Rose Magazine 3(3): 41-44 (May-June, 1939)
Future Hybrid Tea Roses
STEPHEN F. HAMBLIN, Lexington, Mass.
Mr. Hamblin here gives us a careful study of possibilities, which is printed in the magazine, although of Annual status, in the hope that experimenting may be done in the rose summer of 1939.—EDITORS.
THE modern HT. is almost a perfect plant for production of flowers, but for regions of cold winters three characters are open to further improvement:
resistance of foliage to disease;
Greater hardiness of stem in regions of winter cold;
And greater height and bulk of plant in cold climates.
In regions of mild winter, only the disease resistance requires improvement. The ideal hardy HT. plant of the future will bear the flowers of today on a bush as hardy, sturdy, and robust as Rosa rugosa or our native species. The HT. flowers should be on HP. plants, requiring no winter protection.
The recrossing of present HT. varieties cannot give characters not already possessed by the thousands of existing sorts. The inbreeding of Austrian Brier has given new colors, but has weakened the plant on all the three counts above. Less than one per cent of the present HT. plants contain other than HP. X T. in their parentage, with increasing use of forms of Austrian Brier. What experiments have been made to bring vigor in from other species?
Perhaps it is too much to expect that the four beloved characters of the HT. rose (form, color, fragrance and recurrence) can be transferred wholly to another species entirely hardy to frost. But we may consider possibilities.
Hybrid Sweetbrier. About 1890 the Sweetbrier was crossed by Lord Penzance with the garden sorts. The Hybrid Sweetbriers are very thorny, robust, hardy plants with small rarely double flowers, and bloom in June only. The fragrance of Sweetbrier has been carried over, and the garden sorts have given added color-range to the species. But these are but first-generation hybrids. What would have come from further generations we do not yet know. The HSb. have the three qualities lacking in the modern HT., but lack all the good points of HT. as garden roses.
Nothing has been done with this group since Lord Penzance started the work, but these hybrids could be toned down in bulk, and could be given flowers nearer to HT. quality. Of recent date we have:
Rosenwunder. (W. Kordes, 1934.) W. E. Chaplin (HT.) X R. rubiginosa magnifica. Semi-double rose-red flowers. (It is probably not yet in U. S.?)
Hybrid Rugosa. Much was expected of the hybrids of R. rugosa, and much has already been accomplished through the many and diverse hybrids of this species. To the excellent qualities of R. rugosa has been added double flowers of many colors, from the pollen of garden sorts. In the hybrids with June-blooming species there would be no recurrence of bloom. The natural recurrence of bloom of the wild Rugosa does not seem to appear in many of its hybrids. For the most part we get very vigorous, hardy, robust HP. plants with exceptionally thorny stems—they are not HT. roses at all. Except for the Grootendorst group (6 sorts), the truly hardy sorts are not very recurrent in bloom, and these six are not HT. at all in form of flower.
When Rugosa forms are crossed directly with HT., we get true HT. flowers on unusually robust and thorny plants (as Conrad Ferdinand Meyer), very recurrent in bloom, but the resulting great shrubs are not truly winter hardy-the plants are too large and thorny and are often frost-tender. None of the HT.-Rugosa hybrids are yet perfect garden plants; they are too bulky for the ordinary rose-garden, and are scarcely hardier in cold climates than the best HT. But this direction is worthy of further exploration.
Hybrid Hugonis. Many hybrids have been tried with R. Hugonis, hoping to capture the hardiness and yellow color of this species. As yet few seedlings have been named, and the results do not seem to hold promise of sturdy yellow HT. hybrids with perfect foliage and yellow flowers on Hugonis plants. In theory it is possible to add the hardiness, vigor, and disease-immunity of Hugonis to our HT. roses, but none of the hybrids with Ophelia and others have been released by their originators.
Dr. E. M. Mills is not recurrent, nor of HT. flower form, though very hardy and vigorous. It is supposedly a hybrid with R. spinosissima altaica, the Scotch rose, yet the flowers are partly double.
Albert Maumen (Sauvageot, 1934), a hybrid with Mme. Edouard Herriot (Per.), does not seem to be in this country. It has a large coppery red bloom but is not very recurrent.
The future of this group does not offer great immediate possibilities, but hardy yellow HT. hybrids are possible through this species.
Harison's Yellow Hybrids. A parallel development of the hybrids with Austrian Brier (the Pernetiana group), and the attempt with R. Hugonis, has been the few hybrids of HT. with the double yellow Scotch rose, Harison's Yellow. Four HT. Harison's Yellow hybrids have been recorded:
Harriet Neese. Ophelia X Harison's Yellow.
Sabaudia. Pernetiana form X Harison's Yellow.
Sonnenlicht. Lady Mary Fitzwilliam X Harison's Yellow.
El-Ariana. Third degree hybrid of Harison's Yellow.
Of these only Sonnenlicht has been in the American trade, and this seems to be a hardy yellow HP., not recurrent. How much better the other three are than the Pernetiana sorts in hardiness and disease resistance is not yet known. However, the modern Pernetiana sorts are not the first generation, but have evolved far from the original Soleil d'Or. The Harison's Yellow hybrids should be carried further into HT. crosses.
Scotch. Since the Scotch rose is related to the Austrian group, and a very hardy species, it ought to be of value as a parent for modern roses. There is little of record.
Stanwell Perpetual has been growing in our gardens for a century, its other parent being, perhaps, Damask. The semidouble pale pink flowers appear quite freely all summer, and the plant is very winter hardy. Except for its flowers it is very like the wild Scotch plant.
Karl Forster (W. Kordes, 1931) is a hybrid of R. spinosissima altaica and Frau Karl Druschki, with large, double white flowers. (Is it in U. S. trade?)
Fruhlingsgold (W. Kordes, 1937) is Joanna Hill (HT.) X R. spinosissima hispida (single yellow), with large, single yellow flowers. Not yet in U. S.?)
This direction offers possibilities of hardy Hybrid Teas.
Canina. Recently some attention has been given to the Dog rose. Many natural forms and hybrids are known. Except for the lack of foliage fragrance, it has all the possibilities of the Sweetbrier.
R. hibernica is perhaps R. canina X R. spinosissima. There are forms of this in the trade, with single flowers.
R. morica is perhaps R. gallica X R. canina, with single flowers. In trade.
R. spinulifolia is perhaps R. canina X R. tomentosa, with single flowers. In the trade.
R. macrantha is R. canina X R. gallica with single, white flowers. In trade, and is used in hybridization by the German rosarian, Wilhelm Kordes. This is a parent, through its form, Daisy Hill, of four stout, hardy HT. Climbers, but of June bloom only. These offer further possibilities.
The pale pink flowers of the Dog rose have been given further color by two recent species hybrids, Schmid's Rekord and Heimatlos.
This direction is worthy of further pursuit.
Hybrid Nutkana. Just recently much has been done with R. nutkana, a hardy species of the upper Rockies much like our R. virginiana. Its first hybrid was Schoener's Nutkana (1930), being the species X Paul Neyron (HP.), with large, single pink flowers. This already has three second-generation crosses, and one third generation, made by the late Dr. Nicolas:
Leonard Barron. Souv. de Mme. Boullet (HT.) X Schoener's Nutkana.
Polar Bear. Schoener's Nutkana X New Century (HRug.).
Shenandoah. Etoile dc Hollande (HT). X Schoener's Nutkana. Climbing.
Mrs. Francis King. Lady Lilford (HT.) X Leonard Barron (HN.).
These are very robust plants with HT. flowers. Whether they are hardier or more disease resistant than the usual HT. there is as yet no convincing data.
Rosa blanda. In the search for very hardy garden roses the thornless native species of Canada and our northern states (R. blanda) has been recently used as a parent. The first work was by F. L. Skinner, of Dropmore, Manitoba, who produced Betty Bland in 1930 (R. blanda X HP.), with double rose flowers. This is somewhat in the trade. Of Larry Skinner there is no further record.
Recently (1938) four hybrid seedlings have been recorded by Dr. N. E. Hansen of Brookings, S. D.:
Lillian Gibson. R. blanda X Red Star (HT.).
Pax Amanda. Frau Georg von Simson (Mult.) X R. blanda.
Pax Apollo. R. sempervirens pallida X R. blanda.
Pax lola. Anci Böhm (Mult.) X R. blanda.
These are semi-double to double, in shades of pink, very hardy, and bloom in June only. They are practically thornless. As yet the trade supply is limited.
Evidently R. blanda should be as useful a parent as R. nutkana. It is being studied and worked with as an understock by Prof. T. J. Maney, of Iowa State College.
Rosa Moyesi. The large purple-red flowers of R. Moyesi, from China, have long attracted the attention of rose-lovers. It was used in making the Van Fleet Climber, Heart of Gold, with large, single, dark red flowers. Two other species hybrids are recorded, and it is known to have been used by the Spanish hybridist, Pedro Dot:
R. pruhoniciana. (1927.) R. Willmottiae X R. Moyesi.
R. Hillieri. (1935.) R. Willmottiae X R. Moyesi.
Moyesi Hybrids with garden roses are:
R. Highdownensis. (1928.) R. Moyesi X K. of K. (?)
Nevada. (1928.) La Giralda (Per.) X R. Moyesi. Large single white flowers. (Not yet in trade.)
Mme. Michael Dufay. (1932.) George Dickson (HP.) X R. Moyesi. Red flowers.
Like the hybrids with R. nutkana and R. blanda, a start has been made, but the work has not gone far enough to give finished results.
Rosa multiflora. Long ago (1875) certain hybrids of garden roses with the Multiflora climbers gave dwarf, hardy, bush, everblooming roses—the Polyanthas. The small-flowered sorts (P. Pom.) have all the characters of roses except their flowers, and are bedding plants of the caliber of geraniums. They will never be HT. roses. Yet crossed with R. rugosa (as F. J. Grootendorst) they give larger flowers on a very hardy plant of recurrent bloom.
The larger Polyantha sorts (P.) are now taking on much the size of HT. (as Rödhätte or Echo), on plants very hardy and recurrent of bloom, but the clustered flowers lack the size, form, and fragrance of the HT. Yet they are a step towards the ideal hardy HT. In some crosses the Wichuraiana Ramblers, as Dorothy Perkins, form one parent. Some of the recent sorts have been called "Floribunda" roses and are excellent to put into a northern rose-garden. Some are even two crosses of bush roses and contain little or no Multiflora in their parentage.
Whether by further crossing in of HT. the form and fragrance of Tea can be produced without loss of hardiness and vigor of plant, we have yet to discover. This approach to the HT. idea is of probable value. A hint of future success is shown in Birdie Blye (Van Fleet, 1904), which is Helene (Mult.) X Bon Silene (T.). This is a robust bush, very hardy, not a true climber, with continuous bloom of double China flowers of deep rose color.
Rosa Wichuraiana. Bush roses crossed by a climber will give some seedlings of bush type, but with the internal vigor of the climber. At last a definite dwarf HW. strain has been produced by the Brownells. Starting from the Climbers Mary Wallace and Dr. W. Van Fleet (both being R. Wichuraiana X HT.), they have seedling crosses of true HT. character, with HT. flowers, great vigor and continued bloom, on plants far more hardy and productive in the northern states than the usual HT. The first was Dolly Brownell, 1926, a seedling of Dr. W. Van Fleet. The best is Lily Pons, 1937 (Mary Wallace X seedling) X Glenn Dale, but many others are in process of production, and four forms are already available. Watch Pink Princess, 1940 (Dr. W. Van Fleet X General Jacqueminot) X Break O' Day (HT. seedling of Glenn Dale, HW.). Their slogan, "sub-zero" HT. roses, is appropriate.
Other breeders have had some success in this direction, but their seedlings are little advertised; as example:
Junior Van Fleet. (J. A. Kemp, 1923.) Dr. W. Van Fleet X Frau Karl Druschki.
Bloom field Abundance. (Capt. Thomas, 1920.) Sylvia (HW.) X Dorothy Page-Roberts.
Sierra Snowstorm (Gloire des Rosomanes, Cl. Ben. X Dorothy Perkins, HW.) X (Mlle. Cecile Brunner, P. X Mme. Edouard Herriot, Per.) has recently given back bush roses of HT. character from 7 types of roses in combination.
The perfect hardy HT. for northern gardens can be made by approach through the Wichuraiana hybrids.
Rosa setigera. At last our one native climber has bush-HT. hybrids. This break has come as sister seedlings of the robust hardy Setigera-HT. hybrid climber Mrs. F. F. Prentiss, of M. H. Horvath. The two bush forms on record are:
Dooryard Delight. (1937.) R. setigera X Lady Alice Stanley (HT.).
Mrs. Frank B. Stearns. (1937.) Same parentage.
Also recently released are Maybelle Stearns, Pink Profusion, and Faust. All have flowers of rather small size (for HT.), quite double, in shades of pink to red, in panicled clusters, recurrent blooming. They might be called giant Polyanthas, very hardy to winter cold, but lacking as yet the form and fragrance of HT. For mass effect in northern gardens they will he very useful. But they are only first-generation hybrids. Much more can be done to improve the form and fragrance of the flowers by recrossing with sturdy types of HT. The plant seems to be the ideal for bearing everblooming roses of large size on a plant hardy to much winter cold.
Thus a dozen approaches are indicated for HT. roses on plants of more hardy character than at present.