Who's your (best) daddy? (And momma?)

Just thought I might do an informal tally of the current cultivars folks are using/feel offer the most promise for breeding in their own programs. I’d love to hear why, and whether you expect your selection(s) to be a better ‘foundation’ ancestor (that is to say for further breeding, as most species might be) or to provide a finished garden plant.

Love to hear about:

Disease resistance

Rapid rebloom

Flower color/form

Plant architecture


Please assert whether you selection is a hypothetical or proven parent.

Ya might think of this as a “if I had to select the basis for my breeding program” list. (Can you tell I’m starting anew?)

Species that intrigue me include single flowered banksias, several synstylae for health and vigor, some of the Cinnamomae and Pimpinellifoliae for foliar shape and texture, but I haven’t grown or seen enough of these groups to know which would have merit for breeding. (And as a southerner, I’ve historically been in an old tea and china rut. They just perform for me here…)

A rose breeder starter kit should have as daddy:

Homerun - for it’s tremendous health

Julia Child - very popular in most places, very heat/drought tolerant, flowers don’t shrink in summer.

An ADR winner or two, maybe Lion’s Rose

For seed:

Bayse’s Legacy - makes a lot of healthy, thornless offspring.

Carefree Beauty - versatile, healthy, fertile.

You say teas and chinas just perform for you there, that’s a clue, pick up Monsier Tillier and your favorite china.

Mix in a few of whatever direction you want to take them in and have yourself a little x-rated party out in the yard. There are many others to choose from of course, but these would be a good start.

Legacy pollinates itself VERY early. Though it generates copious seed, in my experience, virtually all of them are very small and weak for a long time, requiring months to years to devlop into decent plants. Using it for pollen instead, prevents the tons of weak seedlings, many of which are selfs and permits determining which are actual crosses of it very early after germination. It results in stronger seedlings, fewer of them, but more actual crosses. I collect its pollen as soon as the buds appear large enough because it’s going to shed a long time before you think it is ready.

I’d forgotten which direction Legacy was recommended for I guess. Could you name a few plants that would be suitable for a beginner to pick up. I think a thread that identified 5-10 plants that beginners would likely have some success with would be useful to the people who are hesitant to get started.

Charles, that would strongly depend upon what your goals for making the crosses are. Personally, I prefer using minis which are good for many areas. Fertile ones which were suggested as healthy in the several climates from which I polled people whose opinions, observations and experience I respect included Cal Poly, Magic Wand, Pink Petticoat, Popcorn (though it is quite difficult to get anything from). What roses perform well and seem bullet proof in your area? Look them up on HMF to see how much they’ve been used for breeding and which direction seems to have been the most successful. That should give you a good idea of a potential direction to start.

Particularly with larger roses, I’ve had many once flowering offspring from Legacy. There have been some with minis, too. Ralph had a number of large, thornless, very healthy once flowering seedlings from Anytime X Legacy. The worst flowering cross I ever raised from it was Loving Touch X Legacy. That blamed thing took seven years to flower the first time, then proceeded to throw three or four FLOWERS a year until I reveled in hacking it up for the green waste barrel. I ENJOYED that!

A very good thing you should be able to pick up from Cal Poly is reinforcing the lack of prickles. If Rise’n’Shine is good there, it should also give you a good batch of reduced prickle or thornless seedlings. A very good reason for selecting minis to base your breeding on is you’ll be engineering in the more dwarf, heavily repeat flowering characteristics from the foundation, rather than creating a decent plant, then diluting it further by crossing with minis to tame the size and habit and hopes of improving the flowering. Creating several breeding lines between Legacy and unrelated minis would then permit you to bring them together later, increasing the dose of Legacy while picking up some of the benefits from each of the various mini lines.

I don’t know what roses demonstrate good health in your climate, but they would definitely be my first thought. Watch which ones set self hips the best, then try raising the self set seed to practice germinating them until you discover the easiest, most efficient method where you are. What works here in the Savannah is likely to be quite different from what works for you in higher humidity with harsher winters. Minis are definitely what I would suggest investigating first to add to your “harem”, then what other roses that are healthy and as trouble-free as possible where you live.

So replace Basye’s Legacy with Cal Poly. Kim, I think Philip was looking for a list of core breeding plants to restart with and so far we have,



Julia Child

Lion’s Rose


Carefree Beauty

Cal Poly

Monsier Tillier

High Voltage seems like it will be a good mommy, with the characteristics of doubleness, yellowness, disease resistance, and hardiness. It sets fat hips and the seeds germinate readily. I have not, however, evaluated the quality of the progeny. It is probably not good for areas with a lot of powdery mildew.

Carefree Beauty seems to have been used a lot as a mother.

Paul Barden strongly recommends using Midnight Blue; the few crosses I’ve done with that have had interesting color. Not sure which way is best.

Just have fun!

hi gang, i have used julia child as a mother plant but the hips always fall off!. maybe i use to much rose tone?. is it better to use her pollen instead?.

also some roses are hard to find that are good parents. one rose i use as a mother plant is black cherry she gives tons of seed also a strong growing plant with nice dark roses in

sprays. i think i will cross julia child with black cheery this year. my seedlings this year are crossed with black cheery and i added full sail . 4 of the seedlings are tall i hope i get a

few h.t.s .

Well, I was also interested to see if folks found any newer cultivars that showed promise. High Voltage, for instance, is not one I’m familiar with, though in photos it doesn’t look to be a very strong yellow. Julia Child is one that still interests me. Seeing that Clare Grammerstorf was a distant ancestor of so many good yellows, I thought I might back up some for my yellows. CG ain’t available, so I’m attempting to acquire both Lichtkonigen Lucia and Chinatown – first gen offspring of CG. Additionally Cal Poly and Baby Love are definitely on my yellow wishlist.

Carefree Beauty, as a parent of KO, and a wonderful rose in and of its own right, is also one I want to acquire.

I do plan on venturing into using a number of species and species hybrids, but those will require more dedication than I have heretofore been able to give to breeding. The only disease-free rose I have ever owned here in the south has been R. banksia, and I now have R.b.lutescens.

I frequently visit HMF to research pedigrees of roses I like to see which plants have yielded successful crosses, but wonder if that isn’t more a measure of how many attempts were made with any given well-regarded parent rather than an indication of its rate of success. And quite frequently, hybridizers are using their own material, and not stuff available on the market, or they are keeping their crosses secretive.

Bonica is another I have wondered about, but I’m sure she has been crossed with everything imaginable. I believe Pierre said that her parent, Marthe Carron, underwhelmed him when he attempted to work with her. MC has yielded some very interesting offspring too, however.

Yep, Philip, High Voltage is a fairly pale yellow and fades quickly. I like it for its combination of hardiness and disease resistance in a yellow. Could it be the hardiest fully remontant yellow?

I’ve got hundreds of open-pollinated High Voltage seedlings popping up. It will be fun to scope out the variation. If even one in a hundred is a brighter yellow, it would be something to work with.

Otherwise, what could we cross HV with to get deeper yellow? Are orange roses good for that? Orange Fire does reasonably well for me, despite poor vigor, and is an amazing color. Morden Fireglow probably has some hardiness genes and imparts amazing orangey colors to its offspring, but unfortunately also imparts horrible blackspot susceptibility. Still, it’s so awesomely fertile that it’s tempting to try crossing it with High Voltage and searching for a relatively disease resistant offspring with which to move forward.

Bonica is fertile, but most of her seedlings fall off the mark. Many are prone to powdery mildew and are weak growers. This year however I do have a few that look like they may make it another year.

I have had good production using Heritage, Othello and Honey Perfume as both seed and pollen parents. This year I added Dame 'd Coeur which I had several years ago because it sets hips well. This year I also had good luck with a rose I registered last month called Liebesperle. It is a cross of two roses which several have already mentioned Julia Child X Monsieur Tillier. Liebesperle worked good for me as both pollen and seed parent. It might be a good idea to cross several of the roses already mentioned and develop your own breeding stock. I always like to increase the gene pool whenever I can.

If you’re breeding with hopes of success in rust areas, forget Othello and Heritage. Both rust like old nails here. Our black spot likes them, too. Honey Perfume has been surprisingly clean where I’ve seen it.

Honey Perfume is very rust resistant here, where if it can rust it will. Have some seedlings from it this yr., but have had some germination issues in prior yrs. This yr every thing is sprouting. Moondance is quite good as a seed producer, quite fertile, crosses with most anything, and has a tendency to produce some low to no thorns offspring. Moondance seems to have inherited Icebergs’ vigor and is much more mildew resistant.

This year I put some OP hip seeds from Grand Award (rambling climber, ground cover),which has won many awards in Europe last year) absolutely the best germinating parent of all, of the crosses and selfs. I have few hundreds of Grand Award- seedlings growing at the time, but never mind, that` s why I am doing this…

Females parents:

Last year, judging by seed and germination count: Yellow Brick Road and Sweetness. Next year: who knows. Often: Solitaire. Every year is different. To be fair, I am usually more concerned with what female parent doesnt work.

Male parents: Pretty Lady, lol.

Nothing here is the same year to year. 1000’s of seeds from a CV will yield nothing one year and the next give 100’s of vigorous seedlings. The ones that give any volumme, yield about 1/100 of something to work with and 1/1000 of something good. Neil

That’s pretty much “normal”. Ralph commented many times about variations from year to year and the same parent years to years. It’s also what I see here. 2009 saw germination like Winter Rye Grass. 2010 the rate was roughly about 20%. So far this year, nothing, but it’s also been March/April temperatures from November through now, so who knows what to expect.

Maybe thats an advantage of sprouting seeds in frig: a consistent environment every year.

From the OP hips I’ve received from others the best germinater has been Lynnie. Every single seed has germinated and I have lots of babies growing from them. Other really good germinaters have been What a Peach and Altissimo. Most of the Lynnie and Altissimo ones look much like their mommas but What a Peach’s offspring are all over the map. Anywhere from a 1/2 inch single bloom to almost 2 inches and fully double and from nearly white to apricot to deep pink.