A small, but happy, victory

Hygiene, Colorado, is home to a wonderful large shrub/small climber of unknown identity. It’s a lovely purple magenta, blooms once in clusters (no sign of multiflora breeding) and is just otherwise lovely. Alas, I’ve never seen a single hip on the wild plant, which is quite old.

I was hoping that I would be able to get some hips on the cutting that’s now in the garden, but could not get a single hip to set over two years. Last year, I decided to try it as a pollen parent, crossing it with various different roses. Got a few hips, with the biggest having only three seeds.

Well, one of those seeds has sprouted! This is R. woodsii ultramontana x “Fort Pella Purple” and seems to be a nice, healthy seedling. There were only two seeds in this hip; I wonder if the other will sprout. So at least there is some pollen fertility!

Many, many “species” clones will not set seed out in the wild, for whatever reason and yet are quite pollen fertile.

I don’t spose you have any photos of this foundling?

Here’s a page I did for it some years ago. Changed the name because “Belle of Hygiene” was just… it just didn’t work.

Link: foundroses.org/foundlings/belleofhygiene/belle_of_hygiene.html

I suspect you have a Hybrid Boursault there (See URL attached below) with conspicuous China influence, as many of the Boursaults do. If you read the captioning on "Wendy in SD’s photo, you will find that ‘Bengale Maheca’ aka ‘Maheca’ has all of the features you describe: almost thornless, completely hardy, violet/purple shadings with streaks, very little to no scent, no hips, etc, etc.

It looks like something you’d get by crossing a native species with ‘Gloire des Rosomanes’!


Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.28617.1&tab=1

Wow! I think you’ve found it! It’s a complete match! Well done!

I’d say its a pretty darned good guess, yep.

If you use its pollen again, I suggest you try it on something that repeats to see if any of the China remontancy genes are in there, lurking. We need more Zone 3 hardy modern shrubs that repeat!

Looking over my notes, I see I’ve tried it with Cee Dee Moss, Gingersnap and Tuscan Sun, but none of these crosses produced any seeds.