Lady Penzance or Lord Penzance

Has anyone used either of these in breeding?

I understand that these are both pollen & seed fertile; plants I know of Lady Penzance spend the summer largely leafless, defoliated by blackspot; but I’ve heard that using Rosa rubiginosa & its derivatives could be a means of breeding more disease resistant roses. And it would be wonderful to breed more roses with scented leaves.

Hi Malcolm.

Yes, I have used Lord Penzance. My mum had a bush in her garden, and I sneaked a bit of pollen and put it on Roseraie de l’ Hay. The seedling that resulted is very healthy, vigorous, shiny foliaged and sets lots of hips. Of course it is a single - VERY deep velvety purple, with lush golden stamens. Leaves are not scented (though I have sown some selfed seeds - so they may have). Absolutely no blackspot - and this is in an area where everything gets it. Not a very exciting example for you, but I can vouch for the pollen being fertile!

Malcolm, Rubiginosa isn’t your only source of scented foliage. Multiflora yields scented foliage as evidenced in Lens’ Verdi, whose new growth tips are quite herbal in scent. His hybrid multifloras have been spotless for me. My own exploration with R. Fedtschenkoana has shown scented new foliage, growth tips, peduncles and sepals at least to the fourth generation. What began as Nobel Fir with hardwood smoke, has morphed through pine into cedar scent, much like that found in the new growth, sepals and peduncles of Grandmother’s Hat and Gloire des Rosomanes. Of course, each generation away from the species not only alters the scent but also reduces its concentration.

I would imagine pretty much any scented leaved species could provide the desired scented foliage. It may be interesting to begin with several sources of scented foliage, breed them parallel and eventually bring them together in one line to see what effect the different scents have on one another.

What began as Nobel Fir with hardwood smoke, has morphed through pine into cedar scent

My guess is that crosses of the fedtschenkoana hybrids with mosses would yield mosses that carry these scents, or yield impressive new scents. The compounds that give the scents are largely terpenoids, which is what the glands on moss trichomes produce.

‘Goldbusch’ will also give scented foliage to it’s descendants. The seedling listed below gives the typical apple scent.

Apparently another first generation seedling, ‘Apple Jack’, exhibits the same characteristic.


Last year I germinated op seeds from Corylus and got about 15 plants and I kept 2. Fedtschenkoana is most likely the pollen parent on one of them as the scent is stronger than R. Fedt. and it was right next to Corylus. Greenmantle is most likely the other pollen parent as it has an apple scent and Greenmantle was just two plants down from Corylus. If these two ever bloom I plan on crossing them to see if I get any different scents.


Applejack did exhibit that fragrance in the growth tips, etc., but suffered in my mid desert climate too much from mildew. Several of Buck’s other roses did, too. Wandring Wind is one of my favorites as far as look goes, but I had to dump it due to terminal rust. Another case of climatic unsuitability. The foliage was used up prematurely for the length of my growing season (13 months! LOL!), the plant refused to shed it and it rusted like an old nail, just like virtually all the early hybrid Rugosas do here.

After studying my Fedtschenkoana seedlings, I’m leaning toward that species being the source of genes which have led to mossing. The bristles on the hips and peduncles aren’t like other species I’ve observed, they are mossy.

It has seemed when crossed with harder foliage types, such as anything really glossy (Wichuriana types), much more of the scent glands are lost than with more matt types.

Ralph Moore did quite a bit of exploration combining Rugosa with mosses. He created quite a few which were extremely mossy. The downside is they were all very susceptible to rust and Rugosa stinks! It has a scent all of its own and it’s very skunky and bitter. Hopefully, we can scrounge around and find a few of them.

‘Goldbusch’ did not mildew here, but some of it’s offspring are susceptible.

I’ll second Kim’s suggestions… new growth on multiflora does have a pleasant sweet/fresh scent and it is very healthy here in Maryland (aside from Rose Rosette Disease); also I’m agree with Kim about rugosa - it has a scent on it flowerbuds, but I don’t find it pleasant at all. Luckily hybrids I’ve grown (with significant rugosa ancestry) sometimes inherent foliage/bud scent without it being that stinky “rugosa” kind.

Glutinosa (syn. pulverulenta) is a somewhat obscure species that also has a lot of potential to contribute in the foliage scent department. It is pine-scented and about the strongest I’ve ever come across - even stronger than any sweetbriars I’ve grown. It’s not too bad for health either.

Is it stronger than Rosa primula? If it is warm and humid here, it will stink up the entire front yard. It has about a 30’ radius under those conditions.

Hi Jadae,

I had a plant of primula (or at least it was supposed to be primula) but it never had much foliage scent at all. I was very disappointed, since that was the primary reason I’d bought it. Sounds like mine was a dud. I wish I’d had found one like yours!

Rosa glutinosa is a dwarfish compact grower and hasn’t gotten more than waist high for me, so there hasn’t been enough of a plant built up to scent a radius like you mentioned. I find that the foliage itself though is much stronger than sweetbriar. So, I’d imagine that humid or rainy weather should release it, if there was enough of a plant there.

I can say that the hips that I collected for planting were fairly fragrant as well. Even after rotting them in a water slurry, the pine scent was still coming through loud and clear from the paper plate full of rotted pulp and seeds.