Buck's R. fedtschenkoana x R. laxa (Retzius) hybrids

Has anyone read anything about Dr. Buck’s crosses with these roses? Has he gotten a rose that repeated rebloom? I read an older ARS article pretaining about this.

Also I have read that many of the Portlands’ (specifically the ‘Duchesse de Portland’) ability to rebloom does not come from China blood, rather it came from R. fedtschenkoana. It was genetically proven, but I cannot find a paper in existence about this. So I really want to read up more on this.

Hi Enrique, Yes, fedstchenkoana repeats by a different process than does rosa chinensis. Rosa damascena bifera as a parent of Portland Rose passes on this trait. Fedtschenkoana is tetraploid. I attended the symposium on Rosa damascena bifera last year at the Huntington where it was announced that it’s true parentage via DNA testing is : (R. moschata x R. gallica) x R. fedstchenkoana) Thanks, Robert

Oh Robert, does Huntington have an article, or some type of publication? Thanks,



The true parentage of R. damascena bifera is fascinating. I would never have suspected it. I would also appreciate a copy of any Huntington publication on the subject or a link to one. Also, were any other rose parentages revealed through DNA testing at the conference?




Fascinating it is. Moreover,the once-blooming Damasks have exactly the same parentage!

thus a once-bloomer can give a repeat-flowering sport, and the reverse can also occur.

This explains why we had hybrids between european and china roses in the nineteenth Century. These were not obtained from the Gallicas. Everybody who has tried crossing Gallicas and Chinensis knows it does not work.

The origin of the Bourbons (Damascena semperflorens& Old Blush) is now questionned, but the Hybrid Perpetuals were very probably originated by Portlands and Chinensis.

A question stays open, that is to know if the remontancy from the Damasks and the one from the Chinensis are compatible or not. We know these are different.Maybe the nineteenth Century’s breeders were lucky to get some repeat-bloomers among a mass of once-bloomers.

Closely observing my Damasks Perpetuals, it seems their “rebloom pattern” is to extend their main June flush, less lavishly,to end July (R.Damascena semperflorens)and even to end October (Duchesse de Portland), while the China-influenced repeat-bloomers tend to give two or more flushes with little in between (The Bourbons, many Hybrid Perpetuals).


Pierre Lauwers.

This is fascinating stuff; questioning the previously assumed parentage of so many influential roses.

Here’s a link that explains some of the research in more detail:


I have only tried once, without success, to cross a Gallica and a China (Mutabilis and Apothecary’s). From what Pierre is indicating, my failure might not have been such as surprise. Has anyone else tried such crosses with either success or failure?? Gallica crosses easily with modern Hybrid Teas (I’ve always used gallica as the pollen parent).

Pierre, do you know what roses are being considered for the origin of the Bourbons?


As Gallicas are bad mothers,they are yes better used as a pollen parent.

When you cross an HT with a gallica’s pollen, you’ll get sterile once-bloomers ; so the story ends!

The Bourbons could have been originated by the “Edward’s Rose”, wich Gwen Fagan describes in her book “Roses at the cape of good hope”.

That this rose would have been obtained at La R

What I found interesting in that article is the comment about Rosa fedstchenkoana. I am in the wrong to assume they are saying that Rosa f is the source of moss roses? If so, could their be a possible future with this thought for moss roses? Also, what ploidy is Rosa f?

Thanks Tom for that site. I was very interested to read how the authors determined the genetics of R. damascena bifera even though I only halfway understood some of the jargon. I do however remember from high school biology that the mother passes on the chloroplasts which would serve as an obvious way to determine progeny. I gather from this that many modern hybrids have also inherited the moschata chloroplasts.

I have not tried any Gallica x China crosses, but I have had success using the China-influenced Gallica, ‘Duchesse de Montebello’ as a mother with various modern parents. Chiefly, I have used the English Rose ‘The Countryman’ whose ancestry is closely connected to R. damascena bifera: (‘Aloha’ x ‘The Yeoman’) x ‘Comte de Chambord’. 'Comte de Chambord’s parentage is ‘Baronne Prevost’ x ‘The Portland Rose’. My success was short-lived as the resulting seedlings died due to the fact that I had to leave town and had no one to take care of them in my absence. Based on 'Duchesse de Montebello’s latent recurrent gene (it has been used before as a parent whose offspring have been recurrent), my crosses probably would have been recurrent as well.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that R. fedtschenkoana is tetraploid but I am not sure.



Yes, I have also heard that R. fed-- is also a tetraploid. I could remember the very intresting thread last year on garden web. I wish that I had saved it on the hard drive.

Now that I have some more space for gardening, where can I get R. fed? Anyone wants to trade, or a sucker to spare? It is very dense as I understand. This rose has gotten a whole lot intresting to me.


Hello Enrique,

If you live in Europe, you can order R.Fedtschenkoana by Peter Beales.

If you live in north-America, by Vintage Gardens.

It seems R.Fedtschendkoana shows mossy traits (information given by Mr Ivan Louette, Belgium).

I think the stocks of this rose won’t last…

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

Just as a point of interest I know someone that is currently using fedtschenkoana in breeding and has it now in about three to four generations. It’s not a variety that I am particularly interested in myself but apparently it’s quite fertile. Fedtschenkoana is quite thorny and has at least to my nose has an unpleasant fragrance. Most of his hybrids have been large unruly growers with varying amounts of repeat and floral quality. There does seem to be good disease resistance, at least in Southern CA. I don’t have any literature about the presentation from the Huntington but Claire Martin there undoubtedly could supply more information. Thanks, Robert

Hello Robert,

I would be curious to know what other parents your acquaintance has been using in his fedtschenkoana breeding. Perhaps you could persuade him or her to post here as others would undoubtedy be interested as well.



Normally: Fremont, California, Z9

Currently: Goettingen, Germany, ZCold

There was an article years ago in the Canadian Rose Annual regarding the hardy rose breeding program at the Ontario Agricultural College. Rosa fed-- was apparently discarded for breeding because they couldn’t get anything useful from it. It is interesting how nature could create something so wonderful that trained scientists with all their resources couldn’t even imagine. Here’s to nature!

I think the statement “was apparently discarded for breeding because they couldn’t get anything useful from it” hinges very much on what they deemed “anything useful”, as it is now considered to be a fact that many of the old European roses have R. fedschenkoana in their pedigree.

A good friend of mine is working with this species also, crossing it with roses like ‘Orangeade’ and obtaining primary hybrids that he considers worth further exploration in his breeding work, so I think it is entirely worth pursuing. It makes a big difference what your goals are: it is entirely possible that first generation crosses with Hybrid Teas may result in nothing but junk, but perhaps that’s not where this species talents lie.



So do any of Dr. Buck’s R. fedtschenkoana x R. laxa (Retzius) hybrids still exist?


Paul B and I share the same friend. I’m practically sure he’s aware of this forum but I’ll send him an invitation to the discussion. Yes, ‘Orangeade’ was used as seed parent as well as several others. One of the most interesting seedlings I’ve seen come out of his work is a seedling with very deep blue/green foliage that is deeply intensified in cool weather going into plum tones. The effect is much like Rosa glauca but much more intense. Thanks, Robert

It’s exciting to see DNA testing being used to answer fundamental questions in rose ancestry. Hopefully we’ll see much more of this in the near future.

According to Modern Roses 11, R. moschata is diploid, R. gallica, R. fedtschenkoana, and Autumn Damask are tetraploid. Peter Harkness had an excellent article about the parentage of the damasks in the March 2002 issue of the American Rose. (There is a typo in it; it says that R. moschata has 12 chromosomes.)

The research was originally published in the article Triparental Origin of Damask Roses by H Iwata, T Kato, & S Ohno in GENE 259 (Dec. 2000), pp. 53-59

Tom, Mutabilis isn’t very fertile for me even when crossed with other diploid chinas and teas. I’d imagine it would be even less fertile when crossed with tetraploid gallicas.

I know whose ‘Orangeade’ hybrids you’re talking about… Sounds like ‘Orangeade’ has been an important rose in breeding with species. Wasn’t somebody doing a R. rugosa x Orangeade cross? How did it go?

How hardy is the Musk Rose? I thought it was tender unless it had a warm wall. I heard that this came from Persia, or cultivated in Persia before its’ introduction to Europe.

Now this creates a question, how and where did these parents combine?

I mean, if R. gallica and R. fedtschenkoana were in Europe, and R. moschata in Persia, where did they combined?

Just a question, is R. moschata abysinnica a relative to the real R. moschata?

Hello Enrique,

R.Fedtschenkoana was not in Europe, it’s a species from central Asia.

R.Gallica lived up to the present Turkey.

Thus the three could have met somewhere near the Caucasius, wich seems a real “melting-pot” for many roses.

Pierre Lauwers.