Two sweet briar parents

While I was looking at sweet briars I noticed two plants that may be of interest to others. I do not think either one has scented foliage and it seems both may be only available in Europe if at all. One is Rudolph Timm and the other is Kordes Harmonie from 1954.

Hi Adam

I don’t think these two roses are commercial available anymore.


One Sweet Briar… I ampretty excited atm as I’ve got hips on ‘Temple Bells’ with wild rubiginosa :slight_smile: I love this combining species thing :slight_smile:

I do not think either one of them are available commercially. It also seems they are both extinct except in Europe where they are listed at least in some gardens. I just thought if some one had one of these or could get one that they should maybe take a look at it. Especially since the descriptions of these two do not seem all that flattering. I just thought there might be some hidden genes that would be of value to somebody else. Both of them have offspring but I think we have some better plants to cross them with today and some new untried routes. I know a lot of people on this side of the pond would love to get their hands on Cl

A bit of both really… rubiginosa is a weed here but it is tough and has a really wide climate tolerance… I want to try and make some breeders that are a collection of species or near species… I like the idea of bringing together wichurana and rubiginosa and there is multilfora in TB not too far back as well and some Noisette blood. Originally I put rubiginosa onto rugosa (‘Scabrosa’ and ‘Ann Endt’) and they didn’t take… will try these again next season… I just can’t seem to get rubiginosa cuttings to strike… I have two that are looking alittle hopeful atm but am not going to hold my breath. The other reasons I wanted to do it was the foliage is nicely scented and I’m curious about this and on HMF there seems to be a lot of first crosses, or near first crosses that seem to attain a very modern feel very quickly… so putting it on TB, that has mini, Noisette, and multilfora as well as wichurana in its background I was hopping the resulting progeny might show a lot of variation with a good share of rubiginosa toughness… and when rubiginosa is used as a pollen parent it makes diploid pollen…

I also like the idea of scented foliage. Hopefully this year I can get something going in that direction. I have not tried to grow rubiginosa from cutting but I have tried them from seed and failed twice. One of these days I will get them to grow. I noticed the same thing with rubiginosa. It seems many of the hybrids were released either in the first or secound generation. Most being in the secound or third generation. I do not know what it is about them but I think there traits are not as dominant as say a rugosa which from study not actual experience seems to dominant a cross. On last thing I think I read that wichurana genes make scented foliage disappear but I do not know how true that is especially considering Gold Busch. I know I read that you had to use it as a seed parent for scented foliage but there are several plants out there that proves that wrong. Good luck Simon.

…also Cl

Jon, if you look in the last RHA newsletter, I did a review of a paper from Turkey where the authors were using R glutinosa under another name for germination studies. I e-mailed one of the authors at some point to ask for clarification of a point in the paper. In answering me, they indicated they’d like to collaborate on research. If you could get the necessary form for seed importation from Don and send it to them I expect they’d be willing to send you seeds of that species, and perhaps others. The plants studied are used in Turkey for the hips. I don’t especially want to post the author’s e-mail address here, but could send it to you if you contact me. I forget now who was the corresponding author but it is listed in the paper, and I have it somewhere in a mail folder.


I’m happy to help out getting seeds from Turkey.

However, as it happens I germinated two batches of R. glutinosa seedlings last season. One batch was from seeds originating with a plant at Smith College, the other was from seeds provided by Cliff Orent. I gave some away already but, if they survive the winter, I should be to send you plants from both sources. Feel free to get in touch with me to work out the details.

Keep in mind that glutinosa is a canina, so breeding will be affected by the peculiarities of canina mieosis. I’m planning to use glutinosa in crosses with mosses because of it’s unique foliage scent. I have a more mature plant that may bloom this year that I got from northern Idaho. It has lots of glandular trichomes which should lend themselves to mossing.


My two cents worth…

Simon wrote: “Originally I put rubiginosa onto rugosa (‘Scabrosa’ and ‘Ann Endt’) and they didn’t take… will try these again next season…”

Simon, I once got a decent crop of seedlings from rugosa X rubiginosa/eglanteria. I was expecting monsters when I visualized a combination of the two parents. What I got was a bunch of runty seedlings. They were a sickly olive-green color and took a long time to reach blooming size. When they did finally bloom, the narrow-petalled flowers resembled stars of crumpled crepe paper - not good. So, I’m not trying to discourage you from trying (you might have different results) but just don’t invest too much effort into the cross in that direction. I haven’t had success yet in the reverse direction, but that would be what I would focus on if I had more time.

Adam wrote: “I think I read that wichurana genes make scented foliage disappear but I do not know how true that is especially considering Gold Busch”

I think I’ve read that too, but I don’t know how true that is. And the strain of Rosa wichuraiana that I have (it was labeled poterifolia) actually has a decent “pine” scent if you roughly handle the ends of the new canes and the flower buds.

Jon wrote: “Someone else mentioned Mediterranean Sweet Briar (Rosa glutinosa), this is one I’m interested in because it has pine scented foliage,”

It might have been me who mentioned it. I’ve been on a little bit of a crusade lately to get people to notice this fragrant-foliaged species. I only have one hybrid seedling from this species so far, but have a few new attempted crosses in pots stratifying right now. Unfortunately, the one hybrid seedling isn’t as fragrant and is also a little less pleasant than pine, so choosing the other parent might be a crucial part of your strategy. I’m really hoping that I’ll have at least one successful hybrid from the frozen palustris pollen I used on glutinosa (Spring of 2009). The local clone of palustris has very resinous and sweetly scented flowerbuds.

Best wishes to you all, Tom

Tom I know you have mentioned Rosa glutinosa on one of the post. I myself have been very interested in any rose with scented foliage. Every time I see a new one I put them on a list. I want to experiment with crossing them.

The hybrid tea rose “Love” has scented foliage.

Jeanie what rose is the love you are talking about?

Hi Adam,

For a while I was routinely ruffling and smelling foliage on all sorts of roses (species and hybrids). More times than not I found that the new growth would have at least some of those sticky glandular hairs and so at least a little bit of a scent.

Although the scent is not as strong as sweetbriars or glutinosa, it does give some indication of what quality of foliage scent a rose might be able to contribute to offspring that had more of those glandular hairs.

Some that I remember from off the top of my head:

  1. the piney scent of Rosa wichuraiana var. poterifolia

  2. sweetish scent of the local Rosa multiflora

  3. peppery pedicels of Rosa ‘Mutabilis’

  4. oily, stale scent of Rosa rugosa flowerbuds

  5. resinous scent of Rosa gallica ‘Apothecarys Rose’

  6. the slightly-sweet, resinous scented flowerbuds of several clones of Rosa virginiana and Rosa carolina

  7. very sweet and woodsy flowerbuds of the local Rosa palustris

  8. sweet scent of Rosa foetida new growth

I guess the point is… if you ruffle and smell the new growth or flowerbuds of some of the roses you’ve already got you might be in for some pleasant surprises.

Best wishes, Tom

To those, I would add:

Fruity scent from new growth tips of Lens’ Verdi.

“Juicy Fruit Gum” scent of new tips and green flower parts of Foetida and most close hybrids.

“Sweet Pepper” scent to new tips and all green flower parts of Mutabilis, even stronger than its flower scent, carries well on the air. The same scent is contained in the same parts of Mme. Alfred Carriere. A similar scent is present in Secret Garden Musk.

Minutifolia intensity varies greatly from one strain to another, but most impress me as dill.

Cedar scent to new tips and green flower part of Grandmother’s Hat and Ragged Robin. Grandmother’s Hat smells so strongly and it absorbs so easily into my skin, I have to wash my hands and arms a couple of times to rid myself of it. Initially, it is very pleasant, but it’s so strong and lasting, it quickly becomes sickening.

Most of the European OGRs have scented new growth tips, peduncles, stems and sepals.

Souv. de St. Anne’s and awful old Malmaison have a sweet pepper scent to their similar parts. Mrs. F.W. Sanford and Souv. de Mme. August Charles are two I frequently encounter at a client’s house and they have that scent.

It’s something I’ve detected in so many China roses, it signifies the presence of those genes in a rose to me.

A number of the older Austin roses are glandular enough to contain scent in the same parts as above if rubbed to release them.

Plain old Iceberg gives off a peppery scent to the peduncles you can notice when dead heading it. It isn’t intense, but when you have dozens to hundreds of them together, it intensifies.

You’d actually be surprised at how many modern HTs, shrubs, climbers and floribundas contain scent glands on their flower stems, peduncles and sepals when rubbed. It’s something I’ve done so long and frequently, a friend teases me that it appears I’m “looking for the genie!”

After dead heading a medium size garden with roses, smell your collection can or barrell. I’ve often noticed the combined scents from rose clippings impresses me of green peach.

Who would have thought your rose garden would be a “scratch and sniff” exercise?

Hi Adam,

See the link below. This is the “Love” rose that I had and the foliage had a musky clove like smell. I believed the foliage had more of a scent than the blooms did.



I am working on this clan and for me the most interesting fact is that there maybe canina meiosis inside.

I came to this idea after reading an article by Nybom et al.

I had written some ideas at my home forum, this is a cutout:

'A seedling of Lucy Ashton, R. rubiginosa Magnifica is pentaploid.

Assumed Hesse 1916 used a tetraploid pollen parent this is 21 + 14= 35.

When W. Kordes II in 1954 bred Harmonie from a hybrid of R. rubiginosa X Peace, it is likely that he used Magnifica as seedparent.

But what do you think happens at meiosis in Magnifica ?

Regular meiosis often will fail because unbalanced division of 35 will give non-fertile egg or pollen cells.

This is unlikely, because Magnifica often was used in breeding by Kordes and other breeders.


I have been using Rosa rubiginosa and Rosa canina a lot in the past few years. I have no idea how they are fairing regarding ploidy, but all that have set bloom have also given seed in controlled crosses. So, my jump in and find out later approach has been working.

I am finding that canina makes for better plant architecture, disease resistance and low thorn count. Rubiginosa probably makes for hardier seedlings, but man are they thorny. I am obviously using it for the scented foliage, though. Both are used as seed parents only as I find that the seeds are easy to germinate here. Also, if I can, i like to use species as the seed parent, so that it frees up more bloom time for the repeat blooming modern roses. However, with some species this is not a good idea. Rosa virginiana and Sanguinea were horrible seed parents.

The nice thing about the clone of Canina that I am using is that it throws true climbing genetics that are not rampant. For example, 100% of Rosa canina x Baby Love are true climbing minis (once-blooming, of course). This is a nice trait that will hopefully be useful in breeding restrained modern climbers. A lot of restrained modern climbers descend from the similar Rosa rubiginosa. However, as I stated before, canina seems to provide a nicer, cleaner look.

Jadae, I remember you posting a fascinating (at least to me it was) canina hybrid before - Rosa canina x Royal Amethyst.

“100% of Rosa canina x Baby Love are true climbing minis (once-blooming, of course)”

That’s just too cool!!!

I look forward to seeing where you go with these hybrids (and hoping to see some pictures too if you get a chance).

Are you getting any flower colors other than pink among those Baby Love derived seedlings?

Keep up the good work, Tom

Hi Tom,

They all should bloom next spring.

Regarding the R. canina x Royal Amethyst cross – seeds developed in both directions using Shocking Blue. I didn’t want to use Shocking Blue because it does not have the health I desire, but it was the only thing I could use when the species hybrid was blooming. I am hoping to use Wild Blue Yonder this year, which is far healthier than Shocking Blue, and it has nicer architecture. I would prefer to use something with the plant of Wild Blue Yonder, the color of Lagerfeld and the bloom form of Swan. But if wishes were fishes, we’d all have an ocean full.