Champlain etc. - what are your thoughts about its breeding potential??

I’ve finally reached the point where I need to start taking a serious look at the breeding value or potential of some of the roses that I have accumulated over the years. There are a number of seedlings that need the bed space, and I have discovered (although I do not know why I was surprised by this) that most/all progeny of William Baffin have the climbing habit. This is just another added complication when it comes to seedling evaluation. So here is my list of ones that I am considering shovel pruning or donating to the neighbor.

Champlain - winter hardy, constantly in bloom, shows some late season disease problems for me, kind of an erratic growth habit, and to top it off I have not had any success using it as a pollen parent, and I really doubt that it can be used as a seed parent. Since Home Run has been working out for me, I am not sure what I could gain from Champlain that I could not get from Home Run. Fate - the neighbor.

JP Connell - as I mentioned in an earlier post it is gone after this pollination season. Talk about a black spot magnet not to mention a poor repeater. I’ve used it as a pollen parent for its winter hardiness and thornlessness. It is not capable of setting hips. Fate - compost bin.

Lambert Closse - I am really bummed about this one. Some of my very first seedlings are from this rose. The biggest problem is that it suffers from vegetative centers until probably August, and it does not get any fertilizer. The blooms this year are really struggling to open and I am noticing some black spot on it. The one seedling that I have kept from it does not seem to have inherited the vegetative center problem, but it does have some disease issues, winter hardiness so far seems OK. Fate - perhaps the neighbor with a few warnings.

Intrigue - Really love the color, but it is a poor repeater, has black spot issues, and in modest attempts I have not had any luck with it as a pollen parent. Fate - perhaps the neighbor, again with a few warnings.

Memorial Day - I was all ready to dig this one up and toss it in the compost bin this spring. I have had it for 3 years now and it finally started to take off. I have tried it as a seed parent this year with Morden Sunrise. Has anyone out there had any good luck with this rose in breeding?

Wild Ginger - This was one of my first Buck roses. It was a poor introduction to the potential of the Buck roses. Year 1 it was gorgeous, until black spot hit. It over wintered very poorly and in year 2 I moved it to make room for more promising parents. I moved it to a more protected spot and it came through the second winter in much better shape. This is not saying a whole lot, considering how badly it came through the first winter. It is certainly not stellar in vigor, but it seems to be a bit happier where it is and will be blooming shortly. I had pretty much decided to shovel prune it this spring as well, but it is starting to bounce back and I am having second thoughts. Has anyone out there had good experience with it in breeding?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Sounds good to me. There are superior purples to Intrigue now.

Yep!, I’d move on. I am deleting 90% of my collection this season.

I think it’s important to focus on what’s absolutely critical to making progress.

There are too many good roses out there to focus on anything marginal.

Well you 2 certainly can not be accused of being enablers of hanging onto so-so germplasm. Thanks for the support, Liz

I recommend Morden Centennial as a mother with more disease resistant fathers. See:


Henry, you definitely are an enabler of accquiring more germplasm. Actually my mom has three bushes of Morden Centennial, and they hold up to her ‘care’ quite well. I have thought about getting one, nice to know that it is a good seed parent.

JP Connell is triploid and that may be a strong contributor to the low fertility.

I suggest giving Champlain another opportunity to prove itself. I have a nice very quartered dark red pillar rose from it crossed with William Baffin. In general, I love its well-branched habit and ability to bloom and bloom. Although it gets some blackspot and mildew, it is pretty tolerant and keeps blooming away. I have some nice offspring that are grandchildren and great grandchildren of it. I’ve had good success using it as a pollen parent. It is tetraploid.

That is great the success others are having with Home Run. It is triploid. It doesn’t do that well up here in zone 4. Mine barely overwintered and is growing in size again and beginning to flower okay. Maybe it needs just a little warmer climate to show its potenial. It was pushed heavily in the local garden centers this spring and looks okay in pots. Maybe I’m not in an area where it has the potential to shine. I’ll give it more time and see if it does better for me and how it does for others around here.



Champlain is one of the roses I bought last year. Another rose that I bought at the same time is My Hero. So far I

I’m hoping my Home Run hybrids will be hardier than Home Run itself. I can’t wait to get them into some climates where they can be tested.