William Baffin

Any luck with William Baffin as a seed parent? Seems to work well as a pollen parent for me, but many of the crosses as a seed parent are aborting.

Seed parent, nope. I sometimes get seeds but they haved never germinated. Best used as a pollen parent.

First of all, let me say I am glad someone is using William Baffin in their breeding program. In Pennsylvania, this is one of the best roses. Actually, it is one of the best plants period. No other plant produces such a perfect screen/hedge. I have a 20 foot long, 8-10 foot tall hedge of William Baffin. From spring to fall, I cannot see through it. Most screening plants cannot make that claim! The fact that it is impenetrable and fast growing adds to the appeal. I have never sprayed it in 5 years, even for the dreaded Japanese Beetle.

OK…to the breeding.

William Baffin is not a good seed parent. It does not set many hips, and when it does, the hips only have a few seeds that almost never germinate.

Thankfully, the pollen seems to be accepted by most roses. It seems to pass on its excellent disease resistance, insect resistance, hardiness and vigor to its offspring. On the downside, it tends to produce a lot of once-bloomers.

Good luck…keep us posted!

Actually, Shane, I find the majority of its seedlings become remontant only after they are 2 years old.


Paul, that is really good to know! I have a one year old promising hybrid of William Baffin and it only bloomed this spring. You have given me hope that it will repeat.

Do you have any experience with John Cabot as well? I seem to run into the same issue.

I have used ‘John Cabot’ only a little bit, but it seems to produce some one time or stingy rebloomers. A friend who has used it more told me she found it to produce a higher rate of rebloomers than WB.


Early on I tried using John Cabot, but I was not successful.

I have used William Baffin a lot (plus one of his open pollinated seedlings). See:http://home.neo.rr.com/kuska/seedlingpage1.htm

for some examples. I have a limited amount of web space so most seedlings are not pictured.

I now have many “second generation in” Baffin seedlings. I recommend that (if space is available) keeping first generation plants with good pedigrees for breeding purposes.

I have not yet “computerized” my latest germinations. The following will give an idea of the last 2 year’s plants.


This summer I did a lot of pollinating with Carefree Sunshine either as mother or father.

Link: home.neo.rr.com/kuska/seedlingpage1.htm

Hi Henry, I really like Illusion seedling #54. You should try that one in a warmer climate and see if it gains size?

I like Illusion X William Baffin and (Folksinger X Illusion) X R-15 a alot too.

I’ve put WB onto some of my minis (Cal Poly, June Laver, Party Girl and Rise ‘n’ Shine) and Morden Sunrise. Looks like most of the crosses are producing hips. I have also done the same thing with Home Run and again most are producing hips. We’ll have to wait until next spring to see the outcome.

Thanks for the tips on WB seedlings and the pictures of Henry’s give me some hope.


In case someone looks at this thread later, I should mention that Illusion Seedling #54 will sooner or later be Illusion Seedling #56. I initially used a numbering system with more than one plant with the same number, for example #15, then #15-A. I later decided not to use that form and the plants had to be renumbered.

I have a very small William Baffin growing on it’s own roots. It seems to be pretty slow getting established, at least here in Finland. Anyway, it had a couple of buds this summer so I experimented with Graham Thomas pollen. I got one hip with ten or so seeds. Too bad if they germinate poorly. I also used WB as pollen parent on Mme Isaac Pereire. Just two flowers, but got one (very large) hip that isn’t ripe yet. I intend to repeat these crosses with more flowers next summer.