Hazeldean Seeds?

I was out at my parents today and noticed a few stray dried brown hips on ‘Hazeldean’. I crushed them and was surprised to find three relatively plump seeds.

I was under the impression that ‘Hazeldean’ was pretty much completely pod-sterile, and had only been successful as a pollen parent. Has anyone else ever found seeds on ‘Hazeldean’ before?

And what are the chances that these might still be viable after spending the whole [only Maryland] winter freezing and thawing within the dry hips?

According to Margit Schowalter, Hazeldean does set hips, though rarely. She managed to gather some OP hips this fall from Brookside or Devonian and I believe she germinated some via embryho culture and now has some seedlings coming along. Margit shared some of the seed with me and I have just potted up some seedlings as well, which are due to go out later this springtime to some people who had requested them earlier.

Margit will be able to fill you in on details of Percy Wright’s writings and work regarding Hazeldean, as he also managed to germinate some.

Percy Wright was a friend of mine, and it is likely I have read his writings more than anyone else. I got the impression from him that ‘Hazeldean’ was a poor pistillate parent, so I have never used it this way. Whether he germinated seeds of this cultivar, I can’t say for sure. But there is no record he developed any seedlings. As he wrote in his RHA Newsletter article “Breeding Yellows” in the Summer 1975 edition, “My experience has been with the use of Hazeldean pollen on hardy roses…”

I’m not sure of the value of growing op seedlings of ‘Hazeldean’, since the flowers likely would have been self-pollinated. As a staminate parent for developing cold hardy roses with yellow,pastel and bi-colour flowers, I think this cultivar still has a lot of potential. Keep in mind it contributed the cold hardiness for J5 (‘Prairie Magic’) and ‘Morden Sunrise’. The former is cold hardy to Zone 3 and the latter is crown hardy for this zone. Therefore, these cultivars are a source of cold hardiness in breeding programs.

In my recent article in the RHA newsletter I gave a number of alternative sources to the descendents of Soleil d’Or for yellow pigmentation. I should also have included Hazeldean, if Percy Wright is to be belived. In an article titled “Hazeldean Rose, a Rare Segregation” he wrote:

"Hazeldean is very pollen-fertile, and in some years about 10 percent of its flowers will make heps. I consider it potentially a very valuable ancestor of future roses of yellow tone that will avoid the blackspot to which the Pernetianas are subject.

“In other words, I am convinced that the work of J. Pernet-Ducher, who introduced the Soleil D’Or rose (a hybrid Perpetual by Rosa foetida) in 1900, should be repeated, using pollen of Hazeldean instead. Probably half the seedlings in later generations would inherit the susceptibility of Persian Yellow to blackspot, but if the other 50 per cent are free of the disease, our objective has been obtained.”

He obviously promoted its use as a pollen donor because it gives hips reluctantly, but since it does indeed set seed then there is no reason that it wouldn’t be useful to try some crosses onto it.

I’m not sure of the value of growing op seedlings of ‘Hazeldean’, since the flowers likely would have been self-pollinated.

F1 selfs of Hazeldean might be worth surveying for increased fertility; even-number ploidy (since Hazeldean itself is triploid); the ability to pass along dense coloration, high petal count, and large petals; and the ability to be grafted onto multiflora rootstocks (according to Percy, Hazeldean is compatabile only with canina). Perhaps more importantly, they might be potentially more compatabile than Hazeldean in crosses with, say, Antoine Ducher :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth, here are some F1’s from Hazeldean. They are unusual for rose seedlings, even the spins, in having such a high degree of branching at such an early stage.

I should have said ‘root branching’, which is what I meant.

For the forthcoming newsletter, I wrote an article about breeding with R. spinosissima and its relatives. Since so many of you are interested in this species group, I included information on crosses and seedlings that are at very early stages of use or evaluation. I did discuss my own

Realistically, because of its excellent cold hardiness (Zone 1) and yellow colour but essentially once blooming habit, let’s look at the potential of ‘Hazeldean’ in breeding programs.

  1. Bi-colour pink and yellow or yellow and peach Spinosissimas with larger flowers. Example, ‘Suzanne’ x ‘Hazeldean’, ‘Dr. F.L. Skinner’ x ‘Hazeldean’. This is of most value for cold climates (Zone 2 - 3), where Spinosissimas are most appreciated.

  2. Once blooming, yellow or peach coloured Rugosas. Example, ‘Schneezwerg’ x ‘Hazeldean’ to obtain a yellow Rugosa. Again, of most value for cold climates (Zone 2 - 3).

  3. Crown hardy (Zone 3), repeat blooming yellow, peach or pastel Rugosas. Similar to ‘Linda Campbell’ or ‘The Hunter’ that bloom on new wood if the canes are winter killed. This should be able to be accomplished by crossing white or pink Rugosas with ‘Morden Sunrise’.

  4. Cold hardy (Zone 2 - 3), yellow Pillar roses with perhaps some repeat bloom by combining ‘Hazeldean’ with Rosa laxa or Rosa laxa species or near species hybrids. Of course, such a breeding line could be used with other breeding lines to increase cold hardiness.

  5. A breeding line similar to ‘Red Dawn’ x ‘Suzanne’ but instead use ‘Red Dawn’ or other ‘New Dawn’ hybrids x ‘Hazeldean’. Such a breeding line could be used with Rosa kordesii or Rosa bracteata breeding lines to hopefully develop relatively cold hardy (Zone 3 - 4) and more disease resistant, yellow selections.

In all these examples that pretty well covers its potential (I wouldn’t use it with Hybrid Teas/Floribundas - it won’t contribute disease resistance), it is only necessary to use ‘Hazeldean’ or a cultivar (‘Morden Sunrise’) having the former in its pedigree.

Despite the fact ‘Hazeldean’ is a triploid, it appears it hasn’t presented any major crossing barriers with tetraploid roses.

I want to point out that 60 years after its development, ‘Hazeldean’ is still not available from major nurseries. Therefore, the fact(?) that it can’t be budded on to Rosa multiflora has been irrelevant. Having said that, I’m taking steps for Pickering Nurseries to have it available within 2 - 3 years.


For the forthcoming newsletter, I wrote an article about breeding with R. spinosissima and its relatives.

Roger, I second your call for membership renewals, and I’m looking forward to reading your article.


I have been wondering, does

Paul O, you deserve recognition for helping to preserve and distribute some of these rare hardy roses.

I agree that it might be challenging to produce hardy, disease-resistant breeding lines based just on