Acicularis, Arkansana, Blanda, Nippnensis and Woodsii

I was just curious as to your thoughts about these roses. They are similar in their basic traits. I like their cold hardiness which is a trait I would like to pass on. I have several ideas in my head but I am searching for other opinions also. Most of these species are new to me this year and some I have not received yet so I am not quite familiar with all of them yet.

So what else are each of these species good at passing on? How would you choose which to use?

Your opinions would be much appreciated.


Since pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words, you may find it useful to look at my seedlings at:

Use your browzers find command to see those that contain acicularis.

If you go to Help Me Find you can see what offspring have been reported for acicularis.

If you do not want to go all the way back to the species, I recommend Will Alderman, see:

I could provide you with open pollinated hips of a number of my acicularis crosses.


In the RHA newsletter (most recent) I reviewed an article about these species. I think the bottom line is that getting a good plant is the most important thing. The name of the species is less important, because there is more variation within a species than between them in many places, except for the difference between the ones that are diploid and ones that are tetraploid. So ask someone living up north, if you are wanting particularly winter-hardy plants. Otherwise, look at the color and disease resistance yourself and choose which one looks better. Of course there are pollination compatibility issues, depending on what you want to cross with what, so some strains or species will work better than others with a particular other parent. Just like with HTs where some have good pollen and don’t set seed, others set great seed with some pollen but not other kinds. Sorry to be so vague but that’s how it is when making wide crosses.


I can offer some observations from my limited experience with a few of these species.

Three or four years ago I raised a small number of R.arkansana OP seedlings that were so disease prone that I shovel pruned them all. Last year I made a few attempts with R.arkansana as the seed parent that didn