Ophelia and Mme. Butterfly

Would someone have these roses and be willing to share cuttings? I am helping Dr. Ben Lockhart on a virus project and these roses were written about as being susceptible to Stem Streak Disease by Dr. Gary Secor in is Ph.D. from the 1970’s (he is a potato pathologist at North Dakota now). Ben found a virus he suspects is the causal agent of this disease (it displays necrotic stem lesions on some roses). We want to graft an infected rose on these roses and see if we can duplicate the stem lesion symptoms.

We ordered Mme. Butterfly fromm Rogue Valley Roses and unfortunately the three plants we ordered of it all turned out to be different from each other (clear foliage differences and noticable flower differences) and we don’t know what is the real Mme. Butterfly and they haven’t been very helpful. If there is someone growing these roses that would be willing to share some cuttings we can root and graft on we would sure appreciate it.



I need to make a correction. I called Rouge Valley Roses myself now and they have been very very helpful. I will be able to get Madame Butterfly from them. If someone has ‘Ophelia’ I would sure appreciate it.

Thank you!!

Are you talking black necrotic stem lesions at midsummer?

Just asking, because…

Yes Ann!! Do you have symptoms on some roses?

The original mme butterfly is just a color sport of ophelia. They are part of a very sporty family, perhaps because grown as florist roses so intensively. So if you have the real thing either one will do for a virus tester.

I have a question relating to this. Virus Indexing is performed by keeping a rose at high temperatures for a long period of time right? I have rooted roses forever now under an aquarium and my biggest enemy of the whole operation is heat. I have noticed that my rooted cuttings that have experienced heat exhaustion, after being placed out, thrive exceptionally well- as in better than the parents. I figured at times in that aquarium it’s probably up to 120 degrees. Could this effectively virus index a rose?

I guess ‘parents’ should read ‘stock’.

Jon the way I understand it and I could be wrong, but when a plant is virus indexed they grow the plants under high temperature and the roots of the plants ideally are kept cooler. The plant may not grow well but the main purpose is that the plant should out grow the virus. Older portions of the plant will still have the virus while newer portions should be virus free. You can then take the apical meristem from the very top of the plant and then tissue culture it. The new plants should then be virus free and hopefully will be the same cultivar without any mutations.

With this said it may take several rounds of this technique to actually get all the different viruses out. Secondly the mutation rate of a plant in tissue culture seems to be much higher than normal. Lastly I have heard that some plant that have been virused index have lost vigor or get viruses faster than normal. Perhaps the virus has changed them in some way. But I can not verify the validity of the last claim. The first two claims I know have some research to support them at least. The last one I do not know if it does or not.

So Jon growing them at high heat alone will not get rid of the virus. Because when it is brought back to a normal temperature the virus will spread back to the upper parts of the plant. I have wondered however instead of using tissue culture if you could do the same thing using cuttings over time? I wonder if people in very warm climates could just always take cuttings from the very top of their plants and eventually get a clean plant? I doubt it but it has made me wonder.

From my understanding, at UC Davis they do not routinely use tissue culture of meristems from heat treated plants, but take small cuttings or propagation material from the top part of the plant and eventually get free of virus without tissue culture. Maybe your box and cuttings from cuttings would eventually work Jon.

Those are great questions Adam. Perhaps some viruses influence or supress the activity of other viruses and when they are gone the supression of one on another is no longer in place?? Retrotransposons are supposedly viral like or derrived and integrate within the genome and could influence genes and such and alter clonal performance over time. For my Ph.D. I studied clonal variation in ‘Nellie White’ Easter lily and the genome is large and full of repetitive sequences of retrotransposons. There is a lot of subtle variation in performance that built up over time across different growers stock. It is really fascinating to wonder if the striping in modern roses derrived from ‘Ferdinand Pichard’ is because the virus or retrotransposon integrated within an anthocyanin gene and became a heritable form of striping unlike it seems the striping in other old roses that doesn’t seem to be heritable.

I believe there is a lot of questions to be pursued with viruses and roses yet.

It is refreshing reading the comments in this thread. If you did not previously notice the following thread, you may find that it contains relevant information (including some information about Lockhart’s research):

Link: forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/rosesant/msg040755401182.html

David said,

“It is really fascinating to wonder if the striping in modern roses derrived from ‘Ferdinand Pichard’ is because the virus or retrotransposon integrated within an anthocyanin gene and became a heritable form of striping unlike it seems the striping in other old roses that doesn’t seem to be heritable.”

FYI, striping present in ‘Commandant Beaurepaire’ is also heritable. There are striped descendants being evaluated now.

‘Ferdinand Pichard’ is not the only source of genetic striping in old garden roses, though it is the only source presently represented in modern roses.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=1265&tab=1

If one is interested in hot water treatments, perhaps this article may be useful:


Link: www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/nem/1982/00000028/00000003/art00011