Kathleen Harrop

Was doing a quick search on thornless roses, and while I would assume there are better more modern roses to use as breeders for such, was surprised to find claims that this sport of Zepherine Drouhin is considered comparably healthy. (I’ve admittedly never grown ZD, nor anything related.) I was curious about other’s feelings/experiences with this rose. Would it have any merit in a breeding program? And what are your preferred parents to reduce or eliminate thorniness?

Hello philip_la,
for stingless breeding I’ll take Basye’s Legacy. This rose is completely stingless.
But better than a pollen plant, as a mother she is very apomictic.
Greetings from germany

I like ZD, so I’m obviously biased. I love the fragrance.

I grew it in southern California where it picked up a little blackspot, but did not lose leaves.

In Santa Clara it seemed healthy … no obvious infections.

And at Will Rogers park in Oklahoma City it greeted me like an old friend. That garden was badly infested by RRD, but ZD had not (yet?) been infected.

I have read that it has a rather low proportion of viable pollen: 6% according to Rowley (1960). I don’t know of any progeny, so there’s no telling what might come from it. ‘Kathleen Harrop’ and ‘Martha’ are also nice, but I have no data on their pollen fertility.

I’m sure there are other cultivars that would be easier to use. ‘Basye’s Legacy’ does look promising.

Have you considered Ralph Moore’s ‘Renae’? It is not reliably hardy, but is smooth, healthy, vigorous, reblooming and floriferous. It can be trained as a climber, but will bloom while still short. And it bears hips.

It’s seed parent was ‘Etoile Luisante’, a Tea-Poly. Crossed with a smooth HT (or whatever) it should give some bush-types, as well as climbers.

Basye’s Legacy is certainly one I would be interested in working with. Kim was kind enough to send cuttings I think several years ago, but I had no luck in rooting them. (Don’t know if it was my medium or the climate – I have had comparably abysmal luck in propagating since moving from my partly shaded humid garden in New Orleans to Central Texas.)

I’ve also been very interested in R. abyssinica, which figures heavily into the pedigree of Basye’s, and part of my interest was in finding something thornless (other than Commander Gillette) to cross with Basye’s amphidiploid, which also seems a very promising plant from the literature. (I don’t have this parent of Legacy/descendant of abyssinica either.)

The reviews suggest Kathleen Harrop is more fragrant and healthier than ZD, which admittedly seems odd for a color sport. Nonetheless, Karl’s thumb’s-up for ZD might encourage more serious consideration of KH.

And I hadn’t considered Renae… I wonder how Kim’s seedling from Renae – Annie Laurie McDowell – might compare. There appears to be an awful lot to commend her, and she too is on my “to acquire” list. (That list exceeds both space and budget, alas!)

What are folks’ experiences with ALMcD?

Thanks for your input!

Basye’s Legacy gets my vote. Very pollen fertile, produces quite a few thornless progeny when crossed with low thorned cultivars. There will be a lot of discards but seems to cross with most anything. Along with low to no thorns, quite a few of the offspring will be quite disease free or resistant. And there will be a lot of pinks. I have used quite a few others but none have been quite so easy nor reliable.

Robert Rippetoe raised several ALmD seedlings, Philip. I have finally succeeded in raising a SELF seedling from her, and there are several Nessie X ALmD seedlings, both once-flowering and repeaters, growing out back. Some actually have few to no prickles. There are several other potential hybrids with her as well as a number of seeds to plant this year, potentially from her pollen.

Theese are very cute flowers. if you use proper fertilizer you will get very good results

Some of Davidson’s “Smooth” series might be useful.

Smooth Angel (HT) [Smooth Sailing x Royal Flush]
Smooth Delight (HT) [Seedling x Smooth Sailing]
Smooth Lady (HT) [Smooth Sailing x {(Polly x Peace) x Circus}]
Smooth Melody (Floribunda) [Royal Flush x Smooth Lady]
Smooth Prince (HT) [Smooth Sailing x Old Smoothie]
Smooth Romance (HT) [Smooth Sailing x Portrait]
Smooth Sailing (Grandiflora) [Little Darling x Pink Favorite]
Smooth Velvet (HT) [Smooth Sailing x ({Polly x Peace} x Circus)] x Red Devil


Thanks, Karl. I’m not familiar with that series. Smooth buttercup is a particularly intriguing member of the group. Anybody familiar with it? (I notice that Robert Neil Rippetoe posted some of the photos on hmf. Robert?) It’s still under patent, but doesn’t appear to be available any longer. (I hate it when that happens.) 'Smooth Buttercup' Rose

Gardens Alive Farms | Dallas, TX

You might be interested in the work of Nicholoas Grillo.

Thornless Beauty - sport of Better Times
Thornless Blush - sport of Rosalind Russell
Thornless Fringedale - sport of Thornless Beauty
Thornless Mirage - sport of Jewel
Thornless Premier [Victory Stripe Sport × Jewel]
Thornless Victory Stripe [Victory Stripe Sport × Jewel]

All these are derived, ultimately, from sports of ‘Columaia’ and its sport-offspring. I doubt that any of his “Thornless” roses are available, but there is a lesson in here.

I have seen ‘Briarcliff’, ‘Better Times’ and ‘Cl. Columbia’. Members of this sport-clan are ambivalent about thorns, and quite willing to “sport” to completely thornless forms. I think any of these would be useful parents for crossing with thornless varieties of other lineages.

I have Cl. Columbia and it is extremely low prickle count. Little Darling figures prominently in the search for thornlessness. Many of Ralph Moore’s minis produce prickle free offspring as does Jim Sproul’s L56-1. 1-72-1, Rise’n Shine’s sister seedling, when crossed with Hugonis, resulted in 1-72-1Hugonis which is quite low prickle count. Occasionally it will produce a cane with almost Sericea type prickles low at the base, with the rest of the plant remaining smooth. Its self, my double 1-72-1Hugonis flore plena, is also free of prickles. First Impression has also yielded some quite smooth seedlings, too. Indian Love Call and Lynnie have produced very smooth seedlings, even when mixed with odd things like Basye’s 86-3. the Banksiae X Laevigata amphidiploid.