If you could pick 2...

If you could pick 2 of the following based upon 1) obtaining the purplish color and 2) average or better fertility (either way but seed preferred) which two would would you pick?

Basye’s Purple



Great Western

Excellenz von Schubert

Orpheline de Julliet

Bleu Magenta

I want to add a couple of purplish roses to my lines and thought of these ones but cannot narrow it down any further. A few do not have any descendants listed so that is why I am asking about the fertility of them.

Basye’s Purple is nearly infertile, and it has horrible architecture. Ann Endt is superior in everything, except color.

Veilchenblau has superior descendants. Bleu Magenta is a related replica.

IDK about the rest.

I only succeeded in raising a handful of seedlings from Basye’s Purple. They were all terrible plants, once flowering and white. Or, I should say, the ONLY one which flowered in the five or six years I kept them was white. They were from BP pollen on Yellow Jewel, the only cross which ever resulted in any seeds. The one which finally flowered grew two dimensionally, like Grewia occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower). All were intensely prickly and quite prone to mildew. After that, I gave up on trying to get it to mix with anything.

Of the others, I would probably suggest Violette. Ralph had some success in mining purple from it. He attempted Baby Faurax, which is reportedly the dwarf, repeat flowering sport of Veilchenblau. He said he only got pinks from it. My Lauren is a Baby Faurax seedling, but with significantly greater health and vigor.

Excellenz von Schubert has only resulted in once flowering, pale pink to whites for me, also with a good bit of mildew.

You might want to consider Purple Skyliner. It is very much like a repeat flowering Veilchenblau, so at least the repeat already exists so you shouldn’t have much difficulty digging it out. It roots easily, if you’re interested in cuttings. I haven’t bred with it, nor have I found any self hips on the plant, but from the extreme water stress and heat it suffers where I have to grow it, that’s to be expected. It is most definitely purple!

I can also offer cuttings of Violet Hood,, a Lens Robin Hood X Baby Faurax seedling which has resulted in further violet seedlings and Rosy Purple, also a Lens violet seedling. I grew Sibelius and Verdi, both of which were nice, but Violet Hood and Rosy Purple I find to be more satisfying in my conditions. Jet Flame is a tiny flower on a bit greater than “tiny” plant.

Kim, I might have to take you up on your offer. It seems no one offers rosy purple except Vintage and only by custom which they won’t do now that they are winding down their business. The same goes for purple skyliner. No one is offering jet flame (or so it seems) I was looking at Violet Hood so I would be interested in that one too.

Michael, I was hoping to get an Anne Endt this year, but like the varieties Kim recommended, they too seem to be unavailable commercially.

‘Basye’s Purple’ = run away! I second the comments above, as far as having utterly no value as a breeder. If, on the other hand, what you are seeking is mildew-stunted, deformity-stricken weaklings that live for a few months then croak, then this is the parent plant for you!

‘Rosy Purple’ on the other hand has been somewhat useful to me in breeding, but it does not play nice with modern shrubs in general. The most promising plants I have obtained have been by crossing it with diploid species and other Polys. As a garden shrub, it is exemplary; one of my favorite multiflora types.

Sven is pretty purple. Also fertile.

I plan on using Stormy Weather. Its so awesome <3

I agree with you Michael. I encountered it for the first time in a wholesale nursery last week. I was surprised they had several dozen five gallon Foetida Bicolor in full bloom and noticed this really interesting looking single purple “shrub”. It turned out to be left over plants of Stormy Weather which had been whacked back at the end of the year. Very nice foliage with very deep purple flowers. Incredibly prickly, too!

It is amusing to read the rave reviews for ‘Basye’s Purple’ in various popular books. Healthy? Vigorous? Check books.google.com

The specimen at the San Jose Heritage garden usually had pale, yellowish leaves - commonly spotted. The few flowers were strikingly dark, making it a puzzle to catch both them and the anemic leaves in the same picture.

Phillips & Rix (1993) state that it is tetraploid - from two diploid parents. That’s possible, of course, but I’d like to find some confirmation.

Has anyone backcrossed ‘Bayse’s Purple’ to either of its supposed parents? If the remarkable color could be preserved on a plant like ‘Germanica’, or other choice Rugosa, one might then go forward into other crosses.

Similarly, I have long wondered whether a backcross of Moore’s ‘Mr Bluebird’ to ‘Old Blush’ might open new color possibilities in Chinas.

Breeding for purple can be disappointing because there are at least 5 different types of purple in roses.

The Rugosa ‘Hansa’ is colored by almost pure peonin. I know of no other rose like it, so there isn’t much chance of maintaining the high concentration of that pigment in any cross.

Two of the purple types involve co-pigmentation of cyanin, either by apigenin (many mauve roses) or gallotannin. (e.g. ‘Reine des Violettes’)

Finally, some very nice purples get their color from AVIs (anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions). These are tiny violet bundles of cyanin bound up with protein, that disperse light making the flowers look bluer than the pigments alone could manage. (e.g. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’)

Co-pigmented purples tend to become more “blue” with age, though usually more dull as well.

AVI-purples, on the other hand, tend to become more red with age, as the AVIs breakdown and release cyanin into the vacuolar sap.

The 5th type of purple is colored, at least in part, by rosacyanins. (e.g. ‘Mme. Violet’)

Crossing between purple-types is likely to result in reds and pinks with little of the “blue”, in the first generation. Subsequently, however, it might be possible to combine two mechanisms. For example, an AVI-purple that has plenty of gallotannin in the vacuole waiting complex with the cyanin as it is released from the AVIs.

It would be helpful to see a “master list” placing specific varieties into one of the five groups. Do you know if one exists? It would make breeding for purple a whole lot easier - kind of like cooking with a recipe (somewhat).

Then, test them all for specific race black spot resistance so all could select the best potential breeders for “perfect poiples”.

The article I quoted about AVIs and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ also stated that, “Quite similar pigmentation features were found in very ancient rose cultivars (cv. Le Évêque or Bleu Magenta), also displaying this type of so-called “blue” color.”

In my experience, ‘Le Évêque’ (The Bishop) gives a distinct impression of blue, beyond what a close examination reveals. So, if someone wants to take a step back into the old roses, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ x ‘Le Évêque’ would be one place to start. At least it should offer some confidence that the two parents share (apparently) the same mechanism of color.

Otherwise, one can always use the “scientific” method of breeding described by Lammerts (1945). That is, (A x B) x (A x C). In this way, the desired qualities of the recurrent parent (A, in this case) would be brought together. And this technique does not bring on the problems associated with inbreeding (i.e, A x A).

It is also probable that similarly colored varieties from similar breeding will share the same color mechanism. Le Grice (1968) describes the ancestries of several families of “blue” roses.

Other info on rose pigments and color effects

Robert R. has shared a seedling from Midnight Blue with me that is showing above average health re: black spot - MIBLADLB3. It has Stephen’s Big Purple in its bloodlines which is vigorous, fragrant, comparatively healthy in contrast to most HT’s, and has a gazillion mauve/purple offspring - quite a variety of shades. Since my name is Stephen and since I like purple/lavender roses I admit to some non-objective prejudice.

Do some more searching this evening, I find that “gallotannin” isn’t as specific a term as I had thought. More recent research, Osawa (1982) indicates that the copigment in ‘Blue Moon’ and many other “blue” roses is quercitrin, a glycoside formed from the flavonoid quercetin and the deoxy sugar rhamnose.

Rosa foetida, an ancestor of many mauve roses, contains quercitin 7- and 4’-glucosides, which contribute to the brilliance of the yellow color. This may explain how some yellow roses contribute to “blue” in some of their progeny.

Something else just struck me. Osawa, cited in previous note, wrote, “The authors tentatively concluded that the blueness of the Blue Moon roses are due to the [two] dull-purplish pigments together with the flavonol-copigmented cyanin.”

And Fukui et al (2006) identified two “rosacyanins” in ‘Mme Violet’.

Both ‘Mme Violet’ and ‘Blue Moon’ are offspring from ‘Sterling Silver’. So, the two dull purplish pigments found in ‘Blue Moon’ are likely the “rosacyanins” identified in ‘Mme Violet’.