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Welcome to the February 2002 edition of my web site! The roses I write about are the Old Garden Roses and select shrub and miniature roses of the 20th century. For tips on rose culture, pruning, propagation and history, see "Other resources on this site". To return to this page, click on the "thorn icon" in the margin at left. Articles from the previous months are archived and can be viewed by clicking on the listings in the left margin. Oh, and please don't write to me for a catalog or pricelist.....this is an information site only.....not a commercial nursery. If you wish to buy roses, see my sponsor, The Uncommon Rose. Thanks!

A List of Crested Roses Bred by Ralph Moore
by Paul Barden

'Crested Jewel'
For over 30 years, Ralph Moore of California has been working dilligently to distill the unique qualities of the Centifolia hybrid 'Crested Moss' (aka R. centifolia cristata) into modern repeat-blooming shrub roses.

This article can be considered to be a pictorial tour of some of the crested varieties now being developed at Sequoia Nursery, and is a compliment to the article Mr. Moore wrote last year. (Read more about Mr. Moore's article about his Crested Roses here.) Remember that except for 'Crested Jewel' and 'Crested Sweetheart', the rest of these roses are NOT AVAILABLE for sale. These are still very much works in progress, so please do not call Sequoia Nursery to request any but the two varieties I just mentioned. Thank you. Click on the roses listed below to see what Mr. Moore's hard work has produced.

For a brief introduction to the Crested Hybrids, here is an excerpt from the 1978 booklet Modern Moss Roses :

Notes On Crested Moss

At Left: "The variety, Chapeau de Napoleon, more commonly known as Crested Moss, is the best example of the class (of crested roses presumed to have existed) which still survives. This is a rather tall growing plant and bears medium large, very double, rose pink flowers in spring only. Breeders have tried (and hoped) for seedlings or crosses of this rose but apparently with no avail until my initial success several years ago.

"The flowers of Crested Moss are usually so double that no anthers are present, thus no pollen. And Crested Moss seems to be unwilling to set any seeds no matter what pollen may be applied. However, one spring about 15 years ago, I did find a few anthers on my plant of Crested Moss and dusted the pollen on the blooms of Little Darling (floribunda). A few hips set and seed ripened. Out of this seed lot seven plants grew. One was the pink rose pictured below, and has since been named Crested Jewel (introduced by Tillotsons). From crosses using pollen from this variety we now have several selections which show some degree of cresting. 'Sarabande' X 'Crested Jewel'One is a rich red floribunda (Sarabande x Crested Jewel, see below, right); another is a pink floribunda (Queen Elizabeth x Crested Jewel) and another is a red, grandiflora type -- (Baccara x Crested Jewel). None are yet at the stage where the crest is sufficiently outstanding but there is progress. Still another selection (red floribunda climber x Crested Jewel) has quite a bit of the cresting. This is an interesting plant and flower, semi-climbing, repeat bloom and easily sets seed so has value for future breeding.

"Also of interest is the fact that in succeeding years I have been able to secure enough pollen to produce seedlings from Queen Elizabeth x Crested Moss (See "Queencrest") and from Baccara x Crested Moss. From each of these crosses one selection was made and the plants multiplied so that we now have material from several sources to help in the quest of producing garden roses, hopefully, with the cresting of Crested Moss. I also have another selection of Little Darling x Crested Moss which is much like the crested parent except that my seedling is a better growing plant with cleaner, brighter green cresting. The flower is similar in form and color to Crested Moss, but alas, it too is without seeds or pollen."

When I last visited with Mr. Moore last Fall, he showed me some of the new hybrids and seedlings being used in this part of the breeding program. The reults are very impressive, to say the least. Surely it is only a matter of time before some of the newest of the Crested Hybrids will appear in Sequoia Nursery's catalog! I know I am looking forward to that day!


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