Establishing apricot coloring in a breeding program?

Hi all. Everything here in Maryland is looking rather good this spring, a lot of my roses have buds so I’ve been thinking about what first crosses I want to possibly try, my first direct crosses ever- I’m a bit apprehensive with what I want to try, wondering if people could suggest some ideas according to what I have?

I do have a love affair with apricot/yellow roses and would love to try and develop some more healthy OGR-type or landscape shrubs with apricot coloring. David Austin tried to do this, but I honestly think, from seeing them at the nursery where I work, there’s far too much Hybrid Tea and not enough OGR or species blood in them, and health here in Mid-Atlantic for them is a bit of an issue without spray.

I’m also unfortunately finding many that many of my past purchases of cultivars with apricot or peach coloring thinking I’d use them in breeding are often not very fertile (Etain, Fran

A good, strong yellow is all it takes. That is the hard part.

Something like Cape Diamond x Yellow Brick Road is what I would try. I think there are a lot of possibilities for this idea, though.

Tricky question. I had assumed that apricot is a blend of yellow and pink. Maybe it is. But I grew out some seeds of Winter sunset last year and was surprised at the uniform apricot color of the seedlings. I would have expected more segregation from selfing that combination, unless it is homozygous for both pink and yellow, but that’s not what I would assume from knowing it came out of Griffith Buck’s program. Doubloons gives interestingly colored seedlings, many of which are in the apricot range. I just got one really fine old-fashioned double from it in a cross with my Carefree Copper, a really bright apricot/orange. Doubloons seedlings are only occasionally repeat blooming except with very strong repeaters.

Jadae is right on the main point. Get some really good yellow in there.

Yeah, there a lot of ways to achieve apricot. Over the Moon, which is pretty much Just Joey version 2.0, is bred from Kleopatra and Christopher Columbus – and red blend yellow and an orange blended gold. I am pretty sure that both of those roses descended from the Chantre and Golden Waves-- both of which Buck also used to achieve some of his orange and apricot toned hybrids. His other three choices seemed to be Alexander, Gingersnap (…ew lol) and Apricot Nectar. A uniform apricot color seems best achieved when pelargonidin is present within the pink side of apricot. Cyanin, I am guessing, is not so helful with making apricot colors.

Arethusa is fertile & produces big hips which germinate easily. The op offspring I had was white. I would put Hazeldean on it.

Here is another contender for hardy, possibly healthy and capable of apricot:

(Morning Greeting)

Hi Max, I like ‘Julia Child’ for such things, but perhaps it isn’t clean enough for your area. It can be combined with other cleaner material - ‘Baby Love’ derivatives for example. I have attached a link of a photo that I took today of a seedling that I like.

Best wishes!

Jim Sproul


Jim that looks like another beauty. I love it!

Very nice Jim. I like the ruffled petals.

Yes, that’s my kind of color. Really lovely, and amazing number of blossoms. Congrats Jim.

Prairie Sunrise is also really nice. I’m not usually a fan of first generations from Sunsprite, but this one is unusually nice and healthy. Its also nice and smelly :slight_smile: It seems to be one of the better of the yellow, orange or apricot toned Bucks. Some of them are not so healthy or have pretty bad issues with fading/discolor.

Thanks guys! I am partial to apricots also. This was from a cross of [(Marmalade Skies’ X ‘Baby Love’) X (‘Stainless Steel’ X ‘Baby Love’)] X ‘Julia Child’.

Of the David Austin roses, I have liked some of the seedlings in this color range coming from ‘Abraham Darby’. Again though, you will have to use some other things to clean it up a bit and possibly tone down the vigor.

Jim Sproul

Very nice, Jim. It has the look of a large flowered multiflora rambler which makes sense given the ancestry. Is the size comparable?

Hi Don, actually it is still in a 7 gallon pot. I don’t think that it will get too large, probably up to 4-5 feet tall with 4 inch blooms. I’ll be planting it in the ground soon.

Jim Sproul

How’s the fragrance Jim?

Hi Robert,

Fragrance is only moderate, not strong, but pleasing.

Jim Sproul

Better than none!


Don’t write ‘Hazeldean’ off (for being triploid) as it might work better than you’d expect.

I don’t currently have a website but Karl King has added a picture of my rugosa x ‘Hazeldean’ seedling to his site.

I can’t say what fertility this seedling has yet, since this is the first year that it’s had more than one bloom, but it definitely is apricot.

Best wishes, Tom


Very pretty.

Tom- that’s very very attractive! Apricot rugosas would be awesome, make up for sickly ‘Topaz Jewel’.

I actually really like singles, semi-doubles, I’m really not prejudiced…I’ve noticed in damp weather here ‘Hazeldean’ seems to ball a bit, the buds just don’t open, and last week was cool and rainy here so I almost want to say 2/3 of 'Hazeldean’s flowers just didn’t open. I did manage to collect some flower-heads so I’ll have pollen, I think. I put them in a plastic bag and experiment with it!