Predictability of cresting and mossing trait

Is there any way to determine the percentagesprobability of cresting and mossing in seedlings? I plan on using Rise N Shine and Cal Poly as seed parents and Chapeau de Napoleon as the pollen parent. I’m also figuring that about 50% will be pink, 25% yellow and the remainder, who knows. If I have read things correctly the miniature trait is dominant and I should expect the majority to be minis.

I’ve tried to go through the lineage in Helpmefind for these roses and figure this out, but then the light bulb came on. Only those that make the breeders’ cut are kept and grown on. I know this is alot to ask in one thread, but I would appreciate input from others with experience with this.


I am guessing a lot of whites, too.

My only experiecne is with goldmoss. Not sure how many mossing alleles it carries but it doesn’t transit very often to reblooming seedlings with several climbers or shrub roses that I use it with. The long-lasting petals and color come through well but not the mossing.

Mini is semidominant so you’ll get reblooming smaller bushes but a lot of big once-blooming if you have patience to wait for them. Do not be surprised if the mossing is linked to once-blooming trait. I suspect that’s why Ralph Moore had such a time developing modern mini-mosses.


I was using Steve McCulloch’s page on the ARS for color predictability (link below). It’s interesting you are assuming a number of whites, but he doesn’t mention it. Guess I’ll see what happens next spring if I can get some seedlings.


I wasn’t really expecting re-bloom in the first generation. Can I infer from your comment is that miniaturism may be connected with blooming habit?



Another question that is slightly off subject. I’ve been reading through a bunch of sites and have notice in HMF that some roses are kept for breeding only and others released to public sale. How does one determine what to keep for breeding only?


I’ve never gotten any of the crested-type moss, but it’s been my experience with Fa’s Marbled Moss and Nightmoss that about 2/3 of the seedlings will be (damask/resin gland) mosses, with about half the remainder being lightly mossed (too lightly to be a true moss rose) and the rest without any moss at all. 2/3 is a kind of wonky number when it comes to genetics, but those are the results after die-off due to albinism, cats and, alas, downy mildew…

As to what to keep and what to introduce, I will preface by saying that I am -very- new to this and have no idea what I’m talking about, but what I’m thinking is this. If it’s extravagantly mossed, has spots (in my case), is not pink (there’s more than enough of those) and has a good fragrance, I might consider introducing it if I’m feeling particularly brave or forward. If it’s missing one of those traits but is outstanding in other respects, I keep it for breeding. Two or more makes it (I almost hate to say this) too common, and I plant it in the irrigation ditch because I’m too much of a sucker to throw out something I worked so hard on.

Which reminds me, when the registration for Toujours Gai came out, it was listed as “No fragrance.” It actually has a strong fragrance of a fine soap. Will they change that for me if I ask nicely? :smiley:


The results you get will depend on what roses you select as parents. Traits like mossing and cresting (two distinct traits genetically) will be passed on far more often and with greater intensity if you cross OGR type to OGR type. If you cross an OGR type with mossing/cresting onto a modern rose to start down the road to remontant mosses, then the trait will be evident in the offspring far less often. In fact, some parents you choose might result in the complete absence of the trait in the progeny. I could go into more detail on this matter but I think you would learn more by reading some of Ralph Moore’s papers on the subject:

Ralph Moore’s eBook on Modern Moss Roses

Ralph Moore on Crested Roses

1967 article on breeding Moss Roses

Sorry, the forum won’t allow me to post HTML links anymore, so you will have to copy and paste these URLs.

If you have further questions on the subject, feel free to ask me. I can also supply you with pollen from some very interesting and potentially useful mossed/crested seedlings in a few weeks time.




I read through the articles you suggested (again) and printed them this time around. I’m feeling the urge to order more roses again, but with a better direction. I looked back at my first post here and what you said about my breeding goal, “wash, rinse and repeat.” Hopefully I can eliminate a few wash cycles by building on Mr. Moore’s work.

You offer of pollen is really appreciated.


Hi Jeff,

I have done very little with crested breeding and have had even fewer good results (read none!) I think that there must be separate “on-off” type genes that are present that complicate working with this objective in mind. It is not straight forward breeding recessive with dominant traits.

With mosses, I have had more luck and though the trait expression is variable (similar to what you see with the Hulthemias), you will see much quicker results. See below for the variability of the mossing - softer mossing on the left, to more “spikey” mossing on the right.

As for breeding with intermediates, you may find that you are part way to your goal and the genetic material is present in these, but not fully expressed. These intermediates are extremely important to achieving your goals, but generally unexciting to the general population.

Jim Sproul

When you have time, do a search on Charles Darwin and Roses.

Here’s one link to his observations and what he was told about mossing:


Thanks for the input and photos. I will definately order a few of the intermediates as you and others have suggested.

My primary interest in pursuing the cresting and mossing is more for personal satisfaction just to see if I can do it. It sort of gives me an excuse to get rid of the backyard grass (I hate mowing) and fill it in with roses. My question earlier about what to keep for breeding or commercialization was basically to see if there is/are some characteristic(s) that stand out that I should be looking for. For one new to hybridizing, it seems that the two should be the same.