Anyone ever use R. palustris scandens?

All this week I’ve been doing clean-up in the garden and been admiring the forming architecture of my young plants starting to looks more like actual shrubs and so far r. palustris has really impressed me. It’s not prickly and doesn’t at first look much like a rose at all. Granted mine’s still young but I really like what I see so far. I was able to get a relatively good clone that has repeat from Ashdown Roses before they gave their stock to Rouge Valley Roses. It’s very good, repeats on and off all summer with nice blowsy flowers, if RVR still has it then I’d recommend that particular clone. Pretty hips too.

I’m looking forward towards trying to use it in my but I’m unsure of what I should attempt to cross it with…what exactly is palustris scandens ploidy? That would help me figure out what I could try crossing it with…

I would love to see if I could cross it with something that would produce an increased petal count from it overall. It again depends on the ploidy…I would dare to cross it with ‘Plaisanterie’ if palustris scandens is a diploid since that rose has horrible thorns, and so far I can tell palustris has far fewer…if any at all. Would nip that problem right then and there.

Has anybody used this native rose before? If it’s fertile I think it could be really useful…

I made a couple of hybrids using it as pollen parent. I kept one and gave the other away.

CDXRPAL is completely infertile so far.

Foliage is elongated, shows influence of palustris.


I have one of your seedlings of R. p. s. I am unsure if it isn’t an accidental OP. It grows similar to a large mini and blackspots just as quickly. The color is an odd mix of yellow and mauve like Incognito but blended/watercolored instead. I have yet to see fertility in it.

Jadae, I didn’t know what to think about that one. It could be one of those odd pollen mix ups. Feel free to toss it out.

It’s interesting you note infertility. The other hybrid I made with scandens is also totally infertile.

I believe scandens itself is of hybrid origin. It would be interesting to know the story behind it. It doesn’t behave like a pure diploid version of the species in my opinion.

I’ve never grown R. palustris scandens, but remember reading somewhere else that it was of hybrid origin (as Robert mentioned). I wish I could remember where I’d read that. I think it might have been mentioned that it was not diploid, but maybe triploid??? But my memory is sketchy on that.

In any case, it sounds a lot different from the local clone that I’ve been using - which is single-flowered and has no repeat. I posted a picture of this one at HelpMeFind a while back.


Tom, I like the look of your local palustris.

Your (bracteata X (rugosa x palustris)hybrid is growing like mad here but no signs of flowering so far. We had a mild Winter. It could be it won’t flower this season for me.

Henry K gave away some seeds from a tetraploid R. palustris a couple years ago: is this the same as R. palustris scandens? Anyway, the seeds produced some nice looking plants.

scandens I think is identifiable by flowering more on and off throughout the summer or at least has the capacity to repeat. The flowers are also semi-double rather than single and my clone of scandens has deeper pink petals with slight purple tones actually now that I think about it, at least towards the end of the day or at petals that have fallen it picks up some slatey hues. If you look up scandens on hmf and then look at just palustris you can see there is a slight/variable color palette.

I think the seeds from a tetraploid palustris would probably be either a more fertile hybrid of palustris x whatever pollinated it, or itself. But I wouldn’t call them scandens necessarily…

Hi Robert,

It’s good to hear that hybrid is doing so well for you - I hope it gives you some blooms this year. It looks like the original and its siblings have survived the winter after their big move. I don’t think I’ll be getting any blooms this year though, because I’d cut them back to stumps for the move.

I’d like to think that our local clone of palustris is the “classic” one that I’ve seen depicted in old watercolor paintings. Compared to other [tetraploid] North American species types that I have (virginiana, carolina, and arkansana), it has very distinctively elongated (willowy) leaflets and is very different in having a tall, upright growth habit. It’s also much different from the North American diploids I’ve grown: woodsii, setigera and blanda.

In spite of being collected from a boggy area (with several inches of water standing all around it), it is quite happy growing in a normal garden setting here in Maryland. It blooms fairly late for a species - usually about when wichuraiana blooms.

I have seeds planted that I hope will germinate this season from glutinosa X palustris, palustris X laevigata, and palustris X ‘Home Run’, but all of these were long shots done as open pollinations. I had figured that I would be able to tell easily if any seedlings would be actual hybrids, since glutinosa and palustris have always bred fairly true to type for me.


Just an quick update on the palustris X ‘Home Run’ and palustris X laevigata done as open pollinations… these are both germinating now [outdoors]. Just cotyledons so far, but the ones that are supposed to have been from X ‘Home Run’ do have a few seedlings with highly pigmented cotyledons, while none of the [supposed] X laevigata batches have these purple cotyledon types. I’ve noticed that my plant of ‘Home Run’, which is starting to leaf out a little, does have purple-tinted new growth, so I’m hoping that these dark cotyledon palustris seedlings are a sign that the cross has worked.


Sounds great Tom. Please let us know how they progress. Those are some very unique crosses.

Thanks Robert, I sure will.

I try to make up for the lack of sheer numbers (in my crosses) by focusing on less traveled paths (underutilized, stubborn and/or obscure species). I hope that I might have more spare time in the future and be able to expand on some of these “starts”.

I don’t have the scandens version, but my swamp rose is single and was collected in the wild (sorta)-- from what I remember, it was growing in the caked cement/dirt around a telephone pole.

Who sent it? I can’t remember… I wish, though.

I’ve have a very thorny hybrid of it with Basye’s Amphiploid. It has elongated-hemp like foliage. A trait present in neither parent.

I’m trying to have a miniature version of the swamp rose… I plan to use my Tom Thumb.

Well I said I would keep you updated Robert, so here’s my pleasant surprise for Spring 2010… Rosa palustris DID really accept pollen from ‘Home Run’ (seedlings on left). They are definitely more pigmented and the foliage shape is closer to a “modern” type than the selfed palustris seedlings (on the right for comparison).

[BTW That’s just a thin layer of playsand in the one pot to deter fungus gnats - the potting soil underneath is the same]

Congrats Tom. Very exciting!

How did these seedlings turn out by any chance Tom? Any promising ones? I’m curious to hear your experience in dealing with palustris seedlings so I know perhaps what to expect.

I’m highly interested in anything palustris, my plant I was just looking at the other day and it’s so attractive, even in winter. I like it’s relative spinelessness to, it’s fasinating to me to feel thornless roses like this and ‘Softie’ and the like. I’m going to try to do a real cross with it next year but I’m wondering what might be the best mate, especially since mines the scandens variety. Luckily it tends to rebloom or has a rather prolonged single bloom so I can experiment with it in rather a few different ways depending what’s blooming. It’s health is also so promising I think for breeding for Maryland.

  • Max


Palustris is a very nice plant, a lot like virginiana. If it breeds like virginiana, you will have more success using it for pollen than seed.

Hi Max and Dave,

I had thought all along that palustris would be like the other Eastern North American species. Like Dave mentioned I’ve found virginiana to be much more successful as a pollen parent. To my surprise, palustris seems to accept foreign pollens pretty well. I have a bunch of attempted crosses from this past season shelled out needing to be stratified. I don’t have any experience with “scandens” but vaguely recall someone reporting it as triploid. If so, it could well behave totally differently from the palustris I have (which I’m assuming is a diploid).

As for those palustris X ‘Home Run’ seedlings, they’re in the ground now. I think they’re were 9 or 10 of them. They were only a few inches tall when cold weather started so I doubt they’ll even bloom in 2011. Maybe if they get to growing vigorously, I’ll see some bloom in 2012. By the way, the temperature dropping darkened the purple tints of the foliage of these seedlings. One of them was completely purple before the leaves dropped.

Interesting that pal accepts pollen.

My two pal plants are from Henrys seed labelled “tetraploid R palustris.”

Very confusing whether pal is di, tri,tet.

Not that it’s any proof but it’s somewhat indicative of my clone of palustris being diploid… I’ve crossed it with rugosa (easily both ways) and the F1 hybrids don’t seem to have any reduction in fertility. As a sort of contrast… a more recent hybrid of rugosa with davidii (supposedly tetraploid) still makes OP hips and seeds but there seems to be some reduction in fertility since those hips vary greatly in size and aren’t ever well-filled with seeds. Another… rugosa X spinossima (tetraploid) has never set even a single hip in ten or more years.

There are pictures of my clone of palustris on HelpMeFind - note the elongated “willowy” leaflets. I’m certainly not a taxonomist but I’ve always personally considered this foliage shape to be a classic hallmark of palustris. I have a feeling that some of the clones in commerce or being otherwise distributed might be of hybrid origin, but still are probably derived from palustris.