RHA Newsletter 6(3): 6-7 (Fall 1975)
by Paul Jerabek

I'm glad Lee Fuller took the lead on this subject because I have not explored it very deeply. Omissions may reflect lack of experience with some varieties such as Silver Star, which I am growing for the first time this year. Sterling Silver was discarded long ago for lack of hardiness and Twilight for several reasons.

Lady X: Excellent form; vigorous, leggy growth; repeats very well. Color a little "muddy" in the late stages. Have seen mildew on it. Good seed set. Worth crossing with any bushier mauve, particularly Heirloom or Kolner Karneval.

Blue Moon: One of the "bluest" of the class. Plant habit almost identical to Lady X; form not quite as good but is quite fragrant and repeats very well. Good seed. set. Again, I suggest crossing with Heirloom or Kolner Karneval.

Heirloom: Deep color, but fades. Poor form, but good bush and good bloomer. Excellent seed set. By crossing with Lady X, I have gotten some deep lavenders with good form.

Kolner Karneval: Bushier than Lady X and Blue Moon and less tendency for mildew, but more blackspot. Slow to repeat. Large blooms, centers rather low. Good seed set but poor germination. I usually cross it with Lady X.

To get deeper colors it may be worth trying News, a single floribunda. Some progress toward a violet color may be possible with this approach. I saw a pretty violet-mauve among Bob Harvey's seedlings in 1973.

In Chicago last September Mr. E. B. LeGrice told me the same pigments responsible for mauve colors are present in the "browns"—what we call russets or tans—only they are present in different proportions. As examples he cited Artistic, a light orange or tan floribunda that ages toward the pink, similar to Arizona, and Jocelyn, a striking burnt orange or brown floribunda highly susceptible to blackspot. Artistic has set no seed for nie and this seems to be the pattern with these colors, although LeGrice says he can now produce browns at will. I axa using Jocelyn on many hybrid teas which can be loosely- classified as orange and also using the "shotgun method" with mixed pollen of such varieties as Royal Dane, Jessika, Chantre, Maria Stern, Tanya, Artistic, Lady Elgin, and others, including my own seedlings. It may take a few years to see if I am wasting my time.

 I also asked Mr. LeGrice if he thought it possible to get a deep velvety purple by crossing the deep mauves with the dark reds which age towards the maroon. He did not consider it likely, but I seem to be making some progress in this direction, so will persist for awhile—using Crimson Glory, Papa Meilland, Oklahoma, and my own seedlings. He said that crossing the mauves with yellows will give mostly greys, a statement which does not corroborate Mrs. Fuller's information.

Finally, one news note: LeGrice is now producing purples but is not ready to divulge how except that it is an entirely new approach—not based on News, and he is introducing a purple rose for the R.N.R.S. centennial in 1976.

by Louis Stoddard

My mauves breeding is limited. It is also deliberate. They have no sparkle, no glow to beckon across the garden. Angel Face in its rosier form is the exception. Mauves have appeal for arrangers or simply as cut flowers combined with yellows. The mauve hybridizer must aim for arrangement and/or exhibition types. Garden value and demand are limited.

Mauves seem to be closely allied with the russet shades, rarest of all and probably, least popular. All modern mauves seem traceable to Charles P. Kilham through Grey Pearl. An excellent ancestry analysis was published in the RNRS Rose Annual about 1967 by Mrs. Olga West, hybridizer of the mauve Africa Star.

Angel Face is fertile both ways. From its mixed ancestry, any color may turn up. Reds are mostly in the crimson range, yellows are strong though light, white is frequent, bicolors not uncommon. My only other mauve was Royal Tan, now lost to me. Never strong, it died after two years. It never set seed for me. Its chief characteristic was a large, well-formed bud lying on the ground. With Angel Face as seed parent came a good percentage of seedlings in grey-lavender-mauve shades, with hints of yellow or white at the base and reverse. The one exception (my favorite) is quite brown on the outside. All opened too fast and were too loosely formed. Plants were upright and healthy. Angel Face put some backbone in the stems but shortened them as the price. Substance was quite good, size medium to large. The flowers resembled Royal Tan much more than Angel Face. No hint of red showed up, though it seems likely to occur in a larger population or by backcrossing to Angel Face. Other crosses of my two mauves with non-mauves produced little or no mauve color, thus suggesting that color's recessive nature. So, based on my very limited experience, if you want instant mauves, you will need to cross two of the same. If you like to gamble, cross a mauve with anything else and stand back. Anything can happen!

by Dr. Griffith J. Buck

On the production of mauve roses: the standard method is bicolor pink-yellow x yellow. But it doesn't hurt to season the mix with Sterling Silver or some other lavender. I have a number of these—mostly Dot's—and like his Solitude, Soir d'Automne, and Mistica. These have given a good percentage of purples with Music Maker. In the hopper are some Applejack x Solitude and Solitude x Prairie Star.

Just a note relative to the parents for yellow roses—Golden Girl, Soraya—and its son (?) Golden Prince and Dr. A. J. Verhage (also called Golden Wave) are good begetters of yellow. The trick is to stay away from those which also transmit tenderness—King's Ransom, Golden Masterpiece, et al. Probably my best yellow parent is one of my own seedlings—Golden Girl x (Isobelle x President Plumcocq). I could provide a limited amount of budwood if anyone is interested.

by Bob Harvey

For me, Lady X is one of the top roses as a seed producer. Virtually infallible in the pollination stage, she produces large hips with many seed, germinates at a 40-50% rate, and produces healthy, vigorous seedlings.

I have had little luck with Angel Face as a seed parent, but she produces a large amount of golden pollen which will fertilize all but the most difficult varieties. A good percentage of the seedlings come through with the rich color and ruffled petals characteristic of Angel Face.

One of my favorite crosses in recent years has been Lady X x Angel Face, hoping for a good hybrid tea type of bloom with the magnificent coloration of Angel Face. I now have a half-dozen seedlings which come close to this goal, but the process of evaluation must continue yet for awhile.

I tried Lady X x Sterling Silver rather extensively at one time and found most of the seedlings to inherit the constitutional weakness of Sterling Silver. From this cross, however, I still have one seedling which I consider to be very good. It produces very large, ovoid buds and many-petaled blooms the color of Sterling Silver, and it appears to have the hardiness of Lady X. Unfortunately, it does not appear to have the desired degree of remontancy, it tends to cluster its buds, and it is not entirely free of mildew.

A very interesting cross which I have made on a large scale and which I recommend duplicating to the curious hybridizer is Little Darling x Angel Face. From this cross, one can expect almost every conceivable rose color. My records from a large number of seedlings show all shades of pink, deep cherry, lavender, orchid, cream, yellow, white, magenta, crimson, scarlet, salmon, orange (that's right—at least three of them), and all conceivable blend and multi-color combinations.

I have done some hybridizing with the mauves Kolner Karneval, Blue Ice, and Blue Moon but not enough as yet to make any meaningful statements about the results.