Garden and Forest 7(320): 150 (April 11, 1894)

Rosa rugosa Hybrids

Two years ago, at the Iowa Experiment Station, the crossing of Rosa rugosa with other varieties of cultivated Roses was begun on a considerable scale, and something like 20,000 seeds were obtained from Rosa rugosa fertilized with pollen taken mainly from Hybrid Perpetual and Tea Roses. The pistillate parents are Russian types of Rosa rugosa, which vary considerably from those introduced from Japan and China, the Russian forms being hardier in the north, somewhat more graceful in habit, and earlier to flower. Some of the hybrids showed bloom last year, a few of them before they were four months old, and all of the flowers showed an increase from the five petals of Rosa rugosa. It was hoped that some new Roses might be secured for the prairies of the north-west, where the ordinary garden varieties only survive when carefully protected during the winter. But, so far, the experiment seems to show that the hybrids resemble the male parents in cultivation, although they flower at an earlier age, and they give no special promise of superior hardiness or freedom from mildew. It seems probable, however, that out of many varieties a few may be secured which inherit the hardiness of the mother plant, with leaves resembling those of Rosa rugosa, and flowers with something of the fragrance of the Teas and the special beauty of the Hybrid Perpetuals.