William's Double Yellow

This rose has similar parentage as Harrison’s Yellow. Has any one worked with it? How is it as a plant? And is it a better parent than HY?

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=6584

Interesting to be so double coming directly from species. No offspring listed. Not a good sign.

Hi, Paul,

WDY is much hardier than HY. I live in Nothern Finland (Canadian zone 1-2) where WDY is completely winter hardy (without snow cover). Low and dense bush (1 x 1 m). Medium yellow blooms. Mild fragrance. Average diameter 6 cm. Small, double (over 20 petals), cupped bloom form, once-blooming. Tetraploid, fertile as pistillate parent. Hardiest yellow I know. I’m going to use it in my crossings.


One correction to my message: WDY works as a staminate parent not a pistillate.

Wow Hannu, WDY sounds great. Now for sure I’m getting one. I live in Minnesota, US zone 4 and from what I’ve read HY has been pretty hardy here, just dieback of the tips. So if WDY is even hardier that’s great. It doesnt seam to get as big as HY either.

With R.foetida in WDYs make-up I didn’t know how hardy it would be or how black spot resistant it would be. It’s good to know that it is staminate fertile, but I suspect that it is an early bloomer, so one might have to freeze pollen from the year before to use on it. Carefree Sunshine sounds like it would be a good cross with it being it is so blackspot resistant and a good repeat bloomer.

I agree Robert, usually if a plant produces good offspring, then someone would have registered them. But it’s not that well known so maybe it’s just underused.


Black spot has not been a problem in my WDY. Maybe our cold climate explains that. But you must not forget that there is R. foetida in genes. Yes, WDY is an early bloomer but not so early as many other harisoniis and pimpinellifolias. The rose which has survived over hundred years in our extreme climate, I think it is worth of effort.

Another interesting hardy healthy rose is R. ‘Grandiflora’ aka R. pimpinellifolia ‘Altaica’ (spinossima). 2,0-2,5 m tall, single white blooms,(5-8 petals), diameter 8-10 cm. Good scent and some rebloom. It is also fertile.

Link: www.lh6.google.com/HTaipaleenmaki/Rth1U0syylI/AAAAAAAAAcM/aIXWV3WaooQ/s144/Patelanruusu.JPG

Here is the correct link:

Link: lh6.google.com/HTaipaleenmaki/Rth1U0syylI/AAAAAAAAAcM/aIXWV3WaooQ/Patelanruusu.JPG?imgmax=512

Thanks Hannu,

Grandiflora is definitely one that I

At one time Bill Radler had suggested it over Harrisons Yellow because of its stronger disease resistance.

I have had a number of successes with it as a pollen parent this year. Its a nice rose. I have heard that it suckers like mad. Right now mine is fighting with a pumpkin vine and winning.

I dont remember if it was you Hannum but someone from one of the Scandinavian countries stated that its hardier than Hazeldean wich is a pretty darn hary rose itself.

I have the following ripening right now:

Toprose x WDY

Golden Unicorn x WDY

Dornroschern x WDY

It produces a lot of pollen for me. Very vigorous growing.

Good ideas Steven :smiley:

Even HY and Hazeldean are not so hardy here, I think they are good roses for breeding purposes. Crosses with hardier cultivars may give nice offsprings. Hortico Nurseries Inc. in Canada have some pimpinellifolias.

Few links of pimpinellifolia roses:

Link: www.peterboyd.com/rosapimp3.htm

Thanks Hannu,

Hortico does have a good selection of pimpinellifolias.

That is where I was I found William’s Double Yellow. Some of the other ones they have that I’m interested in are

Poppius, Irish Rich Marbled and Mary Queen of Scots.

William III and Compactilla could used to create small ground cover or landscape roses.


Those are good crosses. Similar to ones I would make. It’ll be interesting to see how they turn out. You and Liz have both used Golden Unicorn as a seed parent this year. David Z. has determined that it is a triploid. I used Fuchsia Meidiland as a seed parent this year, it is a triploid also. I grew some OP seedlings of it this year and they’re not very vigorous at all.



Poppius (since 1850) is a good choice for breeding hardiness and climber too. It is a common rose here in Oulu region and has been cultivated decades propably over century. Poppius is a R. x reversa (R. pimpinellifolia x R. pendulina). It is tall (2,5 m) and completely winter hardy bush. If you plant it in good soil on a sunny place it gets to it’s rights. The foliage gets some dark spots, but it is not a disease.

Poppius is a good pollen parent. Peter Joy used it in his own rose breeding program. More information behind the links:

Link: puutarha.net/ruususeura/c-englanti/Articles/Joy/rose-traditions-3.html

Thank you Hannu for all the good information. It is very much appreciated. I will be able to put it to good use.


Thats interesting about Golden Unicorn. It sets hips very well. In fact, I dont think I see flowers that dont end up setting hips. Most of my seedlings from GU have been weak plants though.

I was surprised to learn that Golden Unicorn was triploid. I wonder if the plant I tested may not really be Golden Unicorn. It was yellow and labeled as such and came as a shipment to a local garden center from Hines nursery. I was surprised since I remember seeing Kathy Zuzek’s GU with lots of hips very full of seeds. I should get my own plant from somewhere else and test it again and compare.



Well that is interesting news - golden unicorn is a triploid. It fits with the weak seedlings that Steven mentioned. Too bad.