Male or Female

I am going to be crossing a few roses now (finally) but I have a few unknown genders.

Does anyone know what parental role the following play:


Orange Ruffles

Spanish Rhapsody


I hope to cross these with some of the explorers/mordens I have.



With a few exceptions, most Explorers set tiny hips, so they at least, are primarily good for pollen. Henry Kelsey, an exception, has bigger hips, but tends to thorny offspring.

Hi Nathan,

I learned Quietness is triploid. I suspect it will make a better male. Spanish Rhapsody I suspect is a good female. Kathy Zuzek used it a lot.



Hey David,

A triploid- what exactly again does that mean for hybridizing? Freak offspring? I can’t quite remember. I did have quite a few healthy hips from Quietness last year-but the seeds were to immature.

P.S. All the cuttings I took-died! And I was incredibly disappointed.


Are the Explorers on the sterile side-or just bad hip setters? As far as you know, how do the Mordens compare?


Some of the explorers are triploids, like John Davis, but do well for pollen. John Davis is the pollen parent of Lambert Closse, which sets big hips. My plant last year from the nursery had big hips, but they didn’t mature in time, so no germinations. We’ll see what happens this year.

John Cabot sets tiny op hips (which do germinate), but again very good for pollen. It’s not worth the bother to pollinate it & get 3 hips per seed, when it’s got good pollen. Others on the forum have raised op offspring from John Cabot that function as a female. Even with the female parent with few petals, it produced full petalled offspring for me, with one exception. I’ll know this year if they set hips well enough.

Henry Kelsey is good both ways. The hips produce enough seeds, & it is always in bloom. The seeds germinate easily. I’ve used it’s pollen on Belle de Crecy & got some really thorny seedlings. That may not be the case with the mothers you choose. I have a seedling from it, with a floribunda mother, that is not thorny, but after several years has not produced a flower.

I have Winnipeg Parks & Morden Fireglow. They both produce ample seeds & germinate readily. Many offspring are very full petalled. If you use M. Fireglow, make sure the other parent doesn’t get blackspot. I’ve heard that Morden Sunrise produces ample hips, but again make sure the other parent is less prone to blackspot. It produces lots of pollen. Plus it’s wonderfully fragrant. Last year I used the triploid JP Connell on a supermarket mini, because nothing else was available. I didn’t note the name because I didn’t expect it to take. This spring I got a pink seedling that bloomed early, the same as modern roses, & it is now producing more blooms.

You will discover that in breeding the Explorers with more ornamental roses, you’ll get offspring with better petal quality & in some cases the hardiness would be sufficient for your purposes.

I’m not overly concerned about the ploidy of my parents. They can surprise you. I got a cane hardy (Cdn 5b) fragrant rambler from the triploid Lavender Dream which only produces tiny hips. From that rambler I got a recurrent fragrant mini shrub with fragrant musk-smelling blooms.

Don’t over think it. Just do it & see what happens. You might get results that are unique to yourself. You learn best by doing. Some plants may not do well for others, but in your environment might produce something wonderful.


Is that seedling you recently gave me related to that triploid Lavender Dream? Is it the first or second generation seedling o/p?

Also, what about the Lavender Dream seedling you gave me last year? Is that also related to the same triploid?

Nathan - I’m new at this also, and for what it’s worth, Lambert Closse, Morden Sunrise and Morden Centennial produce large hips. Morden Blush sets hips a little smaller. I don’t have William Booth, though it might be a parent worth looking into.


The new seedling this year, small,fragrant, repeating shrub, is the offspring of the non-repeating fragrant rambler, which is the offspring of the original Lavender Dream. All are op.

I believe your shrub is the direct offspring of Lavender Dream. Did it bloom, or keep any wood over winter?


Thank you for your input.

I like to plan things out , but with the conditions being so late-I am just crossing whatever, which is ok sometimes because it’s just fun.

For some reason the first flush from my Spanish Rhapsody looked NOTHING like the pictures online. The flowers were very large (hybrid tea sized) and had white centers with red/pink petals-which weren’t very speckled. Is this normal or just a fluke? The flowers coming now look normal though.

I make plans in winter, but each summer is different for weather conditions & the bloom times of the preferred parents. That’s when I make decisions on the fly about pairings with the available pollen that might just get too old if I didn’t use it right away.


Yes, the Lavender Dream seedling kept all of its canes over winter. It did not flower this year, but put out quite a long cane instead. It’s not planted out in the open front (like the species runners you gave), but rather planted at the back against the side of the shed in a more sheltered location near the fence & forest. It received lots of snowcover in that area. It has absolutely no disease & completely thornless canes with beautiful glossy light green foliage. There is not one thorn on those canes!

The Prairie Dawn seedling also kept its canes over winter. It produced new canes that are smaller, tidy, more compact. They have lots of prickles with medium matt green foilage, no disease, and no flower.

Are these seedlings recurrent, and should they be flowering this year?

And where are those thornless canes coming from?

Prairie Dawn seedlings take a while to flower, even when the other parent is a floribunda. It will bloom when it has put on some growth.

The Lavender Dream seedling will not be recurrent. It will likely be rambler type flowering on second year wood. It might well be fragrant. Lavender Dream has quite a complex heritage that it’s hard to know the source of smooth stems - some thornless multiflora in it’s distant past perhaps?