Rosa beggeriana nigrescens

I have an opportunity to acquire this rose. I am speculating - does not feel like much of leap - this rose is related to R beggeriana parent of Polstjärnan.

It has color that is appealing - l call it a red single - for using as another candidate for getting the bone hardy non- white red rambler.

HMF has limited info, as well as net and source states “hardy”.

Has anybody heard of it, and used it successfully?

What’s the odds if a successful cross with another red the result will red?

I suppose that would also go for it, if I were in your position, out of sheer curiosity if nothing else–there may not be many chances to see what is even being passed around under this name today (the Loubert photo with pink flowers does not seem to match old descriptions, nor does it show the large clusters of flowers that you’d often expect from R. beggeriana). While the Flora of China mentions pink-flowered forms, the old descriptions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries indicated that the plant known under this name had white flowers and black hips (now, the FoC description states that the hips turn black-purple for the species generally). One publication indicated that Regel was the author of the final epithet, but I haven’t been able to trace it further yet to locate a formal description, if one exists. It wasn’t published in his Tentamen Rosarum Monographiae.

Ignoring the question of identity for a moment, you might just be able to get some dark pink, maybe even almost-red, offspring with the right partner. Is there some other photo or description that you’ve found that shows it to be more red than the one from Loubert?


Hi Stefan, yes there is a non-Loubert bloom photo, but likely has commercial protection.

It looks the same color, maybe ever so slightly darker, but we know the variation different conditions cause. The unopened bud form is similar to Polstjärnan to my eyes - but a lot of my other CDN heritage roses have the same bud shape and geometric proportions.

A dead give away of a relationship would be if there was a scaled photo of the bud. Polstjärnan buds are “tiny” as are the blooms. I don’t see the florets, as I call them, that are on Polstjärnan. Leaf a little broader … and darker. But its only one photo focusing on bloom.

Here is the source general description.

color - light pink
5 petals
scent - light
fully hardy
shade -tolerant (same as the shaded 14 year Polstjärnan in my garden)
height - 6.5 to 12 feet (shrub ? maybe in form, but would be a giant in my garden and climate and be on par with Polstjärnan for max peak height)
wild rose ~ 1860

Put in an order for a couple, because not much of a dollar gamble if turns out hardy, pink (red) and 6.5 to 12 feet high. Big time cold back north gardens value, and testing potential for crossing. Also order Mossman … odd what not that sometimes have to go far away to get, and repatriate, heritage Canadian roses for my garden.

Also note R. Beggeriana also likes slightly alkaline soil - have tonnes of that, but been working on making it more of an ericaceous soil. May back pedal where they’re going to be planted.

Stephan as things warm up, weather and in self debate, do you have details on where l could get the flora of china that mentions “pink form” - see ur note in post.

I am access challenged in that l gave up as appears to be at least 24 volumes of it up for sale. Somebodies’ life work - Volume 9 appears to deal with China Roscea?

This what l got …

Rosa beggeriana Schrenk in Fischer & C. A. Meyer, Enum. Pl. Nov. 1: 73. 1841.

“ … caudate. Petals 5, white, rarely pink, broadly obovate, base broadly cuneate, apex emarginate”

l was told by holder of a ”Cdn mother plant” the fruit is nigrenscs colored as perennial grass.

With reference to above the European source changed to N/A, but private CDN source in North American of what l call ground zero mother plant came through for postage only, along with laxa and assorted other hard to get.

The saya passed unfortunately but my only MF semi hardy still lives as well as R carolina alba.


It sounds like you got the information regarding flower color–indicating pink as an uncommon variant–but just in case, the Flora of China is available for free online–so there’s no need to purchase a printed edition unless you really want to.

It also indicates that the hips turn dark in that species: “Hip red, becoming black-purple, subglobose, rarely ovoid, 6–10 mm in diam., glabrous, after ripening apical part of hypanthium and sepals deciduous together.”

If you click up a level (on Rosa) you’ll go to the main page for the genus, with a key to all of the species in the flora.


Thanks Stefan,

Very interesting so long ago, what would have seem like a trivial observation ( rare), can be of interest to the “collector”/ hybridizer types.

My interest lies in the polstjarnan creation, and of the claimed only bone hardy rambler in known world (and the claim beggeriana may have been one of the parents).

Be good to get the rambler (or shoot for the stars puesdo “repeater”) with similiar hardiness in a broader color palette and larger fuller bloom.


I don’t have experience with R. beggeriana nigrescens. Would love to try it but I have not yet been able to get my hands on it. I work in a botanic garden and I have had the joy of cultivating R. beggeriana, several accessions with different origin. What suprises me is their lack of hardiness compared to ‘Polstjärnan’. Here in Iceland, Polstjärnan is basically the only climber/rambler that is reliable in cultivation and I have used it quite a lot in my breeding. Last four years I have been successful in raising quite a lot of hybrids from it. All of them seem to lack hardiness and the only hybrid that has not lost most of its canes during winters are hybrids with some cultivars of R. rugosa, and sadly those hybrids do not seem to inherit the rambling growth.

So, although I do not doubt that ‘Polstjärnan’ is a hybrid of R. beggeriana (the hips of Polstjärnan are first wine-red, then purple-red), there is something strange regarding its extereme hardiness. It hardly seems to be passed on when crossed with tender cultivars. And, my experience with the species that is supposed to have given ‘Polstjärnan’ the hardiness is that it gradually deteriorates due to lack of hardiness.

Best wishes

June 27 Edit only for “correctness”

Excellent info (the only l know of in public domain) on your experience with polstjarnan and cross breeding while trying to retain hardiness - big txs for sharing. Found little on breeding with it in the past.

As to Polst. hardiness, what l noticed with it is every 5-7 years they will go for a massive die back - even this spring. Prune and they come back to 8-12 ft (1.5 to ~ 3 m). Next pollinating campaign l am getting fly fishing tying glasses as eye strain was very high for me (tiny flowers).

My experience in breeding was stopped, so far, at failed germination mainly with lykkefund and helenae hybrids ( multiflora).

Chose them to get less prickles, continue florets with maybe tinge of yellow … but both not the slightest bit hardy for Zone 4 Canada. If Polst. doesn’t pass hardiness l should consider myself lucky to have failed.

As to access to “standard” white beggeriana, l couldn’t find anywhere on the market, but a rose friend sent Alberta province beggeriana botanical garden seed that l had incredible luck with this spring with a couple dozen germinated. The rose friend has rose friends in Iceland - you might know the person l believe.

Survivors of spring hardening off planted and they produced glaucous leaf color on some. Cross pollination (there all OPs) a possibility for seedlings but if they turnout winter hardy … l don’t care in my world.

A “Long Word” about beggeriana nigrescens (pink version) in part thanks to the excellent assistance of Stefan’s expertise, that encompasses help/inputs on hybridizing/crossing, rosa technical, genetics, rose history (including cold zones) etc that continues to be of help to those starting out - for me over about 15-20 years on rose forums.

Referred me to “Floral of China” V9 quote on “rare pink version in the 1900’s Schenk’s description of the “white” version of the R beggeriana “nigrescens”. I can’t rational calling it nigrescens unless it’s for leaves or hips final color.

The pink version is not recognized (doubted by HMF) - as only detailed info about white version - HMF may have not seen historical mention of rare pink version neither does it show a photo of the white nigrescens.

Loubert - France did carry it and Rosenposten where l obtained Lovisa, did list it 4 years ago.

My small ones are runners from the only N/A one l know of ( in Canada) and were completely hardy last year.

The pink version flower form is as clusters to my eye and produces final black hips. Final “black” hip color as per CDN owner personal comm… Loubert source site shows red hips yesterday - ?not final color of ripening? Though l imagine dark purple red final may look black.

Only perplexing things for me are, when compared to my “very young standard white beggeriana” seedlings is the former have glaucous leaves and thorny, while the nigrescens runners have smooth cane except for thorns at base of stipule and leaves that are not glacous.

Anyways l take note of one of Karl’s last written comments on beggeriana … went something like “beggeriana is a natural history mystery to me that’s very difficult to sort out”.

I am told also in Canada CFIA has changed the rules and plants by private can only be exported out through a nursery - yeah good luck with that commercial money priority please, export barrier.

Good luck on getting white or pink beggeriana nigrescens.


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I gave up immediately with the nitty picky methods and decided that I would cherish any self-pollinated seedling that would accidentally be bred. So, I just remove the innermost petals (the “button”), expose the stigmas and cover them in pollen with my finger. I only use pollen parents that produce lots of pollen. I think I have raised close to 250 plants bred from Polstjarnan with this method and I don’t think I have ever seen something that I think is the result of self pollination.

Despite my doubts on Polstjarnan’s ability to pass its hardiness to its F1 progeny I have not given up on it. This season I am crossing it with my own hybrids that are at least heterozygous for some sort of hardiness, at least. I just need to be careful because Polstjarnans progeny has suddenly started to take up a lots of space. I just pray that they will all flower soon and I could evaluate them for their fertility this autumn and do some serious culling!

Best wishes

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Didn’t realize this post doesn’t contain pics of my two “very very” young “beggeriana”
and a maybe pink beggeriana nigrescens.

They show physical differences well, at least at this stage of life cycle.