This year has been a trying one for pollination. For most of June it rained nearly every day and if the flowers weren
Rugosas usually make easy seed parents but you were using some that are extremely difficult. If I closed my eyes and imagined some of the most difficult roses to use in breeding, roses like Topaz Jewel, Pink Grootendorst and Blanc Double de Coubert would be at the top of my mind. I think rugosas like Topaz Jewel and Moore’s Striped have merit to try in breeding due to their rare color, but I would avoid any other rugosa that is being difficult if the color isnt so rare. There are so many other rugosas with positive traits that are easy breeders.
I guess I assumed that Schneezwerg was a good seed parent because it has so many offspring on HMF. I had also been told that Therese Bugnet was a good seed parent if crossed with something that had Rugosa in its background. And Showy Pavement was a fairly good seed parent for me two years ago. So I was a little disappointed when all the hips aborted again this year. The Rugosas that I
Paul sorry to here about your luck. But I do like what you tried to attempt.
We must live close enough to each other (I’m in the NW suburbs of the Twin Cities) to have suffered from some of the same weather luck. Surely that’s to blame for a lot of the trouble you’ve had with pollinations this year.
However, I’d second Jadae’s observation about your seed parents. Schneezwerg has been a fine seed parent for me, so the difficulty there may be with the pollen. I’ve never tried Therese B. as a pollen parent but she can be finicky as a seed parent–still, the crosses that do take produce plenty of seeds and germinate readily. I don’t have Showy Pavement but I’ve had good experiences with some of the other Pavement roses (Schneekoppe and Apart) and this year I’m trying Dwarf Pavement for the first time. I don’t grow Magseed or Topaz Jewel but would not be surprised to find that they would be hard to use in view of their mixed species and ploidy background.
Others I’ve used successfully as seed parents: Trollhattan, Wasagaming, Will Alderman, Magnifica, Moje Hammarberg, Fru Dagmar Hastrup. Using for the first time this year: Ann Endt, Dwarf Pavement, Roseraie de l’Hay.
Don’t give up on this fascinating clan of roses! They have so much going for them that is just waiting to be brought out.
Betsy, ‘Ann Endt’ was a very difficult seed parent for me. It didn’t accept many pollens and it selfed very early and easily. I had more luck using it as a pollen parent.
I’m sorry to hear about the poor hip set Paul…rugosas are an intriguing bunch. I always thought ‘Therese Bugnet’ was reasonably fertile…or is that another rugosa…I’m not sure.
Roseraie de l’Hay is a funny girl though! She has a terrible reputation as a rugosa for not even setting hips like rugosa species or even ‘Hansa’ and for not being that fertile either, but I feel she’s just been under utilized or not crossed with the right things because it definitely liked another rose in the garden this summer as it has over ten, elven OP hips that are not aborting and gaining color, two of which may or may not have been hand pollinated by myself with my finger when I was casually walking around. I think I put ‘Plaisanterie’ pollen on it, since it was fresh and I love each of those shrubs to death so I thought “Why not?”
Most of the hips aren’t terribly large, but one, the one I suspected was the one I put pollen on with my finger - got to be size of a large cherry or crab apple. It turned red/orange already so I picked it- quite a number of seeds inside all ready to go!
I know ‘Topaz Jewel’ is just a straight up miserable plant anyway, at least here in Maryland, where a great deal of rugosas are rather healthy, it is a mess. Rugosas are a trial an error kind of thing I think…for the most part.
I certainly wouldn’t give up on them. You shouldn’t either Paul!
I want to continue along the same lines as Mr. Moore when he created these Hybrid Rugosas, but back cross them to the Rugosas to get more hardiness and disease resistance instead of back crossing to the minis like Mr. Moore did with some of them. It probably was too early to use my Marie Pavie x R.blanda, it
Paul, what are you aiming for in your Rugosa crosses?
I guess something different and unusual in color and that is hardy here in Minnesota. Something other than the usual magenta or purplish pink. Maybe tame them down a bit also, I have some five or six year old pure rugosa seedlings that are becoming quite large and are taking over the place.
Sounds like we have some similar breeding goals–and experiences… I just cut down a Rugosa seedling of similar vintage that had grown to overshadow all the other seedlings, then flopped its thorny tentacles over in all directions. Sooner or later I will have to dig out the root as well. Vigor was its only virtue.