Rugosa hybrid

Has anyone worked with

Hm… isn’t altaica white flowered?

The ‘Rugspin’ I have seen came from Peter Beales that Brentwood Bay Nursery, Victoria, B.C. imported. It has a good red colour but I see no evidence of Rosa spinosissisma altai in the parentage. Such a cultivar would be very thorny, tall, vigorous and likely have pink flowers. None of these characteristics existed in the plant I purchased and don’t have anymore. It’s always good to be suspect of parentages of cultivars that were developed a long time ago, especially if they were bred by amateur breeders.

As it’s name suggests, it probably is a rugosa/spino. hybrid but Im not so sure it is from a pure species spino. I wonder if it is from Williams III?

Hi all,

I have only seen the plant I photographs so far and I do have my doubts as to it having spinosissima as one of its parents, but the name suggests that the breeder considered that to be the case.

It had occurred to me that Rugspin was an op Roseraide de l’Hay seedling, and that the breeder just assumed that Altaica was the other parent because it was growing near by, or that Roseraide de l’Hay had selfed before he made the pollination.

I have ordered the plant from Peter Beales this season and will have better idea when I have seen the plant first hand. The fact that it

A self makes sense.

Good luck!

I think Rosa spinosissima altaica would be valuable to incorporate into a Rugosa breeding program. I’m thinking of improved cold hardiness, outstanding fragrance and developing breeding lines for development of tough Pillars or Climbers. The one negative is that the F1 progeny will likely be very thorny and that will have to be reduced in the next generation of breeding. Ideally, of course, the Rugosa material used to cross with the Altai rose should be at the tetraploid level. I’m talking about true Rugosas with typical rugose foliage, not cultivars with 1/4 or less of the species in the cultivar parentage. This will take some time to accomplish, since very little work is being done in this respect at the present time.

There is only one Rugosa cultivar to my knowledge that has the Altai rose in its pedigree and that is Percy Wright’s ‘Musician’. It is the result of crossing ‘Hansa’ with ‘Hazeldean’. The shrub is moderately thorny and seems to lack vigour until it is well established. The flowers though are very beautiful (shading from light yellow to pink and then red). So an alternative to directly breeding Rugosas with the Altai rose is to develop breeding lines with it and other types of roses. Especially using yellow cultivars that could produce some ineresting colours, perhaps even bi-colours.

Paul, I realize the blood lines become a tad more diluted than you mention, but have you tried Henry’s Rugelda X R-15? I must say, it does sound intriguing for someone in a more northern clime than my own. I imagine that some dilution will be necessary to create rebloom, but I don’t know. My impression based on my limited experience is that the dumb rose progeny doesn’t pay much head to theory anyway.

Although I’ve never grown “Rugspin”, [from the description] I’ve wondered along with Paul about it’s parentage. I have group of Rosa rugosa X spinosissima seedlings of my own hybridizing. These are from pollen of spinosissima [although not altaica] on rugosa seed parent; and they do show very visible and obvious influence of spinosissima. I would even say they resemble their spinosissima pollen parent more than they resemble rugosa. None of my seedlings were as dark pink as rugosa. They were either white or light-pink. And [so far] completely sterile.

I also whole-heartedly agree with Paul about the potential for incorporating spinosissima into a rugosa breeding program. Those rugosa X spinosissma seedlings mentioned above have proven to be one of the strongest species combinations that I’ve come across yet in my hybridizing dabblings. I think something really spectacular could be the result, if a similar cross were done, but using a repeat-blooming spinosissima hybrid.

By the way Paul, on the topic of Wright’s ‘Musician’, it may interest you that I’ve got a similar seedling coming along. It’s rugosa X ‘Hazeldean’ - the only seedling that has survived of its small crowd of siblings. It’s not a “leaps and bounds” grower but is steadily getting bigger. If it doesn’t bloom in 2007, I’m pretty sure it should bloom the following year. I’m hoping to see some yellow and/or double-ness.

And that reminds me, I need to get my five rugosa X spinosissima ‘Double Scotch’ seedlings in the ground. I’m hoping that at least one of these will be a double-flowered version of what I’ve already got.

Here’s a link to some more information about rugosa X spinosissima.


How hardy is Rosa primula? It is certainly far healthier than the scotch briars and is yellow. Why not use that as the briar half? Im not sure how viable it would be to get the 2 from diploid to tetraploid but it’s a thought.

I’m guessing primula would make a nice combination with rugosa. I did try a rugosa X primula cross once, but didn’t get any hips to take. However, in light of all of the “non-takes” that I experience, I would definitely consider trying that one again.

Once you’ve got a hybrid of rugosa X primula, the difficulty would probably be in getting past the infertility. I have rugosa X xanthina (which should be fairly similar) and I think it has a lot of potential (it’s a rugosa hybrid and it’s yellow), but it hasn’t produced a single hip and my attempts at chromosome doubling haven’t really been successful either.

Of course the triploids from rugosa with scotch briars haven’t been any easier to proceed from, so why not try some other avenues too.

Oh and I just thought of another benefit of using xanthina, primula etc. rather than scotch – my rugosa X xanthina is prickly at the base of the plant but practically thornless on the upper portions of the plant.

Take care, Tom

Philip, no I don’t have Henry’s ‘Rugelda’ x R 15 selection, but I think the J5 Rosa spinosissima selection from Morden would be a good substitute. It has ‘Hazeldean’ in its pedigree and is much cold hardier (Zone 3). But again (I can’t emphasiize this enough), to make good progress in developing Rugosa x Spinosissima hybrids the former has to be brought up to the tetraploid level. Until this is done, we’re going to have to get lucky (obtaining fertile triploids) to develop breeding lines to advance the quality of this type of hybrid.

Tom, thanks for the information on your Rugosa x ‘Hazeldean’ selection. I definitely would like to see the development of a ‘Schneezwerg’ x ‘Hazeldean’ hybrid to develop a yellow hardier than ‘Agnes’. I’ve dabbled at it but will make a real concerted effort next year to accomplish this. Although I have long recognized its potential, I hate working with ‘Schneezwerg’ because the seeds are so small and always seem to lack vigour. I think the solution is to sow the seed directly into a container, and then I don’t have to deal with planting the delicate germinated seeds contained in a poly bag. I’ve done that this year with some other valuable Rugosa crosses I made. For example, ‘Hansa’ x Rosa acicularis ‘Kinistino’. Also, for Rosa woodsii x ‘Hazeldean’/‘Kinistino’.

If Henry’s seedlings bloom for me next year, I will try something like [(Rosa acicularis x R-15) x (Rosa rugosa alba x Baby Love)] among other things like [(Rosa rugosa alba x Baby Love) x (Belle Epoque x Rosa primula)].

But, as has been discussed, a lot of luck will be needed. Im still young, though. I have the patience to try many, many variable crosses (dead end or not).