Most unlikely crosses

I have had quite a lot of my more distant crosses abort this season. How many crosses will you try between two plants before giving up? What’s the most you have done on one plant to only get say 1 or 2 successful hips? I basically want to know if I try again next season with some of my failed crosses.

Only you can answer how much time and energy you wish to devote to seeming “failures”. It all depends upon how much you value the particular idea. I’m been messing with Hesperhodos for many decades. They only began to cooperate in the past decade.


Some crosses are never going to produce results for you, but results can vary widely from year to year. I’ve had crosses produce hips/seeds/seedlings the first time they’re tried and then never gotten hips to set again. I’ve also had crosses that failed repeatedly in previous years suddenly produce great results. Whether the difference is due to plant maturity, weather conditions, dumb luck or some combination of the three I can’t say. If the crosses are important to you I wouldn’t give up after trying them only one year.



Kordes wrote he repeated the cross which resulted in Iceberg a hundred times more and nothing ever came from it. Lightning struck just the once.


Well that’s a good quote. I shall continue the crosses! Sadly on top of that a branch snapped off in a storm with 4 crosses which had taken… I don’t have many mother plants so was quite sad!

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I think we’ve all had that unhappy occurrence, unfortunately. I’m not sure which hurts worse…accidentally breaking the branch with the hose; one of the dogs helping herself to the “tomatoes” (EVERYTHING round resembles tomatoes to The Goddesses. Can you tell they LOVE tomatoes?) or having someone “help” by snapping off the tagged, ripening hips as they wander through the roses. I used to find them snapped off, on the ground with the cross tags still attached in my old Newhall garden. One day, a “sweet, little old lady” from the HOA wandered down into the garden while I was there and proudly offered she was down there, “HELPING” me regularly and wondering out loud why I “priced” the blooms. Was I intending on charging for them? It’s SO nice having them all securely locked behind strong gates these days wiht ONLY “The Goddesses” and my blamed hose to contend with…


Depends a bit on how much you want it and if there’s some evidence it works.

Like I will year after year pollinate Crested Moss (I just can’t be bothered to dig for it’s pollen even if that may be the more successful approach), it’ll produce hips with 1 to 3 seeds and germination will be poor and the seedlings that do germinate are often not great and die pretty quickly…but I knew there was a tiny chance because of Helga Brauer. I have a few seedlings from this approach that are surviving from several years of attempts. I know the breeder of Helga Brauer took 25 years of annual crossings to Crested Moss to get Helga Brauer. I’ll probably be crossing on to Crested Moss until I die unless I get to a point where the few seedlings from it and seedlings from Helga Brauer sort of all come together to keep the desired trait/s in a more fertile plant.

Similar with R. Roxburghii. Two seedlings that are Baby Faurax x R. Roxburghii. Attempts to recreate the cross haven’t worked so far…but for whatever reason it can (and did) work (sadly neither seedling has produced seed and if pollen fertile obvious roxburghii traits don’t seem to have passed on except on roxbughii as seed parent but then can’t tell if polyantha traits in those…it’s not fun being unsure or perhaps competing against preferential pairing)

sometimes there’s just a lot of luck and whatever variables are needed line up 1 year and then don’t…so really just down to priorities/how much you want something.

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Yeah not sure his I would have dealt with someone dead heading my roses. I have mine on an allotment near to where I live… So it’s possible… So far luckily it’s been more along the lines of, “why are there bags all over the roses.” “Why do you keep ruining the flowers?” “Excuse me does the owner know you are doing this?” But no one has tried to help me thankfully!

That’s so amazing commitment, mostly it’s me trying to use some Spinosissimas as the mothers… Which they don’t seem to take kindly to other types of roses… I just need one to prove that they do it every now and again

I assume you only been using spinos as mothers?

Best thing l ever did was take real useful advice, and after gleaming through a few records l confirmed lthe Canadian pioneers tended to use them and their derivatives as pollen parents and pure “tenders” as seed parents.

Then l found one tender and one spino that germinate OPs easily. By savaging testing l also stumbled on tetraploids x tetraploids seemed to work best to get a feeling of success and inch forward … did l have dozens and dozens of successes … nope … maybe one or two germinations … but no RDxS hardy Titan with garden value … yet, and that was a long 4 years ago l started from with Doc Z suggesting flipping sexes roles when using RDxS.

And l battled (still do) the phycology of failure in this hobby … no big deal … a hobby, and success did eventually punched me in the face, and from where, l never expected … then another episode of crashing defeat …hahaha.

Still looking for my bone hardy red climber or rambler.

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Wait until you go to your allotment to find some miscreant running away with a double arm load of cut flowers, some literally half the plant. Been there, too. Thank goodness for locked gates and tall walls. I will never plant anything valuable to me out where the “public” can access it again.

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Got to agree put combo locks on back garden gates and installed a part-time, not a wolf, terminator dog back there … pretty quiet


I have used them for both, very successful using their pollen… Not very successful at all the other way… However I will continue to fail knowing that everyone has a bad time going that way

I am still using Suzanne as a mother when testing a cross for first time with a new partner rose … but usually cross both ways.

I am also on a third round of xanthina as a mother with Suzanne … it germinated ops very well but nothing in a cross yet … and as with never give up … maybe? …. crossed 15 blooms with Suzanne pollen. About 9 more than previous tries. And did reverse again but less blooms.

They are both spinos or derivatives in my book. l would be grim normally, but grinning because ones a diploid and ones tetraploid. And flip a coin in my world … read nature dislikes even numbers … except in genetics ???

Sadly I can’t get Suzanne in my country! I would get it otherwise

If you can import by UK rules, have a look at Rosenposten DK to see if there. Pederson seemed to carry a good variety of old CDN and USA old prairie roses at one time - though things change.

It will grow, if not managed aggressively, into a small garden eater and happily suckered its way to extinction in parts of my gardens.

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Do you find that if you use Spinosissimas as pollen parents that the offspring can be back crossed more easily?


what’s the intent/desire to use spino as a seed parent? trying to introgress modern genes into a spino shrub type?

I do not have enough experience to input to that question except encourage carry on with spino area of dedication.

Other workers historically are producing cold hardy spino crosses of good to great garden merit from small shrubby things that look great but bad for arthritic knees, to nice knee high or larger.

From the spino (pimpinefolia) hybrids ones of garden merit, the provided parentage info rarely answers your question.

Mind you l only do shallow dives into it - as my obsession is take tenders l like for their bloom form color and sometimes fragrance and try and beef up their cold tolerance.

Using them as female is my default based on past success guesses. BTW l also have started in addition to spinos, using Laxa Majalis (sic) Nutkana/ Schoener’s and the odd rugosa l can stand, latter praying chloritic anemia not an issue.Mainly as pollen parent but also the odd reverse.

A few commercial cold hardy spino ones l can vouch (garden merit) for in my cold garden that do it are Anja, Mon Ami(e) Claire, Blushing Love, Peter Boyle (still jury out as a bit too small after ~3-4 years, Kindrerosen (still waiting for a good bloom) etc… Golden Wings doesn’t like my back cold garden.

Though l appreciate based on Kew and SIL gardens, and a few Cornish ones among the palm grass, palms, med plants and yucca ( yuk-yuk) cold not a design issue for most southern UK gardens.

Good luck on the spino female seed pursuit.


I like some of their flower form, scent and the number of leaflets… I also like the heavy thorn count in nice colours . It doesn’t hurt that they are drought tolerant as well as cold hardy. I have Stanwell perpetual, Mon Amie Claire, Paula Vapelle and Aicha. The latter didn’t flower this year yet but I was hoping the others might take it’s pollen to Introduce yellow into their mix… I have Portland’s and have found that indigo likes spinos.