On striped roses...

I haven’t worked with stripes before this year, and had some questions:
When crossing a stripe with a non-stripe modern hybrid, what is the expected approximate percentage of striped offspring? (I know this has been addressed in the past, but I seem to recall multiple answers, and cannot find threads on such.)

When crossing a stripe with a non-stripe having stripes in its pedigree, such as e.g. Dick Clark (parent Fourth of July) what would be the expected percentage? (On HMF someone posted a striped sport of DC)

And is it likely that any very small percentage of e.g. Dick Clark x Modern Rose (no-stripe) might be striped?


I have no personal experience breeding stripes, but I do have a bit of data. In this case, about 1/3 of the seedlings inherited some of the pollen parent’s striping.

1985 American Rose Annual
Striped Roses Are Here!
Ralph S. Moore
Some years ago, as an aside from our usual line of crosses, we used some pollen from a striped hybrid perpetual of unknown ancestry. From this cross (Little Darling x Ferdinand Pichard) came 29 seedlings—all climbers or semi-climbers except two. Of these 29 plants, nine showed some degree of striping—red and white or pink and white. Some had only a few stripes; others were well-striped.

I have a dumb follow-up question pertaining to stripes: On the (relatively few) striped roses with which I am familiar, it seems to invariably be the flavenoids (anthocyanins) which get knocked out, creating the striping. (I can’t think of any examples that I would presume to involve gaps in the carotenoids. In the case of orange/yellow striping, I’m presuming the “orange” perceived might be red over yellow?) Is this accurate, or am I making some broad presumptions due to my lack of familiarity with a host of other striped roses? Is there some implication in terms of the layers in which the pigments are segregated and which layers are affected by the stripe-gene, or how does one interpret such?

Nothing dumb about it.

I cannot recall any yellow/white striped flowers of any type. Orange and yellow stripes are red stripes over a solid yellow ground. This is true in roses, four o’clocks and snapdragons. Probably other plants as well, but I mention the ones I’ve seen up close.

I can’t even think of any cases where flavonoid co-pigments are responsible for striping, with the possible exception of ‘Commandant Beaurepaire’. The only time I saw it, the blooms were striped with both pink and lilac, in shades, on a white ground. At least that’s how I remember it … I have no pictures.


Was doing a little research on terminology so that I might ask an intelligent follow-up question, but ultimately don’t know that any of it has any application to us as breeders.
Looking at photos of Comm. Beau., I think that if the purple arose from a flavonoid co-pigment, one would see indications over the white. (My impression is that it is a “mosaic” or similar “chimera” (or “non-patterned sectorial chimera”?) with randomized overlapping layers of colors and absences thereof?)
So, I’ma just say that we don’t know why, but the variegation pigment is associated only with flavenoid pigments, as far as any known examples seem to reveal… Fair enough? Does anybody have any hypotheses as to why? (Does it matter?)
Would it theoretically be possible to get a purple-striped/yellow rose, whereby the purple comes from a co-pigment? Are their examples? Or is a coffee-striped yellow blend more likely?

I don’t see why a flavonoid co-pigment could not be variegated like an anthocyanin pigment. On the other hand, I don’t know of any examples.

There is also the possibility of pink/lilac or red/purple variegation if cyanin and peonin are produced alternatively. In this case, the variegation would involve on/off expression of the enzyme that methylates cyanin to produce peonin.

The ‘Commandant Beaurepaire’ that I remember (it was around 30 years ago that I saw it) does not quite agree with the pics on HelpMeFind. The closest match ('Commandant Beaurepaire' Rose Photo) is still too deeply colored, and doesn’t show the pink and lilac shades I recall. But according to the earliest description, “… coloris rose tendre, très-bien panachée et marbrée de pourpre et de violet foncé extra.”

I also had ‘Smith’s Parish’ (Fortune’s Five-color?) that managed to produce a rare violet-toned stripe among the lighter and darker pinks, some of which became darker on the second and third days.

In roses, cyanin “blues” when combined with co-pigments, but peonin does not. Neither does pelargonin. In dahlias, to the contrary, pelargonin turns purple when combined with flavones.

‘Angel Face’ and ‘Paradise’ are lilac edged with ruby. The lilac color is cyanin (cyanidin 3,5-di-glucoside) combined with a co-pigment. The red color that spreads from the edges downward is chrysanthemin (cyanidin 3-glucoside) produced by a light and heat sensitive form of the anthocyanin 3-glucosidase. Apparently the cyanin (present when the flowers open) gathers up all the co-pigments.

Just to be nerdy, I do know that there’s a seed-strain of yellow/white Four O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), but I haven’t seen anything like that in roses.



Thanks for that, Christopher. I was not aware of this strain. It would be fun to see how this pattern interacts with the “traditional” red/non-red striping. Red, orange-scarlet, yellow and white. I like the idea.

BTW: Tomatoes (e.g., ‘Tigerella’) can accomplish a vivid red/yellow striping in their fruit with carotenes alone. Alas, roses do not (yet) express lycopene (tomato red) in their petals, though some have it in their hips.

When a solid colored rose produces a striped sport is that simply a chimera? i.e. Memphis Magic sported to Memphis Music.

It may or may not be a chimera.

If you could persuade some roots to produce shoots, they could tell what is going on. If all the shoots produce striped flowers, then ‘Memphis Music’ probably has hereditary striping. But if some shoots give solid red flowers, and others give yellow or white, you probably have a chimera.

Another test is to raise seedlings. Hereditary striping should show up on at least a few seedlings. Chimeras should not give any striped offspring.

ps. ‘Memphis Music’ is new to me, and one I’d like to see up close. It gives an idea of what a striped ‘Black Baccara’ would look like.

Dave Bang has hybridized a striped seedling from Black Baccara - he’s named it Vampire Night (maybe not registered). Really quite striking. Dave’s shared a number of striped minis/minifloras with Richard Anthony. I think he has used an Interplant florist rose named Flash Night as his source of stripes.

So now ‘Vampire Night’ is on my wish list with ‘Memphis Music’.

Following up four months later… :wink: Has anyone created a striped rose from a coffee, or grey colored rose? I can’t help but think the segregating of the various pigments that make for such could be rather striking, but I’m not aware of any stripes in that color range.
(Alternatively, I suppose the result could look like decaying flesh or something equally disturbing.)

Grey would combine a light dose of cyanin with a co-pigment. In roses, the striping affects only the pigment. So, the result would be grey stripes on a white (or nearly) ground. Coffee, on the other hand, would likely have yellow stripes, rather than cream.

Ah… I thought of both grey and coffee as basically a lavender with a bit of flavenoid underlayment in different quantities. What would the co-pigment for grey be then, and would it not segregate into a different layer from the cyanidin? And would this be the same co-pigment in e.g. Angel FAce?

I ask because I had been wondering if the potential existed to obtain a purple and yellow (or grey/coffee and yellow) stripe out of my Plum Perfect if crossed with a yellow/orange stripe.

There are two new gorgeous-form striped pot roses (the kind you get in the supermarket- or Big Box stores–I get mine at Trader Joe’s–Gigi Parade (red and white stripe) and Tijana Parade (pink and white striped.) They’re not labeled with the cultivar but that’s what they are. I used Gigi last year–Doesn’t set seed and mixed the pollen with other pot rose pollen and getting decent germination. I first saw (and bought) Tijana Parade last month but plan to try it both as male and female. While I’m at it, the germination disappointment of the year has been Pinkerbelle. Excellent HT and healthy, great hipset but zero germination.

I’ve tried several of the poulsen parade roses in the past, including Gigi, but never got any of them to work for me. I assumed they were generally sterile.

In the striped roses I’ve seen, stripes are anthocyanin pigments over a white or yellow ground color. Cyanidin can be co-pigmented with apigenin, some methylated forms of quercitin, gallotannin, etc. Or it may be tied up in anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions. But so far as I’ve seen, the co-pigments don’t seem to become striped on their own. It would be interesting if it happened, giving purple and red stripes. It’s always (so far as I know) the cyanidin that becomes striped, and its color is shifted towards violet by the co-pigment. These are superimposed on whatever carotene might be present.

If the striping affects both the front and back of the petal, it may be possible to get more colors involved. I once saw ‘Smith’s Parish’ with a purple stripe on the outside of a petal, and various pink stripes on the inside. I’m trying to visualize a reverse bicolor with stripes. Imagine ‘Rev. F Page-Roberts’ or ‘Jonkheer J L Mock’ with the red pigment separated into stripes.

I bought seeds of the Four O’Clocks with yellow variegation. The first flowers were white. Later blooms had a couple of small red stripes, and a yellow sector or two. As the plants grew, so did the weirdness. Here are some blooms open on the same plant at the same time.

And this one gives a clearer suggestion that the red and the yellow are being disrupted independently.

I’m trying to cross the various Four O’Clocks with Mirabilis longiflora, a cousin native to the U.S. The cross was first made more than 2 centuries ago, but doesn’t seem to have been repeated in more recent years. Fingers crossed.

Every time I see 4 oclocks, all I can think about it being attacked by aggressive hummingbirds as a kid. Those tiny little birds hurt lol.

If someone wants to try something interesting, they could take a stab at getting stripes to the yellow/lavender or yellow/purple types. I imagine that very difficult though, especially considering many of them have meh vigor and resistances.