Possible hybrid

Hello everyone, I’m new to the forum. I’ve learned a lot from this forum and from your literature. It’s my favorite websie.

I would like to run this by you.

Four years ago I picked some hips from an R.blanda at the end of my driveway. I germanated the seeds and kept four plants.

I noticed that the plants were very different from the mother, they were shorter, had more and much smaller leaves and they had many more prickles on the stems.

At first I thought this was just from genectic variation, then I thought this from a mutation.

This year they finally bloomed, not only did they bloom later than the R.blandas I have, but the blooms looked very much like the R.arkansas I have. So I really looked at the plants and the growth habit is more like R.arkansas.

So my question is this. Could these plants be R.blanda x R.arkansas hybrids?

I live out in the country and there is R.blanda and R.arkansas growing all along the roads here and it would be very easy for this to happen.

If that is the case, these plants should be triploids. But everyone of the flowers has set hips, most likely polinated from the R.arkansas that was blooming near by.

I will try to germinate the seeds this winter to see if they are viable and to see what kind of plants I get.

Next year I’m going to try crossing R.blanda with R.arkansa to see if I get the same results. The R.blanda had already quit blooming this year when I came up with this theory.

So I’m asking could these be R.blandaxR.arkansas hybrids and has anyone seen this or something similar to this before.

Thanks, Paul

One of the problems that I have run into using species roses is that many (most) of then send out runners. If the runner comes up next to a labeled rose, it is possible in late fall to think that the hips came from the labeled rose - not the runner. Unfortunately several years ago, I sent out a batch of such mislabeled seed to other hybridizers.

I have even gotten (open pollinated) seed once from another hybridizer that were not even all rose seeds. I was not able to figure out what they were.

I agree suckering can be a problem with species roses and I’m not sure how I’m going to control that. I’ve seen runners come up 6 to 8 feet from the mother plant. I’ve thought about making a screen basket to put around each plant.

As for the hips I picked, they came from a stand of wild roses (R.blanda) near a small stream that runs under my driveway. The nearest roses(R.arkansana)to them are at least a 1/4 mile away. I have not noticed anything else but R. blanda growing there and I do stop and look at them periodically. So I’m sure that they were R.blanda seeds that I germanated.

The chances your Rosa blanda was cross pollinated at a distance of 1/4 mile is remote. Unless you have other rose material growing close by, chances are the Rosa blanda self pollinated. How do you know you have Rosa blanda? Rosa blanda is closely related (and may be the same) as Rosa woodsii. There is much variation in the genotypes of the Rosa woodsii species, probably more than any other North American species. Some are relatively thornless.

In my opinion, on the northern Great Plains there is no such thing as Rosa blanda. Eastern botanists visiting this region in the early 1900’s have said there is, and authors of contemporary botanical or horticultural books assume this is factual and keep repeating it. They have never actually botanized Rosa woodsii (like I have), so they don’t really have a clue. But I digress.

I’m suprised that you think that cross pollination is remote at 1/4 mile. That dosen’t sound like too great of a distance for a foraging bee. I serched on line to see how far a bee will travel from the hive. According to the Canadian Honey Coucil, bees will travel up to a 2km(1.25 mile) radius in search of food. So it seems quite possible that a bee could have cross pollinated those roses with pollin from another rose 1/4 mile distant.

I’ve read that the diploid species roses are virtually self sterile and that they will not self pollinate.

It is possible that they were pollinated from another plant within that group of roses. If that was the case then the seedlings should look like any other R. blanda that is growing around here.

But that is not the case, they are shorter, bushier and have smaller leaves. The best way to describe them is that they look more like a potentilla bush.

I live in central Minnesota. According to the USDA Plants Database and the MInnesota DNR there are (4) species of roses in Minnesota, R. acicularis, R.arkasana, R.blanda and R.woodsii. R.aciculaaris and R.woodsii are confined to the northern portion of the state.

R.arkansana and R.blanda are pretty much state wide. As that R. woodsii is not supposed to be in this part of the state and that the plants that I have seen match the discription of R.blanda I am pretty confident that it is R. blanda.

I believe that rosa blanda will grow in different ways according to it’s location. In tall grass it grows taller and thinner. In a cultivated spot it may be half as tall. Moisture levels and nutritian may also effect its appearence.

I really like rosa blanda and would like to try some crosses with it and some old garden diploid tea roses. I think if it was tetraploid hybridizers would be using it much more often.

Although apparently most do not, some diploid species self-pollinate and produce fertile seed. For example, Rosa multiflora and Rosa wichurana. Even Rosa rugosa will sometimes self-pollinate successfully. It depends on the genotype. In the case of Rosa woodsii, most flowers produce hips even when there aren’t bees around to cross-pollinate the flowers. It’s quite possible the hips and seeds are often produced by means of apomixis. More research is needed regarding floral biology and factors affecting pollination and seed fertility of our native North American rose species for their optimum use in breeding programs.

I have noticed that plants growing in shadier conditions tend to be talleer than ones growing in the open. This is probably because they receive less sunlight and grow taller to try and capture as much sunlight as possible. Much as trees growing in the woods will grow taller and straighter than ones growing in the open. There is a plant at the end of my driveway that is growing in the shade of some aspen trees that is over 6 feet tall and almost 3/4 inches in diameter. Most other plants around here are between 3 and 4 feet tall.

I am partial to rosa blanda also. I suppose some that is because it is native here, but it dose have some nice qualities that I would like to incorporate into a breeding program. Like thornless stems, red colored stems in winter and though probably not as nice as rosa nitida, they do put on a nice autumn display with the red hips and orange to red foliage in the fall. They, like most native species, are not immune to disease though, so disease reistance would have to be bred into them.

I too am thinking of crossing them with some old tea roses. I purchased two tea roses(Homere’ and Mlle Franzisca Kruger) this spring for that purpose. The trick now is to keep them alive over the winter. I lost all of my hybrid tees and florbudas two winters ago because of lack of snow cover(I didn’t have them planted deep enough). And Hybrid teas are generally hardier than regular teas.

Another plan is to cross them with the diploid Hybrid Musks, like Robin Hood or Balirina. They produce a lot of flowers and seem to be always in bloom.

One of my goals is to incorporate rosa blanda traights into a tetraploid rose.

It is possible that they are self polinated rosa blanda. I would like to get a microscope and do a root tip squash to do a chromosome count. If they are hybrids with rosa arkasana, then they should triploids. If they are self polinated they should be diploids. That is the best way I will know for sure. In the case of seeds being produced by apomixis would the offspring be identical to the mother? Or would there still be some chromosome shuffling going on?

On another note, I collected some hips from northern Minnesota

a few years ago assuming they were rosa acicularis. But I now realise that they could have been rosa woodsii. I’m assuming that you have both species growing by you also. I was wondering if you have a good way to tell the difference between the two.

Thanks, Paul

The use of Rosa blanda in a breeding program especially with Hybrid Teas is almost a guarantee there will be disease problems in the progeny. Especially mildew. ‘Lillian Gibson’ (Rosa blanda x Red Star’)is an exception. At least on the Canadian prairies. It has no disease problems in this region(Zone 3).

Rosa blanda x Hybrid Musks? Now you’re on to something! Hybrid Musks are under ultilized in breeding programs. Generally, they have more disease resistance than Hybrid Teas or Floribundas. But when combined with Rosa blanda, will the disease resistance of Hybrid Musks compared to Hybrid Teas be significant enough to produce disease resistant progeny? Not likely, but you will have to find that out yourself. In any case, the progeny should have better shrub form and be more floriferous than using Hybrid Teas in such a breeding program.

I lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario for many years. So I know the ecology of the boreal forest in that region and northern Minnesota well. Rosa woodsii is by far the most common rose species in that ecosystem. The major difference between Rosa acicularis and Rosa woodsii is that the former has fine bristles (acicularis = “needle-like”) on the lower part of the canes, while the latter species has thorns.

By the way, apomixis has been established in the Caninae section of roses. Whether it exists in other sections, I don’t know.

Yes, by definition seeds produced by apomixis produce seedlings identical to the mother plant. It’s an asexual type of reproduction.

Thanks Paul for the info. I checked the plants I grew from those hips and there are no thorns, only brisles. So they should be rosa acicularis.

I have Robin Hood growing in my garden and I’ve noticed only a slight black spot infestation on it. Much less so than the Hybrid Tea Tiffany growing next to it.

The thing I don’t care for in Robin Hood is the canes don’t grow straight up, they want to grow more horizontally almost like a ground cover. Similar in effect to the Fucshia Meidiland growing near by, but not as pronounced.

You may be familiar with the University of Minnesota’s report “Roses for the North”. In the two years they made observations, the Hybrid Musk Will Scarlet had a medium infestion of Anthracnose, Belinda had only a slight black spot infestation, Daphne had only a slight powdery mildew infestion and Ballerina did not show any disease at all in either year.

I’m hoping to add the disease resistance and flowering of Ballerina with the cold hardiness, smooth stems and autumn coloring of rosa blanda. I’m also thinking of incorporating Rugosa Magnifica into there also for the double flowers and strong scent without sacrificing cold hardiness and repeat flowering.

Bukavu is nice. I like it better than Ballerina.

Be careful of the terminology here… remembering that no rose has true thorns, botanically speaking, only prickles. They essentially vary in physical traits like size, shape, distribution, and sometimes color, so it’s most helpful to describe those sorts of characteristics when making comparisons.

I’ve always been curious to know what the wild plants were at my home in central Minnesota, and the closest I came to was that they may perhaps be hybrids between R. woodsii and R. blanda since many of the features were somewhat intermediate. From my hunting of data and pictures of R. acicularis, it’s nothing like what I found growing near-by.

Next time I’m scratched by a rose and the blood flows, or it hooks into my clothing and tears it, I’ll remember it wasn’t a thorny one. It was only a prickly one.

Next time you impale yourself on a honey locust or a hawthorn, you can fondly remember that thorny rose that hooked your jacket! :wink:

Thanks Jadae, Bukavu is nice, I like the deep pink with white eye. Has it been healthy for you?

Stefan, I wasn’t sure either if Paul ment a stout thorn with a broad base or just a larger more robust prickle. I figured I would know if they were there when I looked.

But either way I didn’t see any real variation in the prickles.

It is quite possible that what you have by you is a natural hybrid. They happen all the time when ranges over lap.

On the USDA Plant Data Base website they list rose species native and introduced to the US. They also list natural hybrids. One hybrid that might be in your area is rosa xdulcissima (rosa blanda x rosa woodsii), it is listed as being in Minnesota. Also listed is rosa xhousei (rosa acicularis x rosa blanda), this is not listed as being in Minnesota, but I would suspect that it is as their ranges over lap here.

I just trimmed a brach off a hawthorn in my yard yesterday, now “those” are thorns.

It has been very healthy for me. When I used to grow Ballerina, it would mildew in the fall right before dormant season. Bukavu is also stalkier with larger blooms which makes it easier to prune and maintain. Another idea is First Light (Bonica and Ballerina, I forgot which breeding order)but Im not sure how fertile it is. Judith Singer used it before. You may want to ask her.

‘Therese Bugnet’ and ‘Lillian Gibson’ are the best rosa blanda hybrids I’ve come across. I didn’t really appreciate ‘Lillian Gibson’ at first, but once it is fully grown it is a spectacular show.

One sure way to tell if your rose seedlings are hybrids is to wait for the rose hips. I think rosa arkansana is tetraploid. Rosa blanda is diploid. If it is a cross of the two it will be sterile, and the hips will shrink and fall off.

By the way, what part of North America are you in Mr Geurts? That may have give some indication if your origional blanda may be a natural hybrid and have diverse offspring.

You might find the key below somewhat useful in helping to separate the species - note that acicularis falls under the “stems bristly to tips or nearly so” category, while blanda and woodsii are listed as having their prickles almost exclusively on the basal portion of the cane.

I’ve seen enough of blanda to believe that what grows wild near my home isn’t purely that species; beyond that I’m not sure, and I’ve thrown around the name R. x dulcissima before as a guess.

Link: www.bulbnrose.com/Roses/breeding/species.htm

This key can be “somewhat useful” but it can also be very misleading in using it to identify species. For example, Rosa acicularis does not have “stems bristly to tips.” It is only bristly in the stout portion of the stem. Also, Rosa woodsii does not have prickles “almost exclusively on the basal portion of the cane.” In fact, many genotypes have prickles nearly to the end of the stems.

I doubt there is such a species as Rosa x dulcissima. This is one botanist’s conclusion many years ago and it keeps being repeated as fact. But where is the evidence? Botanists fail to understand there is a wide variation in the appearance of Rosa woodsii genotrypes.

I note that Rosa x dulcissima is on a check list of the plants of the Delta Marsh area of Lake Manitoba. Well, I’ve botanized the roses of that area and there is no way that Rosa x dulcissima could be distinguished from Rosa woodsii. Someone concluded that a relatively thornless genotype (sorry botany police, “prickless” doesn’t seem to work) of Rosa woodsii must be a hybrid of Rosa woodsii and Rosa blanda.

It’s interesting that Rosa rousseauiorum and Rosa williamsii, rare roses in eastern Quebec have recently been identified as Rosa blanda by means of molecular markers. I expect molecular markers would also prove that Rosa x dulcissima is Rosa woodsii. Furthermore, I think there is a good chance that Rosa woodsii and Rosa blanda will eventually be proved to be the same species. It’s interesting that both species are diploids and I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Regardless of whether Rosa x dulcissima and Rosa woodsii are the same species or not, a hybrid with Rosa acicularis or Rosa moyesii (and I believe I’ve accomplished the latter) would bring it up to the tetraploid level. When it is, it should be more valuable to use in breeding programs than using Rosa woodsii at the diploid level.