Rob... Purple mini x multiflora (d/l warning... lots of photos)

Rob, instead of hijacking the line breeding thread I thought I’d show you a bit about the purple mini x multiflora.

To be honest… I can’t claim any credit for the cross at all! I planted this little rose a few years back and collected all the OP hips I could to test germinate the seeds. I intended to use it a lot so wanted to see whether it was worth pursuing. Planted directly next to it, not more than 2ft away, is an enormous multiflora plant with wrinkled leaves. EVERY seed that germinated (and there was an excellent germination rate) turned out to be a cross with the neighbouring multiflora… there was no selfing at all. It hardly even looks like this little purple mini got a look-in at all (whether it be Sweet Chariot, Baby Faraux or Raymond Privat… only buds at this stage… no flowers here till November). This is what made me think it was Sweet Chariot because there was a discussion on here that Sweet Chariot was largely self sterile, like a lot of polys, and didn’t need emasculation to be pollinated. I raised several hundred seedlings from this batch of seeds and ditched all but one when it was clear that they were multiflora hybrids and all identical (except I hadn’t seen them flower… first time to flower this year… only once flowering I think instead of delayed remontancy). The only feature they look to have inherited from their purple mini pollen parent was the thorns (every selfed multiflora seedling I have raised from the pollen parent has been thornless). There will be flowers in the next 2-3 weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what the result is. I’m betting single white like the multiflora actually, but it would be nice if the little purple mini had at least SOME influence.

This is the little purple mini flower from an old 2008 photo:

This is Sweet Chariot this year from a different named plant:

I think it’s pretty clear it’s not Sweet Chariot but as to what it is I have no idea… still…

This is the multiflora parent:

(you can see more photos of it here: )

This is the seedling in question:

Plant about 60cm high and wide. It’s a 2009 seedling.

I tried pollinating this little purple mini last season with Ebb Tide but none of it took. Will be trying again this season with a variety of pollens.

Thanks for responding to my question. For some reason I’m not getting the pictures to download…not sure why. I hope you get some purple or at least lavender in your seeding.


What makes you think that is not ‘Sweet Chariot’? It sure looks like it to me, at least based on what I see in that photo.


Is Sweet Chariot a diploid does anyone know?

Hi Rob,

I think that someone reported it to be Triploid.

Hi Simon,

That unknown purple mini (the first photo) is sure pretty. So did you do the cross the other way too, using ‘Ebb Tide’ as the seed parent?

Jim Sproul

Simon, your purple “mini” looks exactly like my Baby Faurax, if that helps.

Finally got to see your pictures Simon. Hope you’ll post more when it blooms. Looks to be very healthy.

Paul, lots of little reasons really. The first photo is the unknown one and the 2nd is ‘Sweet Chariot’ from named nursery stock. The reasons I think the first one is not ‘Sweet Chariot’ are:

  • the perfume is different. SC has a lovely old rose scent (to my nose) where-as this one smells like fruit that’s been sitting in the fruit bowl too long. HMF says that ‘Baby Faurax’ smells like grapes and that ‘Raymond Privat’ has an unpleaseant smell. I wouldn’t call the fragrance unpleasant but more fruity, like a multiflora.

  • The growth habit of this unknown purple mini is quite straight up and down reaching 30-40cm high (so far) but only ~20cm wide… I don’t prune these little ones yet as they seem to be taking a long to settle in so they’ve had free reign for the past few years to grow as they like.

  • New growth grows straight upwards on both plants of the unknown purple mini I have. The growth on the SC I have is more arching and lax and has a much more attractive form than the unknown purple mini.

  • The unknown mini has thorns but not a huge number of them. They are small, hooked and grey. They fall of readily leaving behind clean stems. My SC plants are quite thorny with larger, broader, red thorns that are persistent on the stems.

  • The new growth on my two plants of the unknown mini are limber with lime green stems. The new growth does not appear to have many thorns. SC’s stems are a rich red in colour here and the new growth is well armed with thorns. This is the main feature distinguishing them so far. All four plants (two on the unknown and two SC are growing in the same area making comparisons easy).

  • The leaves look identical but given ‘Baby Faurax’ is thought to have come from ‘Veilchenblau’ and SC from ‘Violette’ this is understandeable.

  • The petals in the unknown one don’t have that little peak in the middle like SC does. SC looks like it has more pointed petals and a lot more petals than does the unknown one.

  • My SC don’t seem to open as far to reveal a relatively big boss of stamens whereas the unknown mini does. I assumed this was because the petal count is higher in SC and the flowers are more pompom-like.

  • I have found SC to be stingy with its pollen but this little unknown purple mini seems to make it in large quantities. The hips look identical.

Apart from these things they look identical in bud. Patricia Routley said there was no record she had found that would suggest ‘Raymond Privat’ was ever imported into Austrslia, however, a plant growing near Grafton in Northern NSW as RP based on visual comparisons with a rose growing o/s (which I would imagine would be very difficult to do given how close it is to BF and also SC).

Jim, I didn’t do the cross the other way as ‘Ebb Tide’ was new for me last year and it was recommended here that I let it grow for a while in ground before trying to use it as a seed parent. ET formed lots of OP hips last season but none of the crosses I tried on it worked, I assume because it needed to mature a little first… so I stopped trying and left it to grow. I have lots of OP ET seedlings coming up at the moment though and it’s pollen did work on a few things which are germinating now… which is kinda cool :slight_smile:

Oh wow, if you look at the HMF photos of the leaflets on Baby Faurax, you can distnctly see that both Baby Faurax and Raymond Privat. I also noted that stems of RP are much, much more abrasive. BF is extremely smooth. The first photo on top of this thread does not match the Baby Faurax foliage I used to own. That foliage of BF is slightly quilted. Also, they sprays are extremely dense. BF also has that unusual OGF slate-stone overcast to the purple as well. If I recall, my Baby Faurax was much shorter than the height of the RP photos. It was like a 12-16" convex cushion.

I haven’t included any photographs of the unknown mini’s foliage yet…

To muddle things even more, my self of Baby Faurax is now out there. Lauren is a much more vigorous grower than Faurax, and suffers far less chlorosis than the parent. And, having not been budded, it MAY be uninfected with virus.

There is discussion that Raymond Privat and Baby Faurax are confused. In the early 80s, when Baby Faurax wasn’t readily available, there was a stand of it at The Huntington Library. Clair Martin, Curator of Roses, wouldn’t allow us to propagate it as he claimed it was “virused” because it would begrudgingly grow, died back terribly and was nearly always chlorotic. He eventually replaced it with a plant from Pickering in Canada, which grew significantly better. It was that plant we began propagating and selling in all plant sales.

Now, it is supposed that the Pickering plant could possibly have been Raymond Privat. I wonder if it’s honestly another Barcelona/Francis Dubreuil, Pink Gruss an Aachen/Irene Watts, Sombreuil/Colonial White, where there is one variety from several sources as different identifications? As widely variable as roses are, these can look entirely different even from one local garden to the next.


“As widely variable as roses are, these can look entirely different even from one local garden to the next.”

I have moved a lot of my roses from Virginia to New York in anticipation of a move. I was amazed how different some of the varieties appeared in NY. Had I not personally planted them, I would have thought them a different variety. Some have since adjusted and appear as they did in Virginia but I still get a surprise or two! Kim is so right!


Kim… I’ve been thinking about this myself… I think we often picture sports as being significant changes that result in bigger, better, different coloured flowers, or climbers etc. I think we forget that sometimes mutations occur that have a very small impact on the way a plant looks and grows. Maybe we also forget that by hacking our roses back hard as we do we actually increase the chances of sporting as different types of tissue/buds are caleld into paly to make vegetative growth.

I was thinking this might have been the case for the ‘Baby Faurax’ vs ‘Raymond Privat’ scenario adn they are in fact the same plant. It would be interesting to see if someone could do a DNA fingerprint of each to add to the puzzle. Kind of brings me back to my previous thread of when is a variety unique enough to be called a new variety? I also keep coming back to a previous post I made years back when I was thinking that I often see branches on a single plant that do better and flower more than other branches and that if I was to propagate from these branches only, assuming some minor mutation might have occured somewhere to give it a little extra oompf, then you could, over time, facilitate change in a variety so that it too is more healthy and vigorous than the variety originally was… someone with more time on their hands can follow that one up though…

I’ll take some better photos of the unknown mini over the next few days and add them to the thread as I have time. I’m playing in the the school’s muscial production band all this week. I’ve got 10 shows to do so will be lying a bit low…

Really should proof read my posts… typos and long sentences galore… sorry :frowning:

Simon, if you have the opportunity, get hold of A Rose Odyssey by J.H. Nicholas. He discusses many very interesting things in this nearly 80 year old book. He recounts how Hybrid Perpetuals had been “nearly destroyed in this Country (US)through injudicious propagation” and how he visited the nursery of Roussel (hope the spelling and name are correct; my books are still packed and this is all from memory), the nephew of the introducer of General Jacqueminot, to see how the plant had been “elevated nearly to the growth and bloom of a Hybrid Tea through bud selection”. In this country, it grew more like Dr. Huey and flowered primarily in spring. He discussed at length how judicious bud selection, could improve varieties and how lack of proper selection destroys them.

I’ve read the statement that most sports are degenerative, and that “micro sports” occur all the time. When I began to learn to propagate at The Huntington, it was stressed to take only flowering wood, about a pencil thickness (when available), and, hopefully, from a stem where a “perfect flower had just shattered”. That was bud selection as surely as trying to isolate a discovered sport is.

I wish I could get at the books! I remember reading where one author reported a nurseryman’s claim he could force climbing sports of roses at will through bud selection.

Yes, you may well see canes which produce better than the rest of the plant, and if a sport has occurred, selecting from that can will yield improved varieties. Think Dr. Van Fleet and New Dawn; Blaze and Blaze Improved; think of the numerous reports of climbing HTs which varied from spring to nearly continuous bloom; consider Cl. Iceberg which reportedly occurs in a wide variety of repeat to no repeat variations.

I’m positive the many “forms” of China roses (Slater’s Crimson China, etc.) are due to seed being spread around. There are so many because there are so many similar seedlings. I’m also quite sure we have many similar, yet different roses because of sporting.


I think Roy Hennessey (sp?) in one of his editions of “Hennessey on Roses” also alludes to the fact that he could change a bush into a climber and vice versa but never gave the details.

In Karl King’s website, in one of the old rose articles he has on his website, the same thing is mentioned how one of the noted nurseymen/exhibitors changed the growth habit of a known rose variety by judicious selection of buds.

Probably in the earlier days, buds were more carefully selected before the mass production culture set in and rose nureseries were headed by an early version of MBA’s instead of horticulturists. :wink:


In MR8, there is a climber listed which occured when Etoile de Holland (if I remember correctly) was budded to a particular stock.

First flower is out… a single exciting pink LOL

It’s going to be a great breeder I think :slight_smile: First up is a dose of ‘Ebb Tide’ which, btw, made some exceptionally strong seedlings for me this season :slight_smile:


I like it. Is this a multifora hybrid? Also, is that mosss I see on the buds?

moss lol