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'Commander Gillette' rose References
Booklet  (2009)  Page(s) 28.  
Diploid...R. wichuriana Crép. 'Basye's Thornless', heterozygous loci 65% [Provenance: Antique Rose Emporium]
Book  (1993)  Page(s) 66.  Includes photo(s).
[Listed under "Wild Roses and Their Cultivars"] Basye, USA, 1977. ('Basye's Amphidiploid' x Rosa carolina seedling x 'Hugh Dickson') It is tetraploid and fertile, so is able to be crossed with modern garden roses. 'Basye's Purple' is now in commerce. (Rosa rugosa x Rosa foliolosa)
Book  (1985)  Page(s) 82.  
One cross which I made in 1956 was R. carolina x Hugh Dickson. Among the open pollinated seedlings of this cross was one which, during its first year of growth, appeared to be thornless. During its second year, however, a few thorns appeared on the laterals. I then grew 15 open-pollinated seedlings of this rose, one of which proved to be completely thornless. It bears the number 65-626, being seedling number 626 of the year 1965....
Not only is 65-626 completely thornless, but the midribs of the leaves are perfectly smooth, a property posessed also by its mother. The growth is vigorous to six or eight feet. The flowers are single, pink, small and occur in clusters on strong stems, somewhat reminiscent of R. carolina. The foliage has high resistance to blackspot....
My record book shows that in 1961 I made a somatic chromosome count of the mother of 65-625 and found it to be 28. Apparently I never got around to making the count for 65-626. But over the last 20 years, its wide compatibility with garden roses, both as male and female parent, leaves little doubt that it, too, is a tetraploid.
If 65-626 should, in younger hands, be privileged to play some role in the thornless garden roses of the future, then perhaps it should a name. I have chosen Commander Gillette, for the navigator on the light cruiser, USS Marblehead, on which we both served during World War II.
...The three roses above described, 65-626, 77-361 and the probable amphidiploid are now growing in the Huntington Botanical Garden.
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