Your favorite fragrant rose--a study question

Does your favorite fragrant rose come from fragrant parents, or does it come as a surprise from parents that are not (especially) fragrant?

How many generations back does the fragrance go, or how many generations do you have to go back in tracing the ancestry before you find the ancestor that seems to contribute the fragrance?

Take a look at the ancestry tree over at and share what you find.


Hmmm , my favorite fragrant rose?

I love Firefighter for the symbolism and decent health for a red sniffer. It’s parentage is 50/50.

Rennaisance is extremely healthy but the blooms blow easily… it is very sweet. It’s parentage is mostly snifferific.

But I think my favorite is Autumn Sunset for the cool colors and the fruity scent. It’s parentage is partially snifferific.

I’ve noted a general tendency for fragrant seedlings to come from fragrant roses but also there is a tendency for seedlings to lack fragrance in general.

It seems to be a recessive trait and relatively easy to lose.

I do get seedlings that have fragrance from non-fragrant parents but they seem to be the exception.

I REALLY like fragrant roses. It’s almost a deal breaker for me since we have so many that are wonderfully fragrant. When one has room for only a few roses why not have one that is fragrant too?

I think American hybridizers ignored fragrance for far too long which is one of the reasons the Austins are so popular.

Ack! Im an idiot. Reading your post just reminded me that I forgot to save pollen from Rosa primula to try on Scarlet Moss. I was imagining the sizzling summer heat and being outside where I can smell both roses due to their foliage… Scarlet Moss smells like cinnamon and Rosa primula smells like pine. They should be in every large landscape here, IMO because they add an extra sensory experience to the garden… much like sniffing rose blooms!

I did have two seedlings that are scented from this year and last year that are from non-sniffers. American Honor x Veteran’s Honor was scented. VH has no scent to me but the seedling does. Whisper x Veteran’s Honor was also fragrant.

Jadae, what happened to your seedlings?

I still have both of them. AH x VH is a bubble gum pink First Prize wannabe and Wh X VH is an Apricot Nectar wannabe lol. They may be getting mildew (Im not sure yet… the foliage looked off today but we just started a heat wave, too, so who knows). If so, I probably wont be using VH any longer. To be honest, I was trying to see if I could get an HT in the color of Sonia.

I was just about to start using VH! At least I know now it carries fragrance. It would be nice to make a list of seed and pollen parents that were prepotent for passing on fragrance.

I do love scented foliage as well.

Well, it sucks as a seed parent. It is an okay pollen parent. If I were trying for fragrance from it while trying to avoid mildew, I would probably try something like:

[(Remember Me x Veterans’ Honor) x Firefighter]

The problem with VH, so far, is that the shades of color it produces are often dusky.

I just remembered that I have it marked for removal this winter. I bought Opening Night for another spot and it seems to be working as a seed parent so far. Im trying to slowly weed out any roses that are fungicide dependant or have low bloom density (VH is beautiful but it is slow to rebloom and is not great with branching habit).

I forgot! Re: scented foliage.

I love Rosa primula but it is too big… and rebloom would be nice. What I love about it other than the scented foliage is that I can water it en masse as if it was any old shrub and not a drop of disease will form. I wanted to try it with Baby Love but both are horrid seed parents (BL isnt very fertile female-wise and R.p selfs before it even blooms). The mini mosses with Kordesii in them seemed like okay choices fro crossing with R. primula but Im open to advice. I was really curious how they would combine…

The rose that really blew me away as far as scent was Double Delight. I stepped out in the backyard one morning and could smell this wonderful aroma in the air, and followed the scent back to Double Delight. Rather interesting that it has not been all that heavily used as a parent, only 12 unique descendants according to help me find.

My vote for best fragrant parent would be Sunsprite (a.k.a. Friesia). While I do not have this rose, I have several of the descendants, Fragrant Morning, Prairie Harvest, Prairie Sunrise, and Folksinger. Fragrant Morning has great aroma, similar to Double Delight; Prairie Harvest and Paririe Sunrise are also fragrant; and Folksinger supposedly is, but not to my nose. Sunsprite has been heavily used as a parent, with 115 unique descendants according to help me find.


I don’t think many people would utilize Double Delight these days due to health problems but it is a great example of a rose that is incredibly popular despite being a magnet for disease in most climates.

Most people want strong fragrance in their roses and with the thousands of varieites available there is really no reason why they shouldn’t have it.

Many roses that make decent seed parents in other climates perform poorly here.

Jim Sproule was generous enough to share one of his proprietary seed parents with me last time I visited and it has yet to set even an op hip in my climate. I’m hoping it’s a matter of maturity. A handful of seed parents will set hips here even as rooted cuttings and I am trying to breed more.

I gave up on even using Double Delight as pollen. It was picky for me. Sunsprite seems okay, I guess. It sets well but germination is so-so. I tried Hot Cocoa on it this year.

I haven’t had a chance to try Double Delight as a parent yet, not that there appears to be much hope for it. Interestingly it does not appear to be a disease magnet in my environment (Southwestern Ontario). I just took a look at DD and it seems pretty clean so far this year and it does not stick in my mind as being diseased in other years either. I suspect that the equation phenotype (P) = genotype (G) + environment (E) + GxE probably applies to roses too.

DD mildews pretty badly throughout Southern CA. I don’t know about BS but from the parentage I would assume it’s pretty bad.

Double Delight is no worse than most for blackspot, and better than many. Like its parent Granada (which is also very fragrant) it is much loved by powdery mildew.

I put Granada on Armada last year a got a scentless white floribunda. Go figure.

Yes, the only mention I noted regarding DD and blackspot was from a gardener in FL.

I wonder what in the parentage of Armada would have caused such a stinking lot of scentlessness.

Good question I thought I was hoping for a highly scented and colored disease resistant shrub.

New Dawn, contrary to the entry in HMF, does not have strong fragrance (not to me, anyway, although we have to remember that fragrance is in the nose of the sniffer and can be affected by soil, climate, etc), and at least 3 of the grandparents of Silver Jubilee (thus, great-grandparents of Armada) have “mild” fragrance. R. wich. is not famous for its fragrance either. So there’s probably a precedent for the lack of fragrance of that seedling.

In roses as in people, traits of the various grandparents often recur in the grandchildren even when they’re not obvious in the parents. Maybe that’s why I’m 6’5" tall when neither of my parents was tall.


Fragrant Cloud is a favourite.

Parentage: seedling x Prima Ballerina (hybrid tea)

I’m not familiar with Prima Ballerina but it supposedly has a wonderful scent. Surprisingly it’s parentage is

seedling x Peace. I’ve never considered Peace to be very fragrant.

Of course for fragrance it would be hard to beat Rosa Rugosa.