Trying to reflect on recomended yellows in previous threads, I recollect the following:

-Baby Love

-Cal Poly


-Lions Rose

-Julia Child

Because they are so close in lineage to Clare Grammerstorf which figures highly in pedgrees of many of the great yellows, but which is unavailable stateside, I am looking forward to working with

-Lichtkoenigen Lucia


Please comment on your experiences, disappointments, results with any of the above, as well as mentioning others that you might think superior.


A couple of years ago Jadea suggested that I use McGredy’s Yellow. I havn’t tried it yet so maybe someone else can chime in on its use.

Philip, I am one county east of you. I would suggest that you add Honey Perfume to your list. I have had great luck using it as both seed and pollen parent and it does pass on fragrance in many cases. This year I have several seedlings of Honey Perfume X About Face. You might also think about Grandma’s Rose/Nacogdoches I have only had it for one hybridizing season but I do have a couple of seedlings from it that I am evaluating. Last year I added Shockwave, I did not get it to set hips but it was pollen fertile and last year was not a good year to judge by. I do have success using Julia Child here and this year I added Amazone. I have also used Rise-N-Shine here with success.

I understand the romance of going back in history to famous older modern roses. But, I would venture to state all of them have been superceeded by newer varieties concerning health, vigor, appearance and performance. Yellow pigments are much more stable now than they were seventy years ago with much less of the tendancy for early spring flowers to appear white or very pale yellow. Heat, light and age fade are significantly reduced in many varieties with greater petal durability and overall flower longevity. Vigor has been greatly improved with much less of the die back and fungal issues earlier combinations experienced.

Unless your goal is to introduce “old fashioned” look into your seedlings like early Austins or Ralph’s Grandma’s Pink, going back decades to an earlier genetic combination impresses me as going back to an earlier formulation for cement to build a new building out of. It worked fine half a century or more ago and was considered “state of the art”, but the “art” has progressed by leaps and bounds, resulting in far superior formulations of the same products with much greater versatility, longevity, durability and strength.

I think I’d have to agree with, KIm. I think people have really worked at getting stronger, healthier and more color holding yellows so the newer ones would probably be the best place to start. Of your list the newest and best of them for me is Julia Child. She is the healthiest and holds her color the best.

I have always said Seil, the hardest thing to achieve is a strong yellow and pure white.

Actually, I do enjoy the antique rose look, and want to play with Mme Caroline Testout for that as well. But do Lichtkonigen Lucia and China both have a tendancy to fade? My impression was that Clare Grammerstorf was the common ancestor to so many of the stronger non-fading yellows, I thought getting closer to the source might offers something… And yes, going that far back to the source is perhaps foolhardy…

Grandma’s pink is quite pleasing to my eye, and of course, I love the look of Ralph’s Out-of-Yesteryear too.

I still have a little bit of the residual knee-jerk of having attempted too many of the more modern keep-em-on-life-support roses, that cultivars with a long history have a certain appeal. The antiques were always the survivors in my no-spray garden. Grafting may be a large part of the problem though. Most of my antiques were own root.

(Note to self: Get Julia Child, already…)

Even though Bright Smile’s lineage is obscure, I am 100% sure that Yellow Ribbon, which descends from CG, is in Bright Smile. Bright Smile has been one of the key roses in fade-resistant roses.


I’ve always liked Lichtkönigin Lucia. Julia Child is nice but last year BS was a bit of a problem here.

I can recommend Leverkusen (R. kordesii × Golden Glow); a very healthy light yellow climber and Carefree Sunshine.

I’ve read people praise Rabble Rouser and ordered that one for spring delivery along with Cal Poly.


I actually avoided using Julia Child, other than I dont care for the plant (it has hide n go seek blooms here), I have worked with both New Year and Top Notch, both of which are a total disease nightmare in breeding.

I wish I still had Rabble Rouser. I’d definitely use it again. It had a fatal accident due to a family member =/

If one can get Toprose, I highly recomend it.


When I volunteered at the Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA, I frequently made a visit to the “new” rose garden which is now about 5 years old. This was an almost weekly visit and of course I would walk among the bushes studying the blooms and the plants and the thorns!

They had about a dozen Julia Child roses; the thing I didn’t like about the blooms was that they faded rather quickly in my estimation. to an almost white. Seeing that, I decided I would not want to purchase one for myself. I did notice that Midas Touch which was almost adjacent to it was a much deeper yellow initially than JC and though it did fade, it faded only slightly. MT was taller and had less foliage with stiff canes. JC had more foliage and made a more attractive bush. Of course JC is a floribunda with a more rounded bloom form, and MT a HT had a more high centered form with fewer petals. Since they had to spray when needed, I couldn’t attest to the disease resistance of the plants.

Jim P

“Toprose” looks mouthwatering on HMF. You always want what you can’t have.

I’ve ordered a Sparkle & Shine from Edmunds. We’ll see about fertility and health on that. It’s Julie Newmar x Julia Child.

As this thjread has gone off the boil I thought I wouls ask the most supid question. Laugh if you must, I have broad shoulders. Is it possible to lets say “track” the development of the yellow rose. I think the answer will come back, ‘go tgo HMF’ I have gone some of that way so far. Does anyone know of the breeder/rose/cross that started it all, many thanks to this subject. Yellow is the colour I am interested in.

“Yellow” period? Not that I’m aware of. Modern yellows based upon Foetida, yes. Pernet with Soliel d’Or.

Here is a chart that accompanied an article I wrote for the Fall, 2009 RHA Newsletter. You can see the lineage that Kim refered to that begins with Rosa foetida.

Chart - The Major Descendency of Modern Roses.

The full story of incorporating yellow into modern roses is more complicated than that, though. The lineage based on R. chinensis shows that yellow was targeted from the time when the collection at Malmaison was first disseminated to breeders.

The most successful of the pre-Foetida breeders of yellow roses were the Ducher family of Lyon. That story is well known and covered in various articles in the newsletter, the old ARS Annuals and other sources.

Thanks Don and Kim for the info, the search goes on.

A lot of the yellows were based on R. Foetida, but I wonder why they did n’t use these in the developement of yellow, mind you the colours may not be as intense as Foetida, but may have ended up with less BS.

R. xanthina

Hidcote Gold

R. primula

R. pimpinellifolia lutea

R. ecae

R. hugonis.

R. xanthina - collected by Frank Meyer (Meyer Lemon) in China 1907

Hidcote Gold - introduced in 1948 after “many years” of growing in the garden. Who knows how long “many” is?

R. primula - Frank Meyer 1890

R. pimpinellifolia lutea - no dates

R. ecae - 1880

R. hugonis - 1899

Foetida - Known in Europe since the Sixteenth Century (1500’s). Being worked with by the late Nineteenth Century.

Persian Yellow - Known before 1838. Pernet was already working with it by the time all but the Pimpinellifolia were brought to Britain, and none of them had a yellow color as intense as Foetida, nor were any of their foliage as deep and glossy. Soliel d’Or introduced 11/1/1900.

Warren and Kim, what would I do without these 2 minds of information, Thanks Fellas.


Most of the roses you listed are diploid so it would take a long time to fully integrate them into modern roses which mostly are tetraploid. While I’ve never worked with any of these diploids, I’ve read enough to now that they are very hard to work with. So it’s not that people haven’t tried using them it’s that they’ve had little or no success with them when they did.