2007 Hulthemia Seedlings

Well, the new batch has been blooming for the first time over the last month or so. Most of the hulthemia crosses are giving seedling blooms that are not substantially better or different from previous seedlings. Now and then, however, I am excited by what I am seeing. Here is a new seedling that bloomed for the first time a couple of days ago.

Jim Sproul

Beautiful Jim!. I can’t wait to start seeing the results of my own crosses. Keeping to a single or semi-double flower form seems key.

That’s very pretty…

Especially how this is really a tri-color rose. Reddish eye inside a yellowish halo on a pink base.

How many generations is this rose from persica?

My seedlings of Hiedi X Persian Sunset

and Queen Elizabeth X Persian Sunset

have been VERY slow to grow.

But then again, Persian Sunset is a difficult rose to grow for me. The infrequent but very sudden chilling weather and rain has been put a hinder on any chances for me to work with Persian Sunset again.

Although, Tigris is blooming heavily and I’ve already done 4 pollinations of it with pollen from Mutabilis. I basically allow the flower to open naturally, then emasculate it. I leave the anthers on. Then I put Mutabilis pollen on it.

My thinking is that, if this rose is a difficult rose to set seed… then it wouldn’t matter if I allowed it to bloom or emasculated in the bud stage. My thought it was better to let it open naturally and pollinate it. To mimick more or less what happens in nature.

If I see seedlings that has chracteristic mutabilis traits such as the color change… then I will know it’s a mutabilis seedling.

That one is dead gorgeous. I actually have a liking for the look of singles, so do my mother and sister though I know that’s not the most common taste. A flower like that looks best to me as a single, over a double or anything else. I think the single form shows off the halo to it’s best advantage.

Enrique, so do you think it is just Persian Sunset that has trouble with cold and wet weather, and not all hulthemias? I’ve only tried to grow Persian Sunset and it has been so difficult for me I figured maybe all hulthemias were just adverse to the conditions I have here.

Jim, That is a very nice seedling. I like the yellow transition zone between the blotch and the pink. How many generations removed from the species are you working with now?

That is by far my favorite of yours Jim. It’s nice to not see yellow #3972172 too (which is weird because I love strong gold tones). My favorite hulth. hybrid is the very strange Nigel Hawthorn. The color combination is just bizarre, but it looks very ethereal too.

Love that halo within a halo effect Jim. Congradulations on this one.


This had been very odd weather for all over the states. I think that if California had it’s warmer Feburary’s, March’s, and April’s… I have no doubt that my one year old Persian Sunset would be making huge leaps.

But where it stands right now, it’s very weak and white with mildew. The flower is vegatative and yesterday I plucked it off to see if I could take pollen off it.


Instead, I got a million aphids inside where pollen and anthers should have been.

But I’m lucky-- I see another flower that’s some how managed to escape both my knowlege and the wet weather until now.

If I collect in two days… I can pollinate Baby Love. I know Baby Love doesn’t make a lot of seeds, but-- it’s the best I can do for now.


I forgot the other Halmuthas…

Well, Tigris and Nigel Hawthorne seem to do better than Persian Sunset. I gave my Nigel Hawthorne to a neighbor and he planted it where I can see it. It likes it’s sunny spot.

But I kept Tigris. And it’s very healthy for me. Maybe a little runty and slow to grow, but altogether pleasing.

It’s hard to see the red eye on that one with so many petals.

I have done about 6 pollinations on it with Mutabilis. I have decided to make only pollinations of Mutabilis on it this year. With luck, I will get something…

A single petalled Halmutha that’s repeat blooming and diploid. (And healthy.)

Maybe I can get lucky get get a halmutha that’s color changing like Mutabilis.

I don’t care about that.

I would like any seedling at this point. I’m not that picky.

wow that is a great looking one Jim. when I first looked at it, it remined me of Rainbow knock out with a Home Run in the center. I am using Persian Sunset on Rainbow K.O. so hopefully I will get something similar to what you have here. I can dream can’t I. My Persian Sunset is doing great right now but every time I brag on a rose it goes downhill or dies so forget what I said.


Thanks all for the nice comments on this one! It resulted from a repeat blooming hulthemia crossed with another repeat blooming hulthemia. I suspect that both of the parents are tetraploid. Low fertility seems to be most problematic with direct seedlings from ‘Tigris’, while fertility improves down the line.

Robert and Amber, I think that you are right - the lower number of petals help to highlight the special effect! Bloom quantity would also be nice.

Enrique, I wasn’t sure from your post how you are pollinating ‘Tigris’. It is best to leave the anthers alone and just apply pollen to the center of the blooms just after the blooms open. Your cross sounds like a good one with lots of potential.

‘Persian Sunset’ is actually a decent grower, but ‘Roses are Red’ is probably Mr. Moore’s most vigorous grower.

If ‘Tigris’ is considered first generation from the original Hulthemia persica, then this seedling would be fifth generation.

I am still working with some of my own direct seedlings from ‘Tigris’, trying to get another line of repeat bloomers.

There is definitely a dilutional effect of the blotch that you have to fight with each generation removed from ‘Tigris’, but I think that problem can be overcome by crossing the repeat bloomers with each other to increase the number of blotch genes in subsequent generations.

Jim Sproul

Jim, that’s how I’ve been doing it… I do however remove the petals because I believe that they may attract insects and thus put another rose in the equation.

I leave the anthers on because I remember reading, either here or an article from Harkness on Cyberose, that seed number reduces. And that Persica doesn’t self-pollinate that easily.

And I pollinate several times too. Since I’m doing the Tigris X Mutabilis cross nearly everyday because the buds open on different times.

I’m trying to time that single flower of Persian Sunset. I want to see that I can take it’s anthers without de-heading it.

In that way I can use the pollen AND the hip.

It’s going to be tricky, but I’m hoping the best.

Roses Are Red would have been the one I would have used, for sure. But I live in a climate opposite of hulth. needs, so it’s a line best left to people that live in areas better for their health.

I still believe, however, that hulth’s external use could be in modern reds because the red splotch can cover up the white or yellow eye zones left on red selfs (for example, Olympiad has a pale blush eye zone).

Jadae-- that’s a different type of “eye”–

There are, in actuality, several kind of roses with an eye… Mostly single petal red roses with the white “pith.” (I really don’t know what’s the right word for that.)

But the Perisca type of eye is very distinct.

Jim, how are the thorns on this one?

Wow, I think that if the perisca eye could be integrated with thornlessness, that would be one of the most novel roses ever. Especially if it was a climber.

If I time it right–

I may be doing a

Persian Sunset (R. kordesii X Basye’s Amphiploid)

I’ve noticed my kordesii X amphiploid seedling, at about 7 inches, is producing its first flower after a year of being in the ground. It’s truly a disease resistant rose.

I’m particularily proud of this seedling because it could be, technically, a tetraploid rugosa hybrid. (Nothing rugosa about it… just the thorns.)

Although, I’m at odds. Joan’s tetraploid rugosa (number 3), which looks like a true rugosa in its leaves, is starting to set seed for me. In years past, it didn’t. Now that it’s very establish…

A cross of Number 3 X (kordesii x Basye’s amphi) would surely produce a fertile tetraploid rugosa rose. A “true” rugosa hybrid in that it has rugosa in many generations of it’s parentage.

Although, I forgot the parentage of Number 3. All I remember is that Joan got the seeds from Henry Kuska.

Wow Enrique, I guess I am lucky then. The foliage is in good shape, in fact it’s so far been free of any problems, although in the rest of the garden black spot has been rampant, which is unusual. The problem is just that is grows very slowly, and doesn’t show any signs of forming buds.

I do have a few minis right now which have not yet formed any buds, so maybe I just have to wait. The weather has been wrecking complete havok on everything botanical with it’s rapid cycle of unseasonably hot weather followed by abrubt spells of unseasonably cold weather, followed by a long damp cool spell. My roses would keep starting to leaf out, then the weather would turn and they’d lose the new growth. I’ve never had to protect them before and it wasn’t damaging the canes so I just kind of let it go. I’m really not set up to be able to protect them all anyway. They probably did that about 4 times. The heat would make them go like bonkers and then boom, in would come a cold front. We had daffodils starting to bloom at christmas, and then new ones would kind of keep poking up and blooming till march.

I really like the look of the halo though so I hope if we get a warmer summer it will perk up.

Enrique, I am getting some repeat bloomers that are both free of powdery mildew and have few thorns and smooth peduncles. Most hulthemias are naturally quite thorny.

Jadae, I like your idea with reds, but I am finding that the hulthemia blotch is perhaps recessive to the white eye zone seen in many modern roses. I have a photo of one of the newer seedlings and it appears that there are 5 or 6 zones of coloration. I am beginning to think that these represent independent traits. The blotch genetics are definitely not as straight forward as I had thought…

Jim Sproul

Are you using Baby Love (other than through Tiggles) in your Halthemia breeding program?

Today, I was in shock that the single flower of Persian Sunset had nearly opened. Nearly spoiling the cross for me.

It was hard to collect the pollen and trying to keep the hip intact…

I was lucky enough to have fresh Baby Love pollen at hand for this cross–

I think I will attempt to pollinate Baby Love with Persian Sunset’s pollen. I know it wouldn’t make a lot of seeds-- but maybe I can get lucky.

Enrique, as you know, it only takes one pollen grain to produce a seed. If you can, I would put PS pollen on as many fertile seed parents as you have available. It doesn’t matter what you put it on, because any repeat blooming seedlings that you get from PS will likely still need more work to clean up the disease proneness and plant habit. The key is to get something with the blotch that is repeat blooming. The first year that I used ‘Persian Sunset’ I did a total of 109 pollinations from only 6 flower buds.

Yes, I have used ‘Baby Love’ in virtually all of my newer parent stock, including the hulthemias. It has been an important step in getting rid of the powdery mildew tendancy in the hulthemias. Remember that you can “add” ‘Baby Love’ later (future generations), so that you don’t have to cross PS only with BL.

Jim Sproul

I have pollinated my R. kordesii with Persian Sunset…

I think a good route to bringing health to hulthemias is to breed them with very vigorous and disease resistant climbers.

And kordesii actually has a good amount of seed per hip. Higher than Baby Love, that’s for sure.