Obvious crosses you KNOW someone has tried...

I just thought it might be fun to ask, and as a follow-up, did YOU undertake the cross? And would you think it a worthy cross today?

Thinking of the classic Mr. Lincoln and his siblings from back-in-the-day, I’m thinking there are plenty of similar crosses that beg to be, or that have been done, and was wondering about your conjectures as to what those crosses be today.

…Just for fun, and for conjecture. And it’s okay if the more experienced hybridizers might roll their eyes at some nutty notions, but please fill us in on the reasons for such.

To start, I would conjecture that as beginners, many in America may have thought to use KO with some high-centered, fragrant, red HT’s, for instance. (I never bothered with that one.) Of course, a good landscape rose is well-branched and blows its blossoms cleanly, and a cut flower should hold on tenaciously to its blooms on long stems, so marrying those groups likely would not yield great results…

Years ago I discussed with a friend my plan to use ‘Soleil d’Or’ in hybridizing that year, just to see if perhaps something novel could be coaxed from its genes that wasn’t possible before. I was advised not to waste my time.

I should have listened. What a monumental waste of time and resources that was.


Friends don’t let friends use ‘Angel Face’ in breeding!.[/quote]

When I clicked “quote” the above didn’t come up. Is that now part of your signature? LOL.

Setting up a garden at our home last fall, my wife saw AF in bloom and fell in love. I rolled my eyes and paid the $9 for it. It had several large hips on it this winter, and I almost collected them, but then came to my senses.

(Gotta get a good mauve for the woman!..)

For me I’m thinking of the not-so-obvious. What if Crépuscule X Cal Poly or Rosa roxburghii X John Kennedy.

Why not?

An excellent idea, but do yourself a favor and reverse Mama and Papa, as that will result in more seeds that are highly viable. Of course, you will generate a group of triploids that may leave you with sterility issues (if you ever planned to go past that point), since you are crossing a diploid with a tetraploid, but that may of may not be a problem for you.

Indeed, that is my current “signature” :wink:

Actually, yes, I have played a bit in that direction. The most important one (to me) was to check the reported lineage of Lilac Charm having resulted from Californica. Perhaps, but the few seedlings I raised from Lavender Pinocchio X Dairy Maid sure looked a lot like Lilac Charm!

Yep, there is often a lot of eye rolling concerning suggested potential crosses. Angel Farts and Soliel d’Or are two frequent ones. It hurts watching others do things you KNOW will hurt them or significantly waste their time. I remember someone asking what I thought of using the various striped sports of HTs in an effort to raise striped roses. This was after Ralph had released striped minis, so there was a source for striping available. My suggestion to try that direction was dismissed because minis were awful and “disposible”. OK, but I would bet you dollars to doughnuts every modern stripe eventually goes directly back to his Little Darling X Ferdinand Pichard cross. Who else has sought out another source? No one lays any claims to having discovered a different one and I suggest had anyone made such a discovery, they would have stated it somewhere.


As a new guy to this hobby, I’m curious about the more “conventional” crosses. I have about 30 of the big box and local nursery type roses (mostly HT’s and floribundas) and would like to use them as well. Have you attempted such crosses?

Phil I did this Carefree Beauty X Old Port, most were full doubles with Cerise colour

Just out of curiosity what is the reason Angle Face is bad? Is it just a weak plant?

Well, there are two versions of it around and have been for many years. There is a very vigorous one which is quite a bit stronger than the “original”, with muddier colored flowers. Then, there is the “original” whose plant is weaker, but with clearer mauve colored flowers. It followed its parent, Circus, in that regard. For years, there were multiple Circus variations which were the same as with Angel Farce.

AF has a great susceptibility to black spot and rust in many climates. Its winter hardiness is highly suspect. The wood is rather pithy, soft, very susceptible to sun scald and it just isn’t a very durable plant. It is INCREDIBLY fertile and passes on mauve colors, often with scent, but very seldom on healthy, strong growing plants. With Circus, Lavender Pinocchio and being half Sterling Silver, what else could you expect? It has been greatly used my many over the years. I was very surprised to see Meilland releasing an AF seedling recently. Singing the Blues. HMF reports it is an improved AF, “great for mild, dry climates”. It also advises “resist the urge to prune too heavily, this rose doesn’t like it”. Neither does Angel Farce. I know I’ve shared this before, but I actually asked Ralph WHY he based his Halo roses on AF when there were other, better mauves to work with. “Because I had it”. Black spot was (and is) an issue with that line, as it is with the other too closely related offspring.

It was the healthiest, strongest, most highly scented mauve floribunda to date when it was selected AARS in 1968. There have been TREMENDOUS improvements in mauves in the ensuing 45 years. As a museum piece, or in a collection of mauve roses, it’s just fine. But, you don’t deliberately breed German Shepherds for hip dysplasia; Dachsunds for vertebrae problems; Dalmatians for hearing impairment or male schizophrenia. Why would you deliberately raise sickly, weak roses?

Those enormous hips, chock full of plump seeds from those seductively fragrant, mauve blooms promise so much! “Siren’s Song” would have been a far more appropriate name, as it is sure to dash your hopes against the rocks.

Tom Liggett theorized mauve was a “recessive, recessive yellow”. He also observed roses with strong Foetida association didn’t tolerate long, dry, cold storage, frequently drying out, devitalizing the plants. Most of which, seldom recover in spite of your best efforts. Sterling Silver and Peace are two others of similar heritage and also demonstrate the de vitalization in many plants you encounter for sale. You’ll sometimes find a happy plant in a particularly suitable location. They are absolutely stunning, but they are the exceptions rather than the rule.


Singing the Blues appears to be specially introduced in the US for those Angel Face obsessed fans…


Since I inherited Mom’s roses I have a lot of the old “classic” HTs so I’ve been thinking about using them. One I’ve wanted to do is Double Delight X Peace. They both have their issues but can still produce some stunning blooms. I think the colors might produce something interesting and maybe have some decent form. Whether or not it would be healthy is another matter. I had thought about Lincoln and JFK at one point but since they were both horrible for me they’re now gone! Glad I never bothered.

I’ve tried working for several years with Pinocchio to no avail. I managed once to get some hips to set but then the seeds never germinated. Looking at the enormous list of progeny on HMF I thought it would be a snap but in talking with Kim I found out it’s a really hard one to get to produce anything viable. I’m still trying though.

One I need to do some more with is English Sonnet. It’s an amazing little floribunda that I think has some potential. It stays nicely compact, has pretty good resistance, is hardy as all get out and blooms frequently with petal packed flowers. I’ll need to think of something interesting to put it with.

There was one guy, who had a grant, tell me proposed to cross Polstjarnan with Topaz Jewel. Well you never know?

Seil I have tried Double delight as a seed parent but no luck, (Queen Elizabeth X Double Delight) would be a good way to go, could supprise you.

LOL, ‘Polstjarnan’ x ‘Topaz Jewel’? It would probably be easier to cross a dinosaur with an aardvark! :slight_smile:


Jeff, sorry to be slow at replying. Life gets in the way of my forum-ing sometimes.

Truthfully, I am not the one to ask. I’m only just getting back into establishing my own collection. I was a beginner pre-Katrina in NOLA, and have only done armchair hybridizing and speculating since then. (Note to all: take my posts and musings with a huge grain of salt!)

It’s really my personal conviction that none of us can really “know” very much until we have created at least 100,000 seedlings, but our combined experiences are what helps us on this forum, and it’s an invaluable tool for soliciting feedback. That and, of course, HMF.

Alas, while you can do the research on HMF to determine how “successful” a prospective parent has been for other hybridizers, you cannot really know the percentage of failed attempts that may or may not have been undertaken. Nonetheless, I would suggest this is the best starting point for us beginners.

At some point not too long ago, I believe someone began a thread on a beginner’s foundation garden, if you will, for a basic palette of parents. I don’t know if that will come up in a search, or if it’s time to solicit other’s updated thoughts on such again.

The first that come to mind that I would say warrant obtaining might include Carefree Beauty and/or descendents (including KO’s offspring), and Baby Love and/or descendants. There are many under-utilized species as well, but you might not want to get your feet wet with those right off. I think it a good idea to start with roses that will provide a little quicker gratification to start with.

But remember the grain of salt! :wink:

Thanks, Warren! I do have QE so that one is doable.

Interesting thanks Kim.

I’m sort of new to the hobby. When I was in Highschool I crossed Don Juan with Josephs coat and got a number of healthy pink and red seedlings. I hadn’t had a chance since as I joined the military and didn’t have space to grow roses . So now that I am once again a civilian I started growing them first chance I got :slight_smile: I am obsessed but I don’t have much knowledge on rose genetics. I have looked up lineage of roses I have grown or wanted but other than that; are there books on genetices or does anyone have any suggested reading?

If you want historical references on what’s worked for noted breeders, you can find that kind of information in several biographies like Herb Swim - From Dreams to Reality and Harkness’ book, “Roses”. But, you will see much more beneficial information about what created what and actually get to view living color photographs of many if you purchase a Premium membership on Help Me Find - Roses for $24 a year. You can look up what’s known about any rose in the database and trace lineages as far back as there is recorded information. Seeing what resulted in what and what they looked like helps you develop more of an eye for what has been possible. Even with the best of scientific knowledge, very often the rose does whatever the heck it wants anyway!


For the fast track red HT’S get Scarlet Knight. With almost 100% germination, 25seeds and up/hip, the pure volumn of seedlings and wide range, mostly red and full, is a good starting point to learn the care and nurture of seedlings.

Neil, Vet.

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