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!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. So now you can call Puzzlement Rosa x rupertiensis, and the Puzzlement seedlings Hybrid Rupertii roses! :D

  3. Thank you, David! Thanks, Jakub!