Best Yellow & Orange Breeders

Hey everyone,

Any input on parents (you have used or know of) that pass on dark/bright yellow, apricot and/or orange coloring and are also fairly good in the disease resistance department? It would be good to know whether the parent is best as mother, father or both.

I’m generally looking for any roses other than hybrid teas that may or may not repeat.

Fragrance is a plus but not necessary.



I’ve been using Sutter’s gold for a while and got a reasonable amount of good seedlings. I use it as the seed parent, but it does produce pollen too. I’ve mostly used this with miniature roses inorder to put in the fragrance. Last year I had several seedlings of it crossed with the pollen Renae, and most of them were some sort of orange color, mostly in the “Ole” “Dolly Parton” orange shade. I will post a pic when something blooms. You may want to try Abraham Darby as several hybridizers use this rose and the seedlings I’ve seen are in the orange-apricot-yellow range. I discarded it from my garden in order to plant a seedling of my own.

Remember Me. No fragrance but no disease either. Good vigor, no cold problems and the type of orange it has is very unique. Belle Epoque is very unique as well. It is a pastel bronze with an orange reverse plus some scent to boot. Sorta smells fruity to me.

Sunsprite is fertile both ways and has good fragrance.

I think if you mated ‘Graham Thomas’ with the right thing, you can get some excellent results. Same goes for ‘Abraham Darby’.


Hi Mike:

I will also give support to try ‘Abraham Darby’. Cross it with other roses or seedlings with yellow in the heritage and you will get some nice yellows with fragrance at times. Also ‘Livin’ Easy’ is a great hip setter and produces that color range. For the really dark yellows, nothing has been better for me than ‘Henry Fonda’. It doesn’t do that well as a seed parent and the pollen seems to have somewhat lower fertility than average, but the yellow is great (I only use it as a pollen parent).


Has anyone used Goldmoss? Does it pass on its yellow and mossing very well? I’ve used it with Livin Easy, and once on Prospero, but it would be nice to hear some experiance. My only biggest beef with Goldmoss is that it holds on its petals and turns to a very ugly spotted pink color. But it flowers without any stop, even with hips on it. I’ve meant to cross it with Tamora, but never really got to it. I guess it’s something for next season.

Two rose which I’ve used as seed parents with good results in varing shades of yellow and apricot are Buck’s Pearlie Mae and Prairie Harvest. You can obtain some good disease resistance and Z5 hardiness. I’ve also had luck with Gold Badge as a pollen parent.


I have seen enough results from crosses using ‘It’s Showtime!’ to be able to recommend it for breeding. It is a Ralph Moore rose made by crossing ‘Joycie’ X ‘Bon Silene’. Use it for pollen. Here is my favorite seedling from a cross of ‘Rise ‘N’ Shine’ X ‘It’s Showtime!’


One thing I am certainly going to try next year is Sun Downer – it is one of the AARS roses for 2004 (I live near one of the test gardens, and they have next year’s winners planted in the public gardens this year) and it is breath taking. I don’t know if it is a good parent yet, of course, but it is a stunning floribunda – lovely fragrance, incredible yellow-orangish blend color, constantly COVERED in blooms, on a shortish attractive bush thickly clothed in glossy utterly clean leaves (and that is here in the Black Spot capital of the US) It is, I think, a really ground breaking varriety and I am going to be breeding with it as quick as ever I can.


Sundowner? Isnt that a orange grandiflora from the 70s? Im confused. Do you mean the AB FL from Fryers called Daybreaker?


Yes, thank you Jadae, it is Daybreaker – got the time of day mixed up there. Anyhow, it is a stunning rose.


Thanks for the clarification. I agree, though. When I went to the Washington Park gardens in Portland–Daybreaker was definately the best of the 3. At least for my area.

Beautiful, Paul!

Paul, will Ralph Moore ever re-release It’s Showtime! ?

‘It’s Showtime’ was sold to Spring Hill Nursery, who holds its patent. Ralph no longer holds the rights to this variety. Too bad for us.


Hey everyone, thanks for the great responses to my question. Before I started college, I had some great results with Abraham Darby self-polinated. One seedling obtained was a peachy apricot, similar to Abraham Darby and another was a fully double, pure yellow seedling with fragrance (think The Pilgrim with the fragrance of Abraham Darby). The seedlings curiously disappeared after I went away for a week in the summer! I will definitely be using Abe in the future. Graham Thomas is a rose I considered a while ago and haven’t given much thought to. I know John Clements has created a very disease resistant rose by the name of Morning Has Broken which has G.T. and Gold Badge as parents. I am also fairly certain that I will be using the minis Rise N Shine (mostly based on Paul’s results) and Golden Angel, which seems to have the ability to pass pure yellow coloring on to many of its offspring. I am also considering some of the Buck Roses, but am not sure yet.

Paul, you certainly come up with good things. Is that rose a mini? Whatever it is, it certainly is beautiful. I am particularly impressed with the purity and saturation of the color all the way to the petal edges. Thanks for sharing this picture.

On another note, do you know the status of that yellow bracteata moss from Moore on your page? Any idea if it will be released anytime soon? I could imagine such a rose being useful to me in many ways, as well as being outstanding in the garden!

On the topic of It’s Showtime, Helpmefind lists it for sale through Michigan Bulb Co. I have no experience with this company.

Michigan Bulb Co. more info

Type: Retail & Mail Order

Catalog: Printed & Online

Address: Grand Rapids, Michigan

United States

Phone: 812-539-2496 (Information)

812-537-5946 (Fax)

812-539-2494 (Ordering)

Internet: (Website) (Email)

Thanks again, everyone. Keep the suggestions coming!


Spring Hill is owned by Michigan Bulb. Not the best company, but not completely fly-by-night. Tend to overhype and send small plants. Have gotten some things satisfactorly through them. I also believe they have recently changed ownership and are now owned by “Garden’s Alive”. I’ve included a link that helps rate Plants By Mail companies:

Two yellow roses that might not be the best for breeding:

Marco Polo and Gina Lollibrigida (at least as seed parents). Marco Polo has very shallow recepticles, So I don’t know if it can set hips. Gina is the color I like, deep yellow, but not apricot, and I thought it was going to set hips, but they appear to be dying as well. I should say that I just got Gina this year (bare root, Home Depot) and its still potted up. Both roses seem to make good amounts of pollen


Another breeder for orange/apricot is Westerland. It works as both seed and pollen parent.


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Thanks Joan,

Westerland has been recommended to me quite a few times. Can you elaborate on your experiences with it?