Has anyone tried crossing William Baffin with a mini?

The above question popped into my mind last night. Since the mini form of growth is expected to be dominate, I picture a rose sort of like a Bonzi tree.

I thought of crossing Rosarium Utersen with Yellow Ribbons this year. That is somewhat similar in thought. My guess is something like What A Peach or maybe a few like some of Moore’s minis or… or… maybe even a smaller floribuna… or maybe something like International Herald Tribune… or maybe just a lot of seedlings that are a mass of climbing miniture twigs (lol). I honestly dont know what could be dominant with your idea because miniatures are so variable in lineage.

In 2003 I put William Baffin pollen on a yellow blend Miniature ‘Penny Ante’. Very few bloomed in year one. Most are climber-ish plants, still growing. Mostly single pink blooms, one yellow single. One was an exception: 25 petals with miniature HT form in a peachy pink hue, more peach in hot weather. A 3 foot shrub that is very branched, very full and blooms with enormous panicles all summer. It is pollen fertile and has limited seed fertility. I don’t know yet if it has Baffin’s Blackspot resistance, as I have kept it in the greenhouse for breeding. 5 selections were placed in the garden and have shown mediocre Blackspot resistance, possibly a bit better than average. All are wide growing climber-ish plants, all single or up to 10 petals. All dull pinks with the exception of the yellowish one. I am more interested in the next generation from the peachy one. It is being tested in Alaska to see if it is more Winter hardy than the average Mini.


Dr. F. Svejda the originator of ‘William Baffin’ indicated in her personal notes that this rose does not pass on its winter hardiness. I am not at all sure how or why she arrived at this conclusion. However when crosses are made between winter-hardy and semi-hardy roses one can expect that between 2 and 5 of 250 seedlings will inherit complete hardiness (tip kill only) in Canadian zone 5. Winter temperatures in this zone can decrease to -40 C, with wind chill, in the months of January and February. Perhaps it is a numbers game more than anything else.

An alternative to ‘William Baffin’ is ‘William Booth’ also bred by Dr. Svejda. It is an excellent seed/pollen parent with 5 petals but numerous flowers about (400 to 800) per mature plant with red/magenta coloring and excellent black spot and mildew resistance. It does pass on its hardiness. Another that may be conisdered is Dr. Svejda’s line L-83 which she released to the scientific community (HortScience 23(2):415-416. 1988)some time back. It is a medium pink single rose and very winter-hardy. Lately, it has developed some black spot but this disease seems to be overcome in 2 to 5 seedlings out of 250 seedlings when crossed with a semi-hardy rose. The same numbers may hold for the less hardy hybrid teas and floribundas. This is currently being tested.

I hope that the above may be of some help.

I’m actually going to be putting it onto a couple different ones this year, Cal Poly and June Laver. I’ll hopefully be able to let you know next year what they turn out like. Like Paul, I do not hold great expectations for the first generation, but am more interested in the next generation. Liz