck with your crosses.

  4. This would also explain why I've had so many failures when doing rugosa x mini crosses. If the bulk of the minis are descended from chinensis minima then they are going to hate rugosa.

    Paul, have you ever done a rugosa x modern and kept any on long enough to put them back to straight rugosa, or one of the better rugosa hybrids like 'Scheenzwerg'? I'm going to do this with the above mentioned (terible) 'Scabrosa' x 'Magic Carrousel' mini (if it ever flowers), to see if I can get around that awful rugosa x modern problem and still retain the mini genes. I have two hybrids in the test bed at the moment between rugosa 'alba' and 'Golden Emblem' (McGredy 1917) that seem to be quite healthy though I've not seen flowers from them yet so hybridity has not been confirmed.