By Dr. Lakshmi Sridharan, www.lakshmi-sridharan.com
Striped roses are unique in the world of roses. Pin stripes, bold stripes or splashes – they all enhance the beauty of a rose. The striped rose zebras make a beautiful and a bold statement in a garden, drawing your eyes toward them. The uncommon occurrence of stripes makes them more appealing to a rose gardener.
Origin of Stripes
Naturally-occurring striped roses have the genes for variegation. Stripes may also result from spontaneous or induced mutations. Mutations are sudden changes that occur at a very low frequency in a gene. Spontaneous mutations (popularly known as ‘sports’) alter the existing genes and their expression, resulting in stripes. Induced mutations by irradiation or chemical mutagens also lead to genetically-altered pigmentation, and the result is stripes. Stripes may develop as a result of the transmission of genes responsible for stripes through hybridization. Viral infection that causes variegation in tulips may also cause stripes in roses. These infections could interfere with physiological functions of pigmentation, giving them a striped appearance.
Striped Roses among Old Garden Roses
A few striped roses naturally occur in old garden roses. These striped roses have genes that create a unique development and distribution of pigments, resulting in variegated roses with stripes and splashes of colors. An example is the bourbon rose ‘Honorine de Brabant’, which has fragrant deep pink blooms with stripes. The bourbon rose ‘Variegata di Bologna’ has fragrant red blend blooms with stripes. ‘Ferdinand Pichard’, a hybrid perpetual (1921), has fragrant, paleblush, striped, crimson-cupped double blooms. ‘Ferdinand Pichard’ is the favorite parent in hybridization for the production of a number of striped roses.
Mutation is a sudden heritable change in the genome that may occur any time. It is unpredictable and non-directional. The frequency of mutation is very low. A mutation may be spontaneous or induced.
Floral development is strictly under the control of a number of genes that dictate when and how different parts of a flower should develop. Flowers develop from a mass of actively dividing cells known as floral meristem or primordia. The cells in the primordia differentiate and develop into various parts of a flower (sepals, petals, stamens and pistils). A mutation (spontaneous or induced) may disrupt the normal pigment development in a flower or the pattern of pigmentation in a flower. Stripes may result from the altered expression of one or more genes that regulate a floral development.
Spontaneous Mutations (Sports)
A spontaneous mutation is popularly known as a ‘sport.’ Though rare in occurrence, sports occur in all classes of roses. The oldest sport in gallica roses is ‘Rosa Mundi’ (more properly called Rosa gallica versicolor). ‘Rosa Mundi’ is a sport of R. gallica officinalis. It is a semi-double pink blend with striped blooms. R. centifolia variegata (introduced by Vibert in the 1800s) bears fully double blooms (3.5 inches in diameter) with delicate, pale-pink stripes on a white background.
Popular European and American Striped Sports
Here is a short list of striped sports from Europe and the U.S.: ‘Candy Stripe’ is a sport of ‘Pink Peace’. It produces fragrant, elegant, peppermint-stick-red blossoms streaked with creamy white stripes. ‘Festival Fanfare’ (1982, W.D. Ogilvie, England) is a sport of ‘Fred Loads’ (Loads, U.K., 1967). It is a vigorous bush with large clusters of flowers just like its parent, ‘Fred Loads’, but with pink and white stripes and spots. ‘Careless Love’ (HT, 1955, Henry Conklin) is a sport of ‘Red Radiance’. It bears semi-double to double blooms. Blooms are borne mostly solitary and cupped in small clusters. Blooms have pink-blend stripes. ‘Banner’ (HT) is a sport of ‘Charlotte Armstrong’. Blooms are a pink blend with stripes. ‘Caribea’ (HT) is a sport of ‘Piccadily’. Its striped blooms are a yellow blend with stripes.
Popular Indian Striped Sports
Indian horticulturists have introduced a number of striped roses. The Indian Institute of Agriculture and a few other horticulturists have introduced more than 100 striped sports. To name a few: ‘Yashwant’ (1985, B.K. Patil), sport of ‘Suspense’, has white and yellow stripes and splashes on the insides of reddish pink petals. ‘Tata Centenary’ (1979, Telco Nursery), a hybrid tea, is a sport of ‘Pigalle’. Its blooms are deep purple splashed with pale yellow stripes on the insides of its petals. ‘Sahastradhara’ (1981, A. Thakur ), a hybrid tea, is a striped sport of ‘Century Two’. It bears dark pink flowers with narrow white streaks. ‘Rare Edition’ (1982, Kasturirangan), a floribunda, is a striped sport of ‘Kusum’, which itself is a striped sport of ‘Fusilier’. This is an interesting sport that bears blooms with the combined beauty of both ‘Kusum’ and ‘Fusilier’. The plant produces luminous scarlet flowers with white and pink stripes and splashes. Sometimes, one plant gives all three types of flowers on different branches. Speaking as a molecular geneticist, this is a clear case of mosaic or chimera.
‘Supriya’ (1982, Dr. Sen) is a striped sport of ‘Princess Margaret’. This hybrid tea bears fragrant, pure pink flowers with cream and white stripes and splashes. ‘Anant’ (1991, Chiplumkar), a striped sport of ‘Haseena’, has white stripes on soft pink petals. ‘Dr. Noshir Wadia’ (1992, Chiplumkar) is a striped sport of ‘Norma’. This hybrid tea bears dark red blooms with white and pink stripes on both the sides of petals. ‘Chitra’ (IARI) is a sport of ‘Janina’. This is a hybrid tea with creamy white and yellow golden-colored stripes and spots on a vermillion, orange-based golden yellow reverse.
Striped Roses from Induced Mutation
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has introduced a number of striped roses that developed as a result of induced mutations. Bud eye, bud wood, seed or pollen grains can be exposed to gamma rays to induce mutations. Cultivars’ responses to exposure
to gamma rays are highly variable.
Striped Roses Resulting From Hybridization
The naturally-existing striped rose, the sport and the induced mutant all owe their stripes to their genes. As such, a striped rose can most certainly be used as a seed or pollen parent in hybridization. However, gametic sterility is one of the problems in any kind of hybridization. We have to check the ability of the pollen parent to produce viable male gametes (sex cells) and the ability of the seed parent to produce viable eggs before launching on hybridization. An ordinary rosarian may not have the knowledge or the technique to test this. However, anyone can check the ability of the parent to produce seeds and seed viability. Close observation in open pollination will give you some information regarding the seed setting ability. Blindly making crosses between two roses is laborious and a sheer waste of time, energy and money. Even when you have all the sophisticated techniques and knowledge at your disposal, hybridization is still a hit-or-miss process. Perseverance is the key to success in hybridization.
Striped Roses from Viral Infection
Viral infections somehow affect the physiological functions of pigments and result in the formation of stripes, as in gallicas. If the stripes were due to viral infection, the stripes would disappear when the rose was kept in a heat chamber (100 degrees Fahrenheit).
This clearly shows that there is no genetic basis for the formation of stripes in these roses. Striped gallicas were very popular in France in the 19th Century. Jean-Pierre Vibert introduced quite a few of them: ‘Eulalie Lebrun’ (1844), ‘Mécène’ (1845), ‘Oeillet Flamand’ (1845) and ‘Perle des Panachées’ (1845). A few of the striped gallicas of the late 19th Century are still commercially available. ‘Camaieux’ (introduced
by Cendron in 1826) is a small plant (3 feet) with lax canes that bear fragrant, soft, rose-pink blooms with irregular stripes that change through a spectrum of purples. The striped roses listed in this article are by no means the complete list of striped roses existing in this country or elsewhere. Striped roses will continue to hold our attention, not only because they are beautiful and exotic, but also because rose growers are like kids, always looking for new toys with which to play.
More Striped Roses
Striped Roses of Dr. Michael Dykstra
Dykstra used quite a few striped roses as pollen or seed parents (‘Whistle Stop’, ‘Hurdy Gurdy’, ‘Pinstripe’, ‘Caribea’, ‘Roller Coaster’ and ‘Commandant Beaurepaire’). He mostly used the diseaseresistant, fragrant, prolific bloomer ‘Hurdy Gurdy’ as a seed parent. Out of the thousands and thousands of seedlings raised from these crosses, just a handful of them were striped roses. Two of the commercially grown-striped roses are ‘Freedom’s Ring’ (LCL/F) and ‘Hainini’ (Min).
Striped Roses of Tom Carruth
Carruth is a horticultural scientist with a master’s degree in Horticulture. He has created award-winning, beautiful roses, including striped jewels. Listed below are some of his creations: ‘Scentimental’ (F, 1997) a cross of ‘Play Boy’ and the striped ‘Peppermint Twist’. It is a vigorously growing floribunda with spicy, burgundy-red swirled blooms with creamy white stripes. Some blooms have more burgundy-splashed white petals and some have creamed-swirled red petals all on the same plant. ‘Rockin’ Robin’ (1997) a cross of ‘Bonica’ x ‘Roller Coaster’. This shrub produces large clusters of pink, red and white ruffled, striped, medium-small, fully-double blooms with petals with a mild apple fragrance.
‘Fourth of July’ (1999, AARS winner) a cross of ‘Roller Coaster’ x ‘Altissimo’. This large climber with climbing canes of 12 to 14 feet bears large, striped (red-blend) semi-double blooms in clusters with a fresh cut apple and sweet rose fragrance. This climber definitely makes a bold statement in a garden. ‘George Burns’ (1998) is a large floribunda with a parentage of ‘Calico’ x ‘Roller Coaster’. It bears clusters of large, striped, doubledecorative blooms (red- or yellow-blend) with a strong fruit and citrus fragrance. More yellow shows up in blooms in moderate cool temperatures.
‘Soaring Spirits’ (CL. 2006.) is a large climber canes of 8 to 12 feet long and is a cross between ‘Berries ‘n’ Cream’ x ‘Fourth of July’. Named to honor the victims of 9/11, this is an outstanding, vigorous, clean, largeflowered climber with huge clusters of showy swirls and stripes with ever-changing pastel pink, yellow and cream colors with a moderate fragrance of fresh-cut apple. ‘Candy Land’ (CL. 2008) a huge climber with long canes of 10 to 12 feet. This arose from ‘Rosy Outlook’ x ‘Pretty Lady’. The classically formed blooms are rose pink with ivory-yellow stripes.
Ralph Moore’s Striped Miniatures
Moore is known for creating a number of award-winning mini roses. Most of his miniature striped roses have genes of ‘Ferdinand Pichard’ and ‘Little Darling’. The majority of his striped miniatures resulted from a number of crosses and laborious selections. Below is a short list of his striped miniatures.
‘Stars ‘N’ Stripes’ (1976) was Moore’s first striped rose. It has semi-double red-and-white-striped blooms with bright yellow stamens. A climbing sport (8-10 feet) of ‘Stars ‘N’ Stripes’ was introduced in 2008. ‘Double Treat’ (1986) has mildly fragrant blooms with unusual
bright red and yellow stripes and pointed petals that are 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. The blooms of ‘Pinstripe’ (1986) are double, 1 1/2 inches in diameter and striped red and white.
‘Climbing Life Lines’ (2005) is a 5- to 6-foot tall climber that produces semi-double blooms in large clusters all season long. Blooms (2 inches across) have beautiful orange-red stripes on a white background. ‘Charlie Brown’ (1996) is a neat rounded plant about 10 to 12
feet high that produces double (1 1/4 inches across) red and white striped flowers.
‘Twister’ (1997) is a vigorous climber (4 or 5 feet) that bears loads of very double red and white striped flowers 1 1/2 inches across. ‘Love and Peace’ is a mini moss that bears red and lavender striped 1 ½-inch flowers in small clusters. Moore’s ‘Striped Rugosa’ is a bushy plant (shrub), 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. It blooms in clusters (3 to 5 flowers) of lovely 4-inch double red and white striped flowers.
‘Candy Cane’ (1950) is a climber, 4 to 5 feet tall with arching canes. (Parentage: Seedling x ‘Zee’) This climber bears loads of pink-blend blooms with white stripes ‘Memphis Music’ (2005, Verlie “Whit” Wells) is a Miniflora. Deep burgundy blooms have yellow stripes.
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