Hybrid Kordesii x Meidiland landscape roses

I live in a Zone 3 climate, but at least once a year I get out to the Canadian West Coast to take in the roses growing there I don’t get get much of an opportunity to see here in Ontario or the Canadian Prairies, which I travel through each year. One type I see in Vancouver I admire is the Meidiland landscape roses - ‘Pink Meidiland’, ‘Scarlet Meidiland’, ‘Bonica’, etc. Except for ‘Bonica’, these rose cultivars don’t seem to be as popular as they were when they first introduced in the 1980’s, but there is no question they are still very effective in the garden, park and commercial landscapes.

It’s occurred to me, as far as I know, very little work has been done combining Hybrid Kordesii (including the Canadian Rosa kordesii Explorer cultivars) and Meidiland landscape roses in a breeding program. I believe some work has been done with ‘Bonica’. But I think this could be very effective, since both types have attractive foliage and the Meidiland landscape roses generally produce flowers in large sprays, so the progeny should be floriferous.

The Rosa kordesii L83 x Meidiland landscape roses, of course, has the potential to produce selections cold hardy to Zone 4 and perhaps to Zone 3, so it would be basic to do in such a breeding program.

We have, of course, the development of ‘Morden Belle’ (RSM 13 x ‘Scarlet Meidiland’), which generally performs well in a Zone 3 climate, although it’s not too exciting a rose. It’s an indicator, more or less, what can be done in this respect.

I should be able to do some of this work this year.

Well, keep us posted on your progress, Paul!


I really enjoy the Meidiland roses too. ‘Never Alone’ is another hybrid from a similar breeding direction (‘Scarlet Meidiland’ x ‘Frontenac’) x Yellow SubmarineTM.

Excellent idea Paul.

This is perhaps a dumb question, but when referring to the generality of Meidiland landscape roses, is there a commonality to the group? I tend to think of them as usually polyanthas with a massive preponderance of R. wichuriana, either through the Fairy, or a sempervirens/Marthe Carron line of progeny, but I assume they are a rather diverse group, lumped together more by general traits than by lineage. HMF generally lists a bunch of them as zn 6, which I assume is a default setting?

On a divergent topic, what is the hardiness of Basye’s probable amphidiploid? I’ve wondered about pairing that with some of the Kordesii’s. I have no concept as to what the Abyssinian line does to the hardiness of an amphidiploid rugosa rubra progeny, but it’s a hybrid I would like to play with personally. The idea of the southernmost rose species from the dry mountains of east Africa combined a cold-hardy red rugosa – and tetraploid to boot – makes for some interesting hypotheticals.


You’re correct.

I’ll just add the Meidiland landscape roses can be roughly broken down to two types, which you’re likely aware of. The spray and cluster. The former includes ‘Pink Meidiland’ and ‘Scarlet Meidiland’, the latter includes ‘White Meidiland’ and ‘Bonica’. I don’t think of the spray type as a Polyantha rose though.

Both types I think would be valuable to combine with Rosa kordesii cultivars in a breeding program, although I lean to the spray type to potentially develop progeny having a graceful form and being very floriferous.

One thing that always impresses me about the Meidiland landscape roses is their disease resistance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shrub infected with disease.

By the way, checking my 2016 breeding notes, I see I did a ‘Henry Kelsey’ x ‘Crimson Meidiland’ cross last year, which I completely forgot about. At least I think it was ‘Crimson Meidiland’. The pollen came from a red Meidiland landscape rose growing in the Mount Pleasant residential area of Vancouver, B.C. Unfortunately, I used a ‘Henry Kelsey’ shrub not growing at my home and located several kilometres from me, and conditions weren’t ideal doing the crosses. So the results were problematic and I didn’t follow up. I’ll likely be able to repeat the same cross this year.