Thoughts on 'Burgundy Iceberg'

I know that sports occur from mutations and that these mutations may or may not be inheritable based on which of the three apical layers it occured in. I understand that seeds/pollen are produced from the middle apical layer of tissue that provides a pathway for the sported characteristic to be inherited.

So… given that sometimes sports produce inheritable mutations, has anyone experimented with ‘Burgundy Iceberg’ to see it it’s colour is inheritable?

I’ve wondered about this too Simon. Iceberg is one of the most commonly seen roses of any type here in Southern California. It’s hard to beat on many levels. It’s only weakness is a mostly seasonal propensity to Powdery Mildew.

I’ve noted the same weakness in some of it’s offspring here, like ‘Heritage’, which also blows very quickly in the heat.

Not to mention that is has very poor Blackspot resistance in many climates as well, mine included. Personally, I would not use this in breeding. The burgundy sport might only breed as white anyway.

Yes… that’s what I was wondering… whether it bred as white? In this area Icebergs are pretty clean in terms of BS and mildew… I have a few roses here that mildew but have never seen any on the Icebergs (I have the original Iceberg, Burgundy Iceberg, Climbing Iceberg, and Blushng Pink Iceberg and they all seem bullet proof… Climbing Iceberg was even evergreen to a certain extent last winter). After the discussion Pierre started a little while ago about the depth of the rose gene pool someone made the comment that there were opportunities for rose breeders to take advantage of local climates (and therefore local markets), by breeding roses suited to their local area and I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit. Alistair Clarke did this but even his roses don’t always suit a Tasmanian climate because his were bred for a Victorian climate which is very much hotter than we are here during summer. I think it would be a tall order to make something that was universally hardy but in my local area it may be a winner (like the ‘Black Jade’ I mentioned earlier that received boos and hisses but is, for me, a winner thriving on semi-neglect). So while Iceberg may spot badly in some climates, in Tasmania (Australia) when others are leafless Iceberg is clean as a whistle and grows to quite considerable proportions. When I lived near Sydney it was a different story. It was a summer rainfall area and Iceberg, of any flavour, was a dog. Down here we get something like 70-80% of our annual rainfall during the winter and have a very dry summer and so BS is not a huge issue for anything really… it’s still here but I can usually control it culturally instead of chemically. Mildew on the other hand (I need emoticons so I can roll my eyes)… Iceberg tends to pop up in lots and lots of things though… some strong growers too like Graham Thomas and I was thinking about going back to near species with it. Robert, I was reading in “The Quest for the Rose” just the other day the section on English Roses and the statement was that David Austin’s primary goal was to select seedlings that were beautiful and secondly healty and a lot of my DA’s would seem to support this sentiment. Roses like Heritage (on my second plant now looking for a good one), seem to take some time to establish… but when they do they are beautiful, quite large, and need a little tlc to keep them looking good. If the colour in Burgundy Iceberg is inheritable then I think it may be a worthwhile option for my local area.

Simon, one of the great things about hybridizing roses is that we all have our own goals and ideas about the directions we would like to pursue. By all means satisfy your curiosity.

We’re all on our own journey.

Sorry if I sounded disrespectful in that last post. I didn’t mean to be so self-righteous. Just thinking aloud really.

Simon, if it did breed on purple, that would give you the other purple rose you were looking for.

I didn’t take your comments as being disrespectful at all Simon. I only wanted to point out that we all have our own priorities and standards of beauty.

I think you should pursue what pleases you in your climate.

No rose is going to be perfect everywhere and for everyone.

All we can do is our best, hope someone else shares our vision and carries on where we leave off.

Everything that has been said being right; Iceberg is among the most outstanding roses.

And you know that BI if eventually not breeding as a purple rose is only a few mutations away from it.

Even if the right layer is not mutated if you breed BI with other purple roses you can really hope to get the desired color. Eventually adding to purple roses genetical diversity.

Hi Simmon,

I have never used Burgundy Iceberg, but there are cases where mutations are passed on. An example is New Dawn which consistently passes on repeat bloom despite being a sport of a once bloomer.

If you try Burgundy Iceberg, my suggestion would be to try to acheive something other than just color in case the color does not pass on. The iceberg roses have some pretty amazing qualities including constant bloom, excellent shade tolerance, few thorns and very good hardiness.


My interest in ‘Burgundy Iceberg’ was sparked when I was looking through Paul Barden’s list of plants bred on HMF and seeing the number of times Paul used ‘Tuscany Superb’ in his crosses instead of ‘Tuscany’… I know they are both pretty much the same colour but ‘Tuscany Superb’ is a sport of ‘Tuscany’ and I started wondering why Paul would have chosen to do this and figured it was in the hope that the increased vigour of the sport would be an inheritable trait (or maybe I am reading too much into it and it was purely an availability thing), as well as passing on the deep purple colour. So… it didn’t take long to start thinking that if some traits of sports can be inherited I wonder if the colour in ‘Burgundy Iceberg’ is… and so we are up to where I’m at now. The other properties of ‘Iceberg’ were also playing a big part in my thinking but it was the colour that I was thinking of most. I don’t know what it is about that deep purple… I’m infatuated with it…

HMF lists Superb as a seedling of Tuscany. I used it once for breeding simply because that was what was available when I collected the pollen. I understand it is supposed to be more double than original Tuscany. Perhaps, that is its appeal? Kim

I used Burgundy Iceberg last year. I was unsuccessful in getting it to set a hip, however, it does make good pollen. Of the crosses I made only Heritage X Burgundy Iceberg produced 4 seedlings and all were white or very pale pink. So, from my experience it passes on white. Next year I will use the seedlings and see if I get any purples.

I had 8 seedlings of Burgundy Iceberg op in 2010. Seven of them produced a first flower in the first year, colors were either white, light yellow or a pastelshade of pink. They were susceptable to mildew and most of them died last winter. So apart from the quick start of producing flowers there was not much quality.


Yeah, I used it for one year, quickly discovered that the mutation to be superficial, and moved on because it produced 100% junk for me. I had my hopes up, too, because the stamens had red in them, indicating the potential for non-superficial mutation, but fate reared its face later.

I was thinking of using it a couple of years ago because of its colour ,but backed off because of the posibilties of its offspring reverting back to white. Sounds like the offspring from Ulrike were not to healthy as well. Glad I stuck with my gut feeling.