Therese Bugnet

I believe somebody (and I can’t remember who) on this forum contacted me at some point when I mentioned Therese Bugnet. They said that they had a “grandchild” of T. Bugnet. Was Therese Bugnet used as a pollen parent or a female parent?

I ask, because I attempted several crosses w/ T. Bugnet this spring as female parent and it looks like none of mine took.

Chris Mauchline

SE PA, zone 6

In the distant past I had gotten open pollinated hips and seedlings from Therese Bugnet (I do not remember how many). I no longer have the mother as I have enough offspring that I used the space for another breeding line.

I have obtained seedlings from TB as both a male and female. It seems fussy sometimes with which male it will accept. Pollen of it works great on straight rugosas. One often gets rugosa-like plants with the flower form of TB (crumply petals).

I’ve crossed TB successfully with polyanthas as both a male and female, however, with difficulty.

TB doesn’t like to cross readily with modern tetraploid garden roses from my experience. It seems like it prefers to cross with diploid species and diploid garden roses. Since it is diploid, perhaps that’s part of the reason. From the pedigree with R. acicularis in the background it seems odd that TB would be diploid. I learned something interesting from a friend lately that in Canada what was called R. acicularis and planted along roads in many cases was some similar looking R. blanda / R. woodsii hybrids. Supposedly these natural hybrids are common in Canada. Does someone have some knowledge or other evidence that what Charles Bugnet used may have been one these diploid interspecific hybrids?

Take Care,



I’ve found TB to be a good parent both ways for the most part. I’ve got seedlings from TB x Golden Chersonese and TB x Suzanne that I’m waiting for blooms on. The majority of seedlings from both crosses took the traits from the pollen parents, ie. small fern-like foliage, chocolate colored canes. No rugose leaves in the lot that I can remember off hand. I did have two TB X Suzanne seedlings that bloomed. One was a single medium pink and the other is a semi-double to double small light pink bloom. I kept this one and gave the former away to a friend for his garden. I’m still waiting on the rest to bloom…hoping for something other than pink from the TB x GC.


Regarding the parentage of ‘Therese Bugnet’ that is given, there is likely a couple of major errors. First as David pointed out,‘Therese Bugnet’ being a diploid it is unlikely that Rosa acicularis is in the parentage. In Georges Bugnet’s own words regarding the development of 'Therese Bugnet: “It took me almost 25 years to make. I began it by crossing Alberta’s natural rose with a Russian rose from Kamchatka.” “Alberta’s natural rose” was likely Rosa woodsii; it is much more common than Rosa acicularis in Alberta.

The Canadian pioneer rose breeders (Frank Skinner, Percy Wright, Georges Bugnet) initially mistakenly identified Rosa woodsii as Rosa blanda. It is likely that the parentage of ‘Betty Bland’ is a Rosa woodsii/rugosa hybrid, not as always stated Rosa blanda x HP. Such a hybrid would be a triploid and also would not have the excellent cold hardiness that ‘Betty Bland’ has. ‘Betty Bland’, of course, is in the parentage of ‘Therese Bugnet’.

I think it is a myth that Rosa woodsii and Rosa blanda are two distinct species and supposedly hybridize with each other The hybrid has been named by some botanists Rosa dulcissima (Sweetest rose). Rather, there is a lot of variation within the Rosa woodsii species. Most genotypes have nearly thornless upper stems, some more so than others. Interestingly, in Manitoba this species is called Rosa woodsii, yet as soon as you cross the border into Ontario it becomes Rosa blanda according to Ontario botanists. How can this be? I’ve examined the plants in Northwestern Ontario and identified them as Rosa woodsii.

So now we have determined that it is likely that ‘Therese Bugnet’ has 3 mistakes in its pedigree. But it’s unlikely that a correction in the parentage will ever be made in Modern Roses.