A place for triploids in breeding programs?

This idea started when I was moving the roses that I inherited when I bought my property earlier this year. I dug them up and placed them in a temporary holding ‘ditch’ whilst I made the beds. When I pulled them up again to plant I noticed a root on a ‘Pat Austin’ I had was sendi up a sucker. Not wanting the sucker to consume the plant I cut the root off to remove the sucker, but since I am into all things roses I decided to pot the sucker on so I could do some budding down the track and grow the stock as a plant in its own right. The sucker is Dr Huey and reading about it the plant is very vigorous and disease resistant and has beautiful flowers and scent and I couldn’t understand why helpmefind.com only listed on direct descendent of Dr Huey and why it wasn’t used more often to try and pass on its vigour and disease resistance. The archives here say that Dr Huey is a triploid so I am assuming the reason it isn’t used is due to low fertility. It’s been bugging me for some time now so I decided to ask the question; if I have my heart set on using it how would I best go about it to maximise my chances for success? Does it just come down to a numbers game? I would like to work it with some HT to try and introduce some vmore vigour…

Dr Huey mildews and blackspots on will in as so far as I have seen. It would probably be wise to use it as a pollen parent for many reasons.

Personally, I would use Night Owl instead.

Blaze and Ohio are close relations (both same male parent, different female parent, but similar ideas). Theyre probably more fertile as male parents, and easier to work with.

Don’t know where I read about Dr Huey’s disease resistance but more reading tonight seems to indicate that it can be a bit of a BS and PM magnet. Not such a good idea after all :frowning:

Having said this I have kept roses that are reported to be disease resistant that have been covered in PM for no particular reason (circulation and sun were always in good supply). One that comes to mind is the R. laevigata. Grew super fast but would get PM just before flowering every year I had it.

Sometimes extra nitrogen, or erratic seasonal patterns will do that.

Dr Huey is a survivor here in ohio; fairly clean; sometimes reblooms; rarely if ever sets hips.

Huey can be beautiful but it’s extremely susceptible to PM here in CA.

Cardinal Hume is another thought as a substitute for Dr. Huey for breeding. It’s very easy to work with.

How bad is Cardinal Hume for blackspot? Any input?

I was thinking Dr Huey for two main reasons;

  1. I have it

  2. Its use as an understock implies vigour and health of the root system. My goal in breeding roses is to try for roses that are healthy enough to grow on their roots and be reliable garden subjects.

A lot of the other varieties mentioned may be difficult to find here in Australia.

Supposedly bad, but Ive only seen it once in my lifetime, so I cannot say that Ive seen the blackspot in person.


Dr. Huey is the usual understock for grafted roses in the USA. Most of these roses are grown in the West and South West where the soil tends to be alkaline. Most of these grafted roses planted in the East where the soil is acidic do not do well after a few years unless the graft is planted below the soil level and the cultivar puts out it own roots. After a few years, the rootstock dies off, killing the plant

Years ago, when the big rose growers were in the East and North East, roses were granted on multiflora which did well on acidic soil. I am not so sure that DH is so good in ALL locations. Also, here in the East, it does black spot quite badly. That said, it may do fine for you in Australia. Try it. As someone pointed out on another thread, ADR winners may do very well in Germany but not so well elsewhere. I am beginning to think that the only rose that can be GUARANTEED to bloom well and be blackspot free always and everwhere is a plastic one! LOL.

Best of luck,


lol, the irony is that Im almost as west as you can go and multiflora grafted plants do far better than dr. huey here.

LOL Jadae, just making a generalization but the above was the consensus of opinion when this came up several times on the Garden Web forums. I wonder if multiflora would do better in general in the West. Historically, when all the major growers moved their growing fields from east to west is when the rootstocks changes.


Multiflora is a poor doer in Southern CA. It resents alkalinity.

Anything budded to multiflora is severely stunted and often chlorotic in my native low desert soil.

Multiflora thrives here in containers with commercial potting mix.

Jim, NW Oregon is really acidic. It is, after all, a temperate rainforest :slight_smile:

I don’t think that ‘Dr. Huey’ actually dislikes acidic soils - they are absolutely everywhere here in residential DC growing in acid clay, long after aborting their hybrid tea scions. The plants blackspot (or maybe it’s cercospora, actually) badly enough, but there’s usually a veil of somewhat healthy, green foliage on the outside or top of the plant. They’re attractive in bloom - though I’ve never seen one repeat at all - but I’ve never detected a notable fragrance. Back in Minnesota, they always died to the ground even in quite mild winters and absolutely never flowered at all. I had to move away to see what a ‘Dr. Huey’ blossom looks like in person.

My soil here is acidic laterite based soil. I will have to try and source some multiflora rootstocks to see which one does better here. Which ever way it goes, putting it into a breeding program may result in a healthier root system if the other parent is carefully chosen to compliment its faults.


Cardinal Hume blackspoted badly here as well as the progenies I gew from it.

Not worse than most HTs…

Thanks Pierre. I have some Cardinal Hume progeny now. I’ll have to get them out for testing to find if the other parent I used imparted disease resistance.

All of my Cardinal Hume seedlings get BS. Some to the point of complete defoliation.