R. gymnocarpa

I have seen no evidence that there have been any hybrids of R. gymnocarpa created. Does anyone know if there are any hybrids or not? I have access to many nice clones of this species and have found it to be highly fertile as a pollen parent, as evidenced by an experimental cross on ‘Rise ‘n’ Shine’ last year. (Seeds are still stratifying)

I chose this for three reasons: 1) It was there. 2) This species prefers shade to open exposures. 3) It is not very thorny.

Perhaps some curious new traits will emerge from this species? Has anyone else attempted it?


I don’t know of any hybrids. I haven’t tried it simply because it is diploid. It does well in the shade here, but does need more water than local species. One of its common names is “dwarf rose”. The leaflets and flowers on mine are smaller than most other west coast species, but the plant itself isn’t particularly small. How big are yours?

Good luck with it, and please let us know how it works out.


I’m not concerned about its ploidy; these things have a way of working themselves out.

The plants I have access to are about 5 feet tall on average, some larger, some smaller. The foliage and flowers are always quite small, though. I’m really interested in the plant’s shade preference and I’m willing to work through the ploidy issue. In fact I may intentionally choose to mate it with other diploids to avoid a problem, at least in the first generation. ‘Oakington Ruby’ is a known diploid and it can introduce remontancy, so I think that will be my first real venture with R. gymnocarpa. We shall see what happens.


In the Spring 1981 issue of the RHA Newsletter, Don Nielson reported having F1 and F2 descendents of Don Juan x R. gynocarpa. He also had three generations of an unspecified HT x R. woodsii.

His gynocarpa came ‘from along the riverbank’, presumably a tributary of the Yakima. He had collected some of his woodsii from “300 feet above the timberline” outside his hometown of Toppenish, which he hoped would be a source of winter hardiness.

The winter of 1978-79 was a hardiness trial-by-fire for his breeding stock and the plants he reported surviving included miscellaneous HT crosses, whose parents he lists, and the woodsii and gymnocarpa progeny. May, 1980 was, of course, the eruption of Mt. Saint Helen.

He had offered up budwood in that issue, no record of any takers.

Does anyone know what became of his work?

You might look for his family. I suspect that his family did not share his passion for roses, but perhaps they have kept some of his roses as a memorial of sorts–unlabeled, probably, if kept.

I grew one of his Command Performance x R. woodsii shrubs. It was very pretty (light pink, with HT form in a 2" flower on a 6’ bush), but probably triploid. It would not set seed, and I was not successful with its pollen on several crosses.


Thanks, Peter.

I’ve been going over my collection of old newsletters and happened to see his article and thought it would be of interest. There is a lot of knowledge and experience buried in these. You wrote quite a lot in them, yourself.