American Gardening 11(11): 665-666 (November, 1890)

ROSA RUGOSA HYBRIDS
A NEW DEPARTURE IN ROSES
E. S. Carman
The Rural New-Yorker


Storrs & Harrison Co., Painesville, O. 1895

AN ILLUSTRATED account of the first hybrids with Rosa rugosa appeared in the June AMERICAN GARDEN of last year. No less than a thousand seedlings have been raised, most of which, however, have succumbed to mildew, to which these hybrids, notwithstanding the vigorous, healthy constitution of the mother, seem peculiarly subject. The male parent of the first hybrids was Harison's (properly spelt with one r) Yellow. Three of the seedlings resembled R. rugosa in foliage; the rest were as unlike each other as children of the same parents well could be. These three plants bore double flowers of the color and odor of Jacqueminot. The best was placed in the hands of a prominent nursery firm to be propagated and introduced under the name of Agnes Emily Carman. The other two will be introduced or condemned, as they may be judged worthy or unworthy, after propagated plants have bloomed, either from cuttings or upon other stock. It is never safe to judge of the merits of a new rose from the seedling itself.

After the first summer, pollen was used from many different hybrid remontants, while for the past two years, pollen from yellow teas has for the most part been used, the aim being to produce a hardy, ever-blooming rose with the beautifully distinct habit and foliage of the mother plant, Rosa rugosa. Georges Bruant, which was placed upon the market two years after the Carman hybrid was announced, is a semi-double white Rugosa of great beauty. Whether it is hardy or not we cannot say say. But it will never be as popular as it would otherwise become, for the reason that its foliage mildews. We desire now to speak of the remarkable variations in the foliage, stems and habit of the rugosa hybrids, and for this purpose the illustrations (Figs. 1 to 10), true to nature, are presented. In-so-far as the writer is aware, self-rugosa seedlings are true rugosas. Of all the hybrids raised at the experiment grounds of The Rural New-Yorker, there is but one that could not be distinguished from its mother at a glance. This plant is a true rugosa in all respects save one; it blooms constantly from early spring until frosts, while, as is well known, the species take a little rest during July or August. The variations in these hybrids show that a definite answer to the question "What is a species?" may not be given. Let us compare the illustration Fig. 2 with Say's rose, which appeared in the June AMERICAN GARDEN. They are in no wise related, so far as known. It will be difficult to find a single difference between them that would justify any one, seeing them for the first time, in pronouncing them distinct species. And yet our illustration shows with accuracy a hybrid between the Austrian rose, Harison's Yellow and the Japan R. rugosa. Fig. 1 shows an eleven-foliolate leaf (life size) of a seedling of the same parentage. It is a dwarf, scarcely a foot high, with tiny, semi-prostrate stems and a habit that is as different from either parent as can easily be conceived. Fig. 4 is the nine-foliolate leaf of a large, rank-growing bush which bears little pink single flowers only an inch in diameter. Fig. 3 shows leaflets of the Rugosa type, but the stems show only the rudiments of thorns. Fig. 5 has the habit of Harisonís Yellow, and bears little pink and white flowers that resemble those of neither parent. Figs. 6, 7 and 8 show tea blood, and like a hundred others, just manage to live through the winters and make a feeble, mildewed growth during the summers.

Our readers will see that it is not easy to count upon the vigor of a hybrid seedling, or upon any other characteristics, by those of the parents. He will further see that such offspring do not of necessity, or in most cases, bear any striking resemblance to them.

Fig. 1. 11-Foliolate Leaf Fig. 2. A Hybrid Rose.—Harison's Yellow x Rosa rugosa Fig. 3. 7-Foliolate Leaf Fig. 4. 9-Foliolate Leaf. Flowers Pink. Fig. 5. 9-Foliolate Leaf. Flowers Pink and White.
Fig. 6. Tea Blood Fig. 7. Tea Blood Fig. 8. Tea Blood Fig. 9. Hybrid with long leaflets. Fig. 10. Hybrid with rounded leaflets.

There has been some confusion between R. sayi and R. bourgeauiana. The specimens Hurst examined were BBCCDD (bourgeauiana) and CCDDEE (sayi).

'Harison's Yellow' should be BBCD, BC coming from the R. spinosissima parent, BD from R. foetida. Crossed with a form of R. rugosa CC, a BCD offspring resembling R. bourgeauiana would be possible. The picture of R. sayi linked in the article shows hips that are not rimmed. It is not the sayi that Hurst examined.