Monday, May 30, 2016

Some fun results from R. Minutifolia

I have worked with R. Minutifolia for some years now and am finally seeing some success. Previously, the few seedlings to germinate were terribly diseased and very weak. Now, using fertile triploid roses, there are some healthy, vigorous seedlings showing some promise. I'm intrigued with the triploid crosses because they express a very wide range of each of the parents' traits and have succeeded where the diploid and tetraploid crosses didn't.

There are four seedlings from its pollen now listed on Help Me Find-Roses. I planted self seeds of one this April, just two months ago, and already have flowering seedlings from those seeds! The first rose which produced successful crosses with Minutifolia is Jim Sproul's L56-1, 

a brilliant, healthy, fertile single red mini he bred from his healthy Thrive!. The chromosomes haven't been counted yet, but L56-1 certainly breeds like a triploid. Here are foliage samples from L56-1, Minutifolia (Otay Mesa version from the Otay Mesa in San Diego, CA), L56-1 X Minutifolia and a self seedling of the L56-1 X Minutifolia. I didn't record which of the original seedlings these seeds formed on. 

Top left, L56-1; top center, Minutifolia; top right self seedling of L56-1 X Minutifolia; lower right, L56- X Minutifolia.
 Stipules of the above. The L56-1 X Minutifolia foliage is in the center.

These are the self seedlings from which the sample above was taken. I'm amazed the seeds were only planted back in April, 2016. Today is May 30, 2016!
The second new Minutifolia seedling of 2016 is Lynnie X Minutifolia. Here are foliage samples from Lynnie, Minutifolia and Lynnie X Minutifolia. 

Minutifolia and the Lynnie X Minutifolia seedling have very serrated foliage. 

Lynnie's foliage is rather smooth edged. 

 The seedling is extremely well branched, right at ground level, something Lynnie seedlings generally don't produce. It appears to be without prickles, which is very surprising.
 The sepals are quite interesting. Traditionally. Lynnie seedling sepals are very strap-like and not very lacy. These show more of the Minutifolia "branching".

 This is the most spreading of the L56-1 X Minutifolia seedlings. It flowers repeatedly.
I'm eager to see what results from these and from crossing Minutifolia and Pure Bea, the white Minutifolia with larger foliage and flowers, on the L56-1 Minutifolia seedlings. There are already hips forming on one of them from those pollens. Exciting!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Restoring moldy tags

As I've posted previously, I use the Avery paper string tags to mark my crosses. The positive points are their ease of use, decent cost and availability. The negatives are that slugs and snails LOVE eating the paper surface, particularly the side with graphite on it where you have written the cross. My Toy Fox Terrors are finding them great sport to pull off and eat before they harvest the hips, which remind them of tomatoes. Every tomato within reach is already gone, so the "balls" on the roses are the next "harvest". 

Because of the long season and wonderful weather, I can use the same tag two or three times a year before it is too worn and needs recycling. But, due to the heavy fogs and dews and the temperatures, the paper supports the growth of mold, often making the tag unreadable by the end of its useful life. 

I harvested some ripe hips this morning from seedlings I raised this spring, and was disappointed I couldn't read what pollen parent had been used. I was excited by the seedling's performance and apparent fertility and I honestly wanted to know who the other parent was. The tag was too dark gray/black from mold to read the graphite writing. I had an idea, which worked like a charm. Unfortunately, I hadn't photographed the offending tag prior to trying the idea, but I did photograph the next worst tag to demonstrate how successful the idea is. 

I put the tag on a dirty breakfast plate which was slated for the dishwasher anyway, and dropped two drops of straight bleach on the paper. Almost instantly, the mold disappeared, leaving the tag perfectly legible! I have my information and the tag had served its useful life anyway, so it was ready for the trash whether I could read it or not. Simple! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Puzzlement...And Beyond!

I tried raising seedlings from the very few seeds R. Stellata Mirifica produced for years with no results. My plant was quickly growing backwards as it hated the place I had it on the hot, dry hill in Encino. It seemed to "know" it was not long for this world as it set more hips and seeds than it ever had. I planted them all and two seedlings resulted. One is very Stellata-like, only with foliage that is a bit too sensitive for the high UV here on the coast. The other is a "Puzzlement"

I've chosen to call this seedling Puzzlement because it is quite a puzzle. The seed was absolutely from Stellata mirifica. Only two seedlings germinated from all those final self set seed the plant produced as it died. There as nothing overhanging the seed tables and these were the only species seeds planted in that end of the table to avoid any mix-ups. All those surrounding them were from modern X modern crosses. This one is NOT a "modern" seedling. 

R. Fedtschenkoana grew just a few feet from Stellata mirifica and Puzzlement looks for all the world like a natural hybrid between the two.

 It seems to have inherited the flower color and more rounded foliage from Stellata with the general coloring of the plant and growth habit, as well as the summer-long flowering from Fedtschenkoana. Stellata mirifica scattered its flowers over summer, with not quite as frequent, nor as heavy flowering as Fedtschenkoana. Puzzlement first flowered in late August of its first year (2011) and has scattered flowers virtually continuously since. 

Unlike either suspected parent, it has smooth ovaries and sepals and, unlike either parent, there doesn't seem to be much scent. Fedtschenkoana in my climate, will set some self set hips. Mirifica set even fewer. Puzzlement so far, sets none. But, its pollen is fertile! It doesn't release much, so it requires as many flowers as are available to get enough to do much with. 

Jim Sproul shared a very healthy, deep, bright, saturated red single seedling with me several years ago. 

It's incredibly fertile and seems to breed with nearly anything I pollinate it with. The first hybrids with Puzzlement pollen have resulted from this single, red mini. 

There are several seedlings showing varying levels of hybridity. They range from extremely glossy, dark green foliage like the seed parent, only with climbing, prickle-free stems to heavily textured, embossed green foliage with less gloss and well armed with very sharp prickles. More on these as they grow after transplanting from the seed tables. 

One of the prickle-free seedlings is now flowering for the first time, just five months from the seed being planted! It has foliage quite like the miniature seed parent, except for its total lack of prickles and its extremely vigorous, almost climbing habit. Puzzlement is a pastel pink. The seed parent is brilliant, saturated deep red. This seedling is a light pink and also single. 

There is actually a sweet scent, something neither parent is very strong on. Several of the cane tips terminate in three and four buds. I don't know how these may be for breeding, nor really even what traits they may possess worth using, but they certainly are interesting and fun!