prairie dawn seedling

I have been growing an OP seedling of Prairie Dawn. Though it has yet to bloom, in growth, leaf, and stem it is almost identical to a Dr Merkley rose growing nearby.

I mention this plant only because from what I’ve read in this forum, it seems that DM is not known for being fertile. Also I get different accounts of Prairie Dawn’s suitability as a seed parent.

Any insight on either of these two plants and the likelihood that the assumed cross actually has occured? I am patiently waiting to see what sort of flowers this rose produces.


I have been watching your post with curiosity hoping someone else would answer. I too have ‘Dr.Merkeley’ growing near ‘Prairie Dawn’ and look forward to how your seedling turns out. This is the fifth sumer for Dr. Merkeley and I haven’t looked for hips yet but I did have one a few years ago with 1 seed. It was the first time I tried germinating rose seed and didn’t have a procedure in place so I can’t say if it was my fault or the the seed wasn’t viable, but it did not germinate.


cm, how old is your Prairie Dawn seedling?


The PD seedling is about 4 years old and growing in a pot, and I desperately need to plant in the ground. I have a feeling it will never develop potted the way it is (long story on why it isn’t in the ground yet.) It is in my garden a little hardier than PD and noticeably more disease resistant as well(aside from the first year.) The only distinguishing feature from DM is that the prickles (both the look and arrangement) are closer to PD than DM.

Leo- I too had a hip collected from DM the same year I gathered this hip from PD. There were 4 seeds in it and I was very excited. Alas they never germinated. I wonder if the plant had a moment of spontaneous partial fertility that year and made the hip and possibly a little viable pollen that made its way to PD.



This year my Prairie Dawn seedling flowered for the first time and the blooms were absolutely identical to Dr Merkeley. This seedling could VERY easily be confused with Dr Merkeley. I have no clue as to the fertility as there were very few OP hips this year on any of my roses, I assume due to extremely wet weather and few bees.

A side note: I had theorized that DM was actually a hybrid of some sort with an Old Garden Rose (say a Damask or something) however this seedling gives me very serious doubts about that. Because it is so nearly identical to DM I believe its pollen parent (DM) must be homozygous- a species not a hybrid.

Just some thoughts.



I counted Dr. Merkeley this year and it is triploid, which is consistent with its low fertility. Before we had the plant bloom strongly and could identify it confidently as Dr. Merkeley, we identified it as likely a Damask rose and that is what is reported in the abstract. Dr. Ben Lockhart and Dimitre Mollov have found a new virus in it and we have been working with characterizing it. Since that time we found other Dr. Merkeley plants in town that do not have the virus, so the virus is hopefully not widespread in Dr. Merkeley. The virus has been named Rose yellow vein virus (RoYVV).