I know Mutabilis is very skimpy in being feritle, does anyone know if Comtesse du Cayla is fertle in any way? It seems to be similar to Mutabilis in terms of it’s color variance, except in more sherbet tones. I don’t have the plant myself, but it could be another option to get a similar look in breeding.
Since Mutabilis is a china I am wondering if it is only skimpy when it is young. Now, I don’t know a ton regarding china/tea/noisettes cause I live in Oregon. But I know enough. My Bengal Fire/Sanguine china only seems to set OP on the most outer branches. I crossed a lot of diploids to it in early spring with no success, however.
I grew open pollinated seeds of Mutabilis nearly twenty years ago. I kept two for a while. One is extinct, the other is in the trade as Rayon Butterflies.
The first seedling was very thorny, once blooming, single and white. Nothing wonderful, but it did interest me that Mutabilis should result in a once blooming white. As for the other, Mateo’s Silk Butterflies is more mauve. Early Rayon fabric turned pink with age. Rayon Butterflies starts light pink and darkens pinker with age. So, the name is a pun.
As for fragrance, I don’t detect anything from the flowers, but the peduncles, sepals, buds and sometimes, new growth, has the characteristic “sweet pepper” scent from China roses.
Here in the SoCal area, Mutabilis is VERY disease resistant, both at the beach in Pacific Palisades and here in the mid desert. There is light mildew when the conditions favor it and the plant is either stressed or situated improperly. Otherwise, it’s totally disease free for me. It’s also about as shade tolerant a rose as you could hope to find. It’s as free blooming as Iceberg in the climates I’ve grown it in. I’ve seen it grown as a shrub, climber and even hacked like a Euonymous and Lady Banks to keep it shaped for use as a taller hillside “ground cover”. Treated this way, it paves itself with flowers all the time, but does require more frequent hatcheting than even Banksia.
Has anyone else noticed the “halo” in the center of Happy Chappy’s blooms? It strongly suggests Anytime in the background.