Recommended Moss hybrid?

I have one or two open spots in my tiny breeding garden and would like to add a mossed hybrid.

Scarlet Moss is high on my list because it has a lot of moss in the photos at HMF and the foliage looks great too. I was thinking maybe also Crested Jewel because it is crested but it doesn’t look to be especially mossy.

Are there any others from Mr. Moore besides Elegant Design and Crested Sweetheart, neither of which appear to have abundant moss? Does anyone have an opinion on which way to go?



Scarlet Moss is hard to beat as a potential breeder. I’ve experimented with many of the Moore Moss varieties and Scarlet Moss is by far the best for breeding. It isn’t very good as a seed parent, but its a very powerful pollen parent.

The Crested roses are not related to the Mosses at all, its a different characteristic from Mossing. However, if you want one of these to work with, Crested Jewel is the one to have.


lol I learned the hard way that Scarlet Moss sets one huge seed per hip :frowning:

I would love to see healthy moss/floribundas or moss/shrublets in the future. I think that combo would be wonderful for the modern garden.


The Crested roses are not related to the Mosses at all, its a different characteristic from Mossing.

This is really interesting. I was really confused on this but it is more clear to me now on re-reading this passage from Mr. Moore’s article on Karl King’s website:

“The crested moss differs from the previous (thorn) type of moss rose by the manner of mossing and the relative lack of thorns. In this type the mossing is confined to the margins of the sepals and instead of consisting of thorns and oil glands the “moss” is made up of excrescences, or abnormal growth, extending from the edges of the sepals.”

So then if I read this correctly, mossing comes in two forms - one more or less all over the plant, and the other only on the fringes of the crested sepals. Mossing of the sepal fringes also inherits separately from the cresting trait, and so far the mossed sepals from the Crested Moss have not co-occurred with the cresting trait on any of Mr. Moore’s hybrids.

Another thing that Mr. Moore said in this article is “research has shown that the moss is only a genetically remodeled thorn”. I once grew the Common Moss, and I’m not sure I agree with this but do wonder what research he is referring to. Would you have any idea?

Jadae, you’ve mentioned shrublets a few times. Is there a rose that would serve as your model for this ideotype?


Home Run. Knock Out. Baby Love (it’s in between mini and shurblet, but it gets to 3.5’ x 3.5’). Midnight Blue. Champlain. Carefree Sunshine. etc.

–basically a floribunda-sized shrub. Theyre generally free blooming, bushy and of a landscaper’s dream in size. lol. They also often have superior branching habits, so their plant form is often asthetic in nature similar to some floribundas (not all).

Theyre in contrast to the likes of mid-sized shrubs like Cherry Meidiland, Bonica or Erfurt. And much in contrast to large shrubs like Golden Wings, Nevada or Blac double de Coubert.

I prefer shrublets because of the variation in color/form they have while making a good splash of color into the landscape continuously. I tend to think of roses in terms of landscaping or ornamental horticulture, so being useful in this regard always interests me a lot. This is why I distinctly dislike exhibition HT’s and OGR’s alike. They give little bang for the buck for the May-June-July-August-September growing season.

When I was ordering from Moore a couple of months ago for my daughter, Adair, and asked for their advice on what to get for a hybridizing program, Scarlet Moss and Joycie were at the top of the list, but they were out of Joycie. Also told me that they did not use Fuzzy Wuzzy in their breeding programs – bought one anyway on impulse and maybe I see why it wasn’t so high on their list – Adair tells me it is the only rose in her garden with blackspot – even her Hulthmia doesn’t have it – yet. She is digging it up and replacing it with one of the Joycies we were lucky enough to get. I used to use Fairy Moss, but it is just a fun rose that is easy to propogate – never got anything anyone but me would have kept.

Jadae: Am very interested in your recommendations. Cl. Carefree Sunshine is already on Adair’s list for next season as is Home Run. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with them as well as Midnight Blue and Champlain (never heard of it) – how prolific are they, how disease resistant and how fertile are they? Many thanks Bob Williams

Crested Sweetheart… I’ve worked with it in SEVERAL YEARS, and I have never had any luck. I at one time took 100 flowers to get enough anthers, and pollinated it with Queen Elizabeth, which is my most fertile rose.

Never took…

I still work with it, but I’ve taken another route lately… Crested Jewel and an openly pollinated seedling of it which has moderate cresting. I think inbreeding Crested Jewel may produce a rose with the equal amount of cresting as Crested Sweetheart.

One time, I remember, someone said they had a fertile sport of Crested Seetheart, a semi-double. After that, I don’t know.

But do get Scarlet Moss. It’s such a pretty rose, and Paul’s raised many other roses from it.

I have a seedling of Scarlet Moss X Fakir’s Delight, and it is my first VERY mossy seedling. It took two years too bloom, but I think it’s worth the wait.

‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Red’ is a selfing of ‘Scarlet Moss’ and shows a loss of vigor as a result. It does bloom more freely in my climate, but I would absolutely go back to ‘Scarlet Moss’ for breeding.

I’ve done work with many Moore Moss varieties and very few of them make good parents. ‘Fairy Moss’ which was the first commercial Mini Moss from Moore is a very willing seed parent, and ever damn seed germinates. However, the vast majority of seedlings will be poor: lacking vigor entirely. I can’t imagine how many thousands of seedlings Ralph grew from ‘Fairy Moss’ in order to get the few decent offspring he kept. I’d go back one generation and use “!2-59-10” (Pinocchio X William Lobb) instead and mate it to something with excellent vigor and proceed from there.

Both ‘Goldmoss’ and ‘Rougemoss’ have been evaluated by Moore and found to be of little value as breeders. I did some work with both a few years ago and can say that I agree with his assessment. ‘Goldemoss’ inherited both its color and mossing from Pedro Dot’s ‘Golden Moss’ through Moore’s “Orange Moss”, aka “O.M.” which is a brilliant orange sherbet color with great fragrance. I have done some with with “O.M.” and would continue working with that as a good source of interesting genes.

There is another unregistered Moore Moss some of us have referred to as “Nutshop” a nickname Burling gave it when she found it lurking on the Sequoia property. “Nutshop” is actually (‘Scheoner’s Nutkana’ X ‘Christopher Stone’) X “O.M.” It has dark blackish moss and passes the trait on fairly easily. It also tends to produce bicolors with a different color on the petal reverse. Like “O.M.” its a once bloomer with latent remontancy genes in it.

Another good breeder is ‘Dresden Doll’, which will produce mostly pinks, but it is an easy seed setting and I’ve seen it produce some nice things. But if you want color AND mossing, ‘Scarlet Moss’ is still the #1 choice of the lot.



I’m close to you (on the MS coast) and I’m afraid Scarlet Moss isn’t nearly as healthy here as reported above. I’ve grown it for several years. It defoliates several times each summer (blackspot) and regularly dies back for no apparent reason. It is more vigorous here than any other miniature I’ve tried (it survived for more than a week in my garage after Hurricane Katrina in 90+ temperatures while Sequoia Ruby and Suntan Beauty expired) but the plant appears to be slowly declining. I’ve also found it most useful as a pollen parent, although I have also used it with some limited success as a seed parent. My plant is in a large pot and has never been in the ground, which might be the cause of some of its issues. I think I’m going to plant it this fall and see if I can stop its decline.


Paul: Thanks for observations. You say go back to 12-59-10, but where would I get that. I am always reading in these forums about roses that are just numbers and everyone (but me) seems to have them and know what they are talking about. Where is everyone (but me) getting these numbered but unnamed roses? That is one of the reasons Adair was so excited about the possible budding of two of your own numbered bracteatas, not just because she tried to buy every bracteata on the market as the group that interested her most (Mermaid is her favorite rose – she has 5!), but because then she, too, could talk in numbers instead of names. How are numbers chosen? Why do they always seem to be in ##-##-## format? Thanks, Bob

Mark: My daughter Adair has a number of new roses in pots – is there any risk of the pots overheating in this climate. When you say that you suspect that your scarlet moss being in a pot may contribute to its lack of vigor do you think that pots may just get too hot in our climate without the surrounding earth to insulate them and help them distribute the heat? So far her scarlet mosses have done well, but they are brand new plants and the color is one of her favorites. I doubt if she will be lucky enough to dodge the blackspot bullet much longer. Also, are you familiar with Countryside Roses, an MS coast nursery – they were the first we ordered from and they were super helpful and amazingly candid about the weaknesses of various varieties. We started with them because we knew that they would know our climate – they were wiped out by Katrina and we were glad to help with their resurrection by ordering from them early this year. Their roses have exceeded expectations. Regards, Bob Williams


Adair will have to be very careful with the potted roses. Yes, I do think the additional heat that the root system of my Scarlet Moss is exposed to by being in a pot may be one reason it’s having problems. A bigger problem for all potted roses here is that they dry out very quickly. I’ve lost a few that way, and I never expose the pots to full sun.

I’m very familiar with Countryside Roses. Lisa is wonderful, and I’ve both visited the nursery and ordered online from her. I’ll certainly do both again. She’s very helpful.

12-59-10 is one of Ralph Moore’s (just retired from Sequoia Nursery in Visalia, CA) breeding plants. Sometimes plants that are never released commercially are not named. As I understand it (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) 12 refers to the cross number, 59 the year, and 10 the number of that particular seedling from that cross that year. 12-59-10 is a cross of Pinocchio X William Lobb. The number means that the cross of Pinocchio X William Lobb was cross number 12 in Mr. Moore’s breeding records for the year 1959, and this seedling was the 10th seedling from that cross that year. Many of the people here use the same or a similar system to track their seedlings.

The link below is for 12-59-10 on Paul B’s website.



Goldmoss may not be a valuable parent to create mossy roses… but it still good. I raised a very nice and clean bicolor from a cross of Prospero X Goldmoss. It fades horribly, but I think I can raise other nice bicolors from it.

Note: ‘Goldmoss’ will do absolutely nothing for you in terms of improving Blackspot resistance either.

Greetings Mark Wesson: Many thanks for info. The numbering convention is much as I suspected, but did’t know. I have only one rose in a pot and was astonished about 3 days ago to discover how quickly it could dry out. Another day or two and it might have been a goner.

As for Moore, got my first seed parent from him, Fairy Moss, over 30 years ago, and he was one of the first resources I turned to this spring when my daughter announced that she wanted an instant serious rose garden. Knowing they were closing down I bled all over them for the sake of my only child such that they took pity and managed to scrounge through their inventory and located a couple of “sold out” roses on her must have or die list.

As for Countryside we are most curious to see how Pink Mermaid (not a true bracteata), the largest grower (larger even than Mermaid) in their inventory performs – Adair says it grows several inches a day! Many thanks, Bob