Recently, when visiting on Vancouver Island I had my first look at Rosa arvensis. I was impressed! For using as a Climber/Ground Cover rose, it appears to be a tough shrub for a prostrate growing species with pliable canes.
Beginning about 1830, about 60 Ayshire cultivars were developed by crossing this species with various cultivars but only a few remain today. The flowers were single or double with white or pink flowers. Since then, there has been hardly any hybridizing work done with this species.
Perhaps the most commonly available Rosa arvensis hybrid is Rosa paulii (Rosa arvensis x R. rugosa), which has a spreading habit and is hardy to Zone 4. But it is one of the most vicious roses ever developed. A more relatively recent Rosa arvensis hybrid is Louis Lens’ ‘Green Snake’ (Rosa arvensis x R. wichuraiana) introduced in 1994. What a great combination of species! As a Ground Cover, it has single white flowers and only grows to a maximum of 30 cm. in height. I think that it would have excellent hybridizing possibilites. This cultivar is available from Heirloom.
Since Rosa arvensis has white flowers, it would be particularly useful for breeding yellow Climbers with pliable canes. For cold climates (like what I live in), I would likely want to combine Rosa laxa with a relatively hardy yellow cultivar or selection and use this breeding line with Rosa arvensis. One could use Rosa spinosissima yellow cultivars and develop hardier selections, but the results probably would be even more fearsome than Rosa paulii.