Queen Elizibeth and ploidy

I was just informed the QE is a hexaploid. Is this true?

QE is probably tetraploid. One of its parents is Charlotte Armstrong, which is almost certainly tetraploid. The other is Floradora, which acts like a tetraploid. The parentage of Floradora is supposed to be Baby Chateau X R. roxburghii, which would make it a triploid. Many people doubt that parentage. Floradora doesn’t appear to have any roxburghii characteristics. There was an article about it in one of the old Rose Annuals. I’ll try to look it up tonight.

Floradora is a favorite of mine and I also have seen the pollen parent listed as R. roxburghii and as R. multibracteata (Modern Roses III, Kordes, and Shepherd). The article Jim Turner is referring to is in the 1954 American Rose Annual.

It is entitled “NOTES ON THE BREEDING BEHAVIOR OF ROSA ROXBURGHII AND ROSA MULTIBRACTEATA” BY Dr. H. D. Wulff, Botanical Institute of the University of Kiel, Germany, p. 73-77. He states that,

" Mr. Tantau personally informed me that three of his best hybrid polyantha roses, Floradora, Kathe Duvigneau, and Cinnabar ( in German, Tantau’s Triumph) had originated from a cross between Baby Chateau as mother and Rosa Roxburghii ( not R. multibracteata!) as father plant "

He goes on to state that Baby Chateau is a tetraploid and R. Roxburghii is known to be a diploid which would be expected to lead to triploid offspring in all three cases… he states

" It is a very remarkable fact that my cytological investigations proved all of them to be tetraploids."

He goes on to state that Mr. Tantau crossed a HT Cerise with R. Roxburghii and the hybrid #46534 turned out also to be a fertile tetraploid.

He is unable to give a precise reason for this but speculates that the mechanism for increased chromosomes in the progeny could be due to:

“1) R. Roxburghii is existing not only in diploid but tetraploid races 2) if diploid, R. Roxburghii is producing unreduced pollen grains in a rather high amount3) the chromosomes of R. Roxburghii are undergoing a supernumerary splitting shortly before or after fertilization”

and concludes that further investigation is needed.

He also mentions that Kordes’ Eva, a cross between diploid Robin Hood and tetraploid HT J.C. Thornton, turned out to be a highly fertile tetraploid instead of the expected triploid.

He points out another remarkable fact (which I have seen stated before, leading to questioning the pollen parent) is that the above Tantau roses

“…did not show any traces of the male parent, R. Roxburghii in their morphology. The first three roses are true hybrid polyanthas, the latter (46534)is a true hybrid tea, indicating thus that the genes which are responsible for the respective characters of growth habit and for many characters of shape and size of flowers, fruits, leaves and spines are dominant to the allelic genes of R. Roxburghii. Only anatomical studies revealed a certain similarity and relationship to the latter species.”

There is a gold mine of information in these old Rosa Annuals which are not readily accessible to most of us. I borrowed this froma botanic library. When renewing my ARS membership and signing up for the OGR newsletter this past week, I mentioned to the membership director or one of the other directors that it would be nice if the old American Rose Annuals could be scanned to CD’s and sold for a fair price. Once the masters are made, making copies costs small change and their sale would be a source of revenue to the ARS. She mentioned she would bring the matter up to the new executive director. I would personally prefer to have a book in my hand but being retired, I can’t afford to buy many of the early annuals. I feel these CD’s would be a great reference source for many people. If you agree, why not make a call to ARS and suggest it also.


Queen Elizabeth must be a tetraploid, although I have no actual evidence, other then that it’s very easy to hybridize it with other tetraploids.

Jim P. I love that idea, but it seems that there are some legalitiese that I don’t really know of that prevents this from happening. But I’ve been buying old ARS annuals, and scanning them on my scanner. But I don’t have time, and I can’t really do a lot in one session. There are a gold mind of info, and I’m looking out for the other rose annuals from Europe.

Has anybody worked with R. Roxburghii since Tantau?


I have checked every ARA that I have had access to as well as my own and the American Rose Society has the copyright to all I have perused: that goes from 1943-1954 so far. I also noticed in the early 1940 Annuals that even though McFarland’s printed the books, the copyright in the books still is by the ARS. Another thing, if I am not mistaken, copyright normally only is good for 50 years so that means the volumes through 1953 are up for grabs unless the ARS has renewed their copyright which I am sure costs money and therefore doubt it. There is NO WAY that they could NOT legally reprint these annuals in a CD format (I am not a lawyer however but as a retired librarian, I am 99.44% sure I am right). I know you have been buying the old manuals and I think it’s great Frankly, I find these old annuals fascinating. If you look at lots of the articles, many of them were written by the rose breeders themselves or others like WULFF who did a lot of rose research. His article on R. Kordesii in I believe the 1953 issue is wonderful. Jumped ahead to some from the seventies and just a quick glance seems to indicate the quality is dropping; even the photograph formats don’t make me want to buy the roses as these earlier annuals do.

Frankly, anyone whose rose growing emphasis is on current rose show competitions would very probably NOT be interested in this since their thrust is on current exhibition HT’s and mini’s almost exclusively and I understand this. However,I think ANYONE interested in hybridizing, rose history, the OGR’s or roses bred,introduced, and grown during the early to mid 20th century would find the old annuals not only interesting reading but a great source of information for their hobby/career. When I worked as a college librarian, we had to save many of the old journals for the students’ research and academic needs, years and years of them. Many of those publishers were putting their journal archives onto CD’s. I remember discussing this with the Director of Computer Services in the mid-nineties and at that time, he said copying CD’s from a master cost about 10 cents a CD.


When I served on the American Rose Society National Historical Committee, my pet project was to get the old Rose Annuals on to CD. I proposed that we post an internet request for volunteers to scan a few annuals each. We could never get approval to start the project.

McFarland had the copyright on the annuals up to the early 40s.

The web digital U.S. copyright information does not go back far enough to see if these copyrights were renewed. A hand search would be required.

Therese Bugnet & Hansa readily accept pollen from R. roxburghii. I’ve given up on Hansa as the seedlings are too thorny. I’ve gotten seeds from roxburghii pollen on tetraploids in the past, but with no germinations. Currently I have op seedlings from Therese Bugnet that show roxburghii characteristics. They grow side by side. My TB x roxburghii seeds from this year have not yet germinated. It will be interesting to compare them with the op seedlings.