experience with R. setigera?

I do not yet have this species, but enjoy descriptions/photos of many of its descendants.


How much disease resistance does it convey?

How difficult to color (i.e. with yellows or other) in F1 generation?

How readily will produce descendants with continuous bloom?

Thanks for insights.

Great questions.

It is dioecious- separate male and female plants. Flowers look bisexual, but only one gender is fertile. I have a rare hermaphrodite. It is primarily male though. The only way I have been able to get hybrids with the species is with it used as a female and other diploid Synstylae section members or descendants (polys) as a male. Since I have been using mainly white to red colors, that is what I’m getting out. Repeat bloom segregates in future generations as predicted. Keep in mind that all F1 hybrids with female R. setigera are also male sterile. You get segregation in the next generation. I reported this at a couple scientific meetings in the past.

I have a 4x induced female R. setigera that I have used as a female in crosses with modern 4x hybrids and have some offspring of it. I need to check, but I may have an extra cutting of this 4x female R. setigera I could share. Would you be interested? I shared this clone years ago too and others should have it as well. Disease resistance is pretty good in R. setigera as well as the offspring generally too. It seems at the 4x level it accepts more non direct Synstylae males better. I look forward to these seedlings maturing. Many are weak, but a handful are vigorous.



I only have tried using a locally collected plant. I haven’t gotten any hybrids using this one, but I haven’t given up on it. I found out about setigera being dioecious after I’d already had it for a few years. I think what I have is female, since I’d seen hips on it “in the wild”. But that was many years ago, so…

David, would there be any easy way to tell which gender it is, without it forming hips. Pollen or lack therof maybe???

Great question Tom! They have what is called cryptic dioecy because they have to tease the pollen feeding pollinators that there is a good reward for them. There is pollen in the female, but it is aborted. If you can look at it under a microscope that will do it. Otherwise to some extent this holds true. Males have anthers that are about 2mm long and females about 1mm. I suspect female R. setigera is choosy in what she accepts. Staying in the Synstylae seems to help a lot. In crosses with fertile polyanthas I would get full hips and great germination. Crosses with other germplasm, especially tetraploid modern germplasm yielded nothing, at least at the diploid level. At the 4x level, it still doesn’t like it, but there are some hybrids.

Take Care,


David, have you tried using something like Allgold? I was curious cause I wanted to know how using a direct descendant of the species (like Allgold) or using something else similar in genetics (like your poly idea) differed.

Hi Jadae,

No I haven’t, that is a great idea. ‘Chuckles’ really has a strong influence of R. setigera in it. Great idea to try some of these repeat blooming modern roses with some R. setigera in them to serve as a bridge!!! Maybe the 4x clone especially would be great to try with them.


I hadn’t realized how difficult R.s. would be to work with. I gather, were I to purchase a plant, I might not have a guarantee on gender.

David, Doubloons, for instance, is listed as a tetraploid F1 from R. s. and R. foetida. Was this a lucky abnormal meiosis from a very persistant hybridizer? I’d rather get a little further from R.f. – the typhoid-Mary-of-Blackspot, to my thinking – but being so close to R.s. with a yellow tetraploid makes her a tempting rose to work with…

Joan M., several years back, offered some seeds from Mr. Nash (presumed Doubloons) and Rugelda. As two groups of roses I had wanted to work with (though it never would have occurred to me to combine 'em) I accepted her kind offer, and had a surpisingly high and quick germination rate. I still have 2 of the bristly, coarse-foliaged, stingy-with-bloom monsters prone to BS, but am holding on to them until I can get them more happily situated when I move to a larger place. (Truthfully, under their current circumstances, I can’t knock their performance too much, and I feel like a guardian to another’s property until I’m really convinced they have little merit.)

ANyone working with Doubloons?

Chuckles has a very interesting pedigree. I’m surprised it isn’t more full in flower.

I germinated some Doubloons OP seedlings with the idea of breeding with them. The attraction is the foetida content, as much as the setigera, for two reasons.

The first reason is genetic diversity. Most of the foetida in modern roses derives from the Pernetiana’s which probably means it’s all from whatever cultivars were in use in Lyon, maybe even a single clone. It’s a mystery what advantages or disadvantages such diversity might offer but there’s only one way to find out.

The second reason is to see if, as I expect, there may be high levels of carotenoid content especially the more stable epoxide forms. Judging by Eugster’s paper, the closer a hybrid is to foetida the greater such content is. I’ve got some Soleil d’Or pollen in the freezer for the same reason.

I’m not expecting miracles but we have so many more sources of disease-resistance available to us now that it may be possible to breed the blackspot problem out more easily than earlier hybridizers could do. The setigera content may help with that, can’t know without trying.

1 Like

Im not surprised that Chuckles is a difficult parent. Orange Triumph is extremely difficult to work with itself and the other two parents are from odd backgrounds. I think the only reason Orange Triumph shows up in lineages is because it was one of the first orange roses that wasnt a true polyantha. It basically deadheads its own massive sprays in the same fashion as The Fairy. It is also quite mildew prone.

Another weird one was Conrad Hilton. It combined the Dubloons line with the Soleil d’Or line. I am sure that was a fun time for spraying =P

If using R. foetida, I think using the species and not bicolor would be a wise start. I would also stray away from crossing it with anything with a lot of peonin (or similar)because it looks like, according to lineages, that it wants to blend ASAP.

This is an interesting example of yellow foetida x yellow tea/noisette – Ma Capucine.

“Ma Capucine is a small-growing Rose, of somewhat similar shades of colour [to Mme Eugene Verdier]; indeed, in the bud, the shades of colour are unsurpassed by any other; but, unfortunately, it does not retain its lovely apricot tints for any length of time.”

…which makes me think that shooting for any tea/noisette based yellow poly hybrid would be a waste of time. I am wondering if said hybrids are way too dilute.

I, for one, would not believe the posted lineage for Doubloons. It gives too many repeat-bloomers in its seedlings. It can be no more than 1/4 of either R s, or R f and I expect, less of either. It has a lot of hybrid vigor growing 8 ft canes bolt upright with the most vicious thorns that are a lot more like a multiflora in shape than either R s or R f. Very like Crimson Rambler in architecture in my yard. Recall that Horvath worked on R wich first in NJ. He was a contemporary of Dr van Fleet, and Geschwind who was from his home territory. They were fearless mixers of species but didn’t keep detailed notes on pedigrees.

When working with Orange Triumph, I found, strangely enough, that the pistil was mature and receptive well before the bloom was open. Emasculating and, er, deflowering her at a very young and delicate age allowed her to be receptive as a pistillate parent for me.

I’m not quite understanding your tea/noisette based yellow argument, however. I gather you feel such is not likely to give a strong, stable yellow?

I myself have been intrigued by mutable yellows, and I assume that de facto means roses with much china influence in them…

Hi Phillip,

Its mainly intuitive but it seems that tea-based yellows, even when mixed with the strong persian yellow briars, seem to fade way too easily. I love the phototropic types, too, but my point was that white and pastel yellow heading towards bleach is a hard battle to go up against when all one is aiming for is true yellow/gold/apricot etc.

I haven’t played with the old teas, but keep considering doing so. Each time I see them in a garden this time of year in my climate, I once again fall in love. It seems counter-intuitive to go back so far in time when, in theory, there are so many better newer hybrids. But the old teas are very trouble-free for me.

Are you still a fan of Toprose as your best for breeding, Jadae?

Yes, Toprose is awesome. I plan on using it more this year.

I cannot use pure teas because they pretty much LOATHE it here. They will survive but they hate the wet, cold winters. Chinas do better. I was mainly referring to noisettes, hybrid musks and polyanthas which derived their yellow from tea roses, as they are what would be used for hybridizing here.

Speaking of teas, even in my climate (which they supposedly prefer to colder climates), they can look pathetic, depending on the variety. I use to sing the praises of “Duchesse De Brabant” until I saw a mass planting of them totally decimated by PM a few weeks ago. They had been reduced to uttter garbage, from previously pristine-looking plants.

Y’all just need a little bit more rain and sunshine. :wink:

It is interesting the different regional experiences folks have with the same cultivars. When I get a rose someone on the west coast describes as “bullet-proof” it invariably turns out to be a BS magnet, decimated in short order here on the gulf coast. PM is seldom a big problem for me, and then usually only in humid, relatively rainless yet unusually grey winters. (I think I’d wither away too if I had too much of that kind of weather.)

Back to the topic at hand, how much disease resistance does R. setigera pass on, typically, in your experience?

I wondered that, too. What does R. setigera really offer?

That’s a great question about what it offers. I partlty started emphasizing using it and its descendants because I love polyanthas and it crosses with them well being in the Synstylae. The forms I have had are generally disease resistant. Mine have gotten some rust commonly, which is uncommon in my climate. It is a vigorous diploid Synstylae species to work with which is nice, but there are definately a lot to choose from in that regard. The flowers are a bit larger than R. multiflora and R. wichurana, so it can bring in a bit more size to the polyanthas. We do already have polys with relatively large flowers like ‘La Marne’ though. The crosses with typical polyanthas are generally the size of the polyantha parent flowers though and in subsequent generations some larger sizes may come out.

Probably the most unique thing to come out of R. setigera is male sterility. It is a dioecious species, the only one within Rosa we know of. So, with functional male and female plants, each only has one useful gender (there are some rare hermaphrodites, but they are primarily one gender). So far I was only able to successfully make interspecific crosses with female R. setigera and then other germplasm as the male. The male sterility in the female appears to be a single gene and is dominantly inherited. So, if you want genetic male sterility in hybrids, it is a great resource. We know though we can quickly compromise fertility just through wide crosses and to some degree through triploidy as well.



I would think the foliage is a distinction for setigera.