Rosa beggeriana

I am curious about this rose in breeding. It seems to be be an underused plant. Could some one tell me of its virtues and faults. How strong is its reblooming (some say it does others say no). Is it a pure white or does it have a fading pink cast like Henry Hudson?

Hi Johannes!!

I just got a plant from Paul Olsen in fall 2007. It grew great last year and flowered well this spring. I’m suprer impressed with how hardy it was last winter. No dieback at all. It had many narrow wirey canes and grew about 4’ tall. The blooms were a pure white and single. They came in clusters. The foliage is a ferny blue green. THe canes are very upright. This year it hasn’t grown much taller, just is filling in well. It hasn’t rebloomed for me here in MN. I LOVE the hybrid of it with I think a polyantha- Polstjarnan. It is SO hardy and huge! It gets 10-12’ tall easy here. Unfortunately, Polstjarnan seems pretty stertile. I smothered R. begg. with polyantha pollen and there were a lot of little hips. They were really small-like peas! They were round and turned purple when ripe. They have already ripened and I got the seeds out. The seeds are pretty petite too. I hope they germinate and there will be some babies like Polstjarnan in other colors. I read R. begg. was difficult to use as a parent somewhere. It sure set hips nicely. Maybe the difficulty comes later with germination or seedling viability.



The Polstjarnan (North Star) cross should definately be redone and the seedlings chromosome doubled to get a fertile hybrid. David, are you planning to do this?

If I ever get my home tissue culture equipment working, I’ll try to micropropagate and double Polstjarnan.

Hi Jukka!

Chromosome doubling Polstjarnan and some seedlings sounds like a great idea. I wasn’t really thinking of it yet. Hopefully some seedlings will have a bit of fertility at the diploid level too. I’ve doubled seedlings with trifluralin and it was relatively easy to get some doubled ones. A person needs some extra seedlings to spare to try though. The genetic potential in this cross is line of breeding is exciting!!

I have only used colchicine with OK results. With trifluralin could you recommend a protocol for it’s use? Is it more effective than col., is it unsafe or as dangerous? What percentage of conversions do you get? With colchicine I was getting about 1% on Iris pseudacorus alba.

Like Rosa laxa being crossed with North American tetraploid species (Rosa arkansana, R. acicularis, R. arkansana), I think it would be interesting to cross Rosa beggeriana with R. woodsii (both diploids). Then use this species hybrid in a breeding program, perhaps with Rugosas. With the exception of Rosa rugosa,very little work has been done hybridizing cold hardy (Zone 2 - 3) European/Asian species with North American ones.

David’s response to Johanne’s post about Rosa beggeriana inspired me to find a Rugosa to cross it with this species. I have a ‘Schneezwerg’ in a container and there was one flower available for pollination. So I gave it a shot. I’ll do more crosses of ‘Schneezwerg’ x Rosa beggeriana next year and also use this species with other Rugosa cultivars. I used pollen from the same Rosa beggeriana clone I sent David.

Yes, I know there is speculation that ‘Schneezwerg’ may have been a Rugosa crossed with Rosa beggeriana. However, I’m now beginning to doubt that. More work crossing Rugosas with Rosa beggeriana could confirm whether this is true or not.

Paul if you like i could do a paper chromatography of flavanoids of these roses. It is a relatively simple and works on establishing hybrids. I would require leaves of:

Rosa bergeriana

Rosa rugosa (alba)

Snow Dwarf

and from these plants other possible hybris with it. If you could get these leaves to me I could do pronto.


Johannes, can you explain briefly how this establishes hyhbrids?

Have you ever separated inks on a coffee filter? The pigments in that preparation form a unique pattern (Chromatography) instead of ink one uses the flavanoids in the leaves as the pigment. Most species will have unique patterns, now cross with another species and you will get both patterns super imposed- you see both. This usually only works with F1

I think what Johannes means is that it helps establish hybridity. You can do the method he talks about by putting a leaf into metho. and heating it until all the chlorophyll is extracted and then laying circular filter paper over a beaker (cup) from which a tongue is cut so that you can hang it down into the beaker/cup until it just sits in the chlorophyll extract. As it soaks up by capillary action it will split into layers to show the different photosynthtic pigments to make a chromatogram because each pigment has a different mass/size/cohesiveness etc … like poor-man’s electrophoresis really LOL


I can have the leaves you requested available to you the latter part of next week.

The other Rugosa/Beggeriana hybrid that I’m doubtful of its parentage is ‘Mrs. John McNab’. Can we also do this one?



Most species will have unique patterns, now cross with another species and you will get both patterns super imposed- you see both.

Hmmm. Johannes_P, do you have any references to show the validity of this statement?

I’m very skeptical that conclusions could be drawn about the parentage, especially the hybrid parentage, of a rose based on chromatography of it’s pigments.


I too am not real convinced… photosynthetic pigments will vary throughout the season, with the age of the leaf, etc… you will get a nice pattern but think each one will unique.

Yes, I have used this method much with plum hybrids (Prunus besseyi, P. nigra, P. ussuriensis, P. sibirica) and grapes. Little amounts of samples required to test of hybrids between them makes culling of seedling faster. There is a woman who uses it with iris in the states and the person who developed the technic showed with the superimposed patterns that The likely parentage of Prunus cerasus is Prunus avium crossed with Prunus (forget the latin name,something mongolian pea cherry).

For your pleasure I can send a paper that I wrote on the plums with photos of the patterning in plums. It seems that I am unable to link here

Flavanoids are rather constant at least in the plums excluding fall foliage. Perhaps that quantity varies but rarely quality. I never observed any difference in season. I am sure that there are exceptions but for a crude method it is easier than DNA fingerprinting.

And yes, I do try to take the samples from similar locations on the tree.

Bring up to eight samples and stay for a chat and tea while the chromatography developes take 1-2hr. Number the leaves so I will have to guess at what the relations are.

Two that I would love to study is the pollen parents of Betty Bland and Martin Frobisher but it is hard when that are already complex hybrids. I supect BB is a polyantha hybrid.

Email me as to which day is best.


Johannes, I would like to read your paper and have sent you my email address through this website’s email facility.