Unknown Glauca Hybrid

Can anyone identify this unknown white-flowered Rosa glauca hybrid? It came mis-labeled as ‘Carmenetta’ from a Canadian Nursery. I won’t mention which one, because I understand that accidents happen. I only mention that it’s Canadian, because I figured that might help ID. Aside from white flowers, it has heavily purple-tinted foliage. It hasn’t grown very large – it’s only somewhere between knee and waist high, so far.

I can’t seem to get the image to display in the post, so here’s a link to an HTML with the image.

Link: www.koolpages.com/hybridizer/Rose/unknown_glauca_hybrid.html

It’s ‘Louis Riel’ (Rosa glauca x R. spinosissima altaica).

I was going to say the same thing. I’d be curious if yours sets hips.


I’ve seen ‘Louis Riel’ loaded with hips. In fact, that is one of the most attractive characteristics of this shrub. However, controlled crosses using it as a pistillate parent do not work well. I’m thinking that is also your experience,


Paul–nice to see you online again. My plant has never set any OP hips. I thought I’d heard it did, but I’ve begun wondering. Maybe it needs really cool springs? My Louis Reil seedling (from LR pollen) bloomed this year for the first time with really spiny hips–no idea where the spines came from. It might be making hips, but I can’t tell for sure yet. (Sorry Tom!)


Thanks guys. You’ve confirmed my conjecture. I had figured it was probably ‘Louis Riel’, since that was one of the only white-flowered glauca hybrids I could find references to. And it has a spinosissima-derived look about it.

I’m figuring ‘Louis Riel’ should be a pentaploid, since glauca, although tetraploid, has Caninae-type meiosis. It is supposed to contribute 3X ovules and 1X pollen. The 3X ovule combined with 2X pollen from spinosissima should give 5X offspring.

Joan, have you gotten more than one seedling from ‘Louis Riel’ pollen? Just wondering how fertile it is as a pollen parent.


Do you know by whom it was hybridized and when. I am in Iceland and there is a rose in my neighbours garden that puzzles me. It looks very much like the rose on the picture and bears all intermediate characters of Rosa glauca and R. pimpinellifolia. I am working in the botanical garden in Reykjav

HelpMeFind lists ‘Louis Riel’ (tradename ZUBlou)as bred in Canada (1996) by Stanley Zubrowski. Their picture looks very much like the rose I have.

It also says that “Paul Olsen reports that Stanley Zubrowski hybridizes roses in Saskatchewan, Canada.”

Here’s a link to their information and picture:

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=3902


Thanks for your answer. However, I don’t think Louis Riel is the one since its bred and released so late. I can remember I noticed the rose in the summer 2000 and by then it was at least five to ten years old (roses don’t grow very fast the first years here in Iceland). In two weeks the rose will flower and I will post pictures of it (I hope I can). Thanks again


Tom, I

I also received one of my ‘Louis Riel’ in the same way, mislabeled as ‘Carmenetta’. I think this happens because it suckers so freely that it travels through the rows of other roses. Migrant workers dig it up and label it what ever is in that row. This happens also with ‘Martin Frobisher’ quite a lot. People report that ‘Louis Riel’ produces hips but I don’t find it very fruitful. I correspond with Stan regularly, about twice a year. He has never received any payment or royalties for his rose ‘Louis Riel’. He is also a breeder of very hardy clematis. He doesn’t have internet access, but if you want to communicate with him, I’m sure he would love to hear from anyone interested in hardy roses and swapping hardy rose seeds.

Stanley Zubrowski

P.O. Box 38

Prairie River, Saskatchewan


S0E 1J0

Mark Disero, Brantford, Ontario, Canada

Robert Simonet of Edmonton, Alberta did the Rosa glauca x R. spinosissima altaica cross many years ago (1960’s?), but he didn’t register or introduce his selection to the nursery trade. His selection has been lost. Interestingly, Hugh Skinner (son of Frank Skinner) has a repeat blooming Rosa glauca selection. He thinks it may have come from Isabella Preston’s work with Rosa glauca, and that the other parent may be Rosa laxa. However, Preston used ‘Ross Rambler’ in her breeding work but not Rosa laxa. I’m inclined to think it may be a Simonet development and likely a F2 hybrid to get repeat bloom. Simonet sent his rose selections to Skinner for introduction into the nursery trade. Notably, ‘Red Dawn’. Unfortunately, this cultivar seems to also have been lost.

Rosa glauca is under used in breeding programs. This species and its hybrids provide contrast in landscapes with trees and shrubs usually having monotonous green foliage. Look at the popularity of Physocarpus ‘Diablo’ with its purple foliage! Rosa glauca hybrids with larger red or deep pink flowers would be a sensation. I’m working on it.

“Rosa glauca is under used in breeding programs. This species and its hybrids provide contrast in landscapes with trees and shrubs usually having monotonous green foliage. Look at the popularity of Physocarpus ‘Diablo’ with its purple foliage! Rosa glauca hybrids with larger red or deep pink flowers would be a sensation. I’m working on it.” -Paul

I was just admiring my Rose primula in the landscape a few days ago. Sure it only blooms once/year but the garden scent that wafts around is so 3dimensional as it its foliage textures (very lacey). I did get its pollen to stick and take on one thing (Leonie Lamesch) but diploid pollen that blooms so early is a pain to plan hah (hard to fgiure out who gets it and to remember to take the time to freeze some on a busy schedule).


I haven’t gotten much from Rosa glauca, but haven’t given up on it. I agree that it has a lot of potential. Take for instance the following hybrid. It’s a once-bloomer and doesn’t have any purple in the foliage. However, it still has nice blue-grey green foliage and is very healthy. It’s from Rosa rugosa X glauca.

Link: www.koolpages.com/hybridizer/Rose/SpeciesHybridTable/rugosaXglauca.html

It is a beautiful hybrid,

I looked in the plantfinder for the Netherlands and the one for the UK, but it is not available in Europe as far as I know. Does anyone of you know where I could get it. It would be a good introduction to the Netherlands.

Kind regards,


I can send you a plant of ‘Louis Riel’. But I’m concerned that if Dutch nurseries get a hold of this cultivar, they may propagate it in large numbers and the breeder (Stanley Zubrowski) gets no remuneration for his rose development. The only practical way he can protect himself from being ripped off is to register his cultivar with the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation to obtain a royalty for plants sold… However, because of the relatively small number of plants propagated by Pickering and Hortico in Canada, at the present time it wouldn’t be worthwhile for him to do so.