Monday, July 6, 2015

Using Unknown Pollen

While on a recent trip I came across a most beautiful and floriferous rose.  It was labeled as the species rose, Rosa arvensis.  A fellow rose breeder from France, Pascal Heitzler, who had used Rosa arvensis extensively, was able to definitively say that the rose was mislabeled, and was definitely not R. arvensis.  Unfortunately, he was not able to identify this amazing rose. 

As seen below, it is a small flowered rose, blooming in very large clusters on a vigorous plant.  The flower buds are light yellow, though the blooms fade to nearly white a few hours after opening.  The foliage is medium green, semi-glossy and appears to be very clean since I did not see any disease on this specimen although there were many other roses in the garden infected with powdery mildew, black spot, and some even had downy mildew on them.


So, being the rose breeder that I am, I needed to see if this rose could be crossed with some of my own seedlings.  I wondered whether the rose was fertile and whether I could manage to get some of it's pollen home with me.

I collected 10 unopened flower buds, in various stages of development (1-2 days from opening).  These were gently wrapped in a moistened paper towel and placed in a zip-lock bag.  Upon arriving home, the zip-lock bag was put in the refrigerator and 2-3 buds were removed each day to gather pollen for drying.  Over the course of the next 4 days I was able to make over 100 crosses onto some of my better seed parents.  Below is the pollen cup that was used (the pollen was labeled with "R. arv" even though it is not the correct name). The three buds in the photos below were the last of the 10 that had been collected.


Five or 6 days after the buds were collected, there was still some apparently viable pollen on the last 3 buds as seen below.



The last photo was taken to demonstrate how small the flower buds were.


Now, one month later, it appears that the pollen was fertile since hips are beginning to form on the selected seed parents.  Although I hope that someone will one day be able to identify this rose, more importantly, I am hopeful that I will have some seedlings from it sprouting in my greenhouse next year.  I wonder whether this rose is remontant, or if it is a once-blooming rose, will I have to wait 2 or 3 years to see the first blooms on it's seedlings?  That is a question that will be answered next year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More Random 2015 Seedlings

A handful of seedlings are starting to show themselves as being different from most of the other seedlings.  These 3 will be among the 2015 survivors.

The first seen below is a seedling coming from a cross of 'Singin' in the Rain' X [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Julia Child'].  It has good color and nice fragrance.



The next seedling has the same pollen parent, but a different seed parent.  The cross was:   (<{'Halo Today' X ['Geisha' X ('Tobo' X 'Singin' in the Rain')]} X 'First Impression'> X "Basye's Thornless") X [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Julia Child'].  The petals are almost translucent, but with reasonable substance, so I am interested to see how it does outside the greenhouse.  I hope that it gets a few more petals as it matures.


The last seedling in this post is from a complex Hulthemia cross and has "Basye's Thornless" as one of the grandparents.  The blotch is taking on a more circular appearance.  It is nearly thornless.  Again, I will be interested to see how it performs outdoors since typically the blotches get larger as the seedlings mature.  God willing, I will post photos of these next year as more mature seedlings when they are growing outside of the greenhouse, so stay tuned!




Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rose Test Gardens - Parc de la TĂȘte d'Or

Our trip to France this past May to the World Federation of Rose Society's meeting in Lyon, was in a word amazing!  I'm not sure how much of the experience I will get to blog about, but I wanted to at least post something of the rose test garden located within the Parc de la TĂȘte d'Or, in Lyon.  It was unlike any other test garden that I have visited.  Instead of being plain and utilitarian like many test gardens, it was incredibly beautiful with a flowing design.










 There were many very beautiful unnamed test roses, but a few of my favorites are shown below.




A Hulthemia, #166 was one of the winners.  It was very floriferous with clean shiny foliage.  I do not know whose entry it was, but it was quite nice.


Though I don't know when, I know that I will have to go back one day.  My hat is off to the keeper of these gardens for the superb shape that all of the grounds were in - Magnifique!









Sunday, May 17, 2015

More New Seedlings

There are lots of new seedlings.  Here are a few more pics!





Believe it or not, the last photo above is from a cross of 2 of my favorite Hulthemias.  I suspect that the blotch is hidden under the white eye.  I will have to try crossing this one with a normal rose to see if the blotch can be recovered…..

Monday, May 4, 2015

Random 2015 Seedlings

There are so many Hulthemias this year that I have had to culled a larger number that just a few years ago I would have kept.  Here are some views of random seedlings that I am watching.







The seedling shown below is special.  As you can see, it is very petite, but is also very floriferous.  The 2 blooms show are the 8th and 9th blooms to open on this very small plant.  I can't help but think that Mr. Ralph Moore would love this rose since he is the "father of miniature roses" and liked working with the Hulthemias.




The next seedling shown below is also special.  It resulted from a cross of one of my good Hulthemia seed parents (N159-5) crossed with Will Radlers "RADsweet", AKA 'Alaska'.  I am hoping that it retains some of the cleanliness of it's pollen parent.  I have repeated this cross many more times this year in hopes of getting something even better.



Finally, the last seedling featured in this post is not a Hulthemia.  This is a shrub type rose that is fragrant and floriferous.  Can it be that this will be the rose that I name in honor of my mom?  We'll have to wait to see how it does outside...










Sunday, April 19, 2015

'Thrive!' at Kaiser Permanente

Star Roses gifted 200 'Thrive!' roses to Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield as a gesture of thanks for agreeing to allow us to use their thrive name for the rose.  Many of the roses were planted around the Bakersfield area with the largest planting of them being made in the form of a rose island in front of the Urgent Care Center on Stockdale Highway. This is their 4th season growing there and from the looks of it, they are continuing to thrive very nicely.  Thank you Star Roses and Kaiser Permanente!






Monday, April 13, 2015

Open Pollination Test

When selecting for a new seed parent, one of the characteristics that I like to see in addition to a good germination rate, is good phenotypic variability among it's seedlings.  In a previous post, I mentioned that seeds of Q199-1 germinated very well (see First Pollination of 2015).  In this post I am highlighting some of the variability that I am seeing in Q199-1's seedlings.  All of the seedlings seen in the last two photos are the result of open pollination (meaning that the bees did the pollinating and that most of the seedlings resulted from self pollination).

Q199-1 is seen in the first photo below.  As shown, it is a single petalled Hulthemia that blooms well.  It also sets hips well, germinates well, and as will be shown in the second and third photos below, produces a wide range of seedlings.  For me, this is a sign of good plasticity as a seed parent and suggests that there will be more possibilities than average in it's progeny when crossed with a wide range of pollen parents.


In the next photo there is a glimpse of this variability.  It is hard to believe that these seedlings all came from the same seed parent.


I took another photo below of some of the culls from a single day when the Q199-1 group of seedlings were blooming profusely.  It is easy to see variability of color and bloom size, but notice too the great variability of the filaments and anthers of the stamens.  The filaments range from white and almost clear, to yellow, to pink, to purple and to almost black.  The anthers are mostly yellow, but some have darker parts to them too.  One of the more obvious characteristics is that with the exception of one seedling, all of them are simple, single-petalled blooms (have only 5 petals).  This is not surprising since both parents of Q199-1 were single-petalled.  It will be important to make crosses to Q199-1 with roses having more double blooms in order to increase the petal count in it's seedlings.  Though many of the seedlings below are pretty, I think that Hulthemias look best with 10-15 petals.  Are there any of the seedlings below that you would have kept?



Monday, March 30, 2015

Rose Breeding Uncertainty

You just never know which seedlings are going to survive…

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the first 2 new seedlings to bloom this year.  I was excited about the second seedling and thought for sure it would be a "keeper".  Well, both seedlings are now gone.  The first seedling was culled when there were other better seedlings that bloomed close to it and I could not justify keeping it.  The second seedling just died on it's own.  I am sorry to have lost it since it seemed to be such a nice seedling having good potential.  However, that is just how things work out sometime.

I have already culled several hundred seedlings, but among the new seedlings that are blooming for the first time, I am finding what appear to be other "keepers".  Only time will tell whether any of these survive future cullings, or demise from natural causes…




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Downy Mildew Testing

No, I guess I don't really like downy mildew all that much, but I am thankful when we can get some of it in order to see which seedlings show resistance.  Fortunately, we had a couple days of 90 degree weather after this outbreak to halt the devastation.


The new seedlings that were just moved out of the greenhouse are always the most susceptible (see photo below).


Even some of the very mature roses got hit pretty hard.  Below is a photo of foliage drop from 'Osiana', a cut-flower variety that appears to be very susceptible. 


However, some of the newer seedlings are showing little or no downy mildew.  The first below is a seedling of 'Darlow's Enigma', followed by a seedling 2 generations down from "Basye's Thornless", and a rugosa seedling.




The last photo shown below is of a crested seedling that is surprisingly showing a good amount of downy mildew tolerance.







Saturday, March 14, 2015

Second Seedling to Bloom 2015

Well, I think this is probably the first time that I have made two posts on the same day.  I should have waited until I went out to the greenhouse to make my earlier post because there was a second seedling that was blooming that I like much more than the first.  I think that this second seedling may very well turn out to be a "keeper".  It is from a cross of N159-5 X Q62-1.  N159-5 is a seedling from 5 years ago that has been an excellent seed parent for blotches.  It has a complex mix in it's background that includes 'Persian Sunset' and "Tiggle".  Q62-1 came from a cross of 'Eyeconic Pomegranate Lemonade' X "Basye's Thornless".


From here on out, there will be many more seedlings blooming such that in about 3-4 weeks it will be hard to keep up...

First Seedling to Bloom 2015

Wow, this warmer weather has continued to push the new seedlings growth along faster than normal.  Every year I anticipate and try to patiently wait for the first new seedling of the year to bloom.  This year there wasn't much waiting.  I first noticed the first bud about 3 weeks ago and it bloomed yesterday!  This was from a cross between 2 Hulthemia hybrid seedlings.  The blotch is not that large, but because the seedling is branching early and has more than 1 flower bud on the first bloom cycle, I will watch it a bit longer.