165-09-03: another approach to working with R. foliolosa. Click on the photo to view a larger version.
A few days ago I mentioned 44-09-13, one of my Foliolosa/Therese Bugnet hybrids. In the case of 44-09-13, the seed parent was a second generation R. foliolosa hybrid, whereas with today's seedling, 165-09-03, R. foliolosa itself plays that role. Both crosses utilize Therese Bugnet as the pollen donor. The idea was simply to make some Therese Bugnet crosses using any/all diploids I had on hand and which I knew to be decent seed bearers. The R. foliolosa approach was, to me, particularly appealing since it was such a healthy, Winter hardy individual. R. foliolosa also imparts on its progeny Fall foliage coloring to make the most dramatic of Maples and Sumacs envious; fiery oranges, yellows overlaid with flame red. I have come to think that modern roses ought to have some degree of "four season appeal".
I consider the seedling pictured here to be pretty much intermediate between its parents, although the flower itself leans more towards Therese Bugnet in size and petal count. The bloom has a moderately intense Rugosa scent; a welcome trait, to be sure. (The weather has been abysmally cold this Spring, so maybe when/if it warms up, the fragrance will be more intense.) The foliage could easily be said to resemble either parent, since both have fern-like feathery foliage that is narrow of leaflet and pleasantly matte in texture.
Pollen has been collected from both this seedling and its relative, 44-09-13, to be tested for fertility this year. I will try to limit myself to working it on other diploids and maybe a triploid or two, but I might just dust a few blooms of Midnight Blue while I'm at it. I won't let the creation of triploids (and their potential for sterility) stop me from making a cross once I have a few foundation plants established in the confines of a given ploidy. As Ralph so often said, "The rose will find a way."