Part Two

I saw in the distance
A light shining bright
I went a step closer
It touched me with delight
.... from poem "Flying Free" by Nancy Baughman

Breeding Moss Roses
- A Picture Story

No mere words can possibly convey the full story of the development of modern everblooming Moss Roses. With this in mind I have attempted to more graphically tell this story in a series of black and white photos. These twenty-nine illustrations, plus others in full color, will in some measure make the story of "The Breeding and Development of Modern Moss Roses" come alive.

While much of the story has been told in the preceding pages, I shall attempt in this portion to comment briefly on each photo and give a bit of the background where possible. Also, in the three family tree diagrams I have attempted to give some family history and show some of the "ROOTS" from which these new moss rose varieties have sprung.

To easily identify each illustration I have given the variety name where possible or the code number under which the variety has or is being grown.

Fig 1 — #7-58-1 (Pink Moss). This is a cross of the red floribunda variety Red Ripples x O.M. (see text). It is an everblooming, bush type, floribunda rose which grows into a sturdy bush up to 3 feet tall. Buds are well mossed and open into 3" medium pink flowers with about 20 petals. This was an important step in the breeding of several of the new moss hybrids.

Fig 2 — The code on this important beginning is O.M. (since the original code number was lost). O.M. is a cross of H.T. rose Mark Sullivan x Golden Moss and is a very vigorous plant growing up to 10 feet tall with heavy, very thorny canes. The slender buds are quite well mossed and change from a bright orange blend to an orange pink (or pink blend) in the mature flower. Bud and flower are H.T. form. Spring bloom only.


Fig 3 — Fairy Moss was the first of the miniature moss roses. Bud and flower are bright medium pink and are produced all season long on a very bushy plant. while this first miniature moss rose is only lightly mossed it is of value not only for its abundance of flowers but also sets seeds readily and so has value for breeding. Parents: #12-59-10 x New Penny.

Fig 4 — Kara was the first really mossy miniature rose. This came about as a seedling of Fairy Moss x Fairy Moss. The low, very compact plant covers itself with tiny very mossy buds, borne singly but often in clusters, which open into 5 petaled 1.25" rose pink flowers. Blooms recurrently all season.


Fig 5 — #34-69-15 (Fairy Moss x #2-63-5) This is no doubt the most mossy of these moss roses grown to date. It often comes even more mossed than the photo shows. The flower is about two inches in diameter with 8 or 9 medium red or deep pink petals. Constant repeat bloom on a low bushy plant. Seems to set no seed and give pollen only reluctantly. However we have used it with success, being the pollen parent of Dresden Doll.

Fig 6 — #78-62-6. (Cocorico x William Lobb) This one makes a shrub or low climber up to about 5 feet. Not too vigorous a grower but it will send out occasional repeat bloom. The bud is well mossed and opens into a double red flower about 2.5 inches across. Produces pollen and seed so may be useful in future breeding.


Fig 7 — Seedling. Makes a small bushy plant, fairly mossed buds with soft red color. Similar to a number of seedlings under test. Parentage: Fairy Moss x Rougemoss.

Fig 8 — Seedling. Another miniature moss from Fairy Moss x Rougemoss. A fine example of some of the newer miniature moss seedlings.


Fig 9 — #20-73-84. Fairy Moss x Goldmoss. This is an interesting plant in that it is not only heavily mossed but it has very glossy foliage. Also note the marking (stippling) on the leaves. This phenomena shows up on very heavily mossed varieties and further indicates that the "moss" characteristic is present in every part of the plant. Bushy plant to 2 or 2.5 feet; 10 petaled orange-pink 1.5" flower.

Fig 10 — #9-62-97 Very thorny canes are characteristic of all F1 seedlings (H.T. or Floribunda x old moss rose) which have medium to heavy moss on buds. Such plants are inclined to be of vigorous upright growth and spring flowering only. this particular plant grows to 12 feet and produces an abundance of well shaped flowers in a pink/yellow blend. A cross of Little Darling (floribunda) x #12-59-10.


Fig 11 — #25-59-7. Another sample of the thorns on main cane of an F1 hybrid: (Schoener's Nutkana x Christopher Stone) x O.M. This plant is especially interesting as the variety, Schoener's Nutkana was made by crossing the species R. nutkana with the old H.P. variety Paul Neyron. I pollenized Schoener's Nutkana with the H.T. variety Christopher Stone to produce a shrub rose having flowers similar to Christopher Stone but lighter red color which set many large seed hips. When this seedling was crossed with O.M. (moss) #25-59-7 resulted. Buds are well mossed and open into 10 petaled 3" flowers in an unusual blending of rose pink and yellow. Produces seed and pollen so may be of value in breeding.


Fig 12 — #25-59-7 (same as above) showing the moss thorns on same plant but a younger stage of growth.

Fig 13 — Fairy Moss showing seed hips. Note the hairs on hips and moss on sepals.


Fig 14 — Seed hips from a floribunda bush type plant; produces pollen and seeds so may be useful in breeding H.T. and floribunda type moss roses. Parents Queen Elizabeth x #7-58-1 (Pink Moss).

Fig 15 — Seed hips on #16-62-A, an F1 moss hybrid: Little Darling x #12-59-10. Abundant spring bloom; red blend with about 10 petals. Produces pollen and seed hips.


Fig 16 — #81-70-9 An interesting selection having well mossed buds and well shaped 2.5 inch flowers with about 18 petals. Very bushy plant to about 2.5 feet. Blooms all season. Pale pink color. Parents of this are Gabriel Noyelle x #2-63-5.

Fig 17 — #11-75-50 Little Darling x Dresden Doll. Small mossy buds open into 20 petaled soft pink 1.25 inch flowers. Healthy foliage on a spreading bushy plant up to 2 feet tall and as wide.


Fig 18 — Strawberry Swirl, a new variety for spring of 1978. Fairy Moss. Plant rather spreading and may grow to two feet or more tall and wide. Good repeat bloom.

Fig 19 — An interesting new moss which is also striped. As soon as stock can be built up this may become a valuable variety for breeding. Queen Elizabeth x un-named striped moss seedling. Floribunda type plant and flower. Mossed buds open into flowers up to 3" diameter.


Fig 20 — Two old moss varieties, Salet (L) and Goethe (R). Salet makes an upright plant to 6 feet; soft pink flower; well mossed bud; some repeat bloom. Goethe grows into a vigorous 6-8 foot very thorny plant. Covered in spring with hundreds of small 5 petaled pink flowers. Well mossed buds. No pollen; no seeds.


Fig A — #43-76-16 A very recent cross of #12-59-10 x Goldmoss. Low bushy plant, very mossy buds. Photo shows heavy moss on bud and back (under) side of sepals. (See "The Hirsute Rose", page 1)

Fig B — #43-76-16 Same variety as Fig A but showing top side of sepals and open flower. Color of flower is medium pink.


The heart feels beauty the eye can never see.
.... anon

The Crested Moss
— A Picture Story

The crested moss differs from the previous (thorn) type of moss rose by the manner of mossing and the relative lack of thorns. In this type the mossing is confined to the margins of the sepals and instead of consisting of thorns and oil glands the "moss" is made up of excrescences, or abnormal growth, extending from the edges of the sepals.


Fig 21 — Crested Moss. This is the old fashioned original of the type, also known as Chapeau de Napoleon. A fairly vigorous plant to about 5 feet or more. Covered in spring with very double pink roses with the crest on sepals.

Fig 22 — Crested Jewel. Beautiful pink buds and flowers with a good amount of cresting on sepals. Vigorous climber or shrub to 5 feet or more. Abundant spring bloom. Little Darling x Crested Moss. Valuable for further breeding for crested moss roses.


Fig 23 — #121-68-39 First of the everblooming crested moss hybrids. Sarabande x Crested Jewel. Bushy floribunda type plant to 2 feet or more. Good foliage, fair amount of cresting, rich red bud and flower; 3 inch diameter, 18 petals, blooms all season. Fig 24 & 25 — #40-68-0 (#21-48-8 x Crested Jewel) Well crested sepals, large nearly single red blend flowers (3" or more), repeat bloom. Tall shrub type plant. Produces pollen and seed hips.

Fig 26 — New Penny. Miniature Moss Roses began with this variety.

Fig 27 — Seedling. Little Darling x Crested Jewel. Floribunda type bush to 2 feet; some cresting. Pink flower; blooms all season.


The curtain has just been lifted a bit so you can catch a glimpse of what has been accomplished. For the future there are more exciting things to come. The groundwork has been done and we have formulated a road map to follow. Each year the breeding work to develop this moss rose project has been expanded. This year (1977) we have made more crosses than ever before, especially in the mini-moss class. From this work we expect some interesting results.


Literature Cited
  1. Hurst, Major C. C. and Breeze, Mabel S. G., "Notes on the Origin of Moss-Rose", Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, Vol. XLVII, Part 1, 1922.
  2. Steen, Nancy, The Charm of Old Roses, Book, Published 1966.
  3. Modern Roses VI, J. Horace McFarland Company, Harrisburg, PA., 1964.
  4. Creation Research Society Quarterly — January, 1967.

- Part 1 -