Tuesday, May 17, 2011


220-09-02: "A supposed tetraploid form of R. rugosa" X Basye's Blueberry.

The seed parent is a rose shared with me by Joan Monteith about a decade ago. Joan did an experiment in which she treated a select form of R. rugosa with the chemical Colchicine with the hopes of doubling the plant's gene count from 2X to 4X, making it more compatible with most modern tetraploid hybrids. It has not been determined with any certainty that this Rugosa is in fact a Colchicine-induced tetraploid; measurements of pollen diameter has been inconclusive. However, I have pursued breeding concepts that presume it a tetraploid and I will simply evaluate the results as I proceed.

Case in point; today's seedling. 220-09-02 is the first seedling from this "presumed tetra Rugosa" X 'Basye's Blueberry' cross. Of the dozen or so seedlings I got from the cross, remarkably not a one has the classic Rugosa foliage. In fact, most all lean heavily towards the look of the Basye parent, which comes as a huge surprise. (Most R. rugosa hybrids in the first generation show strong Rugosa influence, often obliterating all of the other parent's qualities)

The flower is small, at just under 2", quite heavily Clove-scented, thick of petal and most remarkably, each petal has a strong white streak down the middle. Don't ask me where this trait came from. I do know that Ralph Moore once showed me a Rugosa hybrid with about 15 petals that showed the same petal streak, and it was striking. Pollen has been gathered from this seedling and will be placed on a number of tetraploid seed parents I have assigned for the purpose of testing pollen fertility. In the meantime, I look forward to evaluating this plant for sturdiness and disease resistance. I am hopeful, given its pedigree, that Blackspot resistance might be superb.


  1. That's exciting and striking Paul! I'd imagine the black spot resistance should be quite good. It would be rust I'd worry about here. Blueberry, itself, is totally clean for me, but its offspring haven't been. This climate has issues with almost anything with either Virginiana or Arkansana in it. The two cleanest Hybrid Rugosas here have been MORoserug and Linda Campbell, though Linda CAN show some light black spot on her older, lower leaves. It isn't major, it's just there. Kim

  2. WOW!
    Stripes that present in a consistent symmetrical pattern as you show in this seedling (as opposed to random striping) is very interesting!
    George Varden

  3. I have to agree with the comment above - that striping, if consistent, is very interesting. I can't think of another rose that would do that. And strong fragrance, too....

  4. I agree with George, the symmetry of the stripes is really cool. It must be a boundary effect on pigmentation expression between the two halves of the petal. On a plant in full bloom I bet the effect is amazing. Might be interesting to see how heritable it is....