Rugosas as seed parents

I’ve read that it can be difficult to use rugosas as seed parents because their pollen usually matures and sheds early. One of my seedlings (from Henry Hudson, OP) looks in every way like a typical rugosa. However, I’ve grown dozens of seedlings from it with seeds from both open pollination and an intentional cross, yet none of them have rugose foliage. Should I assume that my rugosa in question doesn’t set seed with its own pollen, and that I therefore shouldn’t be concerned with emasculating the bloom earlier than usual?

This is true, but if done properly, they make better seed germinators.

Making a try always will tell the truth in such double bind situations, - it also depends on the variations, I think.

Rugosas shed pollen early but apparently many to most (closer to species??) are not receptive for own pollen for a few hours. Only if no compatible pollen has been put on stigmas, self pollination is allowed only by evening or later.

This is not scientifically verified. Only facts from experience. At times, by late morning or early afternoon, when pollinating, I emasculate rugosa flowers that escaped me with abondant pollen all over, blowing as much as I can and if bees did not get ahead I will have only to mostly hybrids.

Rugosas are easy to cross with compatible pollen.

Question is using compatible enough pollen.

My experience.

rugosas are pretty strongly self incompatible. There are multiple studies that look at that including this one POLLINATION IN ROSA RUGOSA THUNB. EX MURRAY I’ve noticed in many landscape situations where there is just one rugosa cultivar planted in mass and it is isolated from other roses and there is no fruit set. In the past there was a thread about Hansa offspring looking non-rugose and people wondering if Hansa carried genes of other species. It is likely just a cross with neighboring roses because it is strongly self incompatible. Perhaps you are experiencing this as well. Gametophytic self incompatibility can be broken down or weakened by a number of things including very warm temperatures. Those in warmer climates may find selfing perhaps more readily than in cooler climates. I’ve experienced that in a hot greenhouse with some polyanthas that are normally self incompabile. I raised some seedlings from a white thornless one (recessive traits) and all were white and thornless, so the pink thorny neighbors most likely were not pollinating it since not even one was had thorns or were pink.




I got around the early pollen shedding issue by using a sprayer bottle with water in it and thoroughly (but gently) washing off the stigmas after removing the anthers. I was able to successfully pollinate the blooms and raise seedlings that were clearly all hybrids showing characteristics of the pollen parent I chose. You wouldn’t want to have to do this to a LOT of blooms, but it works if you only have 20 or 30 to do at one go.


I just cut mine up the day before they popped open with tiny sewing scissors, lol. I would cut the sepals off, and then carefully trim off the anthers since theyre not shedding pollen just yet. Anyways, I do get fertile germination this way. However, one must have steady hands.

"Rugosas are easy to cross with compatible pollen.

Question is using compatible enough pollen.

My experience."

Hi Pierre!

This is right - the compatibility - together with the ploidy - is quite helpful - for all crosses.

I did some crossings with Rosa rugosa as a mother plant that are said to be nearly not possible, concerning the father plant, - all what it made possible, was the compatibility and ploidy in this case.

One of these crossings was

Rosa rugosa alba x Rosa beggeriana

in July 2005.

And i am trying further ones of those odd cinnamomea crossings.

Its simply because I need strong material to cross in with less winter hardy types in the future!

Those Rosa rugosa alba x Rosa beggeriana are very winter hardy as expected and do have a pretty foliage colour in autumn with yellows, orange teints and even red to lilac parts as a surplus … .

The foliage is smelling soft and fresh like in Rosa rubiginosa, like fresh apples, after the rain its remarkable.

(This trait is inherited via beggeriana as I checked out, but its much stronger than in the father plants.)

The only “minus”: the F1 plants are healthy an vigourious - but ALL NOT resistant to Black spot.

I have been able to select about 50 plants (out of over 200 stronger ones at the beginning) that are at least quite tolerant against powdery mildew and downey mildew, but the other funghi could be a problem.

The next step will be to cross the best ones (yes, they are not all the same, - even if its F1 :wink: ) with each other to get segregation in F2 - and to cross the best ones from F1 with black spot resistant roses that lack the other mentioned traits of those cinnamomea plants.

Also the recurrent flowering would be very nice … .

This year or next, the mentioned F1 plants will flower for the first time.



In my experience, I haven’t had luck with rugosas. Mostly because I’ve only done it with Joan’s # 3.


I think I will get some luck this year because I’ve used a distantly related rugosa hybrid that’s most likely tetraploid: my kordesii X Basye seedling.

Huzzah-- some pictures of the seedling.


Good idea to mention R x kordesii.

Thanks to Ren


Diversity of species hybrids F1 is surprising. A lot more than the parental species variation.

As rugosa is among my favorite species I did some.

F2 are usually less interesting as I got generally plants like the F1 or leaning toward one or the other species parent. However there is still the possibility of a new unexpected feature appearing.

I got far better results, that is more diversity and originality from halfsibcrosses using another rugosa hybrid (from another species) expressing the qualities I did not find in the F1. Diversity from such halfsibcross cross is fantastic with most rugosa qualities expressed.

Interresting topic!

I’ve made some rugosa crosses.

R. Rugosa x Springtime

R. Rugosa x Livin Easy

Dagmar hastrub x Springtime

Dagmar hastrup x Coral dawn

Dagmar hastrup x Livin Easy

Nevada x Roseraie de l’H

Nice seedling Enrique!

Hi Pierre!

Oh, this is really interesting, you are right!

You wrote:

“I got far better results, that is more diversity and originality from halfsibcrosses using another rugosa hybrid (from another species) expressing the qualities I did not find in the F1. Diversity from such halfsibcross cross is fantastic with most rugosa qualities expressed.”

This sounds very plausible and fresh to me, - I will have to take it very serious.

One thing I think about is a crossing with Fimbriata (=Rosa rugosa ‘alba’ x Mme Alfred Carri

Timo, that’s really amazing how many Roseraie de l’H

Using Fimbriata and the other “nelken roses” is something I thought about, I grew some and bred a few anew: all are allmost sterile with very few anthers and weak pollen.

Grootendorst have a very reduced registered progeny when Fimbriata has none.

Blanc Double de Coubert is supposed to be from a similar ancestry and has (very reduced) progeny.

Hi Max,

I’ve no seedlings yet, they are crosses I made last week. But I’m really curious about next year.

Roseraie de l’H

I was used to collecting pollen “early” because that was the time that all the roses reacted that I was using. I still find it frustrating to wait for the 'normal’ones

My rugosas and woodsii, blanda are ready when the sepals are just pulling away from the petals

I received some seeds from Henry kuska I guess two years ago from the cross (Acicularis X(Hansa X OP)) X OP. I kept only one which was white, does not sucker and is disease resistant. I used some baby love pollen on it this Spring when it bloomed two blooms for the first time. Now I’m wondering if it is self polinated or it is baby love pollen. I believe I got to it in time but only time will tell as the two hips are almost ripe already. Now another question, this same rugosa( at least it has rugosa leaves) now is branching nicely and one of those branches has five buds on it. Does that mean it is a repeater also. Maybe Henry can shed some light on this at to whom the possible OP is that casued it to be white, non suckering and possibily repeating. I’ve never worked with rugosas before but was trying to maybe get a yellow one.


Timo… did you get any seedlings from the crosses you made above? I have also made a few crosses with ‘Scabrosa’ this year and have been pretty impressed with how easy it seems to set hips with cross pollen. I have had zero op hip set on flowers left to see what would happen. They just shrivel and die off. These are the crosses I’ve made so far:

‘Scabrosa’ x …

‘Black Jade’

‘Gold Coin’


‘Ebb Tide’

‘Baby Faraux’

‘Flower Carpet red’

‘Maurice Utrillo’


‘Golden Chersonese’


‘Magic Carrousel’


‘The Fairy’

Most of these have taken and very large hips have formed.

The other thing I was wanting to know was had people noticed any differences in which the way the rugosa parent was used (i.e. as a seed parent or a pollen parent) in terms of the heritability of the rugosa features? I was asked the other day why I chose to use ‘Scabrosa’ soley as the seed parent and answered that it set seed so easily that I hadn’t really considered anything else… and it got me wondering if it would make any difference???