Hulthemias young and more mature

For me it has always been interesting seeing how seedlings mature. As the Hulthemias mature, their blotch size and blotch intensity always seems to increase. Here are a few of last years seedlings with their “baby pictures” and photos this year of them all grown up.

First is L83-1. The base color is lighter outdoors, almost white, while the blotch is darker.

The second seedling, L83-2, a sister seedling, is very similar in bloom form, but the plant tends to crawl on the ground. You’ll note that the first photo is labeled incorrectly as L83-3.

This next seedling, L241, had quite a large blotch as a young seedling, but it also increased in size. The coloring in the photo is not correct. It is unusual and hard to capture the true color. When looking at just the petals, you can see how much larger the blotch has grown on the more mature plant.

Finally, the last one is my favorite, however, I didn’t get a young seedling picture of this one. This is a sister seedling of the first two, but has more petals, and is designated L83-6.

Jim Sproul

The L241 certainly picked up some pizazz! I know that these originate in low water, arid regions–have these hybrids kept some of that trait, or have they taken on the ability to adapt to more or less average garden watering?

Those are really nice.

Have you’ve gone other directions?

I remember you had a stripped persica hybrid.

Today, i’ve done several crosses with Perle d’Or.

I’ve thought-- it could be better as a polyantha. Imagine all those eyes.

Plus, it has some of the Trier background.

Who knows, assuming the these seeds survive, what sort of ploidy they will have.

This is impressive, Jim. You are making good progress along these lines. Harkness would be impressed, I’m sure!

How is shrub architecture and remontancy with these selections? Ralph’s work clearly showed that there was still much work to be done to restore decent plant habit in this line of breeding.


Thank you Jackie, Enrique and Paul for your encouraging words!

Jackie, L241 is certainly different! The flowers age in a very interesting way - they almost look like dried butterflies. Though Hulthemia persica comes from more arid regions, these hybrids are roses in almost every way except for the blotch. It would be interesting testing them for drought tolerance, however, they survive with the same care that you would provide for roses.

Enrique, yes we do have some striped remontant hulthemias (an idea that my daughter who was 10 years old at the time and that Mr. Moore who was 100 years at the time came up with independently!) It goes to show just how much fresh imagination that Mr. Moore has continued to cultivate in his mind. I have tried crossing these with everything - from HT’s, to climbers, to minis, to multifloras. It will be fun to see what comes from the mix. Best wishes for success on your crosses!

Paul, I wish that I could have met Jack Harkness. His ground breaking work was amazing. All of these are fully remontant - blooming as young 2 month old seedlings and blooming repeatedly on new wood throughout the year. Some continue to have a more lax plant habit, but others are already showing a good compact, bushy and floriferous habit that I look for in roses. Some are even nearly thornless.

Jim Sproul


Thank you for the pictures, I’ve come back to them several times, just to enjoy them.

The more I look, the more I see.

One thing that makes me want to reach out and touch them…the anthers. The petals seem to last much longer than the freshness of the anthers. And some of the blooms seem either to be much more anther-rich, or do the anthers grow as the blooms mature, so that the anthers seem to be fewer.

(Have you seen the photo in “To Persia for Flowers” of the donkey heavily laden with H. persicas that had been pulled out of the ground and that were destined to be livestock fodder?)

Hi Jim: Wonderful pictures. When do you think you’ll have one ready to market? Bob Williams

Mazel tov, Jim, these are wonderful!

These are all beautiful and exciting plants, I keep coming back to look at them! You should be very proud for your work.


Thank you Ann, Bob, Fara and Terry!

Ann, I think that the anthers can really add or subtract to the interest of these. L83-6 is my favorite partly because of the anthers. Even on a 2-day old bloom they still seem to contrast well with the petals. I will have to look for the “To Persia for Flowers” photo - sounds like prickly fodder!

Bob, while I think that we have one or two now that are marketable, it will take some time to build up the varieties and to interest a grower in moving forward.

Jim Sproul