Saturday, July 31, 2010

'About Face' x 'Hot Cocoa'

This is the one of the crosses I was playing around with to see what would happen if I back-crossed a rose with one of its parents.

The seed parent is 'About Face' and the pollen parent is 'Hot Cocoa'. As you know, the original 'About Face' was bred with the pollen from 'Hot Cocoa.'

So far the plant is vigorous and healthy and I can see both 'Hot Cocoa' and 'About Face' in its color and shape. It has a little tan/orange/red in it and the petal color is slightly different from obverse to reverse.

The leaves are very similar to 'About Face,' which has large, semi-glossy, dark green foliage.

The one drawback is that, like its parents, this rose doesn't have much of a fragrance. That's the part I need to work on. :)


  1. What I have heard fragrance is one of the hardest things to breed for. It seems from what I have read it is more likely to get a highly fragrant rose if the two roses have similar ancestry. It seems like the fragrance is inherited in a multiple of genes and not just one gene (compared to say the climbing trait). So you need to try to get multiple copys of the particular type of gene to get something fragrant. You might want to keep some of the lesser fragrant ones that have all the other right characteristics and then cross it back to something of similar lineage. Oh! by the way I just started reading your post to day and I like what you are doing. Keep it up. I particularly like the adopted rose and the light yellow white blend.

    I would like to see the parentage of the roses if you would not mind to share them. I do understand however if there is a few crosses you want to keep under your hat for the time being. I just am very interested to see what roses pass on what traits.

  2. Hi Wuchen,

    Thanks for your comment and for the great info about the difficulty of breeding for fragrance - I wasn't aware of the link between strong fragrance and roses with similar ancestry. I have generally gone on the assumption that if I make a cross with a strongly-scented rose, the resulting seedling is more likely to have a strong scent.

    I have no problem revealing the parentage of my crosses (especially since I can't really take too much credit for them - a lot of people have done a lot of work to create the roses that I'm crossing here), I just sometimes forget to mention them in my posts. Please let me know if I forget to mention one that interests you. The white-yellow one is 'Golden Celebration' x 'Nimbus,' and the one up for adoption is 'The Generous Gardener' x 'Blue Heaven.'

    Thanks again!

  3. Great photos too btw... lovely looking rose.

  4. Hi Cherokee Hill,

    Thanks very much for your comment! There are new buds on the way as well - hopefully I'll have more pictures in a couple of weeks. :)

  5. If you do some searches on RHA you can find some scientific papers posted by Henry and David on the forum. Many of them are a bit hard to read if you hate chemistry, but they explain fragrance and fragrance inheritance pretty well.

    To sum them up off the top of my head. Basically the different types of scents on can possiably describe in roses are due to different chemicals. Each of these tend to have their own gene allele. Very fragrant roses tend to have multiple copies of the same type of gene allele. When you cross two very fragrant roses together and get a lot of poor fragrant roses the two roses have two different types of fragrance. The opposite can happen when two poor fragrant roses are crossed and you get very fragrant off spring. This is due because you they tend to have the same type of gene causing the fragrance and this gene gets multiplied. At least this is what the papers seem to suggest to me. So that is why I suggested crossing things that have at least similar fragrant roses in their background.

  6. Wuchen,

    Thanks very much for the further explanation about the inheritance of fragrance. Now it's beginning to make sense why my seedling of 'Cotillion' x 'Belle Époque' is not fragrant at all. Both 'Cotillion' and 'Belle Époque' are very fragrant, but they don't have a similar ancestry.

    I searched the RHA forum but for some reason wasn't able to find the article. However I did find the table of contents for Dave's book chapter (flower breeding and genetics). It sounds very interesting!

    Thanks again for your helpful comment!