Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The French Connection

So yes, this post is about an important French connection.  The connection happened about a year ago when pollen was collected from an interesting species rose in a French rose garden (see post Using Unknown Pollen).  The rose was labeled Rosa arvensis.  However, several rose breeders familiar with that species did not think that the specimen was correctly identified.  Nevertheless, to me it appeared to be the cleanest and most floriferous rose in the species garden.  Pollen was collected from about 10 flower buds to make crosses.  At that time, I did not know whether the species was remontant or not, or whether it would even be fertile.

From about 100 pollinations onto 6 different seed parents, 820 seeds were collected and planted this past January.  Presumably due to an incompatibility of the species with my seed parents, germination was significantly reduced as seen below.  On the right side of the seedling bench the same seed parent was planted in groups where various pollens were used.  The "Rosa arvensis" seedlings are in the space with the fewest germinations.

After the seedlings started to grow, it was apparent that most of the seedlings would be nonremontant and would not bloom for another 1 or more years.  

Sprinkled here and there however, were a few seedlings that were forming flower buds.  The orange and pink seedlings seen in the above photo are not seedlings of "Rosa arvensis", but are from nearby other crosses.  The first "Rosa arvensis" seedling to bloom is shown below.

As the nonremontant seedlings continued to grow, it was very apparent that they would soon overgrow and smother the few seedlings that were blooming, so these were removed and planted into pots.  They will be evaluated next spring and the best of these will be kept for future breeding.

With the nonremonant seedlings removed, there will be plenty of room for the repeat blooming "Rosa arvensis" seedlings to grow and develop.

Below are photos of blooms of four other repeat blooming seedlings of "Rosa arvensis".  Knowing that the seed parents were orange and dark red, it is clear that the creamy white color coming from "Rosa arvensis" is a strong trait.

I was very glad to find that a remontant gene could be recovered from the "Rosa arvensis" pollen parent.  There are some early signs that a couple of these will be floriferous.  I will post photos of them next spring.


  1. I managed to get several sticks of Porcelaine du Chine to root, but unfortunately they did so amidst my seedlings- so it will have to wait.

    It's just starting to open its buds now. Would you like some pollen?

  2. Hi Jacub, thank you for the offer! Actually, I have just finished with my pollinations for the season and with our upcoming week of forecasted 100+ degree days, I don't think that any additional pollinations will be successful. I would love to try it next year though!

    1. Oh OK. It turns out Porcelaine repeats! I have a few hips with Scarlet Moss and Eyes For You, and I plan to try Brown Velvet today.