For Paul Barden... Mini Teas

I have been devouring your website lately… I just love everything about it :slight_smile:

One thing that particularly took my eye was a seedling you have listed as a mini climbing tea from ‘Gloire de Dijon’ and ‘Rise n Shine’. I think the concept of mini Teas, climbing and non-climbing, is captivating! Did you ever do anything with this seedling and do you have any recent photographs of it? Did you do any more Tea x mini crosses?

Hello Simon. I’m glad you are enjoying my web site. Who knows, I might just update it with new content one of these days!

This plant was discarded several years ago after it failed tests in the garden. It was a large shapeless plant that bloomed only sparingly, and the blooms balled badly outdoors. It also suffered very badly from disease, and so I dug it up and threw it out.

I had other “mini Teas” using ‘Mons. Tillier’ as a pollen parent, but none worth mentioning. I still occasionally make similar crosses, but far too often the results are very disappointing. Miniatures and Teas seem to be a poor match, genetically.



ahhhh… that’s a shame… it looks so nice on the website…

Do you grow any of your Teas outside (you are in Oregon (zone 8) right)? In Australia I’m in Northern Tasmania, Zone 9b bordering on 8, and am wondering if the Teas will do any good outside here? Short warm summer long winter down to -7

Paul, have you ever used Lucy?

It doesn’t look like a tea-- but, I’ve always hoped that it would produce tea like roses…

I think your Lillian Austin X Mons. Tiller seedling with the darker edges looks particularly beautiful. Licorice Tea looks nice too, but that other seedling is the most beautiful of the two.

Have you crossed tea/minis with other tea/minis yet?


‘Lucy’ is such a poor grower that I’d never use it in breeding. I don’t like to introduce genes from plants that have poor vigor. Its an invitation to problems.

I’m glad you like the look of the pink Austin-Tillier seedling. It has been put on the back burner until it has been tested in a few warmer climates, as it doesn’t bloom nearly as much as I think it should in MY climate.

I don’t plan on doing any further work with Tea/Miniature combinations, as I found the vast majority of seedlings were very poor and most Mildewed badly. Getting good color into them was a problem as well; the Tea genes seemed to wash out any color the cross should have shown.


Isn’t the washed out colours one of the signatures of a Tea? If you were intent on making Miniature Teas then they too should have more subtle, maybe pastel, colours??? I wonder if that comes form the gigantea blood given it opens as primrose yellow and fades quickly to white???

It’s easy to make miniature Teas. You just cross a Tea with a diploid mini like Rouletti.

I think I’d use Cinderella, personally.

Well Paul, I think you have something really good with the tea/mini’s. I thought about buying Lucy just for that purpose, but now that you’ve said what you’ve said… I’ve already have too much on my plate and no space.

What ever happened to your work with the crested rugosas? I remember you showed some pictures of some especially frilly rugosa hybrids.

And, if you don’t mind if I asked, how fertile is your Crested Damask? It seems too full of petals to be fertile.

My only luck has been with OP seedlings of Crested Jewel… and they’re not non-repeating. And only one can be called crested while the other. But-- it’s a bonus for me, in the end.

Hi Paul,

the Tea genes seemed to wash out any color the cross should have shown.

Can you elaborate on this?

It’s difficult to find pollen with Cinderella. It’s there but you really have to look for it. I did a cross that involves gigantea and Cinderella. It’s gaining vigor and is now several feet across. I’m hoping it finally flowers this Spring. It’s developed a very odd growth habit.

If it doesn’t flower I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.


It’s a lovely looking little plant on HMF… Petite Perle D’or is such a lovely plant though… if I could buy it here in Australia I’d buy 100 of them :slight_smile: It’s interesting to see Tea (Saffrano) in the background of this too.

Thanks Simon. The seedling is so large that I can’t really get a proper photo of it now and the growth habit is awkward looking.

Petite Perle D’or is very cute but it will probably never be commercialized. I’ll just play with it as a pollen parent.

Those tiny blossoms produce a lot of pollen.

_"Hi Paul,

the Tea genes seemed to wash out any color the cross should have shown.

Can you elaborate on this? "_

I can. These comments are based purely on observations regarding Miniature X Tea crosses made over the past decade.

With the exception of ‘Avandel’ I have used Miniature breeders with a reputation for breeding good color in their offspring. (Ironically ‘Avandel’ was the one Miniature that did eventually give me a reasonably well colored seedling: ‘Won Fang Yon’) I used both ‘Joycie’ and ‘Golden Angel’ extensively, ‘June Laver’ to a lesser degree, and 1-72-1, the Moore yellow breeder. When paired with pollen from ‘Safrano’, ‘Lady Hillingdon’, ‘Bon Silene’, ‘Mons. Tillier’ (almost certainly ‘Archiduc Charles’ in the USA), and ‘Gloire de Dijon’ these crosses produced, with very few exceptions, white, creams and pale pastel colors of little merit. Most had severe Mildew problems and so were weeded out pretty early in the process.

If I paired the same Miniature parents with well pigmented modern shrubs of various types, and even sometimes with pink or white Hybrid Musks, I got much better coloring than the Tea crosses.

As I mentioned ‘Won Fang Yon’ was one of the very few that were kept, and it has a deep coral color that darkens to a red-coral as it ages. Also kept was a seedling from ‘Joycie’ X ‘Mons Tillier’ which was a very nice peachy-pinkish-orangey combo that also darkened with age to show more and more red on the upper petals. This seedling was set out in the test garden for evaluation where it has not exceeded 14" in height. It was taken off the list because of poor vigor. Two years later I budded it to R. multiflora and it gained a wee bit of vigor, but not nearly good enough for commerce. Oh, and I once had a dark red seedling years ago from ‘Rise ‘N’ Shine’ X ‘Francis Dubreuil’, but the plant we grow in the US as ‘Francis Dubreuil’ is almost certainly the HT ‘Barcelona’.

There is one Miniature-Tea plant that I work with most years, and its a Ralph Moore rose called ‘Its Showtime’. Ralph sold this variety off to a SoCal nursery years ago and it was marketed as a Hybrid Tea. It came from ‘Joycie’ X ‘Bon Silene’ and is in many ways intermediate between the two. Its a bit of an awkward grower, I find, and could stand to have more, denser foliage, but I have found it has serious merit as a breeder. It often passes on excellent vigor, good coloring in the peach/yellow/orange range, and large, full OGR bloom form. Fragrance is often present in its offspring as well. If there was one Miniature/Tea hybrid I would recommend for breeding, that is absolutely the one to get, IMO. It only works well as a pollen parent, though. It may set seed but these rarely germinate, even if they do go full term.

So, thats my take on it. I have no plans to reopen the Miniature X Tea breeding efforts, but prefer instead to work with ‘Its Showtime’ which has shown itself to be a good next step in breeding. If I were interested in breeding Mini Teas, I might go back and retry some of these crosses using other Teas and maybe other Minis as parents, but thats not my goal: I am working towards breeding full-sized shrubs and some climbers. Since I quit doing the Tea/Mini crosses I have acquired ‘E. Veyrat Hermanos’, which I might introduce into my work if I can find a worthy seed bearer. But I am hesitant for many reasons, not the least of which is ‘E. Veyrat Hermanos’ sparse rebloom.

Oh, one last note: in 2006 I made a cross of my old favorite ‘Joycie’ and ‘Fortune’s Yellow’, just to see if ‘Fortune’s Yellow’ was actually capable of breeding remontants. (Breeding records suggest that it parented some repeaters on occasion) In 2007 I germinated about 35 plants, and I kept about 30 of the most vigorous ones and they went into gallon cans. In Spring 2008 three of these bloomed for the first time. One was a fiery orange single with a deep brownish red eye, and one was a 1.5" double pink bloom which, while pretty, wasn’t remarkable. The third seedling was a surprise: 4" very double blooms that opened slowly to reveal a rumpled center. It started out a smoky dark pink and aged to a very odd slatey purple/lavender! This was put in a much larger pot and grown on where it eventually made several half in thick canes 7 feet long. I’m going to post photos of this next Spring when it blooms again. Who knows…maybe it will gain some remontancy with age.



Link is for ‘Its Showtime’


This raises another question for me… when is a rose a tea and when is it not? I was having an ‘academic’ discussion about this with a member of my rose forum just last week… you know one of those discussions that evolved from what do you think about such and such a rose (for breeding purposes) to a deep-and-meaningful-come-heated discussion on what makes a tea a tea… hmmmm… anyway… the heart of the ‘discussion’ was that I was saying that to be a Tea a rose needs to fit a physical description and the other side of it being ‘discussed’ was that Teas should only have old blood in them from classes originally used in their development and anything else was a modern shrub and not a Tea. My thoughts on this were that so many different types of roses were used to make Teas and that there are a few different types of Teas, (bourbons, damasks, noisettes, R. gigantea, R. chinensis etc) that in the end I figured well… if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck then it must be a duck regardless of its breeding… I used Paul’s Won Fang Yon’ as an example because of its miniature heritage… the response was… it should be a modern shrub instead of a Tea. These kinds of things confuse me a lot… I was looking at Jill Perry’s description of what makes a Tea a Tea and agree that the only way we can really classify a rose is by the way it looks and grows, based on a physical desciption, because in a lot of cases we can’t even trace their pedigree and because of the complex genetic background of a lot of roses. I wonder if my little OP ‘Mary Rose’ seedling will be classed as an English Rose etc? I don’t know… I like minis… I think I will just stick with them for a while… they are easier to get my head around…

Well, ‘Won Fang Yon’ certainly quacked a lot as it grew up, so I called it a duck!

Simon, working with Miniatures opens some doors, and sometimes closes others. I have found that breeding Hybrid Bracteatas works better when a Miniature is used as the seed parent than when using full sized shrubs as the parent. Miniatures crossed with Hybrid Musks also seems to generate some very good things as well. Sometimes, as I found with Teas, Miniatures are not the best choice to further your work, but its also entirely possible that there ARE Teas that will work better than the ones I chose.

Best of luck in 2009, Simon!


I’m going to post photos of this next Spring when it blooms again.

Paul, you posted some great photos on your blog today so just in case your Joycie x FDY hybrid is planning to bloom soon I thought I’d post this as a reminder.


Hi Don.

Did you follow the series of posts I made a while back documenting all the Joycie X FDY seedlings that flowered last Spring? None of these are anywhere near ready to bloom here yet, most things have barely broken growth. See link:


Yeah, sorry, I had seen the discussion. I was pawing through old posts making notes and missed the year.