That seems like it could be a great (mostly) native alternative to R. rugosa ‘Rubra’. The flowers remind me of my best dark clone of R. blanda, but reblooming and with narrow foliage. Is there any fall color? It would be perfectly nice even without that, of course… Maybe you should consider making a plan for it! It might make a nice choice for a medium-height flowering hedge, and with that background, RRD would probably not be any concern. Only cane girdlers might be a problem in some places. With the right marketing, why couldn’t that be a worthy introduction as is? You could even keep the name as long as you add a slightly more mellifluous trademark.
…though I have to ask why you are not aiming to keep playing with it. (I assume you are keeping the plant. I never thought of you as wanting for space to grow things! ) I was looking back in archives, and remembering my excitement about this baby, and its potential. A decade ago, this exact cross had been on my to-do list, though I never acquired foliolosa, and lack space to really play with species to the extent I would like.
(In fact, I’m not entirely sure where I would keep this ultimately, but if it low thorn, that does open up options…)
I am guessing the provenance of the parent foliolosa was not the same/showed no kinship to the morphs that gave rise to e.g. Basye’s purple, Paul’s Purple Foliochief, or Ann Endt? (These are the progeny that made me fantasize about this cross.)
I don’t recall what the presumed ploidy is for this… Triploid?
FWIW, I am glad to see your voice on the forum again, Joe. I hope you are finding plenty of time to dabble in the pollen.
Yeah, this R. foliolosa came from somewhere like High Country, and was likely not close to whatever genotype gave those dark purple results.
However, my R. foliolosa did have the decency to occasionally allow a reblooming seeding. When you consider that Commander Gillette itself only passes on rebloom maybe 1 in 6 times, this reblooming F1 is extra special. I give my past self credit for making crazy crosses and planting them out en masse to give special roses like this a chance to manifest.
With R. foliolosa being diploid and Commander G being tetraploid, we have to assume that this is triploid. It’s pollen looks quite messed up under a microscope, and as far as I know I have not made any successful crosses using its pollen. I concluded it was best used as a seed parent, although it’s somewhat difficult to get hips to set. I have grown a handful of OP seedlings and/or supposed crosses.
I will keep it around and would be happy to try something on it again, but for the time being it is difficult for me to pinpoint a clear breeding goal. That lack of a clear goal combined with its difficulty to utilize is why I’m not currently using it. Lord help me I don’t need to add “narrow leaflets” to my already overwhelming list of breeding goals.
Dies back to about three feet tall for me here in Zone 3b, then regrows vigorously to six or seven feet.
Nearly sterile, but has set some OP hips and I have successfully germinated one OP seedling. (I’ve tried many crosses in both directions with no luck.)
I think in Zone 4b and warmer this plant would be an enormous and dense specimen with fragrant blossoms all summer. Maybe if you got more OP hips than I have you could get a tetraploid self that would have more fertility.
Please let me know if you want a copy of this. Stephen, have I given you one yet?
Do you have any thornless R. blanda or other hardy species?
I had this nearly thornless OP seedling of Henry Hudson that did not look overtly rugosa and was tip hardy 8 feet in the air. Then I sent my dad out to grub out some other roses and he took out that one, too. I think about it a lot as I’d like to breed a cane-hardy climber for this climate that was thornless or very low thorn.
I don’t have or know of any truly thornless R. blanda (I’ve only known that species to be thorny on its lower reaches, then fairly quickly transitioning to totally thornless higher up, although even its larger thorns are usually pretty low-impact as roses go). The closest thing I might have to something like that is a young ‘Ames Climber’. That one has proven to be stubborn about breeding so far, but I hope it will become a little more flexible with increasing maturity.
The rose that I have been hunting for lately for those same reasons, and which you might also want to try to locate, is R. pendulina (a.k.a. R. alpina). What it seems to have done for some of the Boursaults like ‘Amadis’ is nothing short of amazing–that was vigorous, very tall/climbing, and hardy to the tips in zone 4 MN despite being half China, as well as almost totally smooth, with beautiful, deep red canes in winter. It also appeared to be as sterile as a mule, although I only grew it for a few years before it suddenly died (probably verticillium wilt or voles). R. pendulina is also likely to be the source of extreme hardiness in some of the older roses from the coldest parts of Scandinavia, and is conveniently tetraploid. I have not been successful finding a source lately, but being a species, it seems like it should be just a matter of time before at least a seed source turns up.