Reference for Little Darling giving thornless seedlings

Does anyone know of an article that talks about the 1956 floribunda ‘Little Darling’ giving thornless progeny? It seems that it is in the background of a lot of modern minis and many modern thornless minis and even hybrid teas and such trace back to it. I’ve gotten some thornless roses from using it as a parent with ‘William Baffin’ and even a rugosa and also thornless seedlings using cultivars that trace back to ‘Little Darling’ like ‘Sequoia Ruby’ and 'Rise ‘N Shine’. I’m writing an article and a reviewer really wants to see a reference that talks about ‘Little Darling’ being a parent that transmits thornlessness (even though it is thorny). I suppose I can reference Modern Roses and assume someone can look up the pedigrees of thornless modern roses and frequently find ‘Little Darling’, but it would be much nicer to find an article where someone writes about it directly.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Yeah, Kim was the one who told me that… and it’s intresting. It shows up in several times in Davidson’s Smooth series. I’ve bought Smooth Angel this year to breed with. So far no blooms-- which is odd, but I’m going to see next year will be better.

Harvey Davidson bred the thornless Smooth Sailing from Little Darling X Pink Favorite, and Smooth Sailing is in the parentage of all of his other thornless roses. I don’t know if he’s ever written an article about it, but you could contact him and find out. I don’t know if he has an email address, but I could give you his phone number if you’re interested. Here’s a web page with some information on his breeding program:


Here is a list of Harvey’s roses on HelpMeFind. The thornless ones have ‘Smooth’ in the name.


Am I wrong to assume that Pink Favorite has a general lack of thorns? I could had sworn reading something from David Austin saying that Pink Favorite gave thornless seedlings at times. But I may be very wrong…