Perle d'Or and Felicia

I’m currently not a hmf premium member so I can’t see lineages anymore. Has anybody worked with either of these two in breeding and gotten anything interesting? Or are they generally not worth playing around with (e.g. Buff Beauty)?



Hi, I want to breed with Perle d’or too this year, last season pollinations gave no result, but I did just one or two with pollen from it, that was perhaps not fresh enough anymore…
I know, that Phyllis Bide is a child of Perle d’or and Gloire de Dijon… Don’t know now who was father or mother, right now HMF isn’t available.

Ralph Moore introduced Tweetie and Very Busy in 1973 using Perle d’Or as seed parent and Fairy Princess for pollen. I’ve not had decent germination from self set Perle d’Or seed over the years. I have long thought Sunshine might result in something interesting, though none of the seedlings I’ve been shown using it have been very worthwhile. I’ve obtained more satisfactory results from Verdun, White Cecile Brunner and Pink Koster.

I forgot Buff Beauty: I only used pollen of it in 2012, because I don’t have her as plant here at home. There are 2 results: Freiburger Bächle and Glanzlicht, they are in HMF, which is not available now. Pollen was from Florence Delattre.
Both rebloom very good already in the first year, but Glanzlicht can get blackspot. But it produces fresh foliage quickly.

I’ve not used Felicia. I’ve grown and used Perle d’Or for years in two locations and still have it. It will set hips with a wide variety of pollens (I got a few seedlings from bracteata pollen once) , but germination has always been horrible. If I get seedlings at all it’s normally only 1 or 2. Not much to select from. The only decent germination I ever got from PDO was from Heinrich Karsch pollen. I have seeds stratifying now from PDO using pollen from a found orange polyantha to see if I can repeat the decent germination. Perle d’Or’s pollen also works well. The only remaining seedlings I have from PDO (2) came from PDO pollen on a found pink china. PDO’s seedlings tend to keep a lot of PDO’s faults without carrying forward its benefits. The biggest issue for me has been the tissue-thin and flimsy flower petals. I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten a PDO seedling without them. Bottom line is best germination will come from using PDO’s china and polyantha relatives.


Sorry to sound like a broken record, but- if you haven’t used nitrate in your stratification medium, try it. Works for almost everything, though not quite. I’m just writing up last year’s tests and find that there are a few crosses for which there is simply no germination. These were mostly very small progenies of things like Buff Beauty, Therese Bugnet, and various crosses with Rainbow KO. But on some very stubborn ones, it can make a 25 x difference, like 1 vs 25 % for sunrise-sunset and 0 vs 50% for early harvest (Aug 3, barely changing color hips) Rainbow Knock Out.

I just roll my baggie paper towel up into a little cigar and dip it into some weak liquid fertilizer, then drop the cigar in the baggie. Works for me. Kind of similar to the nitrate thing, without having to buy special chemicals. I keep a gallon jug of the fertilizer, so the concentration is always the same. I don’t know the exact concentration though.

Yes, somewhat like, but unfortunately these days there are no nitrate fertilizers available. Ever since Tim McVeigh, we’ve had to make do with urea and ammonium sulfate instead. And they don’t do the job of nitrate. I wish it were different. Can’t even buy ammonium nitrate in tiny quantities, except in a research lab.

Must the seeds be stratified with the fertilizer or will it have the benefit if they are watered with it after planting?

Jack’s 20-10-20, for instance, has 12% nitrate-form nitrogen, with an additional 8% ammoniacal nitrogen. Is that enough? Should I be fertilizing my seedling flats with that? Or should I order calcium nitrate and fertilize with that?

The jrpeters website, by the way, has a page of specialty nutrients available in as little as 1 pound. Seems like a good source for the experimenters out there. They have calcium nitrate.

When I did a pretty non-scientific test of calcium nitrate last year or the year before, there was no tangible difference in my seed flats. I attribute that to the fact that my seeds were sown in medium rather than in a plastic bag in the fridge with vermiculite or a paper towel. I’d assume I’d have to use a stronger concentration.

But you caught my interest again, Larry. I have some RKO and Sunrise Sunset seeds that I’d sure like to get 25X the germination on. So what would you recommend I do? They’re already sown in germination mix and in cold stratification. I could just fertilize them with 20-10-20 at regular strength…I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt them. Or I could order some calcium nitrate and do about a tablespoon to a gallon solution of that. Any recommendations?

I stratify my seeds with the fertilizer, but I don’t know if it has to be done that way. My thoughts were that microbes on the achenes and paper towel would convert the fertilizer to nitrate, plus the other nutrients in the fert. would likely have a beneficial effect. I read that microbes produce nitrates starting at 50 degrees F, so I bring the bags out of the fridge every few days to let them get to room temperature and make some nitrates. I would think fertilizer on outdoor seed flats would work fine as long as the temperature occasionally goes over 50F.

Good to hear that Peters is offering reasonable amounts of calcium nitrate. I was not aware that there were any fertilizers with nitrate in any more. I have looked in stores, but not explored on-line. Maybe things have changed in teh past couple years also.

I was able to test ratios of ammonium to nitrate up to around 1:4 and the ammonium didn’t hurt. But to get a high enough level of nitrate you need quite a but of total fertilizer material. That may raise up the total salts rather more than you want. I tried Hoagland’s solution which is a balanced mix of lots of nutrients, and it was not as effective as nitrate alone, even though it had a lot of nitrate (almost as much as I would give in calcium nitrate).

In soil based potting media there is likely to be nitrification- conversion of ammonium to nitrate. But in sterilized medium, or peat, vermiculite, perlite or paper towels there probably is not. Whether achenes carry the nitrifying microbes is an interesting question with no published answer so far as I know.

I don’t know about the temperature effects on net nitrification. I expect that is a relative rate effect, with activity doubling per 18 F (10 C) in most things.

As near as I can understand the nitrate effect, it depends on the plant to convert nitrate to NO, a plant signaling molecule, which then activates some germination pathways probably by destroying ABA and increasing GA. The way stratification works probably is that some enzymes are more affected by temperature than others. So at low temps the rate of breaking down ABA is faster than it is made. Or rate of making GA is faster than its breakdown. Or both. Or maybe low temperature actually turns on or off some of the genes in some pathways. For sure in model plant systems, what happens is that specific DNA sequences get methylated, telling the seed that it is experiencing winter. That is how flowering is induced. Most likely the same goes for germination.

You need to really get the whole solution phase of your germination medium wetted to the nitrate level you seek. Just adding a little fertilizer likely won’t do it. If you are starting with fairly dry medium then around 1 tablespoon of calcium nitrate per gallon is the right dose.

Nitrate doesn’t increase germination percentage overall for many CV, it just speeds things up by 1-3 months. But for some recalcitrant species and CV it can make a huge difference in % germination. See the articles in last couple years RHA newsletter for examples. More to come but same pattern. I got about 1/3 more germ averaged over 16 large-scale CV tests this past year.