Rugosa crosses

I have begun a long process of crossing Rosa rugosa with Rosa blanda/woodsii that I collected from Manitoba and Northern Alberta. These Cassiorhodon crosses are slow but the recovery of recessive genes is much easier than tetraploids. The F1 hybrids are boring, but have lovely red stems and red fall colour. I am hoping for better colour etc. in the F2. Percy Wright mentions Hybrid breakdown in this generation with reduced flowering but I hope this will not happen for me with the 250 seedlings I am putting out of the cross (White Pavement X Rosa woodsii) X sib. I am hoping for a Therese Bugnet like, but shorter, plant.

I hate to say it but Rugosas are ugly plants, that is why I am breeding in red stem etc

I don’t know Rugosas being ugly plants…

I think them more beautiful as shruby plants when compared to many of the leggy hybrid teas. Where as rugosas are spreading, lavish as green clouds, and very colorful in Autumn.

Hi all,

I agree with Enrique, Rugosas are far from ugly. And they have a great deal more to offer hybridisers than most give them credit for.






I see you have ‘Ann Endt’ listed in your links there. R. foliolosa behaves very strangely in breeding, I have found. I made a cross two years ago using foliolosa as a seed parent and ‘Little Chief’ as the pollen parent. Several seedlings were like very dwarf versions of R. foliolosa (under 12" tall), but one seedling grows and blooms exactly like ‘Basye’s Purple’. People would have a hard time distinguising this seedling from the Basye rose. Who would have expected such a thing from this cross?! There must be something that happens in breeding foliolosa that is unlike breeding with other species.


How is your foliolosa cross with Little Chief, Paul? I remember it… so wonderful.

This year I crossed foliolosa with the pollen of Harison’s Yellow. Another person is gaurding them. Not many seeds… from that cross, BUT I hope there will be plenty of germinations.

Ive always thought that rugosa hybrids x mini moss hybrids would be interesting. I tried Gilardi Rose x tetraploid Rosa rugosa this year but no success. Rugosa Magnifica x Scarlet Moss would be interesting. Or maybe Jelena de Belder or Schneezwerg or Jens Munk X Mood Music? The key, I think, is keeping their core characteristics (hardiness, foliage, shape, scent) yet adding modern tones to them such as color and size.

Some species are really beautiful (including Rugosas imo) like moyesii and primula and californica. Most of the NW natives dont do it for me at all like woodsii, gymnocarp, nutkana and pisocarpa.

Rose Gilardi is a very poor seed parent, unfortunately. Mood Music is even worse. Dresden Doll is a very willing seed parent, but you really have to hit on the right pollen parent to get anything worthwhile. Scarlet Moss is an extraordinary parent, but is best used as a pollen parent, since it rarely sets seed willingly. I have used Robert Leopold over the past few years and found it can do some very nice work, and so I pursue it further. My favorite Moss breeder right now is an un-named seedling from a cross of ([Little Darling X Lemon Delight] X Angel Face). Angel Face offspring are often poor growers, but this seed parent is proving to have the ability to breed strong offspring with beautiful orange-yellow-red blends. I think that if you can get a Rugosa cross with Scarlet Moss, you might get something worthwhile.

Enrique: The foliolosa X Little Chief seedlings are handsome little plants, but are otherwise unremarkable. They are not generous with bloom and the blooms are medium pinks, mostly singles. Not one of them self-set seed and I have not pursued them in breeding yet. I might or I might not.


Paul, I agree. My results proved similar but I can dream :)We even tried Rose Gilardi onto Bayses Purple to no avail. I have Dresden Doll, too. I should try that on rugosas. It has the best form of the current mini moss roses in my opinion but the color can be weak.


While I don’t work with Rose Gilardi anymore, mostly because it is so poor at producing seed, I used it in 2002 and have one seedling I kept. (After all, you only need one, right?) I’ll find a photo and post it. It’s a 2 foot bush with 2.5 inch cupped blooms of about 25 petals. Sometimes it is solid velvet red and sometimes it is heavily striped white or pink. It is in my “wait and see” queue.

I think Dresden Doll used with Rugosas could be well worth doing. We know that Rugosas will pick up on the mossing characteristic.