Rosa x hibernica

I was wondering if anyone had any comments on Rosa X hibernica (the Rosa canina X spinosissima hybrid). It is a once-bloomer and has been used by several hybridizers to produce repeat-blooming Hybrid Teas.

All four of the following Hybrid Teas are listed with this parentage:

(Rosa X hibernica) X Hybrid Tea

Innocence (Hybrid Tea, Chaplin, 1921)

Irish Elegance (Hybrid Tea, Colin Dickson, 1905)

Irish Fireflame (Hybrid Tea, Colin Dickson, 1914)

Isobel (Hybrid Tea/Pernetiana, McGredy, 1916)

Maybe Rosa x hibernica could be used directly with more hardy modern Hybrid Teas to recreate analogous but improved Hybrid Teas (like these four). It would seem that with canina and spinosissima, there would have to be some improvement in cold-hardiness.

Another strategy would be to interbreed the descendants of Rosa x hibernica, to bring out more of the Dog Rose and Scotch Rose traits.

I got interested in the so-called Hibernica hybrids in the winter of 2000, and I still have Irish Fireflame (that is, it’s the only one of the 4 hybrids to survive this long despite the less-than-ideal conditions here). I was hoping for better disease resistance, but I did not see it in these hybrids. I’ve not tested the 4 hybrids for increased hardiness since we’ve mostly had pretty warm winters in the past several years, but I have some doubts that they’re any hardier than the general run of HTs. Something might come out in future generations–if it’s there.

I have remained interested in getting canina into our hybrids, and this year I repeated a cross I made in 2002 (R. canina inermis x R15). I got no germinations in 2002 or 2003 from the many seeds I got then, but I’m hoping for better luck this time.


Of Innocense, Isobel, Fireflame and Elegance, Elegance was my strongest grower by many orders of magnitude. There may have been some RMV issues with my plants, but Elegance left me wanting equally good plants of the others.

Winter die back in a true zone 6b winter in TN, with no mounding found loss of the canes/stems put on since September, which is average.

I no longer grow these as all of mine were own root plants and all died from Crown Gall. (Never, ever plant modern roses where folks planted tobacco for almost two centuries.)