Trying to understand striping...

I’ve been reading Mr Moore’s article on striping again, trying to understand the nature of striping and how it may be inherited. If I’m correct in my understanding, Mr Moore selected ‘No. 26 Stripe’ and ‘No. 14 Stripe’ from 29 seedlings obtained from a an F1 cross between ‘Little Darling’ and ‘Ferdinand Pichard’… indicating that stripes may be somewhat dominant because it reappeared in the first generation (is this kind of correct… not taking into account individual cases… only looking at generalisations atm or was it it due to an individual case that enabled the expression of striping in the F1 generation?). From then various crosses were made (while a lot failed to produce striping) and one with ‘Little Chief’ resulted in ‘Stars n Stripes’… from which most of our striped cultivars come from. Is this right so far?

I’ve been collecting striped varieties descendent from, and including ‘Stars n Stripes’ to try for some striped roses… I’d really love to make striped healthy shrub roses with Teas. In my collection is a rose bred by Sam McGredy called ‘Papageno’ (see link). I bought this one because its pollen parent was a striped seedling with ‘Stars n Stripes’ as its pollen parent. ‘Papageno’ is nicely striped and I assumed the striping came directly from ‘Stars n Stripes’. I’ve had ‘Papageno’ for a few seasons now and it forms masses of OP hips… so taking people’s advice on here I collected a lot of them to test germinability with the intention of using it as a seed parent to create striped roses. I germinated about 100 seedlings (very easy to germinate seeds… I got about 90% germination from it and they were the first seeds, after the multiflora rootstock seeds, to germinate). Not one of the seedlings has turned out striped. They are all reds, oranges, and hot pinks and about half of them are white on the reverse. One really lovely one is an red colour with an orange reverse. They are lovely strong colours but none are striped. The unusual bud I posted earlier is almost open now and the green striping is, as Robert said, only on the guard petals. The rest is a rich red with a white reverse. I’ll be checking it over carefully for even the faintest stripes when fully open but so far I can see none.

So, I’m a little confused about the inheritance of stripes given that Mr Moore got stripes in his first generation with FP. Out of about 100 seedlings I can understand getting a small percentage of stripes because I assume non-striping would also be present, possibly in a larger dose than striping… but am having trouble understanding how/why 100% of them have turned out solid coloured? 100 is not a terribly large sample size but it isn’t that small either. My new little ‘Stars n Stripes’ is about to flower and I hope to play with it a bit but am keen to use ‘Papageno’ because the seedlings are super vigorous, so far healthy, seem to grow easily on their own roots, and have beautiful flower form. This one, below, is the first flower of one of these seedlings and the colour is pretty accurate.

The little curled bud below it is the red with orange reverse I mentioned and is part of the same batch of seeds. I’ve culled them down to about 10 seedlings now and they just seem to get stronger and stronger. The larger flower in the photo above has a a lot of petals for a first flower I think and really nice form for its first flower and it will be interesting to watch it as it ages…

So can someone explain to me how this works because I was expecting at least one striped seedling from the bunch… especially from an OP batch of seeds that I assume is mostly self pollinated. Does striped rose x striped rose not result in many striped seedlings?

My other striped roses to try are ‘Stars n Stripes’, ‘Soaring Spirits’, ‘Honorine de Brabant’, ‘Maurice Utrillo’, ‘Paul Cezanne’, and ‘Red Intuition’. The last three are a different bunch of striped roses that may or may not be linked back to FP… they are Delbards and their parentage is not listed… I’m assuming their striping is from sporting or some other origin until I see the first flowers from them (and their seedlings are so far weak).

Thanks in advance.


Candy Land and Shadow Dancer are definitely my best stripe producers.

When put with what? I’m more trying to understand why probable selfs of a striped rose with a proven ancestry didn’t produce any stripes? I should qualify that 5 haven’t yet flowered so I may yet get one striped but so far I have had none. I’m just processing images of some of the others.

This is the green striped one I asked about before. You can see teh green striping on the guard petals and how it is opening to red with a white reverse from a big fat bud.

The pinky orange with yellow tinged reverse is a smaller flower on a less vigorous plant:

More red with white tinged reverse:

And some, still in bud, that look to be solid red:

These five (one in the top post included) have very normal looking foliage… no sign of them being less wide than normal etc. The remaining five to flower also show pretty normal foliage… except one that looks a little thinner, but only the new foliage looks this way:

I reckon the counter shading and green striped guard petals came from Papageno’s seed parent; ‘Freude’ (see link). Do you think something like the counter shading could be masking the stripes?



I was reading Mr. Moores article on striped rose recently as well. My thinking is that there is more than one gene controlling striping similar to repeat bloom we were just discussing in the recent thread. I too noticed that the striping must have some sort of dominance because it was coming from just one parent. Even though his sample was pretty small it didn


I can’t tell you exactly what mechanism is responsible for inheritance of striping, but it definitely does NOT follow the normal rules of inheritance. Some have suggested that the trait is not inherited through normal DNA, but through some other mechanism (I hope someone will step in and elaborate on this).

From what I remember of discussions with Ralph on this topic, you have to play about with a variety of parents to find the ones that will allow for the inheritance of striping. Some roses will not breed a striped seedling no matter what you cross it with, whereas another parent might do it much more readily. I think Ralph was onto something when he used Little Darling frequently as a parent: it was versatile and would often allow for expression of “difficult” traits when many other roses would not. Rumba was the same for him when it came to mossing; it manifested the moss trait in its offspring when many, many other seed parents never, ever did.

I suspect Papageno (lovely rose that it is) may not capable of passing the striping trait on to its progeny and you would be best to select something else to work with. It is possible that the problem came from selfing and that by going back to one of the earlier stripes (like Stars ‘N’ Stripes) and using that pollen on Papageno, you might start to see striping expressed. Beware that Ralph made it quite clear to breeders that if they used Stars ‘N’ Stripes in breeding that a high percentage of seedlings would be tall/climbing varieties. You can also expect a percentage of its seedlings to be non-remontants also, as that trait will resurface from the HP ancestry thanks to Ferdinand Pichard. He advised people to instead work with selections bred from Stars ‘N’ Stripes (selected selfings) or some of the best offspring (I would recommend Pinstripe most highly. McGredy’s Hurdy Gurdy would also be worth exploring) I have found that you can put pollen from Pinstripe on most anything and get at least a small percentage of striped offspring. Even when put on Midnight Blue, I got 5% striped seedlings.

So, it all depends on your choice of plants to work with. If I were you, I would definitely go back to Stars ‘N’ Stripes and work with it for at least two generations. The first generation should be made with a goal of producing not a finished product, but a good compact, vigorous striped breeder. (Ralph’s work illustrates that most of the best striped breeders came after Stars ‘N’ Stripes. Probably most useful to Ralph was 44 Stripe, a sister to Rose Gilardi…hint, hint)

Remember also that the striping characteristic can evaporate completely from a line at any point and although it may be present in a seedling, you can’t assume the trait will move forward another generation. You can only determine this by trial and error and select those that do pass it forward. Be vigilant also in culling any part of a breeding line that produces lots of weak, mildewy seedlings. I have found that lack of vigor and general “runtiness” often follows striped breeding lines, so watch out for that.

Jadae stated that Candyland and Shadow Dancer work well for him and I would pursue those as well if you have access, especially the latter. I have no idea how Scentimental behaves as a breeder but it might also be worth looking at. Honorine de Brabant can breed pale striping sometimes, but it also passes on severe Blackspot susceptibility as well. I don’t have any personal experience with the Delbard stripes, but you should likely expect that striping that arose from sporting is almost certainly not going to be passed on through sexual reproduction.

Best of luck!


I want to just add that those are gorgeous looking seedlings. I’d be ecstatic if I my seedlings looked that nice. It’s late autumn here and everything has turned brown so seeing some nice pictures helps to break up the doldrums.

‘Hurdy Gurdy’ readily passes on stripes, at least it did for me.

I made one hip last year using it’s pollen and got one very vigorous striped seedling that is already setting hips out of the offspring.

Stripes are not a high priority for me. In fact this was the first time I ever attempted to use the pollen of a stripe. I did it out of curiosity.

See link.


Hi Simon, That is all I used this year was pollen only from striped roses and doubled up on the pollen from several striped roses on one cross…I have lots of seeds so far so I am hoping I get at least a few striped roses from the batch. Cabana and Rainbow Niagara (Tropical Sunset/Marvelle)were the only two that I used last year and got a few striped roses this past summer.

Here are some pics of striped seedlings from then.

I have yet to figure out how to post more than one picture in a post… But anyway here is the other seedling, first one is Brigadoon X Cabana in above post and this one is Chicago Peace X Cabana. The next pic is a cross of Neptune X Scentimental and I don’t think I used enough of Scentimental’s pollen because there is only faint striping on the edge of the petals on this seedling.

Chicago Peace X Cabana

Neptune X Scentimental

Wow, these pictures are beautiful! I really like striped roses, but haven’t been working with them. I’ve been working with stippled roses though, just a more subtle form of striping where the “jumping” of DNA likely happens later in petal development so there are smaller regions of color overlaid.

This is the best understanding of striping that I can come up with from assimilating information from viruses, aleurone layer color on maize, etc. I’m not claiming this is true or well documented in roses, but this is my thought process for what it is worth.

Here I go:

Striped roses have an anthocyanin gene that has a piece of a transposon in it. THere is a segment of DNA that is virus-like or back whenever virus derrived. The DNA landed in an anthocyanin gene and disrupts its expression limiting the anthocyanin production and color that is produced. These transposons rely on at least two different segments of DNA. (perhaps the second one can actually still be within a virus, but for sure can be in the host DNA too).

The second DNA segment produces transferase, an enzyme that can cut DNA and chop out the first type of DNA based on its unique sequence. If the DNA in the anthocyanin gene can get cleanly cut out and the cut ends heal, the gene can express itself again. The transferase activity and movement of the DNA of the “first type” occurs during a narrow window in development of the plant. There are promotors that can turn on the process at just this time in the plant in specific tissue (petal) and the plant somehow may be able to supress DNA movement and this activity at other times to protect itself and its other genes from having DNA landing in other genes. So, petal cells at this critical stage during development will be left with the ability to make normal anthocyanin or still have the DNA disrupting the anthocyanin gene. Those cells then divide to make more copies of themselves and all the tissue from the cell will either share the ability to make or not make anthocyanin. That is why striping seems so random throughout the petal at times. It all started with a cell that had anthocyanin production restored at one point in time for the darker color. For stippling, the promotor is turned on later in development and we just see smaller stipples of the darker color versus larger stripes that seem sometimes more light or more dark in overall color in a flower.

I suspect that as we cross striped roses with non-striped roses the variability in expression of striping is coming in in multiple ways. Perhaps we have a copy of the disrupted anthocyanin gene with other copies of normal anthocyanin genes (alleles) and the normal ones produce enough anthycyanin that subtle striping may be hard to see.

In addition, other parents may have more or less of the transferase gene in their genome and more or less of the ability to supress it.

Transposons can then land in and disrupt other genes and lead to increases in mutation rates / genetic changes. Transposons and “knocked out” genes (i.e. disrupted function) is a way in maize people have then had the ability to find alterned phenotypes and then better identify and characterize the gene the DNA landed in.

So, I suspect it is to our benefit to generally look to using at least one parent that possesses stripes for efficiency, use parents to cross them with that hopefully can produce some lighter background colors for striping to have a good backdrop when we find it, and by trial and error find non-striped parents to use with stripes that allow for good transferase activity and therefore contribute to a good rate of nicely striped offspring.

I think it would be really interesting to cross stippled and striped roses and see how that affects stage of expression of these color breaks.

What are other peoples’ thoughts on the subject?



Hi David, I like your ideas about transposons and/or other viral particles being involved in the process of expression of striping in roses.

Some random thoughts:

Roses that have worked well for me in passing along stripes are ‘Roller Coaster’, ‘Fourth of July’ and ‘Purple Tiger’. Almost all of my striped roses come from these. Please note that ‘Fourth of July’ is a seedling of ‘Roller Coaster’. Joe Winchel had a great striped rose that also came out of ‘Roller Coaster’. ‘Purple Tiger’ is somewhat of a whimp. So if you have it Simon, you may find good striping coming out of ‘Roller Coaster’ - especially where there is good contrast between the darker and lighter stripes.

Stripes are fascinating. They do appear dominant, yet not always. I see a similar pattern (not clearly dominant) with the Hulthemias. Both of these also exhibit changes with the heat (as do the hand painted roses). I have wondered whether viruses or viral-like particles may also be operative in the hand painted roses.

With regard to stripes, the lighter stripes seem to predominate in cooler weather, whereas in hot weather, the darker color predominates. The hand painting effect of the hand painted roses is often “lost” during hot weather.

On a few of the Hulthemias, I am noticing some unattractive foliage changes in warmer weather, similar to what I have seen in some of the hand painted roses (what first got me to thinking that the hand painted roses may be under viral influence). I am wondering if some unknown viruses are being allowed to express themselves in hybrids having Hulthemia genes.

David, I know that you posted recently somewhere the thought that there may be other viruses that are present in roses that have not yet been detected???

I wonder if some of the Hulthemias could be used for detecting some of these new viruses?

Jim Sproul

I’d like to thank everyone who has responded to my questions and confusion. It really makes a huge difference to my thought processes and understanding.

Paul Barden (so many Pauls here :slight_smile: ),

I think you are right in that it may be a matter of finding THE parent to match with stripes for it to be re-expressed. I’m also beginning to think, as David alluded to, other traits may be effective at masking the stripes (and as I type I thought of another question… has there been examples of striping occurring from non-striped parents, seemingly spontaneously? If so did these parents have any unusual features that may be masking the stripes so it seems to be carried instead?). This counter-shading effect seems to be recessively carried in ‘Papageno’, inherited from ‘Freude’ I’m thinking, and selfing has brought these features together again. I have pollinated ‘Papageno’ this season so far with purples such as ‘Violette’, ‘Veilchenblau’, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, ‘Wild Rover’, and will put 'Route 66’and ‘Ebb Tide’ on it when they start flowering as well (Paul… I have done the ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ x ‘Violete’ cross I was thinking about last year too along with ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ x ‘Veilchenblau’. Am thinking I’ll put ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ onto ‘Anne Endt’ when it starts flowering too). When ‘Safrano’ gets more flowers and I can get ‘Mons. Tillier’ from a friend I will be putting that onto ‘Papageno’ but for each pollination I put onto ‘Papageno’, I’ll do the same onto ‘Stars n Stripes’ if I can. ‘Shadow Dancer’ and ‘Candy Land’ don’t seem to be available here. ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is, though I don’t know that I want to use it as it’s not very healthy here. ‘Soaring Spirits’ was a hopeful one, but its ‘Altissimo’ blood seems to have a made its seeds equally hard to germinate for me. I think I can get ‘Hurdy Gurdy’ and some of the other Sam McGredy striped minis. I was looking at ‘Strawberry Swirl’ until I noticed on here that it was sterile. Not sure I have ever seen ‘Rose Gilardi’ here but then again I haven’t looked… so maybe I can get that as well.

David, I also think you are correct in saying that it comes down to finding a parent that provides a suitable ‘backdrop’ for the stripes to be expressed. This makes a lot of sense to me and is a very clear way of putting it.

Jeanie, they are lovely striped flowers and are similar to the effect I was hoping to see from ‘Papageno’.

Paul Guerts, I am pretty happy with these particular seedlings as well. They just aren’t going down the path I was expecting (and I don’t really want to breed hybrid teas… these were just test seedlings really). I’ll most likey keep these to grow in the gardens, but am hoping to try for different stripes more specifically at the moment.

Thanks again everyone.

I like all your roses very much, striped or unstriped. :slight_smile:)

I had 9 seedlings of Honorine de Brabant op.

Three of them showed striping very similar in color and pattern to the parent. All the other ones were pink, and surprising for me: several had simple flowers .

I also had three seedlings with Honorine as pollen parent. One of those was also striped. The flower was mainly pink, with a few white stripes. The other two were plain pink.

Honorine is capable to confer stripes via Pollen and via hip.

Some of its seedlings are not remonant.

Some seedlings may have simple flowers.

Health may be a problem; I had many more seedlings that were dying early on.

I think of using Honorine in combination with more robust roses.


Following on from what David Z says, if the color effect is a disruption of some anthocyaninin pigment formation gene, we have to consider the tetraploid nature of most roses.

In a diploid, an insertion in the key gene, damages one copy of the gene. A selfing of that plant will give a fraction of plants with two copies that are coming and going defective, depending whether the transposon is in or out. One copy may be enough to produce the desired pigment, so you have to have both copies in this defective state. Plus you need the transposase gene. In some cases it is carried right along with the piece that pops in and out. In other instances it may be on a different chromosome.

This has all been studied in maize in the special instance of the aleurone color of the seeds. I think you can find discussion by Virginia Walbot on the bronzy locus by a google search.

For a tetraploid you would need to shut down all the pigment producer genes to get white. Halfway, might be pink, if there were four functional copies with insertions. Of course yellow or pale roses would be having fewer than 4 anthocyanin pigment producing genes. So they would be easier to work with. Supposing a pink with two “active” copies, both with transposons, changing one would give paler stripes, changing both would give white.

Unfortunately, as you see, color intensity even without stripes is not simply additive. Front side/back side or center vs edge of petals vary with assorted modifiers.

If you look at Little Darling, it has an assortment of color genes. I grew OP seedlings of it and they look remarkably like it, just generally not as good in bloom production. And over a couple decades they froze out here where it went below 0 F. LD is definitely not a red, scarcely a pink. So its dosage of pigment genes is probably low, beyond the co-pigments of quercetin or such.

Statistically 1/100 is not too far from 1/36. So if one essential gene is really fully recessive you could miss it in a progeny of 100, some fraction of the time, in crosses, though not in selfs. With two gene loci it is also a challenge, if one gene is “dominant” as the transposase would be. It may be present in only 1 copy of 4, so 1/4 get it.

THere is also the possibility of segregation distortion, linkage disequililbrium or other oddities, if lack of pigment affects viability of ova, pollen or seeds.

Simon, the two that I kept are Carefree Marvel x Shadow Dancer and Toprose x Candy Land. The former is a single deep red and bright white striper with kordesii foliage and a habit like Bonica. The latter is a pillar rose that is an unfading deep gold striped sherbert orange on fully double blooms.

My 2 cents is to look at the petals of the striped mates extremely closely. I tend to look for petals that have colors layered over one another. I stay away from petals that tend to be wholly monochromatic. Sunblest would be an easy example of this.

I think the Neptune x Scentimental idea is interesting. Not only does it double up on Playboy, it also looks like it plays on the theme Blueberry Hill provides. If you look at various Blueberry Hill roses out there, you will note that a lot of them have very unstable blooms that tend to steak similar to the striped hybrid photographed here :slight_smile: I have seen some that are so unstable that they look completely striped. I think the striping on this one is very elegant.

Any idea if mating a striped breeder with a deep red/w yellow reverse might produce different results than selecting a solid red?

I think it depends because solid red is such a huge variation, especially when the doubleness is stripped away to see what the whole petal looks like alone. For example, Pride of England , Olympiad, Remembrance, Ingrid Bergman and Mister Lincoln are all vastly different at this level.

Ingrid Bergman, for example, has petal attachments that are yellow!

Olympiad seems to be a pink-red overlaid and blended with red with a white attachment.

Remembrance seems to be a red with an overlay of orange with a white attachment.

Pride of England seems to be two tones of red merged to give the appearance of true red, with a white attachment.

Mister Lincoln seems to be a lot of variations of reds, pinks and purples blended into one an expressing different depending upon current climate.

Some reds are so double that if you take them apart, you will find that they are actually yellow blended red or pink blended red or white blended red. They appear as true red but they are actually blends.

So, it all comes about to be very, very confusing at this level :slight_smile:

Also, different reds have different reverses as well.

Check out this photo of Olympiad, which is a very accurate picture of Olympiad as it ages in the garden:

You can see that it is more than just red. From what I remember, Olympiad is supposedly in the hidden (Olympiad x seedling) lineage of Lynn Anderson. It would not surprise me because LA and Olympiad both follow the same pattern of color. LA’s sport, Crowd Pleaser, follows the same pattern as one of Olympiad’s ancestors, Red Devil and its sports.

See Red Devil: 'Red Devil ' Rose Photo

Crowd Pleaser: 'Crowd Pleaser ' Rose Photo

So, I guess my point is – What is red, and how much different is it from a red/yellow bicolor? Red is a really deceiving color in roses =/