Using 'Charles de Mills'

What do people think of using ‘Charles de Mills’ with ‘Othello’? I’m thinking a few other purples like ‘Ebb Tide’ and ‘Wild Rover’ might also be good but I really like the sound idea of using ‘Othello’ on it for its enormous purpley flowers and to-die-for perfume. It’s pretty healthy here as well. CdM is only useful as a seed parent isn’t it?

I’m getting quite a few purple seedlings like this one from ‘Ebb Tide’ flowering for the first time now so I’m thinking this might be an awesome cross too. When crosses like this are made, what happens to the suckering habit of plants like CdM?

It might be pretty, presuming CdM will flower at all and your seedlings don’t inherit its requirement for being grown on a glacier to set buds. I grew it for far too many years and could only coax a flower or two out of it when I kept it packed in ice most of the winter. Give me Cardinal de Richelieu any day! It flowered no matter what.

I have flowers now :slight_smile:

I’ve never found a ‘self’ on CdM so I wonder how fertile it is???

Cdm sets seed from foreign pollen easily; getting pollen from cdm would be difficult. None of my cdm seedlings were worth anything.

Here in Sydney gallicas perform like garbage.

Maybe a gallica cross will be great for Tasmania, dunno… try and let us know!!

CdM only has sparse blooms for me as well, but for the opposite reason as Kim. It has too much die back each year so there isn

Due to suckering, cdm is a noxious weed here.

as mentioned above, maybe its seedlings wouldnt have this behavior?

I’ve used it in several crosses over the years, and found certain crosses worthwhile.

Don’t even think you will find pollen on it. As Dave said, it sets seed easily, most times. You will get one to three seeds per hip, germination ranges from 20% to 50%, give or take. Expect seedlings to take at least two years to first bloom. Most will be lighter shades of crimson, some muddy pinks, and depending on the pollen parent, some spectacular purple/crimsons. If there is any modern blood in the pollen parent, sucking in the offspring will be considerably less aggressive than in “Daddy”. Some won’t sucker at all. None will be repeaters, and Blackspot resistance will vary; some will be very clean of all disease.

I have just applied for registration of a second ‘Charles de Mills’ hybrid recently, see URL for HMF listing. An earlier cultivar was registered as ‘Rook’: Plant Search

I have two other hybrids from similar crosses that are being considered as well.

Crossing “Chuck” with ‘Ebb Tide’ sounds like a fine idea to me, go for it!


Paul, do you still have the Tuscany Superb cross I sent you some years back? No problem if you don’t. I just wondered if it ever developed into anything. It bloomed in Santa Clarita. I’d probably need to find a glacier to get blooms here. Thanks


You mean the one crossing it with ‘Sequoia Ruby’? Yes, I certainly have that plant and it has done quite well. A bit tall and wild, as many Gallica X modern crosses are, but thats fine. I started using it in crosses in 2009 but have not had any remontants from it yet. I have more crosses from it this year, so we’ll see how it goes.


Thank you, Paul. Yes, that’s the one. I’m glad you have it. The cross intrigued me, but it was too much of a “penguin” to be happy in the mid Southern California desert. I’m eager to see what it does for you. I could only accomplish the cross by taking pollen from newly planted Canadian bare roots of Tuscany Superb from work and boinking the Sequoia Ruby at home. It, and the double one, bloomed after cold winters, the less double being the easier one to find flowers on. I’d hoped the combination would create some interesting colors. Good luck with it, I hope it exceeds your expectations! Kim

CdM is a beautiful plant here… clean and shapely. Mine was found on the side of a road growing wild and mine looks nothing like the feral it came from. I pollinated it today with ‘Wild Rover’ as I had its pollen ready to go and over the next week or so, when the next lot of buds mature, I’ll put ‘Ebb Tide’ on it (for some reason ‘Ebb Tide’ needs a few days to release its pollen here… is a pain to work with when you are trying to catch blooms in the right stage). ‘Othello’ is cooperating and has no flowers :frowning: ‘Abraham Darby’ has though… hmmmmmm… My CdM is growing with ‘Tuscany’ and ‘Tuscany Superb’ so they can sucker to their hearts content and mix together to form a thicket under the Mt Fuji Cherry tree :slight_smile:

Paul, your seedling is just beautiful… I think I have seen photos of this one before and was the reason I thought I’d play with CdM. That and ‘Rook’.

If you do not get the color from CdM that you want, be sure to try any of its good seedlings (if any) further out to see if the color is just playing possum :slight_smile: Purple is such a rogue color. Sometimes it plays out well in further generations and sometimes… meh :confused: The other hard part seems to be choosing successful mates cause even a generalized match (ie. “orange” or “yellow”, etc) is like playing roulette because it really does not specificy how much of a match it will be. It is easier to see in the silvery mauves types. For example, mixing various ochre, orange, russet, yellows, blends, etc. with the silvery mauves, even when they are very similar, can produce very different effects. Its pretty easy to see visually if you look at the descendants of Zorina, Fragrant Cloud and Golden Wave.

I did a ton of crosses between Purple Heart x Pretty Lady one year because the latter likes to produces yellows (and even some chlorophyll in petals). I have had some fun success with mixing purple and yellow, so I thought it was worth a shot. Well… almost 100% UGLY :slight_smile: I think the take home lesson is that even though patterns can be predicted with non-purples, that purples really defy current common sense.

Simon, have you tried grinding the dried anthers to release the pollen? It’s something Ralph did frequently as he said the anthers of many roses were “defective” and wouldn’t release the pollen well naturally. Just take a mortar and pestle, wait for them to dry, or you have a gummy mess, and grind away. I’ve done it for many years. I can’t report on any pollen damage as it’s my regular routine, but it seems to work.

I’ve thought about it but don’t have a motar and pestel yet… got millions of the things in my labs at work… but haven’t ‘borrowed’ any yet… I’ve squashed dried anthers with the back of a teaspoon hoping for the same result but wasn’t satisified with the outcome. It releases it eventually… just gotta be patient.

Mortar even…

The key to releasing pollen from reluctant anthers is that they be bone dry. Put them in a pill bottle with the lid off and place the bottle on a shallow layer of silica gel in a sealed plastic lunch bowl. Place the bowl six to eight inches away from a 40 watt light bulb for gentle heating and leave them overnight.

Roll a spatula spoon over the antheres or put them in a baggie, knock them into a corner, pinch the baggie with the thumb and forefinger of both hands and abrade the anthers against each other. Shake vigorously after doing that to free the pollen grains.

Simon, have you ever seen the cartoon with the young and older vulture sitting on the power line? The younger one looks at the elder and says, “Patience, hell! I’m gonna go KILL something!” Yup, that’s ME! LOL!

That’s beautiful! I’ve never gotten CdM to set hips, and never even tried to use it as a pollen parent.

As far as getting pollen grains, I’ve been having great success with these things. You put the anthers in, give them about an hour to release their pollen, turn upside down and shake. Electrostatic charges will cause the pollen to stick to the glass, and voilá, you know exactly how much you have! Then you use that transparent lid to put the pollen on your seed parent, and you can see exactly how much pollen the seed parent got.