Knock Out for dark leaves?

There have been a lot of discussions here over the years about using R. glauca for hybridizing. It is a very winter-hardy species, but a lot of the posts have focused on its dark leaf color. I have some hybrids coming along from it, and they confirm a point made previously on this forum by others: The leaf color is lost quickly in hybrids.

Here is my question: Knock Out has very dark leaves, and Radler

Europeana, High Hopes, and one other…I remembered it when I finished winter pruning, and now I have forgot… all have deep burgundy leaves when new, as well as red-purple bark. The leaves mature to dark green, obviously. This trait, however, does seem to translate into a proneness for mildew. Livin Easy has pretty dark green leaves and somewhat dark winter bark. I mention this as interesting because Easy Going, its amber colored sport, has much, much lighter leaves AND bark. Coincidence? I doubt it.

A lot of species also had red stems and dark foliage…but nothing I have seen quite matches Rosa glauca

this rose would be a pretty cool f2 of rosa glauca if it could be shrunk down to small landscape shrub in size…

A smaller, more compact version of Rosa glauca could possibly be of wholesale landscape use, especially if the flowers were more sweetly scented.

Is the ploidy for Rosa glauca correct on HMF? I am not sure as I havent looked too much at ever using this one.

Roses can have leaves that are too dark. I have a seedling from last season that burns when the sun is too intense on the leaves.

Jadae, thanks for the reminder on Europeana. I had forgotten how dark it can be. R. pendulina is also a good source of dark leaves, and Morden 6910, which I suspect is a R. pendulina hybrid. I was hoping to bring leaf darkness in through the recurrent side as well, as all of these parents seem to provide leaf color that is easly to loose in breeding.

R. glauca is indeed tetraploid. As a dog rose, it passes 3 sets in the egg, 1 set in the pollen. Crosses with diploids, like R. glauca X R. woodsii, tend to show much less influence from the male parent.

Jadae, R. glauca is tetraploid, but it has the canina meiosis that makes it hard to use in hybridizing.


Okay, I just took a gander at the garden to recall some things I saw earlier this winter:

Rosa canina x Baby Love

Rosa rugosa alba x Livin Easy

Rosa canina x Royal Amethyst

Henry’s Blend

…and the majority of the descendants of Remember Me

all have purple stems. the former three seedlings also have very dark green foliage that redden in the fall.

I guess my point, which you seem to have acquired, is that there may be alternative answers to the same goal. Or, maybe not. who knows.

Robert’s comment brings to mind Love and Redgold, lol. They LOVE (pun intended) to do that.

Rob, Roger, 3+1 just makes it sound like a challenge :slight_smile:

Erf, I forgot one comment from outside-- Rosa roxibunghii normalis has entirely dark pink wood from the winter, lol. It looks humorous lol.

‘White Out’ is gorgeous!!! So compact, well branched, floriferous. It is very healthy and nice. It is also triploid. Out of several plants there were very few op hips. What an amazing rose!!!


I suspect Joan Monteith’s glauca x pendulina seedlings are tetraploid. They seem to be fertile with modern tetraploids. They are not especially blue however.


Joan sent me one of her R. glauca X R. pendulina seedlings, and it bloomed in

The Miniature “Sachet” has dark blue/green foilage and I plan on using it on Glauca this Spring. I have about 100 Glauca X Fedtschenkoana and 25 Glauca X Frontenac seedlings from this year which are in 3 gallon pots outside and so far almost all have dark reddish leaves. They had beautiful grayish/blue leaves before I put them in the sun. Hope they are hybrids. But then will have to wait til next year for blooms.



Knock Out’s offspring “Home Run” has very dark leaves as well. Both are triploids, so either way you’ll have a mixture of 1n and 2n pollen from them and thus a mixture tetraploid and pentaploid offspring with a wide range of characteristics and fertility. I wonder if a variety that has a bluish hue to the leaves, like Stanwell Perpetual, might be worth a try. That may be a closer match to the glauca color than the dark green leaves.

Have you gotten any germinations from R.glauca x Geranium yet? I have about three that are emerging from about 20 seeds planted so far. I also have several each of R.glauca x Hot Wonder, R.glauca x Graham Thomas and R.glauca x Therese Bugnet emerging and I’m waiting very patiently to see what color the leaves will be once they develop.

I’m a little disheartened by your report that the glauca leaf color is lost quickly in the hybrids though.

Unfortunately, I never got to make the R. glauca X R. moyesii

Are there any 3+1 x triploids, or vice versa, that anyone knows of? It never really occurred to me as possible to exist til this thread.

That could very well be as there are numerous R.moyesii cultivars out there and they could easily get mixed up. There could seedlings of Geranium out there that are being sold as the real thing also. I got my Geranium pollen from a person on GardenWeb. I also used it on R.blanda. Every attempt took on both plants. I have just one seed germinating out of 165 seeds of R.blanda x Geranium. It must be a compatibility issue as I’m getting good germination with other crosses with R.blanda and also with R.glauca x Geranium. I’m considering doing embryo rescue on them.

Old Floribunda Rosemary Rose has the darkest rose leaves I ever saw. They start really dark purple and stay that color for long time before turn dark green.

Much darker then Europeana, Knock out, etc.


Does anyone have an interest in having seedlings from R. glauca OP? I have seeds from a magnificant specimen at Elizabeth Park that I am reluctant to toss but I don’t personally have room for a glacuca, and anyway I can get pollen from EP if I want it. If anyone wants seedlings let me know and I’ll germinate some of them.

Roger wrote: “If any of you have any other parents that you have observed to breed dark leaves, let us know!”

I have a seedling Rosa multifora X ‘Mutabilis’ that has shoots (with their small leaves) that are completely purple until almost a foot long. Then they begin to change over to a dark green as the shoots mature. I’m pretty sure this trait is coming primarily from ‘Mutabilis’.

And as you mentioned ‘Louis Riel’ has great foliage color. I’m going to have to try its pollen out, since you mentioned that it worked surprisingly well for you.