Your visions of novelty roses... I'm intrested in hearing them...

I think that the most important aspect of hybridizing is envisioning your creations. Ralph Moore had to envision a new race of roses that had stripes, moss, halos, etc… As for me, I’ve been crossing Eglantine hybrids and Applejack with Goldmoss, Scarlet Moss, and a few others in hopes to get moss roses with the scent of apples. I also hope that the foilage will inherit the scent too… I also have a vision of this very large thornless rose with very fragrant leaves, and one may just brush against the plant in order to smell like eglatine. I have others of course, but I think that they are my most fantastic goals. So, what are your visions of new roses?

Oh yes Enrique,

This can be funny…As an amateur I do not need to bother

with practical/commercial considerations. I may follow my dreams…This said, this is no garantee they might come true!

My first wish is to get something that would love doing whatever in trees. A thorny nightmare you prune when it’s no more possible to pass by.

On this brute, crude plant, I’d like miniature HP’s blooms

with scent and refined tones of color.

Reblooming is not a matter -a fine hips show in automn

could do as an alternative-

I already have a name if I get this one:

“Landscaper’s despair”!

Best wishes,


That’s great, Pierre! I am actually planning to cross rugosas with ramblers this year. Maybe that will produce “Landscaper’s Despair”. I can’t imagine that very many people would want a climbing rugosa, but it certainly would be novel. I’m also planning to cross rugosas and minis.

My least realistic goal would be to create roses that are deer-proof and gopher-proof. Deer tend to avoid rugosas, at least while there are tasty hybrid teas and floribundas available, but gophers seem to eat everything.


Along the lines of your foliage fragrance dreams…I’d like to get vigorous (reblooming if possible) roses with foliage that has the fragrances of the following:

1)of Rosa glutinosa (called the pine-scented rose) but to me it smells more citrusy, like tangerines. If you don’t already have this one, you should get it. I think it’s much better than Rosa eglanteria. Although it’s not very vigorous. I got mine from ForestFarm.

2)of Rosa foetida (shoot-tips) - sweet not resinous. I’d like a whole plant to smell of this.

3)of Rosa palustris (flower buds) - sweet scent, like candy. Once again, a whole plant smelling of this would be great.

4)of the peppery China scent. That smell always takes me back to childhood. It’s the smell that would be on my hands, after fiddling with the flowers of the Dr. Huey rootstock rose that grew at the end of the rose bed.

I’d like strongly fragrant foliage - in any of these scents in addition to the eglantine/apple scent. I think foliage-scent would be a pleasant dimension to add to the dooryard rose. What a greeting it would be, when coming and going on rainy days.


It’s sad but in northern climates with the exception of species and rugosa roses (generally speaking), fragrant roses are a novelty. Yet everyone wants fragrant roses (of course!). So that is one of my breeding goals. If fragrant foliage can be combined with fragrant flowers, so much the better. But that would be a long term goal. For sure, I can see roses having fragrant foliage being very popular in the future. People delight in new, pleasant smells while in the garden or whatever the site is where roses are grown.

In my experience, Rosa glutinosa is a relatively vigorous species. But to me the foliage smells like turpentine and not as pleasant as Rosa eglanteria.

My ultimant dream for a cool rose would to succeed in making a bi-generic cross between almost any rose, Rubus odoratus – which has cool looking foliage, attractive large flowers, and marvelously fragrant sticky fuzz on the stems and flower buds. I tried and failed a that hybrid a couple years ago – but this year I am going to try again. I think I am going be to able to get access to my universities tissue culture labs, so I am going to see if embryo rescue can make that cross work!

Looking at Paul’s comment on the scent of R. glutinosa, isn’t it interesting how differently different people react to the same scent? I, for one, find the scent of Heritage unpleasant. And I absolutely ADORE the generally disliked scent marigold foliage. I think that is one reason fragrance is so hard to breed for – everyone experiences it differently.


Rosa glutinosa… I remember you mentioning it several years ago, but I totally forgot about it… Thanks for reminding me. Well, I have Lady Penzance, which sets hips very well, although none of the open pollinated seeds haven’t germinated yet. Its parents are eglantine and foetida… Tom, can we make a pollen swap? I would be intrested in pollinating Lady Penzance with glutinosa pollen. I don’t know what kind of pollen you’re intrested. I have a few species, lots of modern hybrids. Or I can send you propogation material if you want… Please email me.

Joesph, I find the fragrance of Marigolds very pleasent, although other people find it revolting. When my family celebrates Day of the Dead, I love how the kitchen is full of that smell. Otherwise, I find the scent of Heritage very good too.

I someday would like to create more roses with frilly petals like Dianthaflor (did I spell it right?) but I heard that it is a genetic anamoly that won’t pass into future generations.

I’d like to see a reblooming shrub rose with the leaf color of R. rubrifolia. I’ve got some F1 hybrids that germinated last year. All seem to have the foliage color. Now to wait for them to bloom and see if they are fertile. AND see if I can develop a repeat-blooming line that will still retain the leaf color.

Actually, several are from the cross of R. rubrifolia x Golden Cherseronese, and one of the seedlings has a faint leaf-scent similar to R. primula. (Although I have to admit I find R. primula to be WAY to pungent a scent for my tastes.)

I do see two trends:

One is for more sophisticated rose as the florist’s or food store ones. Either cut or potted. More and more rose are sold as flowering potted or containerized plants. Standardized more compact plants with nice foliage and lasting HT type flowers are needed here. These are horticulturist’s short lived products and will not grow in the garden with less than ideal for rose growing care and climate. Most commercial breeders are at this goal. With Genetical Manipulation as a tool for incorporating new/better features.

Another is for low maintenance decorative bushes/climbers with wider adaptabilities and varied uses. Better desease, cold or heat resistance and no skill required for growing.

Bonica, Flower Carpet and Knock Out are forerunners. There will be others with every flower and plant type and size. Ultimately some will be with HT flower shape while others will be better performing eglantines with every we can imagine desirable feature. Here it is where amateur and outsider breeders can contribute.

My two cents

Pierre Rutten

I would like to pick up on Pierre’s thoughts on future trends of rose breeding. Although I love them for their form, grace and magnificient beauty, large roses will become obsolete in the future. Much of urban housing being constructed is houses on small lots or condominiums with only balconies to grow flowers. Therefore, roses will have to be adapted to grow in small spaces, on patios or balconies. As Pierre says, these roses will have to be tough and low maintenance. I can see breeding for foliage colour and scent to be an important aspect of this type of rose, since it increases colour and adds fragrance without having to increase space. For sure, Rosa eglanteria and R. glauca will be essential to use in such a breeding program.

I don’t think larger rose bushes will ever go out of style. A mini is beautiful in its own way as is a climber… Another vision for roses-- tree roses. I’m talking about roses that gets big as a tree, not as big as Lady Banks at Tombstone, but more like R. moschata abyssinica at Santa Clara University. It has has more elegance then most other trees, and provides shade in the summer. I think it was a perfect rose in almost every way. Tons of fragrance, foilage is absolutely disease free, and it is so elegant to see the branches gently sway in the wind. I was successful to get two cuttings to root. It was a bit difficult since I started with 20 cuttings. I thought I would not get anything at all! I think this one will look beautiful right in the middle of my lawn…

When my cuttings are big enough, I will start pollinating it with The Pearl, and R. banksiae normalis if I can obtain pollen. I believe there are a few rosarians in San Jose whom told me they will plant it when they get their plants from ARE.



Personally, I’ll cross anything that sounds good :stuck_out_tongue: But I do have a strong liking towards Floribundas.

For the future? Baby Love seems to have done really well concerning it is but a single! Id love to see a new generation of polyanthas. They do great in pot culture, landscapes and perennial borders alike. Within 3 miles of me there are 2 strip malls that are completely landscaped in roses and trees. And they look awesome year after year. The rose is ‘Gourmet Popcorn’. Why plant Azaleas when these guys bloom non-stop and dont mind the blades of a hedge trimmer?

But I do agree the large flowered rose will never die out. There are 2 industries alone built around it (florist and exhibitors).


Baby Love is the most cheerful rose that I enjoy… For a while I’ve been trying to use a seedling of Gourmet Popcorn, Pillow Fight. But I suspect that this maybe an infertile triploid by looking it’s parentage… Last year I crossed this with Renae, but nothing set…

I’d also like to see tree-sized rosebushes and more roses with scented foliage – preferably of a scent that’s pleasant to humans but puts deer off. Monster ramblers with reliable repeat bloom (and good scent) have long been a desire of mine, though the two properties may be mutually exclusive: a rose that’s putting all that effort into blooming may just not have the moxie to grow really large.

Seriously big and decorative thorns, perhaps very different from those of R. sericea pteracantha, are another novelty I’d go for. (Imagine a blood-red rose, unusually well armed, named “Vlad the Impaler”…)

I’ve bought a mess of species roses, mostly from ForestFarm, and I hope to try my first crosses this year, mostly between them and various new-ish varieties – nature and my own indolent nature permitting. Also I picked up some oddities at the Heritage Rose Foundation meeting last autumn (the old Australian rose “Scorcher” and the relatively uncommon “Eve de Grossouvere,” notably: the latter seems to set hips very readily). Deer ate my little potted pteracantha last year, so that’s out…