sterling silver 2 questions

My first question is does anyone know the parentage? It’s listed as seedling x Peace. I am wondering where the weird color comes from. Secondly who bred this rose I have seen it in a book as McGredy and at help me find as fisher.

Do a search on this forum and there is a discussion about sterling silver.


If I were to guess, Grey Pearl could well have been one of the parents.


If I were to guess, Grey Pearl could well have been one of the parents.

Interesting thought.


Speaking of Sterling Silver, (the first rose I ever begged my grandmother to buy for me, the year it came out), does anyone know where to get a virus-free clone of it? The only time I ever see it is in “sale” bare root roses and so far all three I’ve bought have had RMV and didn’t last the winter.


according to Vintage Gardens website they have a Sterling Silver VID in stock.


See Kim Rupert’s comments on the VID Sterling Silver at Vintage.


HMF now list Sterling Silver’s parentage as Morning Mist (Hybrid Tea Fisher 1950) x Peace. I do not know how accurate this is but it certainly makes sense to me. It now has a reference pointing to Morning Mist as the other parent but the problem with this is that we do not know what Morning Mist was breed from. Perhaps in another decade or two another obscure reference will be found.

I still want to use Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver in crosses. But getting these two to grow has been a challenge. Love the color.

‘Sterling Silver’ was a really easy parent here. It grew and blossomed beautifully. I removed it as I didn’t want to be tempted to use it any more.

That said, knowing the plant, I used three bare roots in the same hole and it made one lovely plant.

‘Stainless Steel’ is really easy too.

I just sent a very vigorous climber out of ‘Sterling Silver’ to Don Holeman. Incredible vigor and fragrance but it will mildew when things conditions are most favorable for it.


I really like mauves and unusual shades. But I am finding a lot of these colored roses do not like to grow that well. A lot of it may be my conditions which summed up is a roses worse night mare. Unless your only problem is black spot in that case you are golden where I am at. I just wish I could get these two to grow long enough so I can get the crosses in that I want to make. I will have to try the Sterling Silver from Vintage next year. Which is all well because I have to figure out what plants I can get rid of in order to make room for it, Unconditional Love and Carlin’s Rhythm any ways. Hopefully someone picks up the last one at their nursery.

In my opinion ‘Sterling Silver’ is best budded. If you can get it on a good root stock for your area that’s the best option. Vintage probably does have the best clone.

we do not know what Morning Mist was breed from

We can guess. We know that Morning Mist was an OP seedling. Lavender Pinocchio fits the bill as it’s parent.

Robert, thanks for that seedling. We’re about to go into a deep freeze here after a week of May weather so I’m headed out right now to move it to the basement hatchway. I need a greenhouse in the worst way.

Adam, try keeping your weaker growing odd colors in large pots where the roots will stay warmer. Not only do you increase the bacterial activity in the soil due to the warmer conditions, releasing more nutrients, but warmer roots speed cellular activity in the plant, forcing it to grow faster, and in weaker plants, often better. You’re going to need to give them “high culture”, the best of everything. Spoil them, as you would an overly favored pet.

My own theory is Nature doesn’t waste good genes on plants which wouldn’t succeed on their own without our intervention. Our, “unnatural selection”. Pink is the predominant color in species and there are probably more really good pink rose plants than any other color. Grays, greens, browns and mauves probably wouldn’t attract any pollinators in the wild, so they would likely die out. Nature is quite a bit “smarter” then we are.

I agree with you about the funny colors. I had to import pretty much everything other than Sterling Silver in the early 80s because no one offered them here, and for good reason! Many were rather difficult to make happy. Grey Pearl has a bad reputation, which is very well deserved as far as the life expectancy of the plant is concerned. As bad as it can be, Fantan was much worse! Early odd colors tended to be quite pithy, soft wooded and for no apparent reason, every bud would break into growth at once, grow an inch or two and the plant would turn olive green and collapse. I found practicing disbudding on them to force them to grow and giving them TPN, total parental nutrition, or “life support”, could make them perform nearly the way I hoped they would, as long as I practiced it. Eventually, it becomes not worth it and I realized while I enjoyed seeing the flowers, I just didn’t need any more cocaine addicted French mistresses. Rose growing is SO much easier and more enjoyable without them!

About twenty years ago, Rose Hills, the large cemetery here in southern California, had plants of Morning Mist and Mountain Haze. I tried several times to propagate them as I had an ‘in’ with their marketing person, Desi Maze. Morning Mist wasn’t that impressive as it was weak and the color not very attractive. Mountain Haze was beautiful! Dennison Morey created a shorter growing, spreading mauve floribunda which was for all the world like a ground cover. Unfortunately, these were but two of the MANY interesting, probably now extinct, roses which were dumped to create the new Rose Hills Rose Trials. Oh, well. I guess we really DO need more of the same, don’t we?

The only reason I Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel so much is the color. The same goes for Oklahoma and Angel Face they are all pretty horrible plants. But they all have very unique color. The color of these are not matched by anything else I have seen. I would only want to use any of these long enough to get an F1 generation. Perhaps it is all well I can’t get these two to grow. Maybe it will save me some headache. I have never seen Grey Pearl in real life.

Adam, if you like the color of Oklahoma but haven’t grown Papa Meilland or Chrysler Imperial you should try to get good copies of those. Besides the dense cyanin they offer strong perfume. Since you like Sterling Silver and unique colors, you might also try Paradise. These all classic HT’s bred for the South but are good breeders and survive well with winter protection in zone 5b/6a.

Oklahoma would be a good candidate to try embryo culture. It makes seeds (both normal and exogenous)but I have never had any germinations- and HMF doesn’t list any descendants of OK as seed parent.

If fragrance isn’t an issue with your breeding attempts, Taboo is deep and dark almost like Oklahoma on a tremendously better plant (here). It isn’t afflicted with as much mildew and black spot but may rust when conditions are right. It is much stronger, with more, better foliage, tremendously better form and in cooler weather, nearly black with a blood red center. I used to cut bouquets of them chuckling thinking of Countess Dracula with a bud on her dressing table, her heart pounding in her chest from the colors! LOL! A few of Tom Carruth’s newer reds are nearly as dark in cooler weather and MUCH better plants than even Taboo. Lasting Love was quite good in the coastal areas. I haven’t grown it inland.

For a mauve with scent, nice color and form, and great foliage and plant, look at Neptune. It is head and shoulders better than anything in the color range (again, here in SoCal), and I have grown everything through the mid 90s even remotely called “mauve”. THAT is my color. And, they are all rather bad compared to the best of the pink roses. Neptune is nearly as good as his Memorial Day. Both have heavy foliage, nearly all the way to the bottoms of the canes; both are heavy, reliable bloomers here; both resist diseases here admirably and both are easily available in most American markets. Hopefully, you can find them elsewhere. Neither is perfect, but both have been far superior to anything resembling them in the mid SoCal desert to the beach areas.

Oklahoma would be a good candidate to try embryo culture.

I’d be happy to do it if someone wants to send me the seeds.

They will mildew really really badly.

They will mildew really really badly.

Depends on what you cross them with? Besides, some things are worth the pain. I grow Mr. Lincoln and Tiffany as much to bury my nose in them as to breed with them. If I had not spent my budget before Vintage made SS available I’d have her too - she’s my CAFM.

If you want to breed for fragrance you are pretty much stuck with mildew and BS. With the exception of Sweet Chariot, the Gambles are all vulnerable. Is not the challenge is to breed it out of them?