'Darlow's Enigma' for disease resistance


I’m answering you from your Breeding Strategies posting. I thought because of the thread’s length it is best to begin a new topic.

I realize there has been a lot of hype regarding 'Darlow’s Enigma’and its disease resistance/peformance. However, I wouldn’t restrict myself to only one Hybrid Musk cultivar in a breeding program with this type of rose. Since the Hybrid Musks are known for their relatively good disease resistance, I would use more cultivars of them when crossing with modern roses. There is the example of ‘Sally Holmes’ (‘Ivory Fashion’ x ‘Ballerina’) that is one of the great modern shrub roses and is known to have good disease resistance. Interestingly, if you look at the pedigree of ‘Ivory Fashion’, it has at least two Hybrid Musks in it (‘Eva’ and ‘Robin Hood’). Perhaps that was an important factor for the development of disease resistance in ‘Sally Holmes’.

If you are crossing Miniatures with ‘Darlow’s Enigma’, what is your ultimate goal? I wouldn’t do it just because this is a successful cross to make and the progeny appears to be disease resistant. Hybrid Musks, at least the ones like ‘Ballerina’ and ‘Belinda’ that exhibit more of the Rosa multiflora characteristic that is in their pedigree, are among the most graceful roses ever developed. Since there is a lack of graceful roses in landscapes, I would take advantage of Hybrid Musks to develop roses similar to them in growth habit. Whether it can be done crossing with Miniatures I don’t know, but I would be inclined to also experiment with Floribundas and modern shrub roses. I think ‘Armada’ would be excellent to use, since it has a good dose of Rosa wichuraiana on both sides of the parentage for potential disease resistance. The seeds also germinate easily.

Don’t forget about first developing a breeding line that has good disease resistance and then using it to cross with modern roses. For example, you might try ‘The Fairy’ x ‘Darlow’s Enigma’. Again, like ‘Armada’ there is a good dose of Rosa wichuraiana in ‘The Fairy’ along with a shrub that is more graceful than the former cultivar. ‘The Fairy’ also has a pretty good track record for developing new roses.

Anyways, good luck using ‘Darlow’s Enigma’. Keep us informed of your progress.


Since we are on the topic of Hybrid Musk/multiflora/overgrown polyanthas, etc…

Ive found Bukavu extremely difficult as a seed parent. Im lucky if I get one seed.

What would be some good seed parents for the more difficult to use parents in this “clan” of roses? I used (Dortmund x Circus) x Bukavu last year but Im not sure if they’ll germinate well yet.

I have found ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ breeds a lot of lookalike seedlings, which is of little value if you want color in the progeny. Perhaps you should consider working with ‘Trier’ instead, as it has excellent disease resistance and is much more capable of producing strongly pigmented offspring in a wide range of colors. I have found it an amazingly versatile breeder, which I can’t say about ‘Darlow’s Enigma’.


Most probably Bukavu and Sally Holmes are triploids as are some others tempting Lens originations i.e. Rush.

They set only a few seeds that germinate poorly.

Looking for better fertility in from a triploid mother progeny is something I do no more. Every other path is easier. Going back to the true species for one.

Pierre Rutten

Paul, do you have Bright Smile? That with Darlow’s Enigma might bring out some decent color.

I have a question loosely related to this topic. I asked about Aglaia a couple of times and wondering if anyone has any idea what kind of disease resistance it may have?

If I hadnt moved to Idaho this winter, I would be preparing for some crosses between Aglaia and Golden Glow this spring. Not sure why, but I am facinated with Golden Glow. The things that interest me are that its a fertile triploid, has r. wichuraiana in its history, is a nice yellow and is fairly cold hardy.

Since you were talking Hybrid Musks and disease resistance I thought I would pipe in with Aglaia and ramble about it a bit. Since it is a parent of Trier and Trier is fairly disease resistant, I could guess that Aglaia has the potential to pass on a moderate amount of disease resistance. Really depends on the other parent of Trier. Someone did mention once that Trier could very well be a selfed Aglaia. Rogers roses states that the other parent is ‘Mrs R. G. Sharman Crawford’.

Aglia is interesting because of its color, light yellow, and that it is a multiflora hybrid. Not sure how winter hardy Aglaia is. Rogers roses states zone 6 but I have heard that may be a little conservative. Trier is zone 5. The problem for me is that its a diploid. The ploidy is why I am interested in crossing it with Golden Glow. A successful cross between Golden Glow and Aglaia could produce something interesting. I am hoping that the possibility of a fertile triploid is more likely when using a fertile triploid as a parent. Its one of those things someone with no genetics clue hopes might work.

I am also planning on trying some pollen from Out of Yesteryear. Not to long ago there was some excitement about the possibility of getting fertile triploids or even tetraploids from crossing O of Y with diploids.

I guess I am not overly interesting in doubling experiments. My only hope is that I can get something interesting from crossing diploids with roses that may be a little un-balanced. Guess that means I should try Aglaia with New Dawn as well.

Trier seemed to be be a fairly disease free for me but it hated my alkaline soil in Nebraska and didnt do well. It does appear that Trier can produce some yellow offspring. I will have to reconsider using it. Its seeds are very easy to work with. Germinate fast with a pretty high percentage.

Is Ross Rambler disease resisant? It would seem that it should be but I know nothing about R. beggeriana. I am considering trying Ross Rambler with Aglaia too.

There are so darn many interesting things to try and only one short life time to try them in. Drat.

Hey Steven, have you seen this one?

Yellow Ribbons x Aviateur Bl