Friday, July 22, 2011

First Results

The first offspring from my breeding with Fedtschenkoana resulted from putting its pollen on the floribunda Orangeade. I honestly didn't know what to expect from this cross. I hoped the all summer bloom would continue, but plant habit, foliage, scent and bloom color were all totally unknown.

There are two seedlings from this cross. I've combined both under the name "Oadefed" on Help Me Find. The first seedling to flower was what I call Repeat Oadefed. It began flowering the summer following germination and continued all summer. It flowers on new growth. The plant shows first generation hybrid vigor, being an even more aggressive spreader (via suckers) than Fedtschenkoana. It is a taller plant which branches, while the species seldom branches unless forced to by cutting or damaging the canes. Its flowers are all carried at the ends of canes and side branches in small clusters.

The blooms are double and open to reveal the stamen. Its petals are papery and soft, beginning a blush pink and whitening to a similar, brilliant white. They arrive in small clusters usually at the ends of the canes and any side branches. They continue the same "Linseed Oil" scent and the plant retains its scented new growth, only it has morphed into more of a cedar scent. Foliage color is different from the species, being more of a yellow-gray-green and turns yellow-gold in fall before being shed for the winter.

Repeat Oadefed will set seed, usually one or two per hip, and the hips remain the same shape and size of the species.

Once flowering Oadefed feels related to the Repeat seedling, but different in a number of ways. Instead of suckering far and wide, it's a much tighter plant, creating a much denser colony of canes. Initially, it flowered on the tops of the canes, at the leaf axis, and resembled a Hollyhock the first two years it flowered. These flowers are more double than the Repeat seedling appears and open quite a bit more formal in shape. Its buds are a deeper pink than the other seedling and remain pink when open, though it also fades from the original color.

Its foliage is a bit more blue-green than the other seedling and has a shorter autumn color period than the repeater before its leaves brown and fall. This is the seedling Paul Barden has created his amazing purple seedlings from. FedtLav-01, FedtLav-08, FedtLav-09.

Once Flowering Oadefed autumn foliage

Both seedlings are pollen and seed fertile and not quite as particular about accepting other pollen or working on other ovaries as Fedtschenkoana itself is.

Once flowering Oadefed hip.

Orangeade has the characteristic of intensifying all plant pigments, from foliage and wood to flower color. I'd imagined these seedlings flowering with pink petals, but felt surely they would be deeper, more saturated colors than they are. Both retain the "linseed oil" flower scent with papery petals.

I'd begun studying seedlings created with Basye's Legacy, a remarkable species hybrid created by Dr. Robert Basye, formerly of Texas A&M University. The rose had been passed from one enthusiast to the next, often called "Basye's Thornless". Dr. Basye created two thornless seedlings which he spread around. One, he called 65-626,  he wished named "Commander Gillette" after his military commander. The second, 77-361, was bred from Commander Gillette. Both were generally called "Basye's Thornless", creating a great deal of confusion. I'd discovered this rose growing in the Study Plot at The Huntington Library. I'd propagated it and found in their plant card file that this rose was sent to them by Dr. Basye himself and was identified by him as 77-361. Paul Zimmerman, who owned Ashdown Roses at the time, wished to offer it through his catalog to get it wider distribution. We discussed what to call it to differentiate it from the other rose and determined Basye's Legacy was the right name to use for it as it can be extremely useful in creating thornless, black spot resistant roses.

I've grown the 77-361 (Basye's Legacy) from The Huntington, and 65-626 (Commander Gillette) shared by Dr. Basye with a gentleman I met through Garden Web years ago. I've also grown roses spread around as "Basye's Thornless" and all of them are the same rose. There are no differences among them. Which rose it is, no one is going to be able to tell until it is DNA tested. Dr. Basye personally identified the same rose as both 77-361 and 65-626.

I was extremely impressed by its ability to pass along thornless canes, a high degree of disease resistance and extreme fertility. I wanted to see what Basye's Legacy could do combined with Fedtschenkoana's genes, but remembered how obstinate Fedtschenkoana could be as a breeder.

Orangeade had been the best mate for Fedtschenkoana to that point, and I already had a seedling combining it with Legacy, so Dottie Louise was the logical choice for the next step. Dottie Louise was the childhood name for Mrs. Dorothy Crallie, owner and proprietor of the wonderful Pixie Treasures Miniature Rose Nursery, formerly located in Yorba Linda, California. With her daughter, Laurie Chaffin, who is a very talented, creative rose breeder, they produced some beautiful roses and satisfied a loyal clientele for many years. Dorothy loved single roses. This seedling was nearly single and was the first commercial offspring of Dr. Basye's wonderful thornless hybrid. I asked Dorothy's permission to name it for her, but she felt "Dorothy Crallie" wouldn't sell the rose. Laurie suggested her girlhood name, which her school friends still called her, Dottie Louise". Perfect!

Should anyone find the Oadefed seedlings of interest, the time has come to down-size my rose collection. The Once Flowering Oadefed is destined to be removed from the collection. Suckers are available to interested people here in the Continental US for the cost of postage. Please let me know if you'd like some.

Next: The Dottie Louise X R. Fedtschenkoana hybrids.