I’ve been wondering about silver/white reverse in roses. I’m very fond of this effect.
I have extremely limited experience: last year’s cross of Mamy Blue × Huddersfield Choral Society only gave me two seedlings, one of which had HCS’ silver reverse. With such a limited sample size, it’s impossible to draw any conclusions. Is the absence of pigment on the reverse easily passed on?
I’ve noticed that many roses that have a silver reverse don’t have any parents that have it (Monica Bellucci, Blue for You among others), so how does it arise?
Also, why does a white reverse seem to never happen with yellow or orange? The only yellows listed on HMF as having it are a very pale, fast fading yellow, like Lemon Sunrise or Yellow Light. The oranges sometimes have a yellow reverse, but never white, unless the orange is almost red, like Orange Impressionist. Is there something about yellow pigment that makes a white reverse impossible?
There are many dark purples with silver reverse, however lilac/lavender with silver reverse seems very rare. The only one I could find on HMF that really had that contrast was Boerner’s Twilight. It’s a lovely combo!
Sorry if I am framing this wrong or missing some obvious parameters! Just trying to understand how it works.
Blue for You is where those you listed obtained that pigmentation. After you’ve grown it a while and raised a bunch of selfs from it, you can spot them a mile away. See if this Le Grice article helps. Le Grice: Unusual Colors (1968)
Hi @roseseek ,
Thank you for your comment!
I went back and reread that article by LeGrice. Very interesting stuff in there about mauves and purples! In another thread you had recommended the paperback 1970’s edition of his book Rose Growing Complete and I have placed an order for it that should arrive in a few weeks. Really looking forward to reading it!
Out of the roses I mentioned above, only Huddersfield is descended from Blue for You.
Monica Bellucci and Twilight are among the ones that don’t come from parents with a silver reverse, as are, to give more examples, Liberty Bell, Brilliant Flower Circus, and Ralph’s Creeper. In all of these, the silver reverse seems to have appeared from parents that didn’t have it. Even Blue for You seems to have no parents with this trait. Hence my question: how/why does the silver reverse arise?
I wonder if a white reverse somehow correlates with the genetics for darker edges or blended colors? There does seem to often be blended/edged petals at least at grandparent level in several of these.
You’re welcome! You’ll love LeGrice! I wish I had been able to know him and Jack Harkness. I was almost able to find Twilight decades ago, but the plant had expired prior to my inquiry. The closest I came was Barney Gardner’s Tantarra, which is a Balinese seedling, but coffee instead of mauve and without the silvery reverse. I wonder if the white reverse is a development out of Foetida bicolor? Red with yellow morphing into red with white then other colors with white? Perhaps the admixture required to make the mauves is responsible?
The foetida bicolor connection makes a lot of sense, and perhaps it is lurking in the background of many of these modern roses. Thank you, I will keep looking into that!
And then, there’s the mystery of spinosissima bicolor (King Of Scots ) which may or may not be the same as [Queen Mary of Scots]('Queen Mary' Rose ? It displays a contrast of rich color with silver reverse that rivals Blue for You’s yet seem totally unrelated.
Actually, come to think of it… Spinosissima and Foetida Bicolor are both in the Pimpinellifoliae section, right? So maybe there is some kind of relationship there after all.
Indeed, that is very interesting! The hybrid ‘Single Cherry’ as shown in the picture, which is also belonging to the section Pimpinellifoliae, you can also recognise the tendency towards a much lighter to silvery reverse side.
Thank you @Roseus ! I didn’t know about Single Cherry before, that’s another one with a wonderfully contrasted reverse! It seems this would indeed further reinforce the idea that the trait might originate in the section Pimpinellifoliae genes.
I’m intrigued by the possibility of getting some seedlings with a yellow reverse, like the commercial rose “Ketchup and Mustard.” Here are a couple of my seedlings, one big and double with a white reverse, and one smaller and single that has some yellow on the reverse.
Both have in their parentage: Lemon Fizz, R. carolina, Yellow Brick Road, Miracle on the Hudson, First Impression, R. virginiana.
So anyways, I want to cross these two or similar roses to get bigger blossoms with yellow reverse.
I like how the silver reverse seems to give definition to the look of a rose…it’s hard to describe and photograph. The blossoms of these roses seem to shatter a little more quickly, but that could be coincidence.
Those are both very beautiful roses! Thank you for sharing. I agree the reverse adds something special, and looks particularly nice as the bloom is starting to open.
I’m amazed to see that once again the reverse appears without an immediate parent that has it. I looked through the parentage trees of the roses you listed as involved in their breeding, and the blended colors and reverses are quite far back.
So interesting to see the reverse trait pop up many generations down the line… even the direct involvement of species roses from another section (carolinae) doesn’t seem to have interfered with the trait’s expression.
Your hybrids are beautiful Joe!! The yellow reverse one is especially nice and fun to think about what you’ll continue to get in the future as you continue your lines that combine so many wonderfully hardy roses with beautiful modern roses.
I wonder if lack of anthocyanin pigment on the petal reverse is recessive with it popping up out of roses sometimes that don’t express it and not all seedlings out of bicolors expressing it. Roses like About Face are interesting too with more or maybe a different anthocyanin pigment on the petal reverse versus top.