... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rosa moschata X wichuraiana

I was out in the sub-freezing weather on Wednesday cutting some brush and got a chance to check out how some of my older species rose hybrids were doing. I have three old F1 moschata X wichuraiana plants still alive but two of them aren't looking all that happy with being totally neglected - no care except for mowing on two sides of them. One of them however is happy as can be. It's a big shrubby thing and covered with hips. Here it is:
And keep in mind that just upwind to the west 20 ft away is a big plant (that's supposed to be Rosa soulieana - it didn't look like my previous plant of that species). But, just like my original soulieana, this one seems to be super susceptible to Rose Rosette Disease, because it's just covered in witches brooms. I wouldn't imagine that the F1 moschata X wichuraiana is immune but it must have at least some level of resistance (to the disease or the mites that spread it) being this close to such a huge source of infection and still being free of RRD. Here's that diseased "soulieana". I just turned around and took the picture, that's how close it is.
Here's a close-up of the hips on the still healthy F1 moschata X wichuraiana. I harvested these and hope to get them in the ground within a few days. 

 And I guess this one probably deserves to have some intentional crosses tried on it next season.

Viola arvensis X pansy

Last year's F1 seedlings from Viola arvensis X red pansy, not only made it through last winter with all the "polar vortex" craziness, but they also survived the summer heat which is even more unusual for pansies around here. Here's the clump of F1 seedlings at 21°F this morning - frozen solid.

 And here's a close up of a flowering shoot so you can see the "frozen spinach" look of the foliage. I don't know exactly just how cold it's been so far for sure, but I know it's at least been down to 16°F within the past week and blooms were still looking fresh and undamaged when the temperatures warmed back up afterwards.

Here's that same shoot close up later in the day when the temperature went above freezing again. The ground is still frozen underneath the surface, so I think it's having a hard time sending water up to the thawed out parts, but even so looks pretty unfazed. I'll try to get another picture once it's been above freezing long enough to thaw the ground too.