Trans. Iowa State Horticultural Society 86: 204 (1951)
BREEDING TO OBTAIN GOOD, HARDY RED ROSES*
*Iowa Rose Reporter—February, 1951.
F. L. Skinner, Manitoba

While Rosa laxa, Retzius, and its hybrids have opened up a promising new field for the raising of good hardy roses in white and pale shades, I believe that the hardier forms of Rosa gallica are likely to play as large a part in the production of hardy red roses for the Great Plains area as they have already done in the production of the Hybrid Perpetual and Hybrid Tea roses.

I have had little success in raising good hardy red roses by mating the garden varieties directly with the hardy wild species, the first hybrids were usually a poor quality with a high incidence of sterility. However, I have succeeded in raising fertile hybrids between Rosa rugosa and Rosa blanda and Rosa acicularis and both of these have given me seedlings to the pollen of Rosa gallica grandiflora. Rosa gallica grandiflora is hardy enough to flower annually without protection and the semi-double flowers are bright red in colour. The first of these seedlings to flower have never set seed, but lately, their pollen has proven viable. Last year one gallica grandiflora hybrid, which is perfectly hardy, set an abundance of fruit, and next summer I plan to use pollen of a wide range of red Hybrid Teas, Hybrid perpetuals, and polyantha roses on it.

During the past summer several hybrids have flowered that had this gallica strain in their pedigree. Two of them had very fragrant full cabbage type of flowers of a good deep rose color, apparently they were fully hardy, at least to the snow line. Though they are summer flowering only, both their form and colour are good. Moreover, these new roses give promise of being quite fertile, and when mated with dark red Hybrid Teas and Polyantha roses should give us red roses of as good form as the Hybrid Perpetual varieties, that will bloom on new wood, and be sufficiently hardy at the crown to stand our winters with the only protection the natural snow covering.


Rosa gallica grandiflora 'Alika'