Thomasville Old Gold - Breeding with Teas

A found tea, which I propagated from a rosarian’s collection for its profuse warm peach and gold toned blossoms. A typical tea down here – the specimen from which I collected cuttings was ginormous, like all the scores of teas in this garden. TOG was over 6 feet tall, and nearly as wide. It has done well in the heat and drought of central Texas.

What surprised me today, was to realize that my plant has not a single thorn on it.

Habit is typical tea, with the flowers on at times floppy, or contorted, soft twiggy stems, with the red new growth, etc…

My question is, how easily is the architecture of a tea “strengthened” in a short number of crosses, and do folks feel like the old teas still have much merit today, when stouter hybrids prevail? Also, has anyone else familiar with TOG noted thornlessness? I didn’t note HMF as stating as much. (Is it sometimes climate-related?)

(My TOG grows behind G. Nabbonand, equally thornless.)


I’ve never noticed it lacking prickles, Philip. I have Mrs. Dudley Cross and Mme Antoine Mari and intend to play with them this spring (hopefully!). It sounds as if TOG is one you need to root MORE of (hint, hint!).

I was actually thinking of you when I was looking at the plant this afternoon, Kim, knowing your love of Pernetiana colored roses.
Consider the hint to be taken. (I have never tested its fertility.)

On a parallel discourse, speaking of the tea architecture, it occurs to me that most every thornless rose I have ever seen has relatively thin necks, and those with the stoutest necks beneath their blooms tend to be wicked thorny. I am imagining it, or is there some sort of connection?

I found a thread by Warren on the matter [of breeding with teas- ed], so it appears it’s just a matter of finding a stout mate.

Kim, if you can spare some pollen from Mrs. Dudley Cross I’d be grateful. I can’t grow it here without heroics but I have wanted to work with it since I saw it at the National Arboretum some years back (they had turfed it out by the time I got back there to cop more pollen).

Mrs. Dudley Cross has what I would consider to be an archetypical architecture. Given that woodiness correlates with hardiness, though, I wonder if it will ever be possible to capture that delicate architecture in a cold hardy rose. Can’t hurt to try.

Thank you, Philip. It seems like an interesting one to try. I have very intriguing seedlings from last year using Ping Dong Yue Ji and some moderns with Fed and the 1-72-1Hugonis. I want to play with some more of the teas with both of these and Banksiae lutescents. I will do my best to remember and get the pollen sent, Don, but please feel free to remind me when it is getting close to the time you wish it.

In a “traditional year”, the roses begin flowering here in February (after pruning) and continue until they get pruned again. They might be between flushes, Don, but not past their season here.

R.banksia lutescens is one I was considering for TOG too, Kim. Have you gotten any interesting offspring from her as yet? (I really want to get a repeat yellow/yb off that beast!)
Reckon I need to find time to do more crosses if I hope to ever do so. (Can’t win the lottery if ya never play, eh?.)

I’ve gotten several “maybe” hybrids from her. All have major mildew as juvenile plants and in containers. Hopefully, there will be somewhere to put them in the ground in the not too distant future. I have a number of seeds containing (hopefully) lutescens genes. Once this move is accomplished, I can plant!