An Attempt at recreating the Pernetiana Colours

When you look at all those old Pernetiana roses the colours blow me away, they have some of the richest colours I have seen. I gave it great thought on what I might use and came up with the first combination of (Queen Elizabeth X Lyon Rose) for this year. There are other cross combination but the blooms have not opened yet. The health of all seedlings has been very good as there has been no sign of fungus problems as yet. These are some of the petals stripped out of that cross.


A few years ago, I got a few seedlings of Livin Easy X a pernet hybrid (I forgot, it’s a German word for butterfly.)

It had none of the flamboyant colors. I got many yellows and reds, but not the pernet fire that I wanted. I would even love to see the colors of the persica hybrid Persian Sunset in a hybrid tea form.

I hope your seedling will do well. Queen Elizabeth is a great rose that can take on pollen traits rather easily (for me at least.)

I just collected several hips of Flower Carpet Amber x Personality. I figured it was a fun effort. It took, which I did not expect.

Hi Enrique;

There was Schmetterling bred by Herman Muller and another Rote Schmetterling bred by Max Vogel.So it did not give you anything at all?.

The beauty of using Queen Elizabeth and Sutters Gold is that Charlotte Armstrong being the parent of both has a lot of pernetiana in it, and both of them growing here in OZ are pretty clean. The Queen Elizabeth X Lyon Rose gave me colours which I am happy to start off with. Bought in another Pernetiana called Angele Pernet to be use this spring.

This is a photograph of a Sympathie X Lyon Rose, the photograph does not do the colour justice, it is quite bright. The use of Queen Elizabeth and Sympathie are a means of getting strength and vigour into my seedlings, which I feel is trait that is quite important.


I don’t think you’ll find anyone who loves the Pernetiana colors more than I have for nearly thirty years. I’ve collected and grown as many as I could find and was blessed to be able to grow them in a climate suitable for their fungal issues. Even at their best, the colors were very fleeting and plants often just on the edge of not being good garden plants.

Why wouldn’t you begin with something in the similar color ranges with better health? Queen Elizabeth is strong, yes. She’s also addicted to rust in much of the US, and probably elsewhere. Charlotte Armstrong was a breakthrough when new, but she ushered in a whole world of weak peduncles, large, thinly petaled flowers and marathon mildew. British breeders complained bitterly how Charlotte ruined roses with her thin stems, overly large petals and too few of them. I’ve grown her, Stockton Beauty and Banner, her striped sport. I loved Banner’s flowers, but hated that plant no matter what flower crowned it. I’d think for best results, you’d want to avoid reinforcing either of these two in your results.

Going backward with any of these holds great promise for short lived, amazing colors as well as reintroducing all the issues it’s taken the better part of a century to eliminate. Surely there are better “studs” upon which to base the recreation of hemophilia? Kim

Schmetterling did give me nice little seedlings, but they were runty and none of them surived.

But I never grow a large sample of any given cross because I just don’t have any space.

But 4 did repeat bloom, the others seemed to be non-remotants. And they didn’t have the pernet-shades that I love.

But that’s most likely because Schmetterling doesn’t have the flamboyancy as others of its class like Girona, which is a stunning rose and seems to be very disease resistant at Guadalupe Gardens.

I remember yellows and reds, the modern type of shades… But this is probably Livin’ Easy working through. I get a lot of red roses from Livin’ Easy. The only Pernet trait I saw was the tiny little petaloid in the center with the black thing…

I think that the route to the old Pernet colors would be using Girona, Tiffany, Sutters Gold, and Aloha. They all have that slight shot of “blue” that gives them the flamboyancy. And they’re far enough from foetida and its fungal problems.

I have to agree with Kim. I’m growing a bunch of Soeur Therese OP seedlings some of which have stunning color densities but all of which are essentially on chemical life support. The pigment densities in crosses using Pernetianas will almost always be lesser in accordance to the filial degree away from Persian Yellow (the farther away from the species, the more dilute the pigment).

One thing you might try, and which I am trying myself, is to back-cross densely pigmented, disease resistant modern breeders with the Pernetianas then double-cross the offspring and fish for the few more densely pigmented and healthy offspring that should occur among the many.

The pollinator Lyon Rose behaved its self quite well last year considering we had an unusually wet summer, no BS showed its head on it. Queen Elizabeth does very well here in OZ showing minimal disease or none at all. One of the reasons I used it was because of its health and vigour and Charlotte Armstrong bred to the teeth with Pernetiana blood lines. All these seedlings so far have showed no fungus problems at all, but then again summer temperatures have not started yet.

I have a Sutters Gold is about to flower, the pollen from these seedlings ,Lyon Rose and Angele Pernet will going on it.This pic is a Queen Elizabeth X Lyon Rose seedlings first flower and when you strip the petals you really see the colour brightness from the pernetian’s comming through.



This pic is the above seedling bloom’s petals, shows definite pernetiana influence.


Two of the nicest “plants” out of the Pernetiana group I’ve grown were Saturnia and Autumn. Both had decent foliage, particularly Saturnia, and both were vigorous, something that couldn’t be said of the group as a whole, particularly own root. Autumn was badly virused, obviously badly virused, yet it exploded into a huge plant smothering itself with bloom any time you’d expect a rose bush to flower. Grande Duchesse Charlotte was one of the most exciting colors, but had a “Charlotte Armstrong” type plant…weak, thin peduncles, prickly wood, just “wispy” in general. When fresh, and before the heat and sun faded them, they were a saturated tomato red. The patent describes them as “pomegranate purple, oxblood red, carmine and rose red”. Photos never do the intensity and saturation justice.

Mark Sullivan resembled Autumn in coloring much of the time on a more “HT” type plant. I read the old descriptions lusting after the “old gold and red veining” they said to watch for. It took a particularly cool spring to finally see them after quite a few years of growing it. The extreme sun and intense heat kept them washed out. Ralph used Mark Sullivan to create his Orange Moss.

I Zingari was exciting, particularly as it is the last Joseph Pemberton “HT” remaining. Terrible plant and very difficult to maintain, but exciting.

I loved the colors and delighted in being able to grow them, but none of them were “plants” I wanted to deal with as far as breeding was concerned. Kim

I love the colours, as I said earlier, they would be the richest colours I have seen. I have given myself one year to work out what I am going to cross with these pernetiana’s, with a lot of asprins. I think the Sympathie cross will be safe, as its health is unbelievable. Sutters Gold I have never seen growing, but friends of mine in the rose scene here in OZ say its pretty clean. One of mine Mister Z, I think will definitely fire things up.I know this is a bit risky .


Have any of you grown Federico Casas? I bought a large plant this year and have been very impressed with its shrubbiness. I have a couple of other “potted pet Pernetianas” and they are distinctly wispy in growth, as Kim remarked.

Federico has nice lime-green leaves that took a surprisingly long time to succumb to blackspot. In late summer we had some very hot, humid weather and a lot of rain, and it came out in spots. Then it shed those leaves, got new ones and started blooming again. The flowers are just semi-double and open quickly. The colors are very strong in cooler weather, paler in the heat, but still pretty. Fragrance is fruity but light, to my nose. It blooms abundantly, in flushes. It has weird thorns and even thorny peduncles. It does not seem inclined to form OP hips. I haven’t tried the pollen yet. Just had to report on a Pernetiana that is not wispy and that doesn’t get blackspot before it starts blooming in the spring :wink:.

Hi Betsy, I dont think we can get that one here in Oz, the colour intensity of the young blooms is great, its a pity about the fading of the older blooms though. Would be good to put in some china so the petals darken as they age, holding the colour longer.

Looking at it breeding there should not be any problems with its pollen. The Lyon Rose I used as a pollinator was very very good.


After seeing for so many years what good minis can to to improve breeding, if I were to consider attempting recreating the Pernetiana colors, I would first research the healthy, vigorous minis for my area, select those which have produced colors approaching what I sought, then begin breeding with them toward that goal. Many of the issues concern the vigor and quality of the basic plant. Many minis offer much toward that improvement. When you see some of the incredible coloring of minis like

Autumn Splendor 'Autumn Splendor ™' Rose

Autumn Magic 'Autumn Magic' Rose no photos, sorry

Show ‘n’ Tell 'Show 'n' Tell' Rose

Rainbow’s End 'Rainbow's End ™' Rose

Ring of Fire 'Ring of Fire ™' Rose

There are many others which can provide very “Foetida like” coloring. Surely some which are healthy and vigorous where you are can be secured? Cal Poly can remove prickles and has been highly rated by several who know their roses for disease resistance. It resulted in Golden Horizon 'Golden Horizon ™' Rose which contains Strawberry Ice.

If it’s possible to get an improved Ferdinand Pichard using minis back with suitable floribundas (Scentimental), surely mining for the Pernetiana colors can be successfully achieved following the method?

I’m sure there are suitable ones you have access to I’ve never seen as they aren’t in this country and may well never be. It’s worth taking a look at. Kim

Golden Beryl is of Pernetianan colored minis, but it gets blackspot like that whole line does.

I used Mary Susan, which is half Piccadilly, this year, and I hvae no clue what colors may pop up. I think it was Prairie Sunrise and Teeny Boppper pollen.

Even Buck experienced increases in disease pressures when he introduced those colors into his roses. Pink Petticoat is extremely disease resistant in many areas. If you go back far enough behind it, you’ll find Soliel d’Or as well as a number of its offspring. Ring of Fire, and Robi are two of its brighter colored offspring. Robi has Dortmund behind it. Kim

You could also look at a number of the russet minis. LeGrice wrote the mauves required an admixture of oolors including the red/yellow bicolor. Building up or homogenizing the pigments resulted in silvery lavenders, or whites heavily grayed. Throwing in a ringer and partially breaking down the homogenization resulted in browns. Would it be safe to presume that a russet mini might contain the necessary components to build back the intensified pigments required for the Pernetiana look? Autumn, among others, has many of the same pigments found in minis like Suntan Beauty and many of the group have the bronze to purple pigment shift Suntan Beauty, Distant Drums and many others demonstrate. Lavender Pinocchio (terrible plant, gorgeous flowers when right) demonstrates that in an earlier example. Purple mums sport to the similar bronze tones. Winter Magic threw Cafe Ole.

Suntan Beauty came from Yellow Jewel which also produced Indian Princess and Carmella, neither of which is that far of a stretch from the colors you seek. You might also consider a few of the stronger colored Austin roses. Pat Austin IS a Pernetiana, all the way down to the small, red prickles on the peduncles. Kim



My ‘plantiquarian’ tendencies want to believe that there still is breeding value in the roses of the past, even the spotty ones, but if you are going to use Pernetianas you need to cross them with something very healthy and cull out the sickly seedlings immediately, before a pretty bloom leads you astray.

However, Kim and Don have offered some very good advice. Looking at Pernetiana pedigrees, it seems that the best colors come from the collision of two very different sets of genes, the yellow and the dark pink. In the first few generations the genes are not thoroughly blended together, so neither are the colors or other traits. You get the fiery colors, the veining, etc. The further away from the genetic collision, the more homogenized the results. It’s like a marble cake. If you just swirl the chocolate and vanilla batter around a little in the pan, you get a dramatic marble cake. The more you mix, the more the two different colors blend until you get a result that is just as delicious but not as dramatic.

Theoretically, then, you don’t need a Pernetiana to create that genetic collision. (I’ve begun testing this theory myself this year, plan on doing more next year, and will let you know if I get anything.) Using minis seems like a great idea. Cal Poly and Golden Angel are healthier for me than Rise ‘n’ Shine and have some fragrance too.

Arizona and World Peace are probably the last Pernetiana types to be mainstream. However, a rose called Bronze Sunset, if you can find it, has these colors on a modern rose. I’m assuming that it is is bred from Arizona.

Don, Kim and Betsy;

Don’t get me wrong, all the advice all of you are giving me I am taking in, just that most of the cultivars your mentioning I cannot get hold of. I know if the parents I choose are wrong all hell break loose, and I always say if you get it wrong in one breeding season, you have wasted two years. This year I have been blessed Besty, every thing that germinated for me this year had good vigour and absoluty no PM or BS has shown its head. I have thrown out a few seedlings which showed weaker vigour, vigour is one of the traits I value highly.

As I have said in other strings, if any cultivar I want to use shows excessive problems with health I do not use it.

There are a few HT’s I have access to which are not pernetiana’s, but have that look about them and those which I have bred my self. True colours (shown in the page link), has that pernetiana look about it bright pink on top and yellow reverse. It is extremely sound health wise as well. Then there is Mister Z (had this spy thing going named one Mister Z and another Madam X), it has very cerise pink blooms.

I do appreciate all your advice though.