Rosa laevigata

I just harvested seven hips from Rosa laevigata. It was from a long shot pollination (although just about everything with laevigata is a long shot) – using Hazeldean pollen.

I’ve only ever gotten one seedling from laevigata; and that seedling hasn’t bloomed, being relatively runty. So, I’m pretty skeptical with any seeds I get from it.

I actually even got my hopes up a little when I noticed that these R.laevigata X Hazeldean seeds sank in water. But when I cut one achene open, it was hollow (just like almost all other crosses I’ve tried with this one) with no viable material at all inside. I would have thought that an air-filled “seed” like this would have floated.

Always hoping… I’ve planted the remaining 30-40 seeds (or should I say empty shells) anyway. Maybe one of these has something more developed in it.

Has anyone else been trying crosses with this stubborn species?

I remember reading in some rose authority’s book that “the author had wasted whole seasons” trying to hybridize with this one, with nothing to show for it except for one seedling.

Even if vicious (I’m smarting from a pretty deep gash it gave me yesterday), it’s such a pretty, fragrant and healthy species that it would be a shame not to bring its genes into the modern rose gene pool. I tried its pollen last year on Rosa arvensis. Big hips, lots of seeds, but no seedlings. In that case too, the ones I checked were hollow.

So do I have any company, in the “frustrated laevigata hybridizers” support group? ;0) Or is anyone having any success to keep the rest of us encouraged?

In past years I’ve tried ‘Anemone’ with no success. All hips aborted.

This Spring I tried with a seedling of an aberrant form from Ralph Moore. I got one hip to set using it’s pollen and so will repeat the cross this Spring.

So far I have no seedlings.

Dr. Basye had some success with R. banksiae X R. laevigata.

The hip I got last season was using Riverbanks.

Interesting! I remember now, reading of Basye’s work with R. banksiae X R. laevigata – if I remember correctly he made amphidiploids from these. I wonder what ever became of those. But it makes sense that Robert’s ‘Riverbanks’ would be a good one to try. I hope you get seedlings, Robert.

My only hybrid laevigata seedling is from either Rosa helenae or Rosa multiflora. I had used pollen of both on laevigata that season and am not sure now which one had produced that seedling. I think it was a second year germinant. Now that I think about it, did I read somewhere that second year germination is the norm for laevigata??

Last year I tried rugosa on laevigata; several years ago I tried the reverse, laevigata pollen on rugosa (I repeated that attempt this year). This year I also tried Hazeldean on laevigata, as I’d mentioned. None of these crosses show much promise.

If someone were looking for a better possibility. The only seeds that I remember getting on laevigata that looked possibly normal inside [although I didn’t get any germinations] were from pollen of Apothecary’s Rose (Rosa gallica officinalis). I did that cross many years ago, but I’d like to repeat it next season and maybe try some analogous ones too.

Ralph Moore has an interesting form of laevigata he apparently got many years ago from the breeding program at Wayside. It has very heavy dark green foliage, heavier and even more waxy looking than the species.

I’ve wondered whether it could in fact be Cooper’s Burmese. The photos look very similar to those posted on HMF. Moore’s specimen is heavily virused.

This clone sets large quantities of OP hips. Repeated attempts at sowing these seed have produced no germinations.

My hybridizer friend in NY circumvented the germination problem by excising an embryo and growing a seedling out on agar.

This is the seedling I have attempted to use as pollen parent. It does not set OP hips so far. It’s extremely vigorous and heavily prickled.

It tip roots at every opportunity if not carefully monitored and appears to be free of virus.


Tom, For those who may also be interested in readin about Basye’s amphidiploid of Rosa Banksaie and Rosa laevigata. It is in the l990 Armerican Rose Annual, page 83. An interesting read. He called his cross 86-3. I obtained some wood from Texas A & M several years ago and am now growing it. I have tried to use it going both ways, but so far little luck. Ray

Apparently part of Bayse’s plan was to use 86-3 with 77-361, (Basye’s Legacy)?

I’ve already begun making crosses using descendants of 77-361 with my banksia hybrids and have seed maturing now.

With luck some of the hardiness and disease resistance of the species involved will come through in the offspring.

I’m still hoping to preserve the smooth quality inherent on both sides of these crosses.