Question on 'Gypsy Boy'

Wile researching some Bourbon roses I came across this,

Gypsy Boy = seedling of Russelliana

Russelliana = Setigera x Multiflora

Is a Bourbon rose just a shape and idea or is it lineage?

thanks all,

paul e

There really aren’t any rules as to what roses may be classified Bourbon. If the hybridizer thinks a seedling is Bourbon-like, then he or she may call it a Bourbon. Botanica’s Roses says this about Gipsy Boy: “Some classify it as a China and others as a Tea”. Rose classifications are driven as much by commercial considerations as by lineage and appearance.

Thanks Jim.

I guess this just adds to the confusion.

paule e

Considering that the pedigree of Gipsy boy is Russeliana (diplo

I’ve grown ‘Gypsy Boy’ for about eight years, maybe more. Once blooming with never a hint of fall repeat.

When I read the Russeliana connection, I stopped and reread it. I would NEVER have guessed. I’ve seen a massive Russeliana (to the extent I didn’t want to grow it) and I know both Setigera and Multiflora. Nope, never would have guessed there was any kinship at all.

I do wonder where the deep, strong color came from.

And as to setting seed, GB set O.P. seed easily in my garden where it was first surrounded by Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals in one direction and lots of Noisettes in the other.

It earned a move to the fenceline because the hip color clashed with everything for four months every fall.

Thank you Ann, very interesting.

Perhaps an other bee-pollination or label mistake in the Rudolf Geschwind’s garden some year’s ago :slight_smile:

I’m no expert on old roses, but I have grown Russelliana for a number of years. I agree with a friend of mine who also grows it that it is a hybrid of a Gallica rose and R. multiflora. Its leaves are Gallica-like, except for the very multiflora-like stipules. The flowers are very Gallica-like. The bush is like an elongated Gallica or very short climber (I grow mine without support and it is a sprawling bush). It is only slightly fertile, making a few OP hips that contain small numbers of seeds that can germinate. Its limited fertility is consistent with it being a triploid, as one would expect from Gallica X R. multiflora. It is more hardy than most Gallicas.

Roger Mitchell, Big Rapids, Michigan, USDA zone 5

FWIW Russeliana used to grow at Antique Rose Emporium in Dahlonaga Georgia. I thought one of my ‘found’ roses might be Russeliana, but when I saw their two story high Russeliana there …it was reaching for sunlight next to the two story main building.

Thanks Roger and Ann. Roger, my guess was that GB is a triploid. Thanks for pointing out that a Gallica coud be the tetraploid parent.

I crossed GB (pollen) with Mozart and Trier (both diploid)

I remembered reading something about GB’s ancestory in David Austin’s English Roses that I thought was interesting. My copy of the book is packed away but I found this on HMF:

"Excessively vigorous

Based on Austin’s findings, I think it’d be worth crossing it with roses unlike the disease magnet, Chianti. Gypsy Boy x Jude the Obscure sounds good to my ears.

In yet another example of “your mileage may vary” I grow Chianti on a fence line where it’s never sprayed, watered or pampered. It keeps enough leaves to maintain its health to pump out blooms en masse every spring, so that horse back riders (on fragrant horses) stop to sniff the blooms as they ride by.


I crossed Gypsy Boy with several of Austin’s roses. Unfortunately I didn’t get to set them up in the fridge for a number of years but I’m hoping to still get some germination. I like your idea of GB x JtO. That could bring some interesting results.

Chianti literally defoliates here. It’s pattern is: huge bloom ,and then backspot from head to toe, and then naked one month later, lol.

I hate when that happens. lol