R. bracteata?

What exactly is so special about it? I would hazzard a guess that it is mildew resistant. However, I do see blackspot on it every great once in a while. The thorns are absolutely painful. The growth is a bit twiggy and it isnt all that fertile. The pros, to me, seem to be the ease of propagation, the neat foliage feel and the really cool fuzzy buds. Am I missing something?

One of my goals is breeding evergreen Winter blooming roses.

In my climate R. bracteata qualifies. Yes, it is easy to propagate. No, it’s not perfect.

Ahhh, that makes sense. I was using it before because it was mentioned and I was curious. But there really is no reason for me to use it even thought the idea of modern roses with those cool buds does sound intriguing.

I really like bracteata as a species but I’m considering removing mine. As you’ve mentioned it’s incredibly prickly and difficult to work with in in hybridizing. I have several seedlings of clinophylla x bracteata x OP now. Those seem more intrigueing and possibly easier to work with.

R. bracteata is the one rose that Dr. Jim Amrine and Dr. Abdullah Kassar found to be resistant to Rose Rosette Disease. The resistance was based on something different from what we might expect; the mites that transmit RRD don’t recognize the leaves of bracteata as rose leaves, so they leave. If they don’t stay, they don’t transmit RRD. (The Drs. did graft infect bracteata.)

So…to my mind bracteata leaves are about the best rose leaves out there.


As Robert said, it’s definitely not perfect. But, it does have some potential as a parent, in spite of how contrary it can be in that department.

The reasons I like it are:


  1. It is so different from most other species that I work with. I’m expecting that it should carry some novel genetic material to add to the modern rose gene pool.

  2. It has a long bloom season - usually described as repeat blooming. There aren’t very many repeat blooming species.

  3. It has good resistance to the local rose diseases. I never did see any blackspot or mildew on it here. Although it occassionally had a little bit of some sort of leaf spot in the fall. It isn’t cold hardy, and I lost it one bad winter.

  4. The flowers have a fruity “banana-like” [to me] fragrance. And good substance – thick petals.

Repeat flowering in a species is a good point. Ay any rate, I gave mine to a friend. He can make beter use from it. I think Im going to stick to Rosa virginiana, rugosa, californica and roxburghii. If I had a lot of land, time and money, Id probably collect all the species I could. There seems to be a lot of rare unknowns out there with potential to be discovered.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of first generation offspring of R. bracteata will be once-bloomers. No matter how many generations from the species you go, the once-blooming trait will tend to follow, regardless of the parents used. Still, a very worthwhile species for breeding work.