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 donâ€™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 Gloryâ€¦I think). As to stipplingâ€¦ nothing. And with the color that I believe is somewhere between carmine-red and crimson, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll get stippling from this seedling. Maybe, if I repeated the cross I could get some stipples. But thatâ€™s a big maybe.
I donâ€™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 Minigoldâ€™s and Gingersnapâ€™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 donâ€™t recall seeing any stipples on it either.