Potential parents for warm colored polyantha

I greatly enjoy working with polyantha roses and would love to get warm colors into them. It’s been a struggle. I chromosome doubled diploid polyanthas to have tetraploids to cross with modern miniatures and such. It has worked kind of okay, but the hybrids seem to be basically miniatures (like Honeybee pictured on the members showcase). I would really love to bring warm colors into fertile diploid lines. Can someone suggest some warm roses that might serve as a good bridge? I got ‘Softee’ this past fall hoping it can do that. A chromosome count showed it is triploid, but I still had hope it would be fertile enough to bridge to the 2x level with polyanthas. The crosses I’ve made onto it through the winter have not been taking and others have confirmed that it is a very challenging parent.

I read about some of the warm colored hybrid musk roses like ‘Buff Beauty’. I think it supposed to be triploid. What experience have people had with the warm colored hybrid musks? Are there other roses people know of that might work?



The most charming swirl of warm colors already in polyanthas belongs to Leonie Lamesch. A somewhat old fashioned pallet, but there’s a lot to work with there.

Pretty much unknown is the recently found rose from Roses Unlimited first sold as Belmont Orange and recently sold as Golden Salmon Superior. GSS is a strong grower with deep red orange blooms that often sport to a strong cerise red (this is historically a typical kind of thing in the Orleans Rose line of polys.) I think RU has sold some of the sports as Belmont Red. I have Paul Crampel and his orange shade is less intense with less depth although if I remember correctly he’s supposed to have pelargonin (?sp) in his blooms.

From a different line of polys, Verdun has phenomenal depth of color and really interesting capabilities to almost glow in the evening dusk.

I don’t see Buff Beauty as warm, but rather as cool golden swirls with variations. Cornelia has more colors to offer.

I would wonder if some of the purple FLs could bring in more depth of color International Herald Tribune comes to mind.

Hi David,

I have a couple of suggestions listed below, the majority are Noisettes with the exception of Sunshine, a polyantha with Noisette parentage.


I have hopes for Heinrich Karsch along those lines. One parent of HK was Joan, an orange/orange blend Hybrid Musk. Trier is a grandparent. My plant of HK was a first year plant in a pot last year, so I’ve had limited results so far. I have a number of OP seedlings which currently have buds on them. I should be able to pass along more info when they’ve bloomed. Only one OP seedling has bloomed so far. The bloom was a single pink. This seedling is much smaller than it’s siblings and had what I would consider a typical polyantha bud on it (small, smooth and nearly round). All the other OP HK seedlings that currently have buds on them are larger and more vigorous than this seedling. All the buds are much larger, are not rounded, and are ornamented. I also have 3 seedlings from Perle d’Or X HK. Two have bloomed with single or nearly single pink flowers. The third has a bloom opening on it now and appears to be more of a salmon shade. All three seedlings are healthy and vigorous. I have one seedling from HK X Martha Gonzales. No buds or blooms yet. This is a very dwarf seedling, although it appears healthy.

HK appears very fertile. I have found Martha Gonzales to be a challenging parent to work with, so the fact that I have a seedling from it with HK is encouraging (I only had two seeds and I got the one seedling). HK also appears to accept pollen from a wide variety of roses. I have a rose that is the result of a cross of a rugosa seedling and a palustris seedling (the parent of the palustris seedling came from seeds I got from you a number of years ago when I lived in Alabama). This plant bloomed for the first time last year, just a few blooms very early in the season. HK was blooming at the time, so I pollinated several HK blooms with pollen from one bloom of the rugosa X palustris cross. A number of hips formed, but several weeks after that we had a violent windstorm and all my markers indicating the crosses were blown off my plant of HK. I know there were some seeds from that cross among my OP seeds from HK, but I have no idea if any of the current OP seedlings are from that cross. Time should tell.


William Allen Richardson, another good yellow and decendant of Reve d’Or.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=6578

Sunshine (polyantha, Robichon, 1927), not the healthiest or most vigorous plant in my experience but good warm colour and good petal substance.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=6116

And finally, Alister Stella Gray. no experience with that one but it looks promising.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=144

David, I think you might also want to check out ‘Mevrouw Nathalie Nypels’. Its grandparent was Rosa foetida bicolor - and while it is a pink rose, it seems to have inherited fragrance from its unusual background. Its list of descendants reveals that it can impart warmer colors and fragrance to its seedlings. Since it is the probable result of diploid-triploid cross itself, and appears to have some fertility, it might be a willing parent in your efforts. It is also quite healthy from what I’ve heard.

‘Mevrouw Nathalie Nypels’ mildewed rather badly here this Spring.I am shovel pruning it at the next opportunity.

Breeding at diploid level is tempting… but there are only quickly fading yellows unless relying on xanthina and allied sp.

Arethusa a tea noisette is probably the best diploid yellow fertile and easily compatible with polys. However it is barely more yellow than Perle d’Or. That is as much as Sunshine, William Allen Richardson or Duchesse d’Auerst

Danae has thrown strong yellow for me. Also, salmon pinks.

I’ve only heard reports on ‘Mevrouw Nathalie Nypels’ from the humid East, where blackspot is the main source of disease pressure. It’s good to know that it mildews in the West - certainly that will help with choosing mates!

This has been a really bad year for mildew here.

It’s good to know I can get rid of about 90% of the roses in my garden.