Hulthemia persica hybrids

I’d be grateful for any experiences you’ve had with Ralph Moore’s Hulthemia persica hybrids, including hardiness, disease resistance, and whether you have used them in hybridizing, or plan to do so.

Persian Autumn

Persian Light

Persian Sunset

Have there been any more released other than the three named above?

Thank you very much for any feedback you may be able to give me.


I have Roses are Red (not on your list) and Persian Autumn. Roses are Red is triploid and PA is tetraploid. They both set hips, although not many seeds are in them. Haven’t gotten any to germinate yet, but I did have very small numbers. They haven’t flowered very well yet, so I look forward to making more crosses. They tend to grow long and lanky. They both get mildew and blackspot. I also have them in pots and have given them extra winter protection just so I don’t risk losing them here in zone 4. I look forward to when there will be descendants that repeat bloom better, are more compact and disease resistant, and still have that nice red eye.



Persian Light has not set any hips in my garden. I tried crossing it with four or five different cultivars, and nothing took.

As a side question, does anyone know anything about another Persica hybrid - Rosa x Hardii hybridized in the late 18th century? This rose has the same yellow with dark red center? Help Me Find lists no descendants and one source to buy the rose (Greenmantle Garden Roses), but Greenmantle is not offering it for sale.


Thank you, David and Andy.



I saw the early attempts Moore made with these crosses and it was enough to turn me off to the whole thing.

They were extremely mildew prone. The plants have an ungainly habit and blossoms have an unnattractive fade.

Moore must have grown a great many seedlings to select these few that are better than most.

I think Jim Sproule and a few others are making so real strides with this species.

If I was going to work with one of the Moore cultivars, I think I would choose Persian Sunset.

It’s fertile in both directions according to Moore.

Thanks David for the ploidy info! I would guess from it’s excellent fertility that ‘Persian Sunset’ is also tetraploid. I had the opportunity to use Chris Warner’s ‘Tiggle’ and due to it’s reluctance to cooperate, I think that it must be triploid - but for both of these that is just speculation. The growth habit on all of these is rangey.

John, I agree with Robert, that ‘Persian Sunset’ would probably be his best released hulthemia to use in breeding. Disease is definitely a problem, but can be overcome using ‘Baby Love’.

I am almost finished with an article on hulthemias that I am preparing for the RHA newsletter. This species is most interesting and is a fun challenge to work with.

Jim Sproul

Thank you, Robert and Jim. Will be looking forward to your article, Jim.

Andy, I came across a reference to Rosa X hardii [X Hulthemosa hardii] in Classic Roses by Peter Beales. It is Hulthemia persica X R. clinophylla; golden yellow, with brownish-red eye. “Supposed not to be hardy.”

He also mentions ‘Euphrates’, ‘Nigel Hawthorne’, ‘Tigris’ and ‘Xerxes’, the H. persica hybrids by Harkness.

I’ve been told ‘Tigris’ is the one best suited to use in further hybridizing.

Have seen the first three, but ‘Xerxes’ proves to be elusive-- does anyone have a source of that one? It is the tallest, at 5’.

Xerxes may be extinct. I’ve had a friend looking for it for years.

Yes, Tigris is the best of the Harkness hybrids for breeding. All of Moore’s hybrids descend from Tigris.

Using Moore’s hybrids will save much time in the selection process.

I think Jim’s new hybrids are going to be a significant leap forward.

I concur with Robert’s comment: don’t go back to ‘Tigris’, but use one of the Moore roses instead. You will save yourself a lot of grief. I’d choose ‘Persian Autumn’.

Paul Barden

Too bad Nigel Hawthorn couldnt be used. There is one that at Heirloom’s that is really pretty. It looks like a midget rugosa with these wild looking blooms at ground level. The hips dont seem to last but they look cool, too. The color is very…unique. It would have been really good if the blooms were an inch larger, the plant was a foot taller and it repeated.

I like the pedigree of ‘Persian Autmun’ Paul. I prefer not to use roses with mysterious lineages.

Thanks for the tip. Do you know if it works as seed parent?

I’ve waited years to jump on the Hulthemia train. I’m still reticent as I have too many projects already.

I have one hulthemia already. It has a wonderful red eye but the plant is awful and it’s a once bloomer.

It would be fun to use these with alabukensis but that would probably only serve to make disease problems worse.

These hybrids are so fascinating to me. The gene pool of the persicas represent more than just the red blotch. I am wondering what other, perhaps recessive characteristics, will present themselves with subsequent generations of breeding. This year I discovered among some of my repeat blooming hulthemia seedlings one that had a very light green coloring to its foliage. The only time I had ever seen that color foliage on seedlings before was on weak runt type seedlings. This seedling was very vigorous and healthy. I am hoping to see whether this trait transmits well in the upcoming year. It may represent a new trait coming from the Hulthemia persicas, that like the blotch, wasn’t previously present in roses.

I agree with Paul that ‘Tigris’ is probably not worth going back to. I have two seedlings from it that I am carrying forward, but these intermediate seedlings seem to behave like triploids, having low fertility and excess disease problems.

Getting the blotch in seedlings that repeat bloom from these ‘Tigris’ seedlings of Mr. Moore’s can be a bit elusive. You can expect that 75% of the seedlings will be once bloomers, and of those that do repeat, in my experience, fewer than 10% showed the blotch. It seems that some roses are better than others at permitting(?) the blotch to transmit. All of my F3’s (assuming ‘Tigris’ is F1 from H. persica) that have been repeat blooming had either ‘Midnight Blue’ or ‘Geisha’ in their ancestry. That may just be coincidence, however, one of my best seed parents (one that I use on difficult crosses), ‘Chipmunk’, produced many repeat bloomers, but not one exhibited the blotch.

Jim Sproul

Fru Dagmar Hastrup x any of the repeat flowering Hulthemia’s would be fun.

I also think the red eye would be neat on climbers or groundcovers. I still have a hard time visualizing usage on FL/HT’s. I would guess, though, that the red eye would make red HT/FL’s look even more red.

Jim, wouldn’t ‘Tigris’ be worth going back to, if only for better chances of recessive traits appearing in the seedlings? Wouldn’t some of this genetic information have been lost in each generation?

I’ve been to your site, and enjoyed seeing the work you’ve done with Hulthemia hybrids-- very exciting!



Jim, what is your web address? I would love to see what you’ve been working on. Thanks, Robert

John, thanks for your comments on my website.

You do make a very good point that I would have to agree with you. No doubt, some of the genetic material gets lost with each generation, so going back to ‘Tigris’ would offer the possibility of recovering additional genetic possibilities. For the blotch, however, you will do better with Mr. Moore’s hybrids as they are easier to work with than ‘Tigris’.

Robert, my website has not been updated for quite awhile (there are some broken links). It is an earthlink site that only offers 10 MB and is full. I will be updating and moving the whole thing soon. Currently it is at:

Jim Sproul


Great web site Jim. I enjoyed viewing all of your seedlings. You’ve had some interesting crosses and some great results.

Thanks for sharing some of your work with us Jim. I am intrigued by several of your seedlings.

I especially enjoy the colored stamens of your Geisha seedlings.

That yellow HT is gorgeous! The minis are first rate too.


Those spotted seedlings are really unique.

Yes, the spotted seedlings are cool. Reminds me of the old Portland, Marbr

I finally moved my website and have added several photos of seedlings in the “Un-Named Seedlings” section (some new hulthemia photos too). I will be adding more in the next couple of days.

Jim Sproul