Update from Minnesota

OK, just babbling about my roses!

Let’s talk about Rugosa #3 and it’s seedlings. Last year I was positive it was self-sterile. Too many interesting and non-rugose seedlings. I think I had a selection bias when planting and chose the ones that were obviously not pure rugosa. Many of them bloomed the first year and appeared to be remontant, which goes against what people have said about rugosa seedlings. My theory is that they are triploids and so only have 1/3 rugosa genes. I have about six plants from OP seeds given to me by Paul Barden which have quite a different character. Many of them much more rugose, and none bloomed in their first two years. However, this year several are budded and I hope to see evidence of crossing with some of the roses in his garden. They are sturdy and healthy looking plants with good variation in foliage and habit.

Given my interesting results last year, this year I planted a ton of Rugosa #3 open-pollinated seeds. Disappointingly, they all look boringly similar and there are very, very few of the non-rugose seedlings that I saw last year. This could mean two things: it self-pollinated or there was an abundance of pollen nearby from a non-modern rose.

I am working the assumption that Rugosa #3 is or has reverted to a diploid.

Other random notes:

Cancan pollen was fertile and I have quite a few seedlings with that as a parent. It’s fun to have Radler genetics that are hardier than the KO’s and have more interesting blossom characteristics.

Yellow Brick Road: I have a ton of seedlings from various parents. Middling health and vigor…they need to be crossed with something mildew resistant.

Kim, I have a few Prairie Joy x Orantida seedlings that, while of course not blooming, exhibit extreme vigor.

I used a lot of Prairie Joy last year. Looking at the seedlings this year, I am still very happy with PJ as a parent. You have to make a lot of crosses with it, because it doesn’t have very many seeds per hip and a significant portion of the seedlings will be non-remontant. However, it can impart that lovely blue-green foliage and nice blossom form, together with some pretty good vigor and hopefully hardiness. I have a couple of PJ x Petit Pink seedlings that are miniature, vigorous, compact, heavily budded, and have that nice PJ foliage…I’m really glad I was able to make that cross. Out of about 40 PJ x Commander Gillette seedlings there are about three that appear to be remontant. One of them had a nice fragrance. I’m psyched to try to combine the lovely foliages of those two roses.

Last year I was speculating that PJ was best used as a seed parent to enhance chances of remontancy, but so far this year it seems like the percentages are similar whether used for seed or pollen. I have not examined this closely, however.

Some fun species/near species crosses that worked:

Rugosa #3 x R. virginiana
R. beggeriana x Prairie Peace: two seedlings that are clearly crosses due to the increased thorniness from PP
Love & Peace x Prairie Peace: ha ha! Just had to do it because of the names. One vigorous seedling.
R. beggeriana x R. foliolosa: this cross seemed to work in both directions.
R. foliolosa OP: Taken from a R. foliolosa growing in a pot in my breeding greenhouse, these appear to be crosses with modern roses and to me indicate self-sterility in R. foliolosa.
Alika x Hazeldean
Alika x Ross Rambler
Belle Poitevine x Hazeldean
Henry Hudson x David Z’s “Above and Beyond” - really nice vigor and health so far.

Tons and tons of R. carolina and R. virginiana X Various that are depressingly uniform and seem to indicate selfing. I can’t plant them all so I’m just sifting through to find some that seem to look slightly different. Or seem to have reduced thorns.

First Impression x R. virginiana from last year made it through the winter with flying colors (under the snow, of course) and I think I even see a bud! Great vigor. First Impression itself just barely survives here, so I’m psyched about these. Both FI and virginiana have nice glossy foliage. I’d like to do more Modern x R. virginiana crosses this year.

Wow, Joe, so many seedlings, amazing work!

How neat! I hope Orintida works well for you.

Does your beggeriana have black or red hips? The botanical illustrations show black ones. My one has red ones that may be a hybrid, small inconspicuous flowers but I hope to get something out of it. It reblooms only well up north.


My beggeriana also has red hips. Tiny. Also not a good rebloomer, if at all. I was attracted to the fine, ferny foliage, but it belies some nasty curved thorns. The dieback this winter wasn’t too bad, but it would have had to be fully tip hardy for me to remain commited to making crosses. As it is I might just let the crosses I did last year grow out a little and see what they are like.

Julie O had something very different that she called beggeriana. Hers had light pink, fragrant flowers. I assumed that hers was the hybrid. Maybe from your description it is you and I that have something different.


My R. beggariana was given to me by David Z as a cutting quite a few years ago and is now a decent-sized plant with no hardiness issues in northern Wisconsin (Z3B). I was surprised to discover that the color of the blooms was a light pink instead of the expected white and I sort of questioned whether it was really R. beggariana. But when you stopped by my place last year while it was still blooming, you said it was consistent in most other ways with your own R. beggariana–where did you get your plant? The hips on mine are also red–not black. I really like the rose, whatever it might be. I used it as a seed parent with R. xanthina pollen last year and got several seedlings–which probably resemble R. xanthina more than R. beggariana from a foliage standpoint and may actually be true crosses. Since I’ve never tried the plant before as a seed parent, I do not know if it tends to release pollen prematurely and self-pollinate. But, since I have not tried to germinate Rb OP seedlings to see what they look like as toddlers, I could be wrong about it being a true cross. A couple of the seedlings are hanging in there and may do OK–the jury is still out.

That’s a fun cross, Julie. I guess you’ll know when they bloom. My beggeriana seemed pretty amenable to foreign pollen based on the apparent variation in seedling characteristics from pollen parent to pollen parent.

Mine also came from David, but in the form of a pot full of seedlings that I planted as one. It has very fine textured branches.

I checked for nasty thorns today on my R. beggariana, hoping for the smooth version. While they are spaced about an inch apart, they are there, quite sharp, and they are just very slightly down-curving. The hips are tiny and in clusters. We probably have the same plant but my soil must cause the slight pink coloring. The plant is covered with buds and I’ll try to get a photo when they bloom.

The R. beg. I got and shared as suckers and seedlings was from Paul Olsen if I remember correctly in 2007 or 2008 and from the Devonian Botanical Garden.


THank you Henry!! That’s very interesting. I don’t have a wide perspective of the range of forms of both species. I’ll have to go to the U of MN library and download that article when I get a chance. Hopefully they’ll have some pictures. The R. beg. and R. laxa I have seem very different for leaf size, hip shape, stem thickness, and growth patterns (R. beg seems to sucker more and be more wirey). THe white flowers and blue-green foliage seem similar. I appreciate how winter hardy they both are. The forms I got from Peter H and Don H were diploid. I still have to get a successful count of the one at the MN Landscape Arboretum. It’s pollen size is that of a tetraploid or perhaps it is triploid. It came as op seed from another botanical garden.