Darlow's Enigma X Francis Dubreuil

Last year I was testing several pollens on Darlow’s Enigma and one that took was Francis Dubreuil and there was only one hip with 4 seeds in it. Darlow’s seeds are small already but these were about 1/4 the size of a regular Darlow seed and I really didn’t think anything would come ot it. Last week there was one which sprouted and to my dissappoint it passed away yesteday to what I don’t know. But just the fact that One of Darlow’s hips was fertile with a cross was encouraging to me. I believe I remember someone saying they had a cross with Darlow as the seed parent and the seedling died also. I know Henry has a rugosa which he crossed with darlow as the pollen parent but don’t know of any surviving Darlow seeding with Darlow as the seed parent. If there is would like to know. I will try with Francis again next year and several that I believe might be compatable. Oh well I still have three seeds left and maybe one of them might sprout.


I collected OP seed from a friend

What IS our consensus best guess at to DE’s ancestry? I

I tried DE pollen onto Rabble Rouser with zero success. I guess I could try it onto Danae to see if any possible relation kicks in but I really dont want any rambler types. I have no clue what is in it except for some obvious relation to the multiflora/moschata rambler types (several species but these are the two common ones).

Based on what Joan said, I think Darlow’s Enigma is an ideal candidate for using mixed pollin (with Darlow’s Enigma as the mother). Yes you will only get a few seeds per pollination, but so far the seeds seem to have a high germination rate.

Right now there is a very good discussion of the ancestory of Darlows Enigma on the antique roses forum.

Link: forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/rosesant/msg0211073327256.html?21

It will produce healthy seedlings from diploid pollen and seemingly from its own pollen (numerous OP seedlings have been grown by a number of other people), so I see no reason why it shouldn’t do the same with pollen from fertile triploids or tetraploids - which is where I assume “Francis Dubreuil” would fit in terms of chromosome number. Of course, there are occasionally crosses that simply result in high numbers of unhealthy offspring, so you’ll certainly want to keep trying that one again if it doesn’t turn out well this time.

Just an update where I stand on Darlow’s Enigma as a seed

and pollen parent so far this year. I currently have about:

Lynnie X Darlow - 5 hips

midnight blue X Darlow - 1 hip

Rise N Shine X Darlow - 17 hips - these hips look really good and are 2 months old.

I recently put Lynnie pollen on 175 Darlow flowers and most are swelling and rounding out. I opened one up and there were 9 seeds in it but its way too early to call this a success as its only been three weeks. Darlow seems to polinate all summer long no matter how hot it gets so I will try Francis Duberil next.


I grew some Darlow’s seedlings years ago and they were all discarded after year one. Poor growers, all inferior to Darlow’s. A much more willing and infinitely more capable parent is another Hybrid Musk, Trier. It is capable of real magic and is much easier to work with. Its pollen sets seed on anything.


My open pollinated seedlings are in general as good or better than the original. I donated many small D.E. seedlings to our local rose society for their annual spring plant sale; and they were a very popular item with lots of positive feedback.

This is a very old string, but I’m wondering if there is any new news about the parentage of Darlow’s Enigma and/or it’s chromosome number?

Whereas I am reading it and wondering what Joan, Patrick, and Paul are up to these days… I don’t think I’ve seen posts from any of them in eons! LOL