It's that time of year again...your crosses.

Hi everyone,

What are your plans for this season? Unfortunately, I can’t make any crosses this year since I’m abroad, but I have been thinking about what I’ll be doing next year.

I’m considering working with R. setigera and some of its hybrids such as Chuckles, Doubloons and Zeus, some of Moore’s bracteata hybrids like Out of Yesteryear, a few rugosa hybrids (Roseraie de l’Hay), a few English Roses like Abraham Darby and The Countryman, yellow minis such as Golden Angel and a few shrub roses.

What are your parents?

Even though it is late May, roses aren’t blooming in Germany yet and I can’t wait to get back to California when the first roses start to open in early March…




So far this season, I’ve been concentrating on backcrossing F1 hybrids with rugosa, to bring in some novel traits (from xanthina, glauca, palustris, etc.) into a primarily rugosa gene pool. Some of the F1 hybrids (rugosa X other species) express desirable traits of the other species but usually do not repeat bloom. So by backcrossing, I hope to regain the repeat blooming of the rugosa, but incorporate some interesting traits of other species.

I’ve also been trying to create some more triploid F1 rugosa hybrids using pollen from pendulina and the double white spinosissima. Hazeldean will be blooming soon, and I plan to use that one also.

I already have presumably triploid: rugosa X spinosissima and rugosa X carolina (hasn’t bloomed yet). In the long range, I hope to convert these sterile triploid types to the hexaploid level and begin to interbreed them.

Another cross I plan to repeat in the summer, if able, is bracteata X wichuriana. The seeds set well, germinated into large seedlings but then all promptly died (upon beginning the first true leaf). I tried different potting soils, fungicides (last resort), high humidity and growing in sand…but nothing would save any of the seedlings. I tried growing other seedlings beside these problem ones to try early grafting. The bracteata X wichuriana died while the transplanted other seedlings flourished. I think this may be similar to the laevigata (X bracteata ?) seedlings I read about. I think it was Dr. Basye maybe, who tried to grow hundreds of these seeds, but they all croaked shortly after they emerged from the soil. I haven’t given up on these crosses yet. I hope to rescue some of these “hopeless” cases to get some really unique hybrids.

Well I guess that’s all for now.


I’m looking at trying some more things with Rubus odoratus – both other rubus species (a little true ground cover species with double white fragrant flowers I’ve found growing aparently wild all around here – no idea what species it actually is) and roses again. I’m going to try R. setigera on in since there is speculation it may be a rosaXrubus cross anyway. I carefully noted down male and female plants while the hips were still on them, so I am ready to make hybrids with it.

Another parent I am excited about working with is a rose I found growing by the side of the road. There were a few old gallicas, and this rose I’ve got no idea what is. But it has foliage that shows strong tea or china rose influence, it is utterly disease proof, fully hardy, has very double, very dark purple-red blooms in great abundance on a decidedly attractive shrub – nicely shapped and completely covered in very attractive foliage. The foliage and that fact that it is a once-bloomer leads me to suspect it is a f1 hybrid between some china/tea and a gallica or something, and thus likely to be triploid, but I want to try mixed pollens and see if I can get seeds from it. It is one of the most perfect roses in my garden – all it needs is repeat bloom.

Other than that, I want to do some more with R. palustris, and some interesting but not quite exciting things with some other “found” roses, and also some playing around with rugosas.


I dont think everyone needs to read my large list but the seed parents I chose this year are Baby Love, Dortmund, Playboy, Flutterbye, Selfridges, Secret, Sue Lawly, High Hopes, Purple Heart, Scarlet Moss, Mix & Match, Solitaire, American Honor and Rabble Rouser.


In this years seedling batch I have seen so many clean seedlings among those having Baby Love as a parent, that I am using it on everything.

Mike (Jadae), I have used Baby Love both ways and in my experience, it is far superior as a pollen parent - pollen is abundant. When used as a seed parent, I only get 3 to 4 seeds per hip and germination is only about 10%.


Mike Ewing,

I have to ask – why R. setigera? It grows very abundantly around here, and it is pretty enough, and has some unusual traits – the leaves with only three leaflets and the speration of male and female plants – but none of those are particularly things I would care either way about in my breeding program. And on top of it all, it mildews! I NEVER get mildew in my garden, I’ve only even seen the disease once – on R. setigera seedlings I sprouted. The mature plants don’t mildew, but those seedlings looked terrible for a while.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am planning to breed with it this year, but only in my attempts to make a rosa x rubus hybrid, and if I could I would rather use another parent.

So clue me in – What wonderful trait of this species am I missing?


R. setigera appears to be resistant to rose rosette disease.

Hi Joseph,

I’m interested in R. setigera for a few reasons. The first reason is because a lot of its progeny have a very natural and graceful growth that I would like to pass on. Additionally, hybrids tend to take on a lot of traits from the other parent. Also, it’s hardy. Most of its progeny are also quite disease resistant, including mildew resistant. I wish it was tetraploid, but I’ll try and overcome that in the F2 generation.

Not much has been done with the species and it has been recommended for use by a number of hybridizers, both amateur and professional (Peter Beales for example). I think there are some opportunities to be taken advantage of with this species.


Hey Tom,

Why don’t you try back-crossing your rugosa x spinosissima to other tetraploids? You could get a reversion. I really like the sound of that. What are you doing with xanthina?


Thanks Jim =)

Hi Mike (Ewing),

Thanks for the answer on why R. setigera is worth working with. After I asked the question, I went to Helpmefind to look at the decendants of setigera and I was quite surprised – it does seem like a wonderful parent just looking at the children it has had! I was most surprised at the the number repeat blooming F1 decendant it has – how does a once-blooming species crossed with a hybrid tea produce a repeat blooming rose in the first generation? But no matter how is works genetically, I certainly won’t complain if it does the same for me! I am now editing my breeding plans for the year to include a lot more hybrids with setigera. I wonder how many other seemingly uninteresting species are actually great parents?



I agree that backcrossing the rugosa X spinosissima to tetraploids would probably be a productive stragegy. However, I’ve always been so busy doing other crosses and the hybrid typically finishes blooming before most other tetraploids have started…so, so far, I haven’t gotten around to trying that route. Peter Harris is growing it and trying the pollen out on a tetraploid, this year.

As far as xanthina goes, I’ve tried quite a few crosses with it (I really like it). So far, I’ve gotten a scraggly little glauca X xanthina seedling that hasn’t bloomed and is probably six or seven years old at least. I’ve also gotten a decent rugosa X xanthina. This hybrid is a pale yellow, sterile once-bloomer. This spring I tried saving up some of its scant pollen to backcross onto its rugosa parent(which begins blooming after the hybrid is pretty much finished). I’ve got several hips that are hanging on but not swelling up much – I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Hey Gang,

Sounds like some very interesting crosses in the works for this season. Peter Harris mentioned that he is still looking for some short articles on this subject for the RHA Summer newsletter. I would hope that some of you will put fingers to keyboard in the next week or so and do that as many of our members rely only on the newsletter.

Well, I finally made up a web page with my crosses and pix of this year’s seedling blooms. The crosses I’ve made this year are both plain and simple, and some wierd just for fun. I’m really bummed that the Love and Peace x Marilyn Monroe cross fell off at only 8 weeks old because I had high hopes for this cross, but I guess I need to get used to such failures. Still, I’m pretty happy with the way my first batch turned out, and looking forward to next year’s babies. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a link to my 2003 crosses and whether it looks like hips have formed so far. I’ll keep updating it.