Seedling Rose Development

My first rose is now rising 5 mths. from emergence, has so far produced 5 full blooms with 2 more forming, and is 50mm tall.

So far the blooms have been of short life on the bush (about 3 days from full bloom)till they start to fall.

I have only seen a few pollen stamens on the last bloom and no pistil so far.

Is this a normal development for a HT type rose as I have no standard to judge by?

I am especially interested in the sexual development as I am hoping to use this rose in the future breeding program.

Russell Cole

No pistils + few stamens is not a good foundation for the development of a dynasty–nor is it normal. But if the rose has special qualities, use the pollen on some willing parent and see whether you can pass those qualities along to another which is more willing to reproduce.


Russell, when I first started hybridizing, I couldn’t judge, and hence wouldn’t trash any of my babies. And I probably had no business doing so until I had a number of seedlings and could do honest comparitive valuations. Don’t be too judgemental of your baby just yet. That said, no sex organs is strange, but if it makes for a non-hip-setting and hence floriferous self-cleaning rose, that may not be all bad either, albeit a dead-end.

50mm is darned small (2 inches?). Was that a typo, I assume?


Thanks for comments Philip and Peter

Sorry I missed the height it should be 50cms.

What I need to know is if the sexual parts will develop with time or is it demonstrated from the first bloom.

Also is 50cm height in five months a vigorous plant.


If the sexual parts haven’t developed by the second or third bloom, I’d say chances are slim that they ever will. That height, under some conditions, would be good; under others, not so much. If it is skinny and 50cm tall, that is less vigorous than a plant with several canes 50cm tall. You didn’t mention the number of canes.


Hi Russell,

Can you post pictures? It would be interesting to see the bloom and the plant. What is the parentage? What are your goals?

Jim Sproul


Hopefully this will be a photo of my rose (Sterling Silver x Blue Moon) It is scented similar to SS and the largest bloom had 61 petals.

It is my intention to use it to breed a top class mauve of HT type.

I have no great ambition yet just a real good rose will do. Once I acheive that I will try something more adventurous.

next attempt to post photo

Hi Russell,

That’s a very nice looking seedling - and fragrance is a real plus!

If it lacks anthers and pistals, it might be difficult to use it in further breeding. However, a few anthers if pollen grains are present, can go a long way. Have you tried ‘Stainless Steel’ as a seed parent? It is quite fertile, and is also fragrant and vigorous.

Best wishes,

Jim Sproul

Hi Jim

Since I started this post there have been changes which answer some of my questions.

It appears that there is sexual development over time as both bloooms in the photo had stamens and pistils when they opened.

This is the first sign of seed setting ability which I hope will continue to improve as the plant develops. I was able to collect a few stamens as well so should be able to do something in the future.

I have Stainless Steel and at present have some nice hips x Lagerfeld due April but they might be early by colour.

Last year(my first) Sterling Silver was easily my best producer and a very reliable pollen supplier.

This year has been very difficult with water restrictions and very hot weather early so I intend to try a short breeding program in March and hope they will ripen.