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'R. gallica centifolia' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 124-168
most recent 5 DEC HIDE POSTS
Initial post 4 DEC by thebig-bear
I have seen many, many references in all kinds of books and online, that Rosa Centifolia is either A: completely sterile (what I see mainly), B: very nearly sterile, and that it will only set seed very, very rarely, and only sometimes will it have a tiny amount of viable pollen on an individual flower, or C: that it is unable to self pollinate. These seem to give very different opinions on this rose's fertility. (I do not yet own this rose or have any experience of it, although I now have it on order for January.)

I even discovered, when reading through the references the other day, an entry for 1954 that seems to suggest that it can be pollinated, and that it's pollen is actually very fertile per se, but that self reproduction is impossible.

So I am putting this question out there to just get some kind of feedback from as wide an array of people with personal experience of this rose as possible - is this rose completely sterile, or is it just very, very, very limited in what fertility it has and how it can be used?
Reply #1 of 11 posted 4 DEC by Plazbo
I remember reading somewhere that it occasionally sets hips in Pakistan.

I have a sport (of a sport, crested mosss) so similar flower and fertility issues. It set seed here (Australia) last year and appears to have a few hips again this year that are firm (ie, feel like they have seed). I did go really overboard in pollinating it though (multiple times) and both years during it's flowering have been had heat waves (days over 35C). A few of the seed from last season germinated but are struggling. Another Australian bred Helga Brauer from it as a seed parent, but took over a decade of attempts to achieve. So possibly indicates Centifolia itself likely has some fertility, whether that's triggered by heat or something else though, unknown.

Having said that though, if looking at Centifolia itself though, may be worth tracking down one of it's less double sports if it's available. Would be a lot less hassle.
Reply #3 of 11 posted 4 DEC by thebig-bear
Firstly, thank you for mentioning the Pakistan thing! I had seen that before somewhere and I haven't been able to find it since! - I was starting to think I had imagined it! Well if true, that would fit well with what you have described of your own experience in Australia, and bodes well for my planned experiments of keeping Centifolia in my warm (in summer pretty hot) porch!

Thanks also for your info re Crested Moss and hips - now I have heard that Crested Moss seems to be maybe a little more receptive to pollen than Centifolia, and more likely to be able to pollinate other things - see the Crested series of roses from Moore and Barden - but even when having said all that it is obvious it is still not a very productive rose, so congratulations on getting hips, and even germination, that's brilliant! If I may ask (and I know different breeders feel differently about giving out such info, so feel free to not say) what did you use to pollinate it? It may be that Centifolias only respond to pollen from certain groups.

Does anyone know if heat can be a factor in fertility? From what you have said that seems totally plausible and yet it seems an odd thing to be a factor in such things doesn't it?
Reply #6 of 11 posted 5 DEC by Plazbo
" what did you use to pollinate it?"

I mix pollen by class/trait, less interested in specific parents and more interested in specific traits. Often pollinated up to ~6 times over 2 or 3 days. Primarily things from older classes (Moss, Bourbon, Portland) along with Stanwell Perpetual (it makes a lot of pollen for me), Helga Brauer, Alain Blanchard, Sweet Briars. Also used some moderns with yellow, orange or purple flowers....the germinations so far don't reflect the moderns having worked, nor does it appear Stanwell or the Sweet Briars based on growth. (just a note, in case anyone notices, not really using things like Gallica's just because they aren't reliable bloomers here, not enough winter chill, would be if in a different location)

"Does anyone know if heat can be a factor in fertility?"

Yes and No, It's a stress that can increase fertility (as almost any stress can, last ditch effort to create the next generation). Also can disable a lot of self pollination barriers...although unsure if that would have any benefit, possibly making it easier for any pollen?
Reply #7 of 11 posted 5 DEC by Margaret Furness
George Thomson says that pollen becomes less virile over the course of the (hot) South Australian summer.
Reply #9 of 11 posted 5 DEC by Rupert, Kim L.
Perhaps something parallel may help? Ralph Moore raised Crested Jewel and Crested Sweetheart from Little Darling X Crested Moss. Crested Jewel is much more fertile than Sweetheart. He grew a large plant of Crested Sweetheart for decades and eventually it produced a more fertile sport which set quite a few hips. Paul Barden worked with that sport for some time and reported virtually nothing resulted from it. I would suggest perhaps reports of breeding were made possible by potential mutations. I would further suggest climate more likely provided more opportunities. I have observed significant differences in fertility in roses due to climate. Rosarium Uetersen in high heat, has no sexual parts, only petals and petaloids resulting in dense pompon type flowers. Grow it in a cooler, damper climate such as near the coast and it becomes a semi double flower with a center full of stamen and anthers. Iceberg sets few self hips in the high inland valley temps, but closer to the cooler coast, it sets large hips from nearly every bloom. Mermaid sets no hips in hot inland valleys, but will occasionally set hips with one or two seeds in the cool, damp coastal environment. I'm sure there are many other examples of fertility variations due to temperature and humidity differences but these few come readily to mind from my own observations. This photo of the more fertile Crested Sweetheart mutation has been on the Crested Sweetheart rose page since I posted it there in March of 2010.
Reply #10 of 11 posted 5 DEC by thebig-bear
As always, a truly fantastic contribution Kim! Thank you.
Reply #11 of 11 posted 5 DEC by Rupert, Kim L.
Thanks, sir! I hope it helps.
Reply #5 of 11 posted 4 DEC by thebig-bear
I've just thought - is Crested Moss a sport, or is it a seedling? Because if I remember correctly, wasn't Crested Moss supposed to have been found growing in the crevice of a wall in Switzerland? If so, what was it a seedling of? Common Moss? Or even Centifolia?........ Again, I've read different accounts about that too - some say it was found on an old plant as a sport, others that suggest it was a seedling. They do seem a very mysterious group one way or another!!
Reply #2 of 11 posted 4 DEC by jedmar
Interesting question. There are quite a number of descendants of R. centifolia mentioned in literature, but most of these are probably assumptions. Checking descendants after 1850 via Advanced Search, there is only a limited number:
as pollen parent: 'Arcier' by Geschwind, 'Stratosféra' by Böhm (1934)
as seed parent: Böhmova Azurova by Böhm (1934), "Centifolia Nabonnand"

Böhm is not a very reliable source on his own cultivars. 'Stratosféra' might actually have been a seedling of Geschwind, but introduced by Böhm under his own name. I can believe that Geschwind experimented with pollen of R. centifolia. "Centifolia Nabonnand" is again a selection and the information that R. centifolia was the seed parent is shaky. The best would be to make new trials.
While R. centifolia is tetraploid, R. centifolia major is triploid according to Rathlef (1937). How come?
Reply #4 of 11 posted 4 DEC by thebig-bear
Hello again Jedmar - we seem to keep bumping into each other a lot at the moment!

Yes, I thought that a lot of Centifolia's non sport descendants seem to be assumptions - Maiden's Blush being a case in point, so thank you very much for pointing some out that have a tad more weight to them - I hadn't actually heard of any of those varieties, and some of them are very pretty. From what little I have read about Geschwind, I too can believe he may have experimented with Centifolia.

Well I am thinking of having my rose in my porch, which is pretty hot in summer and means the flowers won't spoil, and to pollinate it with as many different Old Roses as I can to see whether anything happens - the worst that can happen is that nothing happens and I have a lovely and fragrant Rosa Centifolia to put outside! So I'm quite happy to trial it and report back.

Now that point about R. Centifolia Major's ploidity is very interesting - what is the actual relationship between R. Centifolia and R. Centifolia Major? Indeed are they related? Could Centifolia have been triploid and then "gone up" to Tetraploid, as I have heard about in other instances? Does it point to the order in which the complex hybrid that made Centifolia might have taken place? I see that you have a pic of a hip from Major - any ideas what pollinated it? I must admit I actually know nothing about R. Centifolia Major, so excuse any ignorance that might be accidentally lurking in those questions!
Reply #8 of 11 posted 5 DEC by jedmar
The relationship between R. centifolia and R. centifolia Major is lost in the mists of time, unfortunately. I do not know of any genetic study which links them. There is one by Valentina Scariot "Characterization and Genetic Relationships of Wild Species and Old Garden Roses Based on Microsatellite Analysis" (2006) which shows that R. x centifolia rubra and Crested Moss are 100% identical, then related to Petite de Hollande --> Unique Blanche ---> Petite Lisette, in this order. This Centifolia group is then 51% similar to the Gallicas. The article can be found on the web. (Added some references from this article as well as the Dendogram)
The photo of the hip of Centifolia Major is from the Botanical Garden in Trieste and is most probably an open pollination. The photos are not from me but could be downloaded as Creative Commons.
Discussion id : 120-468
most recent 8 MAR HIDE POSTS
Initial post 8 MAR by Ambroise Paré
The Persian and Zoroastrian references are as sciencefiction as Plinius which spoke of a rose of one hundred petals many centuries before
Reply #1 of 1 posted 8 MAR by jedmar
I think you are referring to the reference from Encyclopedia Iranica of 1996. Why do you think so? Do you have access to the originals of the works mentioned?
Discussion id : 120-467
most recent 8 MAR HIDE POSTS
Initial post 8 MAR by Ambroise Paré
The note : it seems it flowers in flushes can be removed since many confuse ‘La Reine’ with Rosa centifolia. There is an example from Portugal between the photos. In Italy even in milder parts its does not reflower a bit
Discussion id : 104-966
most recent 22 AUG 17 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 22 AUG 17 by CybeRose
Species Plantarum, pp. 491-492 (1753)

centifolia 6. ROSA caule aculeato, pedunculis hispidis, calycibus semipinnatis glabris.
Rosa multiplex media. Bauh. pin. 482.
Rosa centifolia batavica 11. Clus. hist. 1. p. 114.
Habitat in Europa.
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