HORTICULTURE 3(11): 317 (March 17, 1906)
Some Interesting Results in Rose Hybridization
Hybridizers are working industriously to get a race of hardy roses. Rosa rugosa seems to be a favorite to work upon and we are promised a fine set of this crossing from that tireless hybridizer, Dr. Muller, of Germany. He also has some of the Persian Yellow type which will be, however, sent out by the firm of J. Gravereaux-L’Hay, in France. Now, why not try the Rosa multiflora and, instead of using it as a seed bearer, use it as the pollen bearer. Some six years ago I crossed the Caserta with the pollen of the multiflora and I got three seedlings out of it which proved extra strong growers, more like the Caserta than the multiflora, and perfectly hardy. The flowers were pure white, fully four times as large as the multiflora, blooming in clusters of three and four flowers. I have no doubt, if this rose had been recrossed with one of the hardiest hybrid tea roses, some good results might have come out of it. I was not working then in the direction of hardy roses. I grew them a few years, and then as the bushes became too large I grubbed them out, for which I am sorry now.
Our native Rosa setigera is one which I think would produce better results than Rosa rugosa. It may be objected that this is a climbing rose; well, I’ve had climbers from dwarfs, why wouldn’t it be possible to get dwarfs from climbers? I have two seedlings now, a cross between Billard et Barre and Marechal Niel, both climbers. One of the seedlings is all growth and no flowers; the other grows about five inches and then makes a bud. It took twenty flowers of the Marechal Niel to produce enough pollen to fertilize one flower. I have also fertilized Billard et Barre with Persian Yellow. The seedlings had the same habit as the Persian Yellow; the lower leaves would always ripen up and drop. In trying to keep them growing through the winter they became sick and died. They should have been kept dormant through the winter. I could cite many other instances of climbers producing dwarfs. It will very likely take a good many years in crossing and recrossing, besides patience and perseverance to get something nearer to what we are seeking.