First Impression - Biola Centennial

The new 2009 flyer from Nor’East just arrived. Top on the list is Biola Centennial and right next to it is First Impression, both by Jim Sproul.

Jim, can you share some baby pictures?

Biola is a very lovely bicolor. I was going to get it, but since I’m rooting a few cuttings of Yellow Magic and I need the space…

Hi Don,

Thanks for your question!

‘Biola Centennial’ is a true mini, red/white bicolor. It was in the AOE trials, but didn’t win. For Californians, of note, one of the California AOE judges rated it number one, but based on the other judging, it didn’t perform as well nationally. It is from a cross of (‘Stainless Steel’ X ‘Singin’ in the Rain’) X ‘Hot Tamale’. The seed parent was a sister seedling to ‘Honey Dijon’. It doesn’t get powdery mildew in our climate, but it does get blackspot rather badly (which is probably part of the reason that it didn’t do well nationally). It does produce exhibition type blooms, however, the most inner petals are held in a more rounded shape, so exhibition form is lost as the blooms open (similar to what I see in ‘Sheer Bliss’).

‘First Impression’ is somewhere between a shrub, floribunda and a miniflora. It does not reliably produce exhibition form. It does however, produce blooms with a great dark yellow color. The plant has clean glossy foliage. Reports from back East are that it has very good blackspot resistance, and it doesn’t get any powdery mildew here for me. Also it does have some fragrance. It has been a good pollen parent for me. Its parentage is [(‘Lynn Anderson’ X ‘Tournament of Roses’) X ‘Hot Tamale’] X (‘Stainless Steel’ X ‘Baby Love’). The seed parent is a yellow miniflora sister seedling of ‘Heather Sproul’. The pollen parent is a yellow very fragrant and clean shrub type.

My ‘Biola Centennial’ photos are no better than the Nor’East catalog photos. Somewhere I do have photos of ‘First Impression’, but I will have to look for them. Will post them if/when I find them…!

Jim Sproul

Wow Jim! You have been very honest with your assessment of these two varieties. I wished catalogs descriptions where always that honest. I understand why they are not but it would be nice if they where.So does Biola Centennial have fertile pollen. With it parentage I can see many possible color direction one could go for on this one. I am not overly excited about the blackspot reports but many miniatures seem to have this problem and it definitely something that needs to be worked on. The second one should do well in most areas because of the baby love in its ancestry. At least until a new race becomes dominate. I was impressed by the number of petals this one had in the photos. Maybe I will try one of these next year but that means something has to come out.

Yeah, Jim, that is what I would hazard (re: blackspot) when mixing lines from Sexy Rexy and Silverado. Both defoliate here without spraying. Theyre both gorgeous here, though, lol.

Hi Adam, yes ‘Biola Centennial’ is pollen fertile, though if I were going to breed with one of these, I would go for ‘First Impression’.

Here is a photo of it. And there is no photoshop color enhancement!

Jim Sproul

Jim, I visited you page for First Impression at helpmefind… and your last name is spelt “Sprout.” Just thought you ought to know…


Both beautiful introductions; you always make me proud for you with all of your beautiful introductions. Thank you for your complete description of the roses. I was particularly interested in First Impression since I have a thing about yellow roses. After the initial posting I immediately searched NEM Roses online catalog and read their descriptions but they are rather scant. Glad it is blackspot resistant since I am on the East Coast where blackspot reigns.

Two questions for you:

How thorny is First Impression because like Enrique, I have a thing about smooth roses?

Several years ago, you showed a picture of blooms from a Baby Love cross that your son had done. The blooms were single like baby love and yellow at the center with light pink on the outer half of the petals. I just loved it and have never forgotten it. Was it named and introduced?

Thanks and congratulations on your latest rose introductions,

Jim P.

Hi Enrique, I think that HMF picked up the image and information from the ARS magazine. They misspelled my name the same way - oh well!

Hi Jim, thank you for your kind comments. I just went out and checked ‘First Impression’ for thorns and it seems to have slightly fewer than “average” thorns. Also, most of its foliage is still bright green (might mean that it lacks cold tolerance), but not a sign of Blackspot though the plant right next to it is showing it.

Though my son’s seedling was field tested, nothing was done with it other than to use it heavily in the hulthemia breeding. In fact, most of my best hulthemias have seedlings of my son’s in their ancestry. I also liked that rose a lot.

Jim Sproul


Thanks for going out and checking on First Impression’s prickles for me; it is very beautiful by the way.

Since your son’s rose is no longer available, do you recall what he crossed Baby Love with to get it. I have Baby Love and would like to try to recreate it.

Please congratulate him for me on creating such a beautiful rose. Tell him I remember your showing it on here was it 3 or 4 or more years ago and I have never forgotten; it was so beautiful in its simplicity.

East Coast Jim

Hi Jim,

My son’s seedling was from a cross of [(‘Orangeade’ X ‘Abraham Darby’) X ‘Midnight Blue’] X ‘Baby Love’. The seed parent of this one was also one of his seedlings.

I have to thank you for mentioning that rose. After reading your post today, I went out and “saved” it. When we emptied the greenhouse and potted up all of the 2008 seedlings, I ran out of pots. So I made a quick decision to “cull” about 30 older seedlings so that we could use the pots. I felt badly choosing that one to include in the cull. Since then, I have bought more pots so today decided to pot it up again. The plant still looks good even though it was without a pot for the last month. Maybe I’ll try using it again with some more of the hulthemias!

Jim Sproul