New to Roses; Genetics Questions

Greetings, Rose Hybridizers,

My name is Parker Flowers, I’m new to roses, and I’m a prospective hobby hybridizer.

Where can I find a good discussion of rose genetics? Specifically, I need to understand “ploidy” and its implications in breeding roses. (Also, where can I find information regarding the genetics of specific traits – e.g., size, growth habit, foliage type, scent factors, bloom type, remontancy, disease resistance and susceptibility, flower and plant color factors, etc…?)

I’ve got many other questions, but I’ll try to ask them in subject specific posts.



Groton, Connecticut

Hi Parker…

One of the best places to start is to purchase a copy of “Rose Hybridizing for Beginners” sold by RHA.

You can download a membership application along with an order sheet for the 34 page soft cover booklet that will get you started with your breeding program.

Hi Parker,

If you are interested in crossing modern hybrid roses (like hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas) with each other, you really don’t need to be concerned about ploidy. They are almost all tetraploids (have 28 chromosomes). If you want to cross species roses or some of the old varieties, then it will help to understand ploidy. In addition to the Beginner’s Handbook mentioned above, the RHA is in the process of producing an Advanced Hybridizers book that includes a discussion of rose genetics. The RHA membership application/order sheet is on this page:


Thank you Jim. That was very helpful to me too.

I have ordered my Beginner’s Handbook and joined the RHA. It was $5 for the Handbook and $10 for a year’s membership Parker. For $15 what do you have to lose. I figured the Handbook alone is worth that!


Thanks, everyone, for the comments. My RHA application and check for the Beginner’s Handbook will be in the mail tomorrow.

Jim, my (still budding) interest is mostly in the old varieties, the species, and species hybrids. (e.g., Alba, Pimpinellifolia, canina, eglanteria, glauca, fedtschenkoana, virginiana, roxburghii normalis, moyesii, to name just a few…)(not to omit hybrid musks, ramblers, etc…)

[Yes, I’m reading Beales, Graham Stuart Thomas, David Austin, and have ordered a couple of Brent C. Dickerson’s books… brave new world…]

In my “play stock” I’d like to have access to a collection of species to include principal progenitors of garden roses, as well as others which are intrinsically interesting and possibly useful to hybridizers. (Any thoughts on growing species from seed?.. I’ve been eyeing lists of available rose seeds on online seed companies.)

Can you tell me more about the “Advanced Hybridizers” book? (I would love to study the genetics chapters!) Do you know what stage it’s in, and when it might become available?



Check out CybeRose gardens. There is some good genetic info there.


Hey gang - FYI the “Advanced Hybridizers” booklet is in the final editing stages and should be available about the end of the year.