Anyone worked with 'Many Happy Returns'?

I didn’t realise ‘Many Happy Returns’ was a ‘Mermaid’ descendant (so not that far removed from bracteata). This rose was recommended to me by Mr and Mrs Viraraghavan when I mentioned I was interested in bracteata and we can get it here easily. Anyone know if it has inherited low fertility from ‘Mermaid’?

Was discussed here:

Looks like it might be worth using here then :slight_smile:

I don’t know about ‘Many Happy Returns’ but I did have it’s pollen parent,‘Pearl Drift’. It mildewed so badly I couldn’t bring myself to use it.

I do like the idea that ‘Herbstfeuer’, a nice saturated Eglanteria hybrid was used as seed parent.

If you’ve got a chance to acquire ‘Many Happy Returns’ and Viraraghavans recommended it, chances are it’s worth exploring.

MHR fertility is high. An easy mother with many hips with many seeds that germinate not better than average.

There is a nice floribunda bred from it and Amber Queen. The name escapes me.

I grew it one year, but discarded it because the growth was too funky and stubby. It probably would have produced decent seedlings, though. I remember it being thorny, though. However, I do not recall any disease whatsoever.


Commercially available


Oh, they sell Louisa Stone at Heirlooms, I think. So, if anyone wants access to it, maybe even to mix with Moore bract. hybrids, it should be there if my memory is right.

I have tried to pollinate MHR with a local Australian feral r.bracteata ( appears hybridised - does not set seed) with no success as yet.

I have a couple of seedlings from a cross with Harmonie - one of which produces nice blooms, but not really in quantity.


I’m thinking of using MHR as a pollen parent onto ‘Safrano’ and ‘Mons. Tillier/Archduc Joseph’, and ‘Comtesse de Labarthe’ (and maybe ‘Lady Hillingdon’ if I can get the cuttings to strike) to see what I get… keen to try and get gigantea lines and bracteata lines together to see if that works.

“keen to try and get gigantea lines and bracteata lines together to see if that works”

Simon, In a broad sense this has already occurred if you consider most modern roses more or less all contain gigantea germ plasm.

On the other had working close to gigantea, bracteata and other evergreen species on a diploid level may or may not be yet to be explored. I’ve got to imagine Viru in India has already attempted to go down this road.

It’s also on my “to do” list.

“In a broad sense this has already occurred if you consider most modern roses more or less all contain gigantea germ plasm.”

Didn’t know this… is that from Teas → Hybrid Teas that you are talking about?

Update… ‘Many Happy Returns’ x bracteata took but some animal believed they needed the hips more than I did… OP ‘Many Happy Returns’ come up very easily. Nothing spectacular yet as the seeds are just up. Not happy with MHR as a grafted plant so far. Going to try and strike cuttings from it and grow it own root or graft onto multiflora to see if that helps this year. Grafted onto Dr Phooey MHR is a dud here. Going to use it extensively as a seed parent this season as the seeds germinated so easily and hips formed without too much trouble.

Yes, MHR sets LOADS of OP hips in my climate also.

With (Louisa Stone/Guinevere), what I noticed was that mature own-root plants at Heirlooms looked pretty aesthetic and natural. But the grafted one I bought from J/P during the one year they sold it, grew very awkwardly. It was vigorous but the stems were very stumpy. I killed it on year 3 because it failed to want to grow properly.

St. John, as I recently discovered and reported to HMF, is another descendant of Pearl Drift/Prima. Its Prima (MHR) x Grace Abounding. GA is a hybrid of Pink Parfait and Penelope. This would give it more multiflora influence. I have seen St. John for years. Its a very simple, compact white floribunda. It looks very boring but it is clean and crisp. I have no clue about hip setting ability but I assume that the pollen as at least fertile.

Fragrant Wave x St. John would probably produce a first class white FL … but white is so boring on floribundas :stuck_out_tongue:

We can get ‘Louisa Stone’ here. Might be some to track down next season. I’m going to focus on going back to bracteata first and then introducing other good shrubby roses.

Hi Simon,

I mostly used MHR with China Doll, with mostly (fading memory) pastel results. I did pollinate one hip in 02 with Harmonie and have kept one seedling. Strong pink, good form, reasonably vigorous, some troubled by BS, now used for pollen. No seedlings yet, only realized what I might have last year when I nearly lost it.