Crested Moss has strange blooms

I’m beginning to see why there are very few offspring from Crested Moss. I’ve collected about 20 blooms from two plants. I averaged about six anthers per bloom. I thought I had a fairly decent number of anthers, but the amount of pollen is almost nil. I have a bunch of blooms that should be ready to gather pollen from this week, so I’m hoping for some improvement in the amount magic yellow powder.

I’ve disected a number of the blooms and found that the petals actually look like they fold back down into the ovary and smother the filaments and anthers. It’s quite unlike any other blooms that I’ve seen. Could that explain why CM rarely sets hips? Some of the immature petals look as if they started to form anthers, but then formed the petal. When I find a good example I’ll post a photo.

That’s why I gave up on White Lightnin’. I tried 3 years straight to do Midnight Blue x White Lightnin’ only to give up because what few anthers it would share wouldnt even shed no matter what stage or process I tried.

I remember Ralph Moore said the reason he used Crested Moss on Little Darling when he did was because he noticed pollen shedding. Apparently this wasn’t a common occurrence.

Timing is everything with roses.

Kim Rupert told me he had never gotten anything out of ‘Jocelyn’. In my garden ‘Jocelyn’ pollen rarely shed but I did notice it shedding one day and managed to get something out of it using, ‘Joycie’.

I think it helps to be a bit near sighted. I can see pollen pretty easily.

I’m going to stay with it for now. I assumed that finding the right seed parent would be the most difficult part of working with CM, but I guess I was very wrong.

A friend of mine has an interesting way of doing his pollinations that might be good for those stingy pollen producers. He prepares the pollen parent by cutting off the flower and removing the petals and the sepals then prepares the seed parent in the normal way and then sits the pollen parent flower upside down on the seed parent and wraps them both in foil and leaves them for a few days. Any pollen produced goes down straight onto the stigma. Yo would use a lot of flowers but it might be good for those reluctant to shed their pollen in visible amounts. It gets really hot up where he is and it doesn’t seem to affect things much and it prevents unwanted pollen from contaminating the bloom.

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Interesting idea. It was suggested to me some time ago to crush the anthers to extract the pollen. I’ve tried it and still no luck. I’m really beginning to think that the majority of CM’s are sterile.

I might try the method you suggested because nothing else appears to be working. Basically I have nothing to lose.

Paul Barden has a crested rose he bred he calls Persil. I’m hoping that he created the break through to the yellow crested that I’m working on. I’m waiting on flowers from it right now.

I remember Ralph saying that when he collected pollen from R. centifolia cristata, he had a shoe box loaded with blooms and ended up with enough pollen to pollinate about 5 or 6 flowers! It takes work to find some, but when you do get a bit, it takes very little to do the job. Persist and you will get results.

This morning I collected about a dozen blooms from R. centifolia cristata. These yielded an average of 4 fully formed anthers per bloom. Some yielded only one, and one bloom gave me about 15. (apparently I’m not permitted to include a link to the photo from source X because of aggressive spam filtering. Hmmm)


I don’t need this pollen so if you want, I can mail it to you. Let me know where I can send it to, please.

Here are the photos of the inside of the Crested Moss bloom.

The first shows what looks like a filament attached to a petal rather than an anther. The arrow points to what I’m looking at.

The second picture shows the petals folded down inside the hip/ovary.

Being relatively new to this hobby, this seems a little strange to me. It’s just a guess, but I’m thinking the petal arrangement inside the hip/ovary contributes to CM not setting hips.

R. centifolia cristata is an odd duck in many ways. Yes, this rose and many of the Centifolia/Gallica clan have a way of folding the center petals into the receptacle. This is how we get the famous “button eye”. It was selected by humans as desirable, aesthetically, but from an evolutionary standpoint, it isn’t a desirable feature; it often prevents the formation of functional stigmas, or at the very least, it blocks an insect’s access to the stigmas. However, on occasion R. centifolia cristata will form a hip and a percentage of these hips will have one or two seeds in them. (Usually they are malformed seeds and none has ever germinated when planted, in my experience)

Your first photo illustrates another common trait of extremely double roses: anthers that end in hybrid petal/anther structures. It is worth taking a close look at these structures, especially if the roses you want the pollen from only rarely forms anthers. These can be part anther, part petal and may still yield some pollen.

I have pollen from mine drying now, Jeff, and hope to get that in the mail to you tomorrow. It should be sufficient pollen to pollinate eight or ten blooms of something.


I really appreciate the pollen.

The information on the Centifolia was interesting. I remember you mentioned about a year ago when I was wanting to cross CM that it rarely set hips. That’s why I have just decided to pull the blooms to extract the anters inside.