Good Healthy OGRS/Gallicas for Beginner Hybridizer?

I must be getting annoying, I apologize about all these threads, but I’m really interested in the prospects of hybridizing roses, and am completely distraught! I live in Maryland, US, where blackspot infection is really really bad, and I’m a student so I don’t time have to spray, nor do I want to have to leave my parents doing all that when I go off to college next year. Gallicas tend to do well here though ( except Cardinal Cardinal Richelieu, which blackspots)which is why I have been asking about them.

Anyway, I currently am trying to get a list of fertile gallicas and or other extremely resistant OGR shrubs that I might be able to use. I already have these roses and know that both Cr

I was shocked at how easily Crepescule pollen worked last season. I didn’t use it much but the few times I tried were very successful.

I’m a big fan of Tuscany Superb as a parent. I also like La Belle Sultane, Mecene, Empress Jos

Tuscany Superb, La Belle Sultane and Jenny Duval - all worked well for me.

Hi,Max. Nice to see you here.


Nuits de Young

Hello Max,

I live in Maryland also and never spray, so I can sympathize about the blackspot.

My Rosa Mundi turned out to be a reversion to regular Apothecary’s Rose, which has been fertile both ways for me – as a seed parent with various HT’s, and as a pollen parent on Rosa carolina.

Other OGR’s I have are:

  1. Banshee (pollen fertile)

  2. an unknown alba (seed fertile and probably pollen fertile too)

  3. an unknown Damask (seed fertile if you can harvest the hips before mildew gets them – curiously, the rest of the plant seems to be pretty resistant to all diseases, mildew included)

  4. Rose de Rescht (seed fertile) – I really like this rose, and hope that it’s a better breeder for me, than it’s been for some other hybridizers. It is compact and repeats well.

  5. William Lobb (seed and pollen fertile)

  6. Mutabilis – is a great rose here, it sets lots of open-pollinated hips and its pollen has worked on Rosa multiflora for me.

  7. Champney’s Pink Cluster – I’ve never seen any hips and haven’t tried using it either way, but very healthy

All of these are pretty much no care roses for me.


Hi Olga, nice seeing you too.

Thank you all for your kind suggestions! I certainly will consider purchasing those mentioned. All those striped gallicas are amazing looking I swear! Well, if I’m going to breed I might as well breed with the right ones. Thank you guys.

Quick question, would La Belle Sultane bloom at the same time as a white like Alba like semi-plena? I’m thinking more in terms of complimentary colors in the border, though an alba-gallica cross might not be a bad idea…why hasn’t it been done before?

For me La Belle Sultane and Semiplena bloom approx the same time. Definitely overlap.


That’s great to hear. Are albas hard to breed since I’ve seen so many pictures of semi-plena with hips but there are so few hybrids out there! What’s up with that?

There are several alba hybrids under the ‘blush’ series by Rolf Sievers. They are supposed to be albas crossed with R. kordesii hybrids I believe. I’ve grown Lemon Blush, Crimson Blush, Morning Blush, Red Blush and Tender Blush. All great plants and very healthy. They seem to take pollen well and set OP seeds.

I’ve grown seedlings from Alba Semi-plena. Good plants, but most had badly shaped white blooms. They all took 3 years to bloom and many had none of the vigor of the parent. The Albas are mostly hexaploids and so you will likely run into fertility problems, and possibly deformities. I think there are very few hybrids around because of this.

I have used La Belle Sultane in breeding as well, with mixed results. It tends to pass on Blackspot resistance and hardiness, and often rich color as well. However, it also tends to create offspring with petals that curl badly, making for rather ugly blooms. As I say, mixed results.

Tuscany Superb has been a good breeder for me. It often passes on improved Blackspot resistance, but vigor isn’t always there. When crossed with modern roses, it doesn’t often pass on its wonderful coloring, tending more to deliver progeny in dark pinks. Offspring are often quite compact as well. Many seedlings are fertile and can be worked into another generation.

Queen Elizabeth is known for breeding seedlings with improved Winter hardiness. If you make some non-traditional crosses with it, you will likely discover that the old gal still has some tricks up her sleeve.

Crepuscule is extremely fertile and passes on some great things. Put its pollen on ANYTHING. Be aware that Winter hardiness is not one of its traits, however.

Although people have had some success using Mutabilis in breeding (note that most known offspring are open pollinated seedlings) I had very poor results with it. Its pollen is rarely accepted on other roses. Again, Winter hardiness is not something it is likely to pass on to progeny.

As already mentioned, William Lobb is something you should consider. It is highly fertile in both directions and has produced some very beautiful seedlings for me. I have a new seedling soon to be introduced that used Lobb as the pollen parent. Passes on good vigor, good disease resistance and often, excellent color. A useful parent, IMO.

Good luck, Max!


I love ‘Alba Semi-plena’ too. As Paul said, it is hexaploid. It is supposedly part R. canina and part R. gallica. It seems to have modified Caninae meiosis proposed by Hurst in his 1925 book. Pollen is 2x and eggs are 4x. I have a tetraploid hybrid of ‘George Vancouver’ x ‘Alba Semi-plena’ which is in agreement with ‘Alba Semi-plena’ producing 2x pollen. Some of my current breeding lines trace back to a seedling of a friend’s that is ‘Spanish Rhapsody’ x (‘Applejack’ x ‘Alba Semi-Plena’). Many of the grandchildren from this seedling are repeat blooming and very healthy. Vance Whitaker at the U of MN described a race specific resistance in ‘Applejack’ that is pretty strong. I wonder if the very strong blackspot resistance in many of the descendants of my friend’s rose share some alleles from especially ‘Applejack’. Maybe together with other genes and alleles from ‘Alba Semi-plena’ and other roses allowed for strong blackspot resistance. Bill Radler’s very disease resistant roses seem to have ‘Applejack’ in their background as well. I suspect that some genetic contribution for strong blackspot resistance may be coming from ‘Applejack’ and as it is intermated with other roses and the most resistant seedlings selected and reselected over generations that the best of the genes and alleles from different roses accumulate. ‘Alba Semi-plena’ seems pretty healthy too here in MN.

Just some thoughts. Maybe ‘Alba Semi-plena’ would make a good parent in a breeding program, but the merits of using it may not be evident in the first generation or even the second.