Rugosa crossed with Moss roses?

Hello, I was wondering if anyone on here had tried playing with Rugosa and Moss roses? I recently saw a video on YouTube (original video was 30 years old) with a beautiful repeat blooming rugosa moss which was was beautiful! Not been able to find any for sale or any other information other than that brief part of a video.

Hello James_D! I tried this venture last year with first following crosses:

  • William Lobb X Rotes Phänomen / William Lobb X Purple Roadrunner
  • Parkzauber X Rotes Phänomen / Parkzauber X Purple Roadrunner
  • Henri Martin X Rotes Phänomen / Henri Martin X Purple Roadrunner and all vice versa.

Unfortunately, so far none of the crosses has led to success. However, I must add that the flowering time of the three mosses was influenced by a period of capricious weather conditions.

I assume that this request could certainly require a longer effort, if it works at all. However, I would like to expand further trials this year and will report.

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I’m sorry to hear that there has been no luck of yet. Why did you pick the the roses you did for the cross? Do they not readily set hips?

James D, these are the Rugosa X Moss hybrids Ralph Moore created for which there is information on Help Me Find-Roses to give you an idea of what has been possible. I hope they help. My observation of Rugosa “mossing” is it smells awful. Many moss roses have scents to the mossing which aren’t usually objectionable but add Rugosa and it turns really unpleasant. At least to my nose.

I have three seedlings this year from a cross of R. rugosa alba X Scarlet Moss. As expected, no blooms yet so no idea if mossed. When I run my fingers across the new growth and smell them, I have to agree with Kim’s statement. They do stink. Badly. Hopefully I’ll have blooms next year. This was a cross of convenience for me. I live in a very hot and humid climate and neither parent is happy here. In 2022 I was crossing both with everything I could before I lost them. Scarlet Moss will continue to bloom but it dies back badly here. I believe the rugosa parent had a total of four blooms on it last year. I only see one flower bud on it this year.



Hello Kim! Thanks a lot for this valuable information. I did not know about this fact. So I will have to reconsider my efforts in this direction very carfully.

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Hello James_D, this matter was a spontaneous idea and an overnight thought. Therefore, I was well aware that success would be very much in question. The flowering period of the mosses was already coming to an end, so I had to act quickly and took the last flowers that were still available. As already mentioned, some short thunderstorms in the evening and at night also made some difficulties. Henri Martin is a good and willing seed bearer. William Lobb and Parkzauber have some difficulties in this respect, also in the germination process.It was just a first trial.

Everything else must now be reweighed and reassessed, also in view of Kim’s comment.

I wonder if all Moss rugosa crosses will smell badly, maybe only one good smelling one is needed for a bit of hope…

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Indeed, that is exactly what needs to be found out.

I can’t confirm it but I suspect Calocarpa may avoid that issue. Granted what’s available here as Calocarpa vs there may be different. I’ve never gotten a juvenile blooming seedling from it despite it’s reported lineage of rugosa x chinesis…but I’m not sure anyone has? Just leaves me with questions about it.
I’ve grown out a lot of Calocarpa OP very common for sweet fruity glandular parts…can’t explain origin of that scent based on lineage.


A great tip, thank you very much, Plazbo! I’ll see which Calocarpas I can find here in our rose nurseries.

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