Sir Thomas Lipton progress (or lack of) report

In another thread Sir Thomas Lipton was mentioned. Rather than adding to that thread (since it was not the main topic), I will start a new thread.

In 1996 I had a branch of Sir Thomas Lipton that set open pollinated hips. A lot of the seeds germinated but only 2 are still living - part of the class of 1997. In the past, I have been able to germinate seedlings from these 2 plants with William Baffin, Heritage, and Simon Fraser as the pollen parents. Unfortunately, I have not done much with this line recently.

I no longer have any labeled (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) X William Baffin seedlings in the garden. I say “labeled” because several years ago I found that my previous labeling system was deficient.

I do have 1 (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) X Heritage seedling from my 2005 “class”, but it is a runt. It has not yet flowered.

I have 3 (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) X Simon Fraser seedlings from the 2004 “class”. 2 of the 3 can be viewed at:

by using your browser with the search word Fraser. The 3rd has not yet flowered. (David has reported that Simon Fraser is a triploid.) I had a large number of seeds from open pollination of (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) X Simon Fraser this last year. Unfortunately, none of the seeds germinated.

I have 7 plants with ((Therese Bugnet X OP) X OP) as the pollen parent. this spring 9 open pollinated seeds germinated, but only 4 are still living.

One of the (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) bushes is pretty much a continuous bloomer. Although it is late in the season, I will try some more tetraploid pollen crosses on this (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) plant using both the additive Ferrous Gluconate and alpha-arginine. I will also try using the pollen of (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) on some good tetraploid mothers.


Correction: alpha-arginine should be alpha naphthalene acetamide.



I’ve been looking at the activities of Dr. Van Fleet during the time that Sir Thomas Lipton was created. Do you have any feel for how complex or simple a cross it might have been?


Thanks for the update Henry. Just a few questions. Did you ever propagate that branch by rooting? How is the disease resistance of the seedlings from the (Sir Thomas Lipton x OP) crosses with other varieties? Have you formed and opinion as to whether that branch is diploid or a tetraploid sport or something else? I’m curious about why that one branch sets OP hips. Thank you.


I like your #351 (Sir Thomas Lipton x OP) x Simon Fraser. It appears to have less rugose leaves than the others and the bloom reminds me of both Nearly Wild and Pink Meidiland.

Unfortunately, I did not try rooting the branch.

So far the disease resistance in my no spray garden is great.

I orginally thought it was tetraploid based on the seedlings crossing with William Baffin, Heritage, and Simon Fraser. Now I am not sure. It could be a triploid with both diploid and tetraploid pollen.

I no longer have Sir Thomas Lipton. It was a large plant; and, once I had the seedlings, I felt that it was no longer needed.

I had offered to share seeds from Sir Thomas Lipton X OP.

Does anyone who received these seeds have anything to add?


On August 14, 2007 I stated: " I had a large number of seeds from open pollination of (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) X Simon Fraser this last year. Unfortunately, none of the seeds germinated."

Well, I kept the seeds and this spring many of them have germinated.

I now have looked at the pollen diameter of 2 of my 1997 (Sir Thomas Lipton X OP) plants.

I will discuss each separately.

The first is my #313. It blooms all season with single, medium size, white blooms.


The average diameter is 30.4 microns with a Standard Deviation of 3.6.

Upon examining the data it became apparent that there were 2 sizes of pollen present. I repeated the calculations for the apparent 2 subsets. The smaller pollen gave an average diameter of 26.4 with a standard deviation of 1.6. The larger pollen gave an average diameter of 33.2 with a standard deviation of 0.9. Some (not all) other roses had similar subsets.

At present, I do not know the meaning of the 2 set of sizes.

The second Sir Thomas Lipton 1997 seedling that I looked at is numbered 238. It has large, double white blooms but does not repeat.

It has a very large number of dead pollen, see:

It has a grouping of pollen with the 2 sizes found for #313. However, it also has a small number of larger pollen. Below are pictures of the very large pollen in the “expected” tetraploid size range. One unexpected characteristic - they are all distorted (non-spherical).