Species roses utilized -- show and tell

Doing a forum search, I came across an old thread on folks’ opinions as to “Under-used species with great potential”. Rather than revitalize this long, old thread, I’ll start fresh. (Link to original thread below)

A lot of us are obviously experimenting with back-crosses to species, or utilizing new species in our crosses, or planning on such…

I’d love to hear some follow-ups on species crosses that were discussed several years back in aforementioned thread, and in hearing of any new works/directions by folks. Pictures are always appreciated!

Species discussed in earlier thread included R. palustris for wide tolerances, R. glauca for foliage, R. moyesii, R. fedtshenkoana (remontant and silver foliage), several of the Synstylae for vigor, health, and tendency to create cabbagey flowers in offspring, some of the Pimpinellifoliae, particularly the yellow flowered ones, or those with nice, fine-textured leaves… Today, I suppose Clinophylla probably fits into the mix, and I personally hope to pursue some crosses with R. banksia lutescens too.

As a slight aside, I enjoyed looking at the list on Rogers Roses of species I’d never heard of… (http://www.rogersroses.com/gallery/default~gid~3.asp)

Thanks in advance for sharing!

Link: www.rosehybridizers.org/forum/message.php?topid=8706#18194

This past year I done a lot of crosses with R. glauca. I made these crosses with it.

R. glauca x Baby Love

R. glauca x Gene Boener

R. glauca x [(Folk Singer x Illusion) x R15]

R. glauca x Rise n

When I read of species that never been used. A lot of them do not have that great of descriptions. Plus even if it does not seem like it would be a good parent maybe it could turn out to be like multiflora. The plant of multiflora is one thing and the hybrids coming from it are another thing all together. Just thinking of some of the multiflora hybrids make me willing to try any species just once just to see what happens.

In an earlier thread on R. glauca, Paul Olsen pointed out that it is in the Caninae section, and has a weird meiosis meaning it will want to be a seed parent with the crosses you mention. I don’t pretend to understand ploidy issues very well, however. It is similarly likely, per his post, that offspring will favor the phenotype of R.g. over the daddy’s.

I should research the successes in using the dog rose group in other crosses…

Link: www.rosehybridizers.org/forum/message.php?topid=12252#


You are correct. Hybrids of Rosa glauca using it as the pistillate parent will have progeny that favours this species in appearance. The good news is that the foliage colour and cold hardiness of this species is retained quite well. The bad news is that it is difficult to make major changes in the flower colour, form and size. Still, I think this is a valuable species to work with in a breeding program. I think more success will possiblly happen when developing F2 progeny.

I’ll have some new species derived stuff I can share photos of blooming soon.

Sounds interesting, can’t wait to see these, Robert!

Ah, but what about remontancy, Paul? That’s what gets us southerners’ attention! (One-shot deals are a waste of a good 250+ day growing season!) How quickly is that obtained with R.g. or other caninae? Thanks for the confirmation.

Robert, I look forward to seeing your pictures.


It’s not new but since there’s been a lot of talk about R. glauca, here’s a photo of ‘Gentle Annie’ x (R. glauca x R. pendulina) taken yesterday. This one repeats, is seed fertile, at least to a degree. There is some new stuff coming out of it now.

I’d doubt it’s hybridity somewhat but it bears a striking resemblance to a another cross I made at the same time. It is also fertile.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.47663

Good point about remontancy, Philip. I don’t think of it as much in this northern (Zone 3) climate. We’re just happy we can grow some roses in this cold region of North America (smile). I still haven’t forgotten the day this winter when it hit -45C at the Edmonton airport.

The Rosa glauca hybrid discovered at Skinner’s Nursery in Manitoba I refer to as ‘Skinner’s Redleaf Perpetual’ repeats its blooom. I speculate it may be a F2 ‘Carmenetta’ selection. Rosa glauca foliage colour is there in this cultivar but lacks intensity as one would expect.

All my R. glauca seedlings show more of a grey green color. I am thinking that it maybe due to the fact they are under florescent lights right now. Any thoughts?

I am hoping this second generation will be easier to cross with modern roses than the first. The few hips that come from R. glauca x modern crosses I think may be apomix bu we will see. I was hoping that crosses from R. glauca x R. woodsii turn out to be tetraploid.

Adam, R.Glauca itself is a grey/green in the shade, in the sun it turns more of a reddish color and your seedlings will more than likely do the same but maybe not as reddish as R. Glauca. All my R. Glauca seedlings last year were grayish under the lights, really prety, but they changed somewhat in the sun.


The F1 glauca seedlings R. glauca x R. pendulina showed little blue coloration in my climate. I’ve sent them to Jeff Stover. It will be interesting to hear if they are more blue for him in Oregon.

I did get a seedling with grey blue green foliage in one of the descendants this season.

Thank you for the info Patrick. I was hoping that would happen.


I’ll post pictures when the cuttings (R. Glauca X R. Pendulina) get a little bigger. They still look like sticks with a few leaf sets. I just moved them out to the hoophouse so they can finally get more natural light, but the Sun here can be a precious commodity in the winter and early spring.

There was an interesting poll on favorite roses, Paul, wherein they discovered huge regional differences. Upon looking at the results, it was discovered that the differences were quite simply that southerners, as a rule, disliked the one-shot deals, whereas northerners felt such “have just as many flowers, only all at once”. (I’ve wondered too if stronger demarkation of seasons makes for a stronger spring flush, or if it’s just that being locked up during a bleak winter makes it feel more impressive when color returns to the plants.) For us, putting up with an ungainly thorny bramble of a shrub for two weeks of glory ain’t worth it. Without the blooms, most roses aren’t real pretty, alas. …Which brings me to one of the things I would like to see more focus on: Foliage texture, color, and overall shrub form. In landscaping shrubs, in particular, I think this area needs work.

I hadn’t realized, Patrick, that silver was the predominant undertone for glauca. I know I’ve heard of it giving grey-leafed offspring, which is an attractive color to me. If I recall correctly, you are in Lafayette, n’est-ce pas? So glauca has done pretty well down here? It’s one I intend on acquiring.

Paul, I was trying to find out something about Frank Skinners ‘perpetual glauca’ and couldn’t find anything online. I fear I know little aboot (sorry, couldn’t resist) Canadian-bred cultivars. Do you know where I might find info on this rose?

Here’s another glauca descendant blossoming for the first time today. I’ll update photos tomorrow.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.43398.0&tab=1


The information I provided about ‘Skinner’s Redleaf Perpetual’ rose is pretty well all there is. Maybe this summer I can get a photo of it posted on HMF. As well, I expect this summer to post a photo on HMF of my ‘Isabella Preston’ (Rosa glauca x ‘James Mason’). With its 5 - 7.5 cm. diameter, deep pink flowers it is spectacular when in full bloom.

Yes, I agree. A lot of work can be done to improve landscape roses, especially regarding foliage colour and shrub form.

When developing new roses, I think it is important to follow what I call the “Five F” rule. That is, focusing on 1.Flower. 2. Fragrance. 3. (Shrub) Form. 4. Freedom (of disease) 5. Foliage. There is, of course, far too much emphasis on flower quality. Of course, using this rule is idealistic but I think it is a good thing to always keep in mind.

The Five F’s are what there IS to focus on in breeding, and I agree there is too much emphasis on the order stated. I had the pleasure of presenting my tribute to Ralph Moore at the Great Rosarians at The Huntington Library in January. Michael Marriott was in attendance. He obviously took note of my statement that Ralph admonished to “make a good plant first, it’s always easy to hang a pretty flower on it later”. Michael said he heard it, but at the Austin Nursery their priorities are different. He stated they first select for “the look”. It has to have “the look” they desire to be even considered. Second, is fragrance. If it isn’t fragrant, it won’t be considered. Third, is a pretty flower. Further down the list is health. He said, “of course, the rose has to have acceptable health, but isn’t one of our primary considerations”. That is the problem. Too few breeders look for health as one of the primary traits for breeding and selection. I was asked to discuss this at a local rose society where they want English Roses, but find they are not suitable for their climate because of their general health issues. I propose it is more realistic to look for Freedom from disease, flower, form, foliage then fragrance to have a successful cultivar. To be commercially successful these days, you pretty much need a landscaping rose which will likely be planted in mass where few will even smell them. If they require no care (or very little) in the chemical areas, bloom like a weed (Iceberg!), have a pleasing form with beautiful foliage, you’ll have a plant sought after by landscape companies, gardeners and homeowners alike. If it smells good, that adds advertising verbage which may attract potential buyers, but a climatically suited, pretty, heavily flowering landscape plant not requiring chemical assistance is sure to be something which will SELL, whether it smells at all, or not.