Scarlet Moss selflings

Scarlet Moss has a reputation for being finicky about which pollens it accepts so it was pretty surprising to have seedlings from 12 of the 25 different pollens I tried on it. Several of the crosses that didn’t produce seedlings did actually give embryos but these were from late pollinations and the embryos were not quite mature enough to survive.

The most surprising of these crosses were two deliberate attempts at self pollination which gave six embryos, three of which were just barely mature enough to survive. I had expected these crosses to fail because blooms on Scarlet Moss never set hips on their own.

Perhaps the reason that Scarlet Moss doesn’t easily set hips is due to the unusually high viscosity of its stylar fluid. The fluid is so thick and pasty that I usually need to wash my pollen brush after every application onto a Scarlet Moss bloom.

Has anyone else managed Scarlet Moss selflings, or even tried? I’m wondering what to expect.

Other pollens that worked on Scarlet Moss are:



6-1 (Golden Wings OP)

Baby Love


Blueberry Hill


Dragons Blood

Gertrude Jeckyl

Hot Cocoa


Marco Polo

Morden Sunrise

Ruby Pendant


Yellow Submarine

Congrats Don.

I’ve got a selfed ‘Scarlet Moss’ seedling here a friend shared with me. It’s supposed to have spots. Waiting to see.

Should know in the next few weeks.

Must be a matter of climate. My Scarlet Moss sets open pollinated hips every year. I’ve grown out several of them. Not much variation from the parent. I haven’t kept any of the OP seedlings. Scarlet Moss is involved in a lot of my crosses, however. It is picky about the pollen it will accept. I now use it almost exclusively as pollen parent. The only seedling I’ve kept with SM as seed parent is Scarlet Moss X Deuil de Dr. Reynaud.


When I got it to set seed, which it did easily, it only wanted to produce these medium-sized, extremely thorny hips that usually only contained a few large seeds. I didnt find it to be all that great of a seed parent, but I can see how it could make a great pollen parent. It produces a ton of easy-to-get pollen :slight_smile:

My experience is similar with Mark’s that ‘Scarlet Moss’ easily set OP hips. I have grown several of them, but also didn’t keep any. It worked well both ways.

Jim Sproul

Don, did you have any luck with the ‘Scarlet Moss’ x ‘Baby Love’ cross? We can’t get ‘Scarlet Moss’ here so I’ve been thinking of putting ‘Dresden Doll’ onto ‘Sympathie’ (I can get ‘Dortmund’ but I have ‘Sympathie’ already) to put ‘Kordesii’ blood and ‘Sympathie’ red into it to try and get around 'Dresden Doll’s tendency to breed unattractive pink weaklings. If I could get a seedling sometime like ‘Scarlet Moss’ then I was then hoping to put it through the ‘Baby Love’ seedling I have. It seems like it would take on the mossing well and it is very healthy and strong.

I’m also interested to hear how your SM x ‘Cornelia’ cross turned out. Mossy hybrid musks sounds very interesting (to me).

There were three immature embryos from Baby Love pollen on Scarlet Moss but none of them made it. One of the two embryos from Cornelia pollen did get potted up, I’ll let you know the status when I sort through things later in the spring.

I also got a dozen seedlings from Ballerina on Scarlet Moss, though I can’t say whether they were actually hybrids yet.

Would it maybe be better to skip a generation and just use ‘Unconditional Love’?

UL is not available here… hence the desire to ‘recreate the wheel’.

From what I understand, UL is closer to a true mini. Scarlet Moss is patio sized – at minimum. UL is also directly crossed from a miniature, whereas SM is mini derivitive with a whole tone of Dortmund in it. So, in essence, they should produce differing amounts of mini vs. larger-sized seedlings. SM’s foliage alonge is larger than Baby Love’s. The leaves on SM itself can get up to the size of a dwarf floribunda/shrublet, like Regensberg or Flower Carpet.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Red is probably a self of Scarlet Moss and is a more dwarf version of it. So far, nothing is listed as coming from it. If you can get hold of it and UL isn’t available, you might try it. I wouldn’t think it would have difficulties being a self, even with all the Dortmund behind it. There’s enough “Ralph stuff” in it. Kim

FWR isn’t here either that I can find, unfortunately. Sounds like a good challenge :slight_smile:

There is also Warm & Fuzzy at all Week’s retailers, but its not as good as Scarlet Moss imo. If one is to grow this class of prickley sticks, then its just better to invest time in those with some excitement or elegance. W&F is okay in all regards, but possibly the most boring red mini moss. Its only pro is that it may be from a different moss line than those Moore used, but we’ll never know since the moss bred by Heirloom that Week’s used for W&F is unknown.

Simon, I came across this thread again just now and am reminded I promised to update you on the Scarlet Moss x Cornelia seedling I have. Here it is, this morning in the rain.


In case you have any doubts about it being a hybrid have a look at this comparison photo made by Margaret Furness of various hybrid musks, of which Scarlet Moss is not one.

I cannot say whether it is scented because I am immune to the fragrance of the musks. It shows signs of bearing the mossing genes of Scarlet Moss although, like all of my F1 Scarlet Moss seedlings, it is not itself mossed.

You may notice some labeled hips on this seedling. One of them is a deliberate selfing to see if I can bring out the moss, and the other a cross with Francois Juranville to impart non-foetida derived carotenoids into the line.

Very nice Don!

That’s a very interesting cross Don. Thanks for updating us on it. If you haven’t grown Ralph’s Cee Dee Moss, you might take a look at it. Heavily striped, very heavily mossed and resulting from Carolyn Dean, a sister of Renae, crossed with 14 Stripe, Little Darling X Ferdinand Pichard. I know where the stripes came from, but the “mossing factor” was greatly turned on by something. With no real mosses behind it, kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Kim


‘Cee Dee Moss’ is a runt in my climate; clearly it wants a consistently warm climate to thrive. Mine has yet to exceed 15" tall, after nearly 8 years in cultivation. Location, location, location!


Ralph released ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Red’ several years ago, and it is a self-seedling from ‘Scarlet Moss’. I regularly get OP seeds from ‘Scarlet Moss’ here.

I ought to post some pics of crosses I made in '09, using ‘Scarlet Moss’ as seed parent, and L83 and ‘William Baffin’ as pollen parent. Some of these are remarkably healthy plants, and almost all are strongly mossed, much to my surprise.