Thursday, August 5, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

This is one of my seedlings from a 2008 cross. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting a lavender rose from this cross. If I wanted lavender, I would most likely just cross two lavenders together. In this case, I was just playing around to see if I could get something interesting, maybe an 'odd' color from crossing lavender and tan/orange/yellow roses. The parentage for this one is 'Cotillion' from J&P (aka 'Perfume Perfection') and 'Belle Époque' from Fryer in England.

As you know, 'Belle Époque' has a very interesting tan/russet color. HMF describes it thusly:

Belle Epoque is an unusually coloured Hybrid Tea. The colour is a most curious dark nectarine-bronze on the outside of the petals which contrasts with the lighter shade of golden-bronze on the inside.

I really like the coloring of 'Belle Époque,' and I was hoping that I could get an interesting result from this cross. This is the only seedling I kept from this pairing, and interestingly enough, the result is nothing at all like 'Belle Époque.'

Like 'Cotillion,' the buds cluster in a floribunda style. In fact, it tends to look like a version of 'Cotillion' with more petals. However, I have noticed that the flower color dramatically changes when the temperature is cool. In the picture below, you can see the differences in the color between the flowers - the lighter one is not a spent flower, in actuality the buds started out as same grayish-lavender. There seems to have been an environmental factor that contributed here.

I really like this grayish-lavender color and I wish it would flower like this all the time.

As I mentioned, I'm guessing this color change is caused by a fluctuation in temperature.

Although both 'Cotillion' and 'Belle Époque' are very fragrant roses (when 'Cotillion' is blooming, there is a constant, wonderful, citrus scent drifting on the breeze), this seedling doesn't have much of a scent. That's a disappointment for me, since I like the flower shape so much. Its disease resistance is not excellent, but not horrible, either. I would say that it's similar to its parent plants.

One thing that makes me a bit wary about this seedling is the size of the plant. This is a two-year-old plant and is growing in a two-gallon pot, but it's only about a foot tall and is looking like a mini. The flower diameter is only 2.5 inches or so, so it's a little bigger than miniature roses, but not much. I was hoping this would be a floribunda, not a mini. We'll see...

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