A theory I have on Stippling

I love stipples! Since getting and growing Prairie Lass I have been obsessed with those varieties that have stippling, especially those from Dr. Buck. I have found myself trying to figure out the best routes to take when trying to get better stippling in seedlings.

One theory I have been contemplating has been looking at the color ancestry used when combining a stippled rose and a non-stippled rose. The theory came about when I noticed that three of the four varieties I consider the most striking stippled Buck roses came from one cross Gingersnap X Seviliana. Those three varieties ( Spanish Rhapsody, Incredible and Gee Whiz) have extremely strong stippling as does the fourth, Dorcas, which comes from an almost similar color cross (Minigold X Freckle Face). I grow none of those varieties and although I would like to grow Seviliana and Freckle Face, I have no desire to grow Gingersnap (I did years ago when I was new to the hobby and I remember it being a mess) or Minigold.

So, using the first cross as an example, I used the one stippled variety I had in 2011, Prairie Lass, and combined it with the one variety I thought was closest I had to Gingersnap in color, Blaze of Glory. I did get a hip from the cross (I only made the cross once) and got about 15 seeds from that hip. Of those seeds, I got one plant to actually grow, Seedling 12-004. I don’t recall it blooming last year as I had all my pots housed in an area of the yard that got a lot of neglect, so when a seedling bloomed, I usually missed it. But this year I did catch the bloom, and I got a very nice healthy plant (thank you Prairie Lass) that looks like it wants to climb (thank you Blaze of Glory…I think). As to stippling… nothing. And with the color that I believe is somewhere between carmine-red and crimson, I don’t think I’ll get stippling from this seedling. Maybe, if I repeated the cross I could get some stipples. But that’s a big maybe.

I don’t want to judge all outcomes based on this single seedling, but I now believe it may not be possible to get the same degree of stippling as I see in the four Buck varieties with this articular cross. I took a closer look at the ancestry of the non-stippled parent of the four buck varieties (Gingersnap and Minigold) and noticed two things that were missing from my cross; a strong background of oranges and a strong background of yellows. Blaze of Glory has only two sources of orange that are 3 and 4 generations back with absolutely no yellow within at least 4 generations (if not more). In contrast Gingersnap has around 12 sources of orange and 5 sources of yellow (goldilocks makes up 3 of those sources). Minigold is the product of a yellow parent and an orange parent and has around 5 sources of orange and about 5 sources of yellow.

[I say “around” because there are a lot of salmon-pinks in both Minigold’s and Gingersnap’s ancestry which some might consider orange]

So, while I know there are stippled varieties without a strong background in yellows and oranges, I am convinced that if one wants to significantly improve the chances of getting strong stipples, using varieties with many oranges and yellows in their ancestry may be the way to go. And maybe yellow is even more important than orange. Does any one have any thoughts on the plausibility of this theory?

For what it’s worth, I have a few seedlings using Dorcas and Prairie Lass that may be able to test this further. I have seedlings of the following crosses that have not bloomed yet (or I missed them): Dorcas X Carefree Copper, Prairie Lass X Morden Sunrise, Hot cocoa, Honeysweet, and Cinco de Mayo. Also, Seedling 12-005 is Prairie Lass X Night Owl and I don’t recall seeing any stipples on it either.

Hi Andre,

I’ve gotten stippling from using Sevilliana as well as in several seedlings of the Frances Ashton X Mrs. Oakley Fisher cross I made many years ago. Jim Delahanty had an old plant of my Frances Fisher, which was solid white in Newhall, but pink with stippling here. I now have it, thankfully. I thought it was extinct as the last plant of it I knew of was at Ashdown. Unfortunately, neither of the Legacy stippled offspring remain.

I currently have Grace Note, Sevilliana and Prairie Lass. I’ve been using Prairie Lass this year with a number of roses, both for sepal potential as well as the stippling/veining. I’ve made a number of stippled X striped X Eyes for You crosses and am havesting the hips now. I figured painting, stripes and stippling are all “color break” type expressions and wonder what combining them might produce.

I wonder if the reasons yellow and orange appear to help the stippling are due both to the intensification both colors seem to exert on flower pigments as well as their lack of colorfastness? As if their genes intensify the stippling while the base pigments fade, making the intensififed stippling even more dramatic?

Andre, what an interesting theory. I do not have Gingersnap any longer but I do have Ginger Glow which is a cross of Honey Perfume X Gingersnap. I also have Grace Note and this spring I bought Cinnamon Dolce. I think I will be putting Ginger Glow pollen on both of them next spring.

I have a number of stippled roses that came from two different pollen sources. The first pollen source is Ark OP, an OP seedling of a stippled R.arkansana plant and the second source is from 1T20, a plant that has Spanish Rhapsody in its heritage.

Ark OP does not have stipples but I’ve gotten two seedlings from it with stipples. The first (A3301) is a Hawkeye Belle x Ark OP cross and the second is a seedling of cross that doesn’t involve Ark-O. But neither of those parents has stippling nor have any of their other seedlings had stippling. So I’m guessing that this stippled seedling is an OP seedling with Ark-OP as the pollen parent. There is very little orange or yellow in the back ground of these roses. So this line doesn’t prove or disprove your theory.

Like Ark OP, 1T20 doesn’t have stippling but I have a good number of its off spring that do. I got four or five seedlings from a Hot Wonder x 1T20 cross with stippling and two for sure that were salmon colored. Hot Wonder must have some orange in its back ground because I’ve gotten orange or salmon seedlings from three different crosses with it. A second cross, was Grimaldi x 1T20 (A3101), it was orange with white stripes and stipples. Even though the flower was orange the stipples were pink, which made for an interesting combination. I have two seedlings from a third cross Folksinger x 1T20, one of which has darker veining but I wouldn’t call it stippling, but the other one doesn’t.

Last year I did a cross of Goldbusch x A3101 and have about 20 seedlings. This was a yellow x orange cross and should be a good test of your theory. I have over 20 seedlings and the overwhelming majority are either red or pink. There are no yellows or oranges, only one salmon and one peach color. But more importantly there are only 3 or 4 that have stipples and none have more stippling than the pollen parent. So in this case breeding with orange and yellow didn’t increase the odds of getting stipples or increase the amount of stipples.

I think to increase the odds of getting stipples and/or increasing the amount of stipples one needs to have stippling in both parents. And that is what I have done this year where I made several crosses involving roses from both of my line of stippled rose. Time will tell how these turn out.

Those are some Interesting outcomes Paul. I took another look at the parentage of Prairie Lass to see where the stipples come from. There is no stippling source in its immediate background (mom and dad) but it does have Applejack for a great grandparent. On the other side of the parentage tree we have Hawkeye Bell (grandparent) which doesn’t appear to have any stippling, but if I am recalling correctly from a discussion a year or two ago about stripes and stippling, it might have some latent genes for stippling with its spinossissima and/or laxa background. So while there is not much yellow or orange in Prairie Lass, there are possibly two sources of stippling from both sides of its parentage that have stippling. This would support your assertion (an assertion I agree with) that having two parents with stippling in them would produce offspring with stippling.

I would say that I do not think my orange and/or yellow theory is always going to be the case. There are too many stippled roses that have neither orange nor yellow in them that would disprove the theory if I were to say it was necessary to have stipples. So I am not really using the theory to figure out if stippling would be carried on. What I am trying to answer with this theory is if using certain colors might be one of the several factors that can lead to improved stippling.

A few other factors I would like to look into for improved stippling is whether stippling might be better if the pollen parent is stippled versus the seed parent (the listing of F1 descendants of Sevilliana gives a somewhat muddled answer to this), whether (and which) certain varieties just produce stippled offspring more consistently than other stippled parents, and I would like to see if varieties with more sources of stippling in its background produce stippled offspring more consistently than stippled parents with only a few sources. On top of all that, I also wonder if there might be several original sources of stippling (like original to R. Arkansas or R. laxa) that might follow different rules of expression because they might be located or coded differently within the genes.

It does seem that these theories mainly focus on parentage that includes one stippled parent and one non-stippled parent, so it would be interesting to see what would happen if both parents have stippling and follow one or all of these rules. I think next year I might try various combinations of the stippled roses I have. I definitely have enough for a lot of different combinations – Prairie Lass, Gee Whiz, Cinnamon Dolce, Dorcas, Freckles, Malaguena, Country Music, and Mountain Music. I should also combine them with a few of my striped roses and the few veined roses I have. And of course I should get some spotted varieties to add to the mix. A veined, stippled, striped and spotted bloom might be a crime against nature, but it would be a fun achievement.

It sounds like you have lots of work ahead of you Carl, those are a lot of variables that you plan to look into. To be honest, a rose with that many things going wouldn’t be appealing to me and may not even be possible. But the thrill is in the hunt so they say. When I was younger, playing around with all those different traits just to see what happens would have been just as appealing to me as they are to you now. So good luck.

I can’t be much help in your quest because I haven’t been keeping track of how many stippled seedlings I’ve gotten from each cross. Two years ago I used A3301 (Hawkeye Belle x Ark OP) both as a seed parent (x Frontenac) and as the pollen parent (Folksinger x). I only have two and six seedlings left respectively and as far as I can remember only one of the Folksinger x A3301 had stippling on it.