Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Thrive!' Drive

'Thrive!', a healthy descendent of the 'Knock Out'® rose, is a new landscape type rose that is being introduced by Star Roses in 2012.  The 17 'Thrive!' roses lining our driveway were planted earlier this year.  The photos in this post were taken today, July 30, 2011, in Bakersfield, California.  I am pleased with how it is performing despite the usual hot summer weather that we have been having.

The parentage of 'Thrive!' is ('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Home Run'.  This variety has excellent disease resistance in Bakersfield, to the powdery mildew and blackspot prevalent here, and has good disease resistance in other locations tested, getting some blackspot on the East Coast, but still holding onto most of its foliage.

The foliage and blooms are nicer during the spring bloom cycle, but IMHO it's not doing too badly now either.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Hulthemia Holy Grail - Blotch Heat Stability

When breeding for Hulthemia hybrids, it is the blotch that is the focus of one's attention.  Seedlings lacking blotches, or those having smaller or more faint blotches are quickly looked over when a bolder, larger blotch catches the eye.  Selecting for those seedlings only, that have the eye popping blotch, results in very few seedlings that remain after the initial culling process is complete.

It can be quite disappointing therefore when the blotches "disappear" on many of these select few seedlings.  Unfortunately, that happens quite frequently.

Both of the above seedlings had good to excellent blotches when they first bloomed earlier this year as new seedlings.  Notes on their markers indicate comments like "great blotch", or "wow".  As can be seen currently, however, there is nothing "wow" about either of these two seedlings (the same can be said for most of the other "select few").

I am convinced now that the condition that contributes most to blotch fading is the higher nighttime minimum temperatures present during the summer months.  Initially, I had thought that maybe it was the greater light intensity or hotter daytime temperatures that were the cause for the blotch "disappearance".  Over the last few years though I have noted that good blotches typically return in October.  That has been true even when the daytime temperatures in October have been over 100º F (unfortunately not a rare occurrence in Bakersfield).  In October, despite high daytime temperatures, nighttime temperatures usually drop into the mid-60's or lower.  It appears then, that sustained nighttime temperatures above 70º F have the greatest effect on blotch fade, and the higher the temperature the more important the impact.

'Eyeconic™ Lemonade', as seen below in a photo taken today, has some degree of fade, but it is not as pronounced as in the seedlings in the photos above.  'Eyeconic™ Lemonade' has been useful in producing other nice yellow Hulthemias, some of which seem to exhibit good heat stability.

The seedlings in the following photos are all exhibiting improved heat stability.  These will be used heavily in future breeding while I continue to search for the Hulthemia Holy Grail.

All of the photos in this post were taken on July 23, 2011, after having warm summer-type weather in Bakersfield, California.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Informal Floribundas

The first rose depicted below is not a Hulthemia.  It is one of my favorite informal floribunda type seedlings for our area.  It blooms profusely and doesn't get any powdery mildew.  Unfortunately, it does get blackspot.  The other disappointment is that while it blooms profusely and sets hips well, the germination rate is close to ZERO.

It's parentage is [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X ('Stainless Steel' X 'Baby Love')] X 'Julia Child'.

The next seedling is new this year and is a Hulthemia.  There are several from this cross that have many petalled informal type blooms that are showing a hint of the Hulthemia blotch at the base of their petals.  My favorite is a larger pink one, but I don't have any photos of it yet.

This one is from a cross of [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') x 'Julia Child'] X [({[('Orangeade' X 'Abraham Darby') X 'Midnight Blue'] X ('Geisha' X 'Baby Love')} X {[('Orangeade' X 'Abraham Darby') X 'Midnight Blue'] X 'Persian Sunset'}) X "mixed Hulthemia pollen"].

And it's fragrant.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Hulthemia Line

The Hulthemia blotch has fascinated many of us ever since Harkness and Cocker released their first hybrids.  In this post, I wanted to highlight something else that I am seeing in the Hulthemia hybrids - it is the Hulthemia line.

In several of the newer seedlings, I am seeing what appears to be an alternate representation of the blotch into what looks more like a line than a blotch.  Some of the seedlings are still showing a blotch at the base of their petals, however, others are just exhibiting a darker line down the center of their petals without any other evidence of the blotch.

I suspect that this line, through subsequent generations of selective breeding, can be darkened and emphasized.  Do you think that it is worth pursuing?!

Monday, July 4, 2011

'First Impression' Proving To Be Quite Clean

This is a short departure from writing about the new Hulthemias, to write about an older seedling.  With this post, I wanted to highlight the disease resistance that I am seeing in a seedling from 6 years ago that has been named 'First Impression'.  'First Impression' is a dark yellow floribunda, introduced by Nor'East, and now carried by Greenheart Farms.  It has surprisingly good disease resistance - especially in our climate, but I am getting good reports from other areas of the country too.

The photo above was taken with my iPhone during a trip to Greenheart earlier this year.  I took a video of the plant (unfortunately after its peak bloom) to show its disease resistance in our non-sprayed rose garden.  Click here to see the video.  'First Impression' is the second rose in the video and has all of its foliage.  The first rose is heavily defoliated, while the third rose (actually a fairly clean rose too) has several leaves showing blackspot.  'First Impression' doesn't have a single blackspot on it.  For those interested in breeding yellow roses, I would suggest using this one.  There haven't been a lot of hips on 'First Impression' in my experience, but for some reason, most of our roses have produced an abundance of OP hips this year including 'First Impression.  I would mainly use it as a pollen parent, but who knows, maybe you could also get lucky and get good hips on it too!

'First Impression' came from a cross of [('Lynn Anderson' X 'Tournament of Roses') X 'Hot Tamale'] X ('Stainless Steel' X 'Baby Love').  Other than from 'Baby Love', I am not sure where it is getting its good disease resistance.