I'm not happy with 77-361...

At first, I thought it due to contiminated pollen. But I’m 100 percent sure it was contaminate free. I cannot say that I’m pleased 77-361. I got it to pass on thornlessness, and most of my seedlings start out thornless, but after several months go by, most of them are thorny. One in particular is very disease resistant, but it’s THORNY! Most of my pollinations were on Queen Elizabeth, and a few minis such as Cafe Ole. I’m keeping one seeding of 77-361, but what do you think? Should I purchase Kim’s ‘Lynnie’ and try it on my seedling? Anyone else’s experiance with 77-361? I was hoping that I could see “instant” results with 77-361.

Hmm, Bayse’s Legacy. Ive never seen it but maybe you could try one of the Davidson hybrids with it or perhaps a rose he has used to create his roses. Maybe even something like Iceberg which is fairly thron-free. Of the roses I grow–Iceberg, Leonie Lamesch, Quaker Star and Helmut Schidt have the least amount of thorns.


You could try crossing it with Z

‘Joycie’ tends to pass on thornlessness, as does ‘Renae’.


Hi Enrique:

I’m not sure whether my “Bayse’s Thornless” is the same as your seed parent, but I did get it from Mr. Ralph Moore. It has pink simple flowers and it fairly reliably passes along thornlessness (or at least very few thorns).

I did an experiment with it 2 years ago and crossed it both ways with ‘Scarlet Moss’. Seedlings ranged from nearly thornless to very mossy (thorny!). So, I am not sure what that tells us other than that there is probably more than one gene involved in the formation of prickles.


This one came from Ashdown, it is completly thornless, like a small climber, and makes tons of hips with many rugosa like seeds. Foilage is sort of long and pointy.

That sounds very similar to the “Bayse’s Thornless” that I have.

Incidentally, in this year’s seedling batch, I have a pink-mauve shrub rose that has ‘Livin’ Easy’ and a purple seedling in it, with an unknown pollen parent and this seedling is completing thornless (including the backs of the leaves - just like the “Bayse’s Thornless”). It is somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew, but because of the complete absence of thorns (and it blooms more than “Bayse’s Thornless”), I think that it would be interesting in some crosses for next year.


Thornlessness can show up almost anywhere from time to time. I have a cross using a seedling (Miniature X Bourbon) which is thorny and has always produced thorny offspring, crossed with the Bracteata hybrid ‘Out of Yesteryear’, which always produces thorned plants, often VERY thorny. Out of this cross came one seedling that is totally thornless, completely contrary to expectations. You just never know!


It is amazing how just when you think you have roses figured out, something entirely unexpected happens!

In the above example of a cross I did of ‘Scarlet Moss’ X “Bayse’s Thornless”, I found a very vigorous seedling that appeared nearly completely thornless except for a very few thorns at the base of the plant. Since it was growing so vigorously in the seedling bed and was shading out some of the other seedlings, I trimmed it down to about 1/3 it’s size. The new growth that appeared had lots of thorns- almost as if to say, “stop chomping on me!”


My HT ‘Proud Land’ does the same thing. All spring growth is thornless to nearly thornless but the summer spurts are loaded with masses of thorns. Not that it is my own hybrid but it is an interesting pattern to observe.

Along these lines, I always assumed banksias would be an ideal subject for breeding thornlessness. I now have a second generation hybrid of R. banksia banksia that was completely thorn free until it’s third year, when obviously, it became “mature” enough to produce thorns. Thorns appear to be very dominant in roses. I’m also experimenting with 77-361. Thanks Robert

A bit of a side issue.

I have a very thorny groundcover ( Macredsaus ) that I like as a seed producer.

One of its good points is that it produces a lot of seelings with few thorns.


Putting this back on top again… I’ve gotten good results with Renae this year. I used the pollen on Sutter’s gold, and the seedlings were genearlly smooth. I’ve kept only one seedling because of its foilage’s health. It has English-Rose like flowers, the color being several shades of pink and orange with some carmin. Think Shot Silk… And it has no thorns (so far). I hope to cross my Queen Elizabeth x 77-361 with Sutter’s Gold x Renae…

Sounds good Enrique. Pleasse keep us posted. Was the Sutter’s Gold x Renae a shrub? HT?

I have a thornless OP seedling of ‘Violet Hood’ I’ve been keeping around even though it didn’t bloom as a seedling this year and I’ve been trying to figure out how it could possibly be thornless. Then it hit me that Basye’s Legacy is practically planted on top of the seed parent. DUH! Anyway, I hope to let it self and hopefully I’ll get some repeaters but it’s likely triploid from the ancestry so we’ll see.

Does anyone know whether Renae is diploid or tetraploid? I’ve been wondering about this for some time.

I also acquired ‘Joycie’ in hopes of getting some thornless seedlingsthis year but I had no idea it blackspotted so badly. I’ll have to think about that one. Thanks, Robert

Ello… old thread.

Sutter’s Gold x Renae seems to be a shrubby floribunda. It was very slow to build up a bush, but eventually it made leaps this year.

I love the fragrance, although I think the colors could be better. It varies way too much with the climate. It can be light pink, dark carmin, old gold and apricot with carmin shading-- or all of them at the same time.

This is indeed a near thornless plant.

I’m indeed proud of this seedling as one step towards my goal of very fragrant thornless roses.

My Queen Elizabeth X 77-361 seedling seems to have the ability to produce seedlings with lack of thorns. That fact makes me happy because this seedling is rather thorny, and the foilage keeps getting unattractive.

I tried to cross Lynnie with this seedling. Lynnie is better in every way: color, managability, repeat bloom. But then again, Lynnie isn’t thornless in my garden. It will often produce new cans with many thorns. But still, the lack of thorns is a good thing.

I’m seeing good things with Pacific Serenade X 77-361. It’s thornless for this entire year. It hasn’t made major new growth due to the fact that it’s crowded with a bunch of other seedlings. But it has clean foilage, and sort of velvety. I know 100% sure that this is a trait from its abysinnica ancestor.

If it can be any color without that ugly rugosa-mauve-pink tint, I will be happy enough to share it.

You might consider purchasing Climbing Yellow Sweetheart, which Jim Delahanty and I “rediscovered” here in Los Angeles a few years ago. It’s fragrant, continuous blooming, completely thornless and contains background breeding along the lines of Renae and Carolyn Dean. Combining Cl. Yellow Sweetheart with either Cal Poly, Joycie or Softie (which for lack of prickles would be my choice)then with either Legacy or Lynnie, should give you three distinct sources for thorn free roses.

Cl. Yellow Sweetheart has the polyantha and Gloire des Rosomanes background which provides the lack of prickles, with genes from Foetida and Setigera through Goldilocks. Softee is (R. Wichuriana X Floradora) X (Little Darling X Yellow Magic), which is a combination of the two most important mini breeders from Ralph Moore. It also contains Little Darling, which is the source of thornlessness in both Mr. Moore’s and Harvey Davidson’s roses, but contains far less self crossing than Davidson’s, which should prevent some of the “recessives are forever” problems. Lynnie provides Legacy, Golden Angel with its combination of Wichuriana and Little Darling (and its share of Wichuriana)and Orangeade. That will give you a high dose of Wichuriana; several of mini; Setigera, Foetida, R. Carolina, Rugosa and Moschata Abysinnica (if you believe Legacy actually IS 77-361, which I can’t dispute without another contender to compare it with) as well as floribunda and Hybrid Perpetual. More dwarf plant types with heavy repeat bloom would be engineered in from the start, as well as the freedom from prickles. THEN, if you want to self cross to fix your choice of characteristics, you have some diverse genes with which to play.

I think Kim’s comments are well thought out. However, I would add one comment regarding ‘Cl. Yellow Sweetheart’: although Kim assures me that it sets hips on it own with abandon, I made about 200 pollinations on it with three different pollen parents and got ONE HIP for all my trouble. One of the pollen parents is something I use to measure fertility in a potential seed parent, as it has a track record of setting seed on almost anything. And so, I suspect that ‘Cl. Yellow Sweetheart’ isn’t going to be a generous seed parent when using most pollens. I hope there are some pollen parents it will take, but I haven’t found one yet. (FYI Kim, one of the other pollen parents was ‘Indian Love Call’ and it set zero hips)

If you intend on using it as a POLLEN parent, be warned: All plants of ‘Cl. Yellow Sweetheart’ currently in commerce are infected with a virulent strain of RMV. There is some risk that if you use its pollen on other roses, that it can POSSIBLY infect your seed parent with RMV. The exact rate of transmission is not known, but it is a non-zero risk. So, choose wisely. :slight_smile:

As for the pursuit of thornlessness, Ralph Moore has also indicated to me recently that ‘Golden Gardens’ and ‘Sequoia Ruby’ are also capable of producing thornless offspring. I can vouch for that fact as far as ‘Sequoia Ruby’ is concerned but have only worked ‘Golden Gardens’ for the first time this year. I would also suggest trying Ralph Moore’s new thornless shrub bred from ‘Legacy’, called ‘My Stars’. It is a deeper, near-red color and a very well-mannered shrub with very attractive foliage. It is also highly fertile. One of the hurdles in using ‘Legacy’ appears to be the problem of creating colors other than deep pinks and light reds, so ‘My Stars’ may be a good avenue for achieving better colored offspring.

Kim, did you not mention ‘Indian Love Song’ for any particular reason? It has great color and is highly fertile both ways, it seems.



I’ve been working with a Sister seedling to 'My Stars, that Ralph Moore shared with me, as a pollen parent for about four years now. The seed does not germinate though it sets a huge number of hips. It’s very fertile as a pollen parent but there is great variability in the thornlessness of the offspring, and can grow for a season or two competely without prickles then suddenly starting producing prickles, usually from a basal. Blossoms are single to semi-double in the dark pink to pale red range.

Perhaps Basye’s Legacy has a quantative trait for thornlessness?

I remember reading that Commander Gillette’s parent had some thorns, and by inbreeding it, Basye took them out in the next generation.

My own seedling I can say produces near thornless seedlings. Lynnie has a few thorns, but I’m sure selfing this would remove that away in the next generation.

I think the next step of breeding with Basye’s Legacy is to self its seedlings and remove the disease prone ones while trying to maintain thornlessness, good color, and repeat bloom. Then cross each selved with each other.

For example…

(Lynnie X Lynnie) X (My Stars X My Stars)

Meilland has been good at making with such crosses…

I hope they have. Thorny groundcovers are so not fun =(

This thread reminds me why I killed off Robusta and Pink Grootendorst this fall. Oh man, such painful roses.

If only the banksias were less picky about crossing and a bit more hardy…