Mistress Quickley

Hi all

I’ve had Mistress Quickley for two years now, but I haven’t done anything with it. I’m beginning to like it better and better. The first year it produced mostly leaves and very healthy ones at that. This year for the first time it produced one little round op hip containing just one seed; currently stratifying in the fridge. I’m thinking of trying it on Trier next year, as Trier is quite the germinator.

My neighbour’s Hansa has crept in under my fence and now available to me. Any suggestions about what else I can do with MQ? I’ve ordered Serratipetala and Crepuscule and have a few other diploids on hand.

Hi Lydia, serratipetala has proven totally sterile for a friend of mine over several years. You could try Crepuscule. Most of the seedlings I’ve gotten from this one have been unimpressive ramblers for me. Safrano or Old Blush might be good bets to start with. Thanks, Robert

Hi Lydia,

I agree that Safrano might not be too bad of a choice. I also wouldn’t be afraid to try crossing with some tetraploids and then hoping for a tetraploid reversion in crosses with the F1 hybrids.

You might also try working with R. setigera and some of its hybrids. Just a thought.


Goettingen, Germany - Rainy and cold


Thanks for the advice. Safrano isn’t available here. I can only get what’s available from Pickering. They’re down the road. I have Duchesse de Brabant, Arethusa, and a really tiny Le Vesuve, also Mutabilis, which I read is not fertile.

I had Serratipetala about 10 yrs ago at my old place and never got anything from it. I put it down to my inexperience. Well that will just be another rose growing for its own sake.

‘Mutabilis’ is fertile to some degree; it often sets self-pollinated hips but rarely accepts other pollen. It’s pollen is almost useless on other varieties.

‘Safrano’ is workable as a pollen parent, but its offspring are often very pale in coloring. (‘Safrano’ itself is little more tham cream in color)

Several professional hybridizers have said to me in the past that any cross you want to try is as good as any other, at least up until you see the results. That is to say, anything you care to try is valid as long as you are willing to take a chance on the results. Some crosses using only the best parents available will result in nothing but junk, and some of the most unlikely roses when mated will produce some spectacular results. I’m sure I’m not the only one who will tell you that the more unlikely the mating, the greater your chances of getting something interesting.

Some very useful pollen parents I have worked with include: ‘Abraham Darby’, ‘Little Chief’, ‘Magnifica’(very similar to ‘Hansa’), ‘Magic Wand’, ‘Mary Rose’, ‘Buff Beauty’, ‘Scarlet Moss’, ‘Fairy Moss’, ‘Out of Yesteryear’, ‘Tradescant’, ‘June Laver’, and ‘STW-1’(a Ralph Moore stud cultivar now available from Sequoia Nursery).

It is most useful to do research to find out what roses have served as successful parents in the past and start work with some of these. It is also very important to have some idea of what results you want before you start making parent choices. If you choose to try roses like ‘Mistress Quickly’ for breeding, you may find out that they are unsuitable for breeding and you must be prepared to abandon them as such. Hybridizing takes years and years of work to start getting meaningful results, and you cannot afford to continue pursuing difficult and unworkable roses, IMHO.

‘Trier’ is a worthwhile plant to try as a parent, as it was this rose that started the Pemberton Hybrid Musks. Several of the Austin roses are very worthwhile, especially the ones that already have a track record for performance as parents.

I concur that ‘Old Blush’ is worth exploring as a parent, either as a female or a male parent. (Better as a male, generally)

I have chosen to work last season with ‘Crepuscule’ also, with the idea that remontant climbers will result. I have yet to see the first offspring yet, so cannot comment on its worthiness as a parent. However, it is a VERY willing pollen parent, setting seed easily on many parent varieties.

As for ‘Hansa’ as a parent; many people have tried working with it and often the seedlings are not worth keeping. I know that ‘Magnifica’, a very similar Rugosa has been used with very good results and may be more worthwhile pursuing.

If it were me testing ‘Mistress Quickly’ as a seed parent, I would use ‘Little Chief’ on it first, as the chances are that something interesting may result. ‘Crepuscule’ may be worth trying too, but you can be pretty much assured that you will lose the apricot coloring unless you mate ‘Crepuscule’ with another strong yellow/orange rose.



‘Rugosa Magnifica’ is readily fertile but a lot of the times it likes to abort and have withered fruit (at least for me). So, make several attempts if you use this one.

‘Magnifica’ should be used as a pollen parent, as it tends to self pollinate before the blooms are open enough to emasculate. To be sure your offspring have hybridity, select a different seed parent and use ‘Magnifica’ as a pollen parent only.


That works as well =)

I haven’t had much luck with the Austin roses, so its good to know Tradescant has potential. I’ll keep trying. I really like June Laver, but I’ve used it for seed. I’ve just had a few germinations from the previous year’s crosses, including with pollen from Prairie Dawn. That’s a rose that I’ve really grown to like. It may be the only Morden rose that is fragrant. I’ve used its pollen on little roses hoping to add hardiness and fragrance.

It appears to be self sterile, and only started producing hips when I introduced Trier and Veilchenblau to the neighbourhood. This year it produced many hips and they sprouted fast. So it appears that as a seed parent it acts as a diploid. It may be just the thing for Mistress Q. and the peachy diploids.

On Hansa, I used Apricot Beauty (Dornroschen x Maigold). The hips were huge and the seeds are germinating really well. I think Apricot Beauty has tremendous potential.

Regarding Mutabilis, I get a lot of seeds each year, but no germinations. Either our season is too short to ripen the seeds, or Mutabilis requires some special stratification procedures. But its worthwhile having just for itself.

I plan to get Out of Yesteryear next fall and will keep a look out for Little Chief.

Paul, I enjoy your website. Its given me lots of inspiration.


‘Tradescant’ has produced some spectacularly colored seedlings for me, in rich deep reds, mauves and purples. I have a seedling from ‘Rose de Rescht’ X ‘Tradescant’ that is a very similar color to ‘Reine des Violettes’!

I have one other seedling I am testing that is a cross of an un-named deep yellow Miniature X ‘Tradescant’ that is a vigorous shrub rose with 3" dark ruby red blooms. I plan on using it more next season.

Glad you enjoy my web site, Lydia!


Hello Paul,

A friend of mine told me “Rose de Rescht” is nearly sterile as a seed.It seems to be not true?

“Tradescant” is the first red from Austin for wich he used an Hybrid Perpetual (Gloire de Ducher) but without telling too loud about it…So I’d use Gloire de Ducher directly.

“Reine des Violettes” is not very different from a “Rose de Rescht”- “Gloire de Ducher” cross.It is an HP issued from pink and reds Damasks and/or HPs.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.


You’ve provided some good fodder for our imaginations. Are you going to keep us dreaming, or do you have some pictures for us? Please say it’s the latter and not the former!




‘Rose de Rescht’ is indeed “nearly” sterile as a seed parent, yes. However, with perseverence I have obtained ten or twenty seeds from crosses on ‘de Rescht’, about 50% of which generally germinate. Many of them are once-bloomers when crossed with modern roses and other Damask Perpetuals. Occasionally one or two are reasonably remontant, as is the one shown here. This is the seedling I mentioned: ‘de Rescht’ X ‘Tradescant’.



Absolutely gorgeous!

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the information and congratulations for this fine result!

I’d try something like that, but with “Gloire de Ducher”.

Best wishes,



That is nifty. Does the foliage go all the way up to the bloom like on most Portlands?

How about fragrance? Are the seedlings you normally get from Tradescant or Rose de Rescht well-scented? Thanks for the pic.


That’s a lovely rose, Paul.

Is there a compendium somewhere listing sterile or nearly sterile roses? As a new hobbyist-hybridizer, I’d like to know if there are other roses in my garden I shouldn’t depend upon to be a parent plant. While it is easy to tell which roses set hips, it’s not at all obvious if the pollen is lacking something!




It is easier to find the rare easy germinating and setting many hips vars.

But complete sterility is rare and may vary with yeaar and environment.

As Paul said: I’m not the only one who will tell you that the more unlikely, rare or difficult the mating, the greater your chances of getting something interesting.

For hardier roses the best ever progenitor Kordesii is from the very sterile Max Graff. Kordes for years made a lot of crosses on a large plant before getting two small hips and one or two plants.

Last year I did get one Max Graff seedling myself.

Then have a goal and in your garden and everywhere observe a lot of rose vars as for it possible progenitors. And at times you will persevere with some less fertile vars.

Friendly yours

Pierre Rutten


That seedling doesn’t have the “high shoulder” of most Damask Perpetuals, no. Neither does it have a very strong fragrance. I have found that maybe 1/2 of the ‘Rose de Rescht’ seedlings have decent to good fragrance.


There is not likely a published list, no. The best way to find out what the good pollen and seed parents are is to ask people who are working with breeding for their experiences. This forum is a good place to start. However, you need to ask the right question. IE: what traits are you looking for? You need to hone in on some goals and find out which roses are most likely to pass on those traits. Be very specific in your ideas and questions, always.




I have the impression that the more full the flower, the less pollen it has. But yes, total sterility is rare.It’s a matter of chance. As with the r.Kordesii, to wich Kordes must be thankfull for a lot of his succes.

Best regards,

Pierre Lauwers.