How are these for breeding?

I ordered from Vintage when they were having their buy 6 get 6 free sale. How are these for breeding?

Claire Rose

Graham Thomas

Gloire de Guilan



Prima Ballerina

John claire

Baronne Prevost

The Reeve

Miriam Wilkins

Arthur Bell

I had ordered 4 damask roses but they were out of them and I said to choose any replacements they wanted. I had also ordered Alec’s red but that was sold out too…

Thanks for your opinions!


(Marial34 on Gardenweb)

All of them are fertile, although I think Prima Ballerina is a bad parent-- very disease prone seedlings, at least in my case. I had a cross of it with Queen Elizabeth. Scentless and and horrid shade of magneta pinks, that was how all my seedlings were like.

Claire Rose produces neither pollen nor seeds.


‘Graham Thomas’ is good both as a seed parent (when estblished and not pruned too hard) and as a pollen parent. It has several good offspring listed. Selfs tend to look alot like the parent but are generally lighter yellow fading to white. They generally lack vigor. ‘Heritage’ has been a surpisingly good seed parent for a friend of mine and he’s gotten yellow from it.

I tried to use Heritage to improve the flower quality of the Canadian Explorers. See the link below for an example of the product.


I got Prima Ballerina since it is beautiful and also an older rose. I figured it must be disease resistant… I was thinking of trying it with some Bucks x Damask ones to see how they come out…

Wow, Henry, that is very beautiful! Do you know yet whether it is a monster like Baffin is supposed to be?

I just got them potted up and will wait until spring to plant them in the garden. I was surprised at the size of them since they are 1-year old plants, much bigger then I expected them to be!

One thing I dont understand is how some flowers can produce no pollen or seeds, how does it reproduce itself?

Thanks again for all your help and encouragement!


Maria, no it has bush form, but others were climbers.

If anyone wants to try pollen from these next year you will have to let me know when to do it and exactly how to do it but I will post again next spring also. I dont think I will be trying any crosses myself next year but am willing to collect pollen and seeds for people. They are 1-year olds though if that makes a difference. They are from Vintage and are supposed to be true to, ummm, something, form maybe? I forget the word…

I also have Helena Rennasaince and Full Sail I got from a friend on the garden web. Those are 3 year old ones so should be good for next season even if the others are too young yet. The Full Sail has 3 buds opening up right now.



How big does Heritage get in your garden?

Prima Ballerina cannot be that old-- I still see it, and it is often sold, virused although. I see not much difference of hybrid teas that is 60 years older then the newer ones.


I can vouch for Heritage an Arthur Bell being EXCELLENT roses for high heat, humidity, and stress, - top shelf roses down here in the sauna. AB has a stellar record & H has few offspring also. These two at the grandparent level may be very useful to you. Perhaps a first cross to a Canadian, Buck, or Kordesii is a good start.

Also, as a fellow newbie (sophomore), I can tell you that you have definitely come to the right place. Many of these folks are just as smart as the best of the pro’s, AND they are willing to share!

Good Luck!

Richard BAxter

Maria, I have only used two of the roses that you list, ‘Arthur Bell’ and '‘Graham Thomas,’ and I am too early in my own breeding program to tell you anything useful about their seedlings, but I can say that they are both good seed producers.

Arthur Bell has some R. eglanteria in it (not much), and is in the background of a great many modern roses, as well as many of the Canadian hybrids. Obviously, it didn’t pass on its yellow color to the Canadians, but it has many yellow floribunda offspring. I can see why breeders would use it even if the yellow is not always passed on, and despite the fact that it is rather old: Its seed set is truly exceptional, even with difficult pollen. I can only think of a very few female parents that are better. I don’t get great germination percentages, but the large number of seeds makes up for it. I sometimes have a hard time recognizing when the hips are ripe. They didn’t turn color as much as most.

I only started using Graham Thomas recently. It doesn’t make a lot of seeds per hip, and a lot of the crosses fail in a fairly random way. This last may be due to my difficulty in recognizing the right stage for emasculation. Still, I have gotten seed with some difficult pollens on this one too.

I grow them both in 5 gallon pots in my greenhouse.

Roger Mitchell, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI (USDA zone 5)

I am planning on ordering more roses for spring delivery, especially damasks. I hope to get them all established before I start trying to breed them.

Do you find that they need to be in the green house to survive your zone or is that just more convenient for you?


I grow most of the roses I use as females in pots in the greenhouse for a number of reasons. For me at least, it increases seed set, I can pollinate in bad weather, and I can ripen hips from late crosses. Most of the roses I do this with are typical modern roses, so they are marginally hardy outside. I also use some hardy ones, and a few that are tender and would have to be in the greenhouse anyway. Most of the old roses are reasonably hardy here in zone 5, but some will burn badly in our late freezes. I don’t grow any true damasks, but the Portland rose is hardy here.

I forgot to list one of them I got. It is called Ardoisse de Lyon (spelling??). Anyone know about this one and how it is for breeding?

I am looking into getting some sort of greenhouse setup but am not sure yet what I want.

Thanks again for everyones help!


I tried a couple of crosses with Ardoisee de Lyon this year, and didn’t get anything, but I like it, so I’ll try again next year.

How are these ones for breeding? I just ordered them from Vintage again.


Pinocchio, Climbing

Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseaux

Summer Damask

Mme Hardy (already heard about her)

City of London

Radox Bouquet

A China rose they call “White Pearl in Red Dragon’s Mouth” (and yes, I know they are not very hardy for my climate but I really and truly couldn’t resist that name!)

Thanks again!!


re: City of London

It sets op hips readily. The germination is average and some of the seedlings are fragrant. The odd thing about the hips is that the surface gets crackled and rough, but underneath, the flesh is orange when ripe and there’s no effect on the seeds. I think it has potential.

Now I wonder why some roses do that while others don’t. Today I’ve just harvested a hip of ‘Sutter’s Gold’ x ‘Renae’ and it was very ripe bright orange when I opened it up. But the surface was very dull and crackled, sort of rough to the touch. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ has the same effect. Makes it difficult to know when a hip is ripe, does it.

Is Rosa Eglanteria a good parent then? I got some cuttings of it at the local rose soceity meeting. I also got cuttings of roserie de l’Hay and Alika.

I am hoping I can get these to root since they do grow well up here and get tall like I like the roses to be. The cuttings I got of the Rosa Eglanteria were about as tall as I was (5’3") and she said she left about 2’ on the stem. If they dont root I will order it instead. I heard several people grow it up here for the scent not the blooms.