Alba Meidiland and Swany...

(Well, I wrote this post last week, but apparently didn’t post it.)

I was wondering if anyone had tried using either of these sister seedlings, Alba Meidiland or Swany (another sister of which is the seed parent of Bonica) for breeding.

The parentage of the above is: R. sempervirens (a healthy European synstyllae, parent of i.e. F

I grew alba Meililand many years ago. It is very clear…blooms a lot…scentless… very bright white… vigorous and very “self-cleaning”. I doubt hip set is very helpful in this variety. I dont remember if it had pollen.

Alba Meidiland = Meiflopan : Aptitude to bear fruits.–Slight to none.



HMF indicates two descendants : Swany X New Dawn and Swany X Mozart

Alba Meidiland is almost certainly diploid? It almost never bears any kind of fruit and very rarely produce anthers for pollen, as it is very double most are converted to petals.

I did find some anthers in the Fall and I did use them and got a hip with one seed. I sowed it yesterday. I doubt it will germinate. I’ll be looking for pollen in the future.

We’ve had two Alba Meidilands that are the size of Volkswagen Bugs and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an O.P. hip on either. And both have lots of diploid roses in their vicinity and active pollinators working the areas.

Yes, ‘Alba Meidiland’ is diploid.

Thanks David. I’ll be more cognizant of looking for pollen. I like the sempervirens lineage.

I have a 1998 open pollinated Alba Meidiland seedling that I have kept around but not utilized in further breeding (so far). It forms a low growing (2 to 3 foot) disease free, winter hardy (northeast Ohio) shrub. It produces white, small, very double flowers all season.

I had wondered about its ploidy – the near sterility had me thinking 3x or so…

Henry, that sounds promising given it was a token sample OP. (I wonder how readily any of these siblings would accept and express colors beyond white and pink in the F1 generation… )

Thanks Arnold. I thought I had checked HMF for descendants on both, but evidently didn’t check Swany. i gather it is not readily available? Same ploidy too, I assume?

Bonica is tetraploid, is it not?


Hi Philip, Doing root tip squashes of ‘Bonica’ and its sport ‘Royal Bonica’ they are triploid. Leen Leus (a wonderful researcher I had the pleasure of meeting a little over a year ago) disagrees with me and says it is tetraploid. Perhaps what is sold in Europe is different than here in the US? She uses flow cytometry measuring DNA content, while I count chromosomes in root tip cells. Maybe that plays a part in our different assessment. Sometimes DNA content can be variable. Also, maybe it is a chimera and is 4x in layer II of the meristem where the pollen and eggs are formed, but 3x in Layer III, the layer I end up assessing using adventitious roots. Chimeras are generally picked up though through flow cytometry though. Whatever the case, ‘Bonica’ is relatively fertile even if it is triploid in Layer II.



Henry, your Alba Meidiland seedling sounds promising. Does it produce seed or pollen? Do you have any photos?

I utilized a hybrid clinophylla descendant of ‘Bonica’ last season as pollen parent and had good success with it for those interested.

It is ‘Silver Dawn’.


Robert, see:


Nice. Had any luck with it?

Robert, it makes a nice low shrub rose. So far I just have not taken the time to use it in my hybridizing, or to submit it for outside evaluation.

I found another Alba Meidiland seedling. It is a 1996, and is a very large bush about 6 feet tall. It also gives a lot of rebloom. I did not record its flower characteristics. From memory it has either semi-double or double, small, white blooms.

After I found out its size, I transplanted it to the back of the property along a six foot solid fence where I left it fight for space with William Baffin and an R. Setigera open pollinated seedling.

No disease and no winter die back.

I found a third Alba Meidiland open pollinated seedling. This one also is from the 1996 crop. It is quite large with very double, small, white flowers. No disease or winter die-back. It is against the north side of the house where it gets very little sun. Very good rebloom.

I will have to check and see if it has hips.

Any of those that produce hips or pollen would be interesting to play with.

My commercial Alba Meidiland was located right next to one of my best mothers a (Therese Bugnet X OP) X OP. One of the open pollinated seedlings of this mother does not look anything like the mother. It has small single white flowers and is fertile and very repeat blooming. The leaves do not look like rugosa or Theresa Bugnet leaves. It is winter hardy and disease free. It forms a shrub type bush around 5 feet tall. I have long suspected that the father was Alba Meidiland.

Thanks Henry. That’s all very promising.

I will definitely look into acquiring one of the “sisters” I was inquiring about. Does anyone have any info on Swany??

Started thinknig about these lines again and thought I’d dig this back up. Henry, have you any further information on / work from those plants?