Hardiness rating of 'Topaz Jewel'

‘Topaz Jewel’ has a hardiness rating of 4b on HMF, but is that crown hardy to Z 4b, cane hardy?

Where’s the bar set when these ratings are given?

Any info would be appreciated, thanks.

When I grew it in Minnesota (sometimes winters were 4a, sometimes 4b, sometimes 5a or even 5b depending on the year) it would usually come through with tip dieback to slightly more moderate dieback on the healthiest canes–something that probably needed pruning back regardless. However, it always had a problem with random canes shriveling and dying over winter while others had little to moderate damage, and it ultimately withered away under my conditions. I also observed a somewhat more robust planting at a municipal garden about 40 miles farther north and west of my home (possibly into zone 3b territory) that was eventually removed, and I wondered if they hadn’t possibly experienced some similar issues. I always thought it was a strange rose, not altogether as good as it could be and seemingly prone to odd dieback problems in both summer and winter, but still without any real competition for its combination of features. It seems to me that it would be a good project to recreate it in a constitutionally healthier, tougher, and more fertile form using different parental stock.


I had Topaz Jewel for 5 or 6 years. It always experianced some dieback here with between 7” and 16” of live wood in the spring. For comparison I would rate it about the same or slightly hardier than Carefree Beauty, with some years TJ having more live wood than CB but other years less. I culled it last year because it just wasn’t performing well. Maybe because I had it planted next to Carefree Sunshine and while TJ may have been somewhat hardier than CS, CS was more vigorous, flowered more and had better disease resistance.

I never noticed any hips on TJ so I never tried putting any pollen on it. And I only tried it’s pollen on Scneezwerg but it didn’t take. I had always thought about trying it’s pollen on other roses but for some reason I just never got around to doing that.

‘Topaz Jewel’ on its own root is crown hardy in zone 3, Alberta. It fares just as well as the Parklands and Explorers at the Devonian Garden near Edmonton. Snow cover is pretty well guaranteed every year. If you go back to this thread, you can see them in the middle picture with the people. The centre four beds are ‘Topaz Jewel’. http://www.rosebreeders.org/forum/read.php?2,50783,50783#msg-50783

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I’m considering using ‘Topaz Jewel’ to try and recover Diploid seedlings with juvenile repeat from ‘Cuthbert Grant’ and ‘Prairie Joy’ if my pollen filtration plan doesn’t work. I was concerned as to how much of the hardiness of C.G & P.G. would be lost, but it sounds like the seedlings should be at least crown hardy in Zone 3, and that’s not a bad start.

A few generations of crossing such seedlings into R. woodsii, sibling crossing to recover the repeat and crossing back to woodsii; and with a little luck I should have a diploid with juvenile repeat that’s fairly hardy to Zone 2 (well you can always bream).

Thanks gain.

I haven’t successfully generated any seedlings from ‘Topaz Jewel’, but I haven’t tried too hard. I tried is as a male in the past and didn’t get good seed set and gave up. Instead I tried its triploid female, ‘Golden Angel’, to try to obtain diploid seedlings that are yellow. I have a few seedlings of TJ that Joan Monteith raised and shared with me. TJ is their female parent. The one in the attached picture is really nice. The petals are thicker than typical rugosas and there is a warm color to the base of the petals as they open. It doesn’t set op hips. It is hardier than TJ. Maybe it is a backcross to a nearby rugosa or if it is a self inherited more of the rugosa genes.

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Hi David,

Thanks for your input,

I have a few seedlings of T.J. myself with ‘Therese. Bugnet’ as the female. There is quite a bit of variation in the seedlings with some looking very rugosa and others more like blanda hybrids. The three that have flowered are pink, quite rugosa like and extremely fragrant. I had no real plans for the cross, its pollen was just ready when T.B. was so I made the cross. I fully expected it to fail in all honesty as I’ve not found T.J. or T.B. to be very cooperative in breeding, needless to say I was quite surprised the cross took. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to seeing if I get any yellow in the seedlings, but I’m not counting on it.

For the cross I have in mind for T.J. this season I’m only looking to recover juvenile repeat in a diploid thats fairly hardy to Zone 3/4. If I can get that out of it I’ll be happy.

Topaz Jewel is most successful as pollen parent. The only thing Ralph ever got out of it worth noting was Peach Candy, which he never pushed because it didn’t root easily. It was one he donated to The Huntington for fund raising in 2001.

‘Peach Candy’ is a completely unremarkable plant, and if you didn’t know anything about its pedigree, you’d pass it by in a heartbeat. It is difficult to propagate, and it has an awkward growth habit, and is generally a mediocre performer. It says something that ‘Peach Candy’ was the best seedling Ralph got from ‘Topaz Jewel’.

Or, seemingly Topaz Jewel! TJ grew beautifully in Visalia, but it was also “unremarkable” in Newhall. It hated the heat. Peach Candy grew well in Newhall but never produced anything from pollen nor seed. The color is pretty in the fresh bud but the flowers blew and faded quickly in the heat.

Kim, Paul,

I tend to think that the fact Mr Moore never got anything worthwhile out of ‘Topaz Jewel’ may say more about the roses he crossed it to than T.J. itself. Looking at the results of crossing it to T.B. I’d say it has some merit when used it with rugosas. But I’d imagine Mr Moor used it mainly with miniatures and maybe a few modern shrubs, so I cant say I’m surprised it didn’t offer much of interest.

I say this with the greatest of respect, but to my mind ‘Topaz Jewel’ isn’t a finished product. It has some potential to produce a good yellow rugosa, but I don’t rate it as a particularly good example of a rugosa. It does however have it’s uses from my perspective. And I have to give Mr Moor credit for having the imagination to make such a cross.

I agree with you there is much room for improvement, but it represented the best yellow Rugosa he could create using, as you said, his self- limited tools. Compared to all the other potentially yellow Rugosas, and the actual yellow ones, it had the largest flower on the most controlled plant. The next best was a small flower on a larger shrub we encouraged him to release at the end. He liked the idea and began propagating it. The name was to have been, “Eleventh Hour”. It was an old enough seedling the cross was lost. It was very much like a light yellow Rountuit.

I don’t know if it is sterile or not. I never got anything from it, but Yesterday’s Garden is a very nice shrub here.

Graham I am having computer glitches.Tell if you receive the email looking at a possible research project johannes

Hi Johannes,

I received the private messages through the forum, but don’t have an email from you in my email account.

I have replied to your PM.

I’ve put a listing here on HMF with a few photos of my (Thérèse Bugnet X Topaz Jewel) seedlings. No yellows as yet, and I don’t expect the 3 seedlings that haven’t flowered yet to change things, but something unexpected occurred.