Scientific review of thornless roses



Thanks for posting this Henry. One of my projects is breeding for smoothness.

I have my own opinion on this subject. I believe the only way we are going to create prickle free roses using traditional breeding methods is by using cultivars capable of producing smooth offspring, selecting smooth descendants, crossing these together, selecting out smooth descendants and so on.

Keeping enough genetic diversity in the mix to preserve vigor is going to be important. Preserving other desirable characteristics is going to be a challenge.

I think it’s possible. Of course the propensity to produce prickles is always going to be there. Diligence will be required to weed out prickled variants quite probably forever.

One of the things that attracted me to banksia was it’s smooth character. I’m pleased to say that a percentage of subsequent generations of offspring are largely free of prickles.

I’ve already begun using these with descendants of ‘77-361’, descendants of ‘Renae’ and so on.