Opinions and experiences about possible parents

Good morning, I’m just starting out with hybridizing and, after having made some crosses this year just to try and learn how to do it, I’m starting to plan what to do next year. I would say that my main goals are disease resistance, shrub form, bloom form (I like both OGR-style and single/semidouble flower and I prefer not high centered blooms), floriferousness and maybe fragrance. These are the plants I have and I could use as breeding stock, do you have any suggestions about how (and if) to use them? (I’ll divide them by their breeder)


  • Lady Emma Hamilton
  • Emily Bronte
  • Roald Dahl
  • Kew Gardens
  • Tottering-By-Gently
  • Olivia Rose Austin
  • The Ancient Mariner
  • The Wedgwood Rose
  • Thomas à Becket
  • Desdemona
  • Munstead Wood
  • Boscobel
  • Eustacia Vye


  • Golden Gate
  • Lupo
  • Juanita


  • Aquarell
  • Acapella
  • Strandperle Norderney
  • Strandpere Amrum
  • Bienenweide Bicolor
  • Bienenweide Fruity
  • Artemis
  • Soul


  • André le Notre Clg (Betty White in the USA)
  • Les Quatre Saisons (Pink Swany in the USA)
  • Pierre Arditi (White Perfumella in the USA) (*)
  • Coral Drift (*)
  • Prince Jardinier (Francis Meilland in the USA)
  • Cocktail (*)
  • Fragrans Meillandina

Pheno Geno roses

  • Evelyn Wilde
  • Theo Clevers
  • Dolce
  • Nadia Zerouali
  • René van Wegberg
  • Pear
  • Lavender Vaza

Other Breeders

  • Knock Out
  • Alfred Sisley
  • Eyes for You
  • New Dawn (*)
  • Baron Girod de l’Ain (*)

Botanic Roses

  • Rosa canina
  • Rosa rugosa alba (*)
  • Rosa rugosa rubra (*)
  • Rosa rubiginosa
  • Rosa spinosissima

The ones with a (*) are the ones I do not plan to use unless you tell me they are somehow worth trying

Thank you

Alfred Sisley sets hips easily and gives a lot of colorful and varied offspring that are relatively vigorous. A good number are striped. Lupo is diploid, but gives a lot of polyploid offspring. I haven’t made controlled pollinations with it, just raised op seedlings. It seems to produce a relatively high percent of 2n/unreduced eggs.

Thank you David!

When you say that Lupo produces polyploid offspring do you mean that by crossing it to a common tetraploid modern rose I could get both tri and tetraploids? And when crossed with a diploid I could get both diploid and triploid? That sounds interesting

And can you say anything about Alfred SIsley’s health? I’ve ordered it for this winter and they will ship it in october

So far I haven’t had a lot of success with Spin. hybrids crossing with modern shrubs. The modern shrubs were seed parents and the spins I used as pollen. I had a lot die after germination, those that did germinate. I do have a couple that are growing on, so perhaps it is a numbers game. Maybe those with more experience working with them can give more detailed information.

I can mention a bit of experience with a few of the Austins:
Olivia Rose Austin has proven to be incredibly disease resistant. It hasn’t been a good seed parent. It rejected most pollens placed on it. The 2 hips I did get produced a few seeds, but these did not germinate. Embryo extraction did not help. So I am focusing more with her pollen, although perhaps with a bit more age she could do better.

Munstead Wood: same comments as Olivia Rose Austin.

Lady Emma Hamilton was picky about pollen, but that could be due to age. Some seed produced and germinated. Testing one from her this year.
She had a lot of blackspot so I did not work that hard with her. Not sure which race of blackspot, perhaps that wont’ be a problem in other locations.

The Wedgewood Rose set hips reasonably well. It did reject some pollen, but that may improve with age. Germination was good (perhaps the best I have had from one of Austion’s roses). Close to that are James Gallway and The Generous Gardener, all of which have been fairly healthy here.
I have a handful of seedlings planted to test from the Wedgwood Rose, as well as from The Generous Gardener, so I think definitely worth working with both directions.

I have a rose this year that wasn’t the one I ordered. I am wondering if it is Eustacia Vye. It seems to have successfully pollinated the several blooms I tried. It hasn’t dropped the hips yet. Beyond that I can’t say at this point.

Would you please update us if you test Desdemona, The Ancient Mariner, and Boscobel: I have seriously considered each of them, but can’t afford to purchase too many that I don’t know will be of value for breeding.
Good luck with your attempts, and have fun!

Thank you Duane!

I’ve had Lady Emma Hamilton for quite a few years now and it has remained reasonably healthy in my garden. It does get a bit of blackspot later in the season but I do not recall having seen any shredded leaves from her.

I have a few OP hips forming on The Wedgwood Rose at the moment, so I’ll test its germination this winter. I really like The Generous Gardener, but I really don’t have room for a climber in my garden at the moment.

I bought Desdemona as a grafted bare root (I think on R. laxa) this winter and is definitely worthy as a garden plant: it has already provided two huge flushes with about 30 blooms each in about two months and it’s already producing it’s third flush. Its health is exceptional and it forms a neat shrub. I’ve not deadheaded the spent blooms and it has retained all of its hips, but they seem still small at the moment and therefore I can’t tell neither if they have a decent number of seeds nor if they’ll germinate yet. The pollen was scarce: I only tried one cross because of this, but it seems fertile.

The Ancient Mariner is new this year as well and I bought it only as a “let’s see how it does” . It came in with about half a dozen fat red hips on it, with on average 10 seeds each. It was a bare root rose, so it was stored in a refrigerator with a high humidity level. I didn’t have time to vernalize the seeds and planted them right in the ground. I did not get any germination, but I can’t tell if it was because of the variety or due to the treatment the seeds received.

I do not have Boscobel yet, I’ll try next year and let you know

Eyes for You can be difficult. For me it’s refused to set seed whether intentional or OP (over the last 5 years) but I know others have had success using it for seed. It’s also not been big on releasing a lot of pollen, workable if you stick at it but I’ve had to work at it. If you’re thinking of using it for the eye there may be easier options available depending on where you are in the world.

Rosa rubiginosa…a whole lot of space, thorns and years. I’m actively trying for the foliage fragrance which only passes via seed (until it’s unbalanced meiosis is disrupted). I have probably close to a thousand seedlings (ages between a few months and ~3 years…it smells a lot being near it…) no flowers so far, there are minor differences in amount of thorns and things if you take a close look but generally long floppy thorny canes that you don’t want to be around when there’s wind. Despite a fairly diverse set of pollens thrown at it, they are all very similar looking (due to the unbalanced chromosome caninae thing). Disease resistance not so much, vigor and just general surviving complete lack of care though. Will be different result using it for pollen.

Thank you Plazbo!

This year I’ve only tried to use Eyes for You as a pollen parent; its pollen was not abundant, but not even scarce (I could make about three crosses with the pollen from one flower). I live in the EU, so I think I could find quite a huge number of hultemias, but I’m actually not so interested by its blotch. I think it looks good, but I wouldn’t point it out as my main goal.

Using species I would have thought to use them as pollen parents (rubiginosa and canina) with a diploid healthy miniature (like Lupo) to get (hopefully) a miniaturized diploid species hybrid, that (hopefully again) will not take much space, which I do not have at all. I added rubiginosa and spinosissima to my bare root roses order for this year just to try and see, since they were only 2,5€ each, and therefore I could discard them without any problem