Basye Blueberry Rose

luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)August 23, 2011

Hi does anyone have pictures of this plant that they could share? I want a picture of what the plant looks like once it matures. All I find on the net are closeup pics of the flowers which isn't that helpful. I'm trying to figure out where to place it in the garden and how much horizontal space it will take up. Also, a lot of the pictures I've found on the net it looks sorta spindly and sad, is this typical? I was hoping for a slightly fuller appearance. Any pictures you could share would be appreciated!

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luvahydrangea, I can't access the plant photos I have from years ago as they are stuck on a dead hard drive. I can tell you Dr. Basye named it "Blueberry" because the plant reminded him of a blueberry bush, both in growth habit as well as autumn foliage. It is deciduous and can produce some beautiful autumn leaf colors when the weather is right for it. In other years, the leaves will simply turn brown and fall with wind and rain. Your being where trees regularly have fall color should help insure your enjoying fall color from it. Here in the land of endless summer, we often don't get that aspect of deciduous plants due to our weather.

Here, it grew to about five feet by roughly four feet in width. It is not, by habit, a "tight bush", but can be encouraged to be more so by pruning. It is usually more open growing as you'd expect from a wild type shrub. Definitely something to add to a mixed border of shrubs and perennials or a wild area and not included in a more traditional "rose garden", unless planted in an odd numbered group in the center of a very large bed.

Higher heat and lack of water will cause it to cease flowering and this one requires dead heading to consider continuing to flower. Its hips, like those of Basye's Legacy (identical to what is in commerce as Commander Gillette), are very decorative. I had people cut the tops out of the plants behind my back to use in Thanksgiving arrangements.

The link below will take you to a blog of Neil Sperry's featuring an article by Mike Shoup with a photo showing the growth habit of the rose. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant photo on Neil Sperry's blog, Mike Shoup article, Basye's Blueberry plant photo.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 2:47PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Here is a posting from this website that has a full view of the plant.

I agree with you in that I love to see pics of the blooms up close, but I also like to see the total growth habit before I plant. Right now I have 4 mystery roses from RVR and I have no idea where to plant them because I don't know what they are :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Basye's Blueberry

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 7:16PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Thank you both for your responses, those links were very helpful.

Kim, thank you so much for that very detailed explanation, it has definitely helped me figure out where to plant in in the bed I have in mind for it. And yes, I"m really hoping for fall color from it, it was one of the reasons I chose it. I like plants that have interest through different stages of the seasons.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:12AM
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clanross(7b Virginia)

Wonderful fragrance.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:57PM
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You're welcome Maria! I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I particularly enjoy the fact it doesn't BITE! Kim

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:24PM
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Does it sucker on its own roots?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:18AM
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You know, it never did for me. Neither has Legacy. Doesn't mean it can't or won't if it wants to, but I've never seen it happen Henry. An interesting aside, Legacy has made a higher percentage of thornless offspring with significantly greater black spot and mildew resistance than Blueberry ever did for me, FWIW. Kim

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:03AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I don't know why my image is gone, but can re enter it. This is from 2009. I removed the roses because they became infected, then purchased a new one last year.

Here is a bloom with black spot, and a bush. As I recall, the rose does not get that much black spot.



    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 4:32PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

One of the reasons I want to keep this rose in my garden is that Dr. Basye was so dedicated to producing roses that did not require chemicals.

He and Dr. Buck were the two that I am really aware of, and I am so pleased that he can be remembered with a rose dedicated to him. In my opinion the rose is a little unusual, and unique.

I know this is off the subject a little, but I just thought I would mention him.

When I am not so busy, I would like to find out if the Blueberry and Purple are his only roses.

I also consider it a high achievement to spell that name without looking it up. I always want the "y" to come first.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Sammy, no, these aren't his only two roses. You can also grow
Basye's Legacy (which is the SAME rose as Commander Gillette, Dr. Basye personally identified the same rose as two different seedlings. All roses in commerce as Basye's Thornless, Commander Gillette and Basye's Legacy are identical); Belinda's Dream; and Basye's Amphidiploid Seedling 86-3. The Amphidiploid is a curiosity and very interesting breeding stock, but not really worthy of the average rose garden, being an enormous, horribly prickly, once flowering plant. There is one listed as available in Europe as "Basye's Myrrh Scented Rose", with no American sources for it. There are American gardens listed as growing it, so you may be able to obtain cuttings from one of them. Blueberry and Belinda's Dream are the two most "garden worthy" for the average rose garden. If you're interested in the more unusual, Legacy and 86-3 are interesting roses. Legacy has led to further healthy roses being bred from it. Ralph Moore's "My Stars" is thornless and very healthy. My "Lynnie" is very light on prickles and also very cold/heat hardy and extremely healthy. Indian Love Call is a completely thornless, large flowered, once bloomer I raised from Legacy which has gotten very nice reviews everywhere it's grown. Carlin's Rhythm is a mauve single I raised from Lilac Charm and Legacy. It's being used quite a bit for breeding. Kim

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:05PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

My Belinda's Dreams are almost perfect. I did not know that they were created by Dr. Basye. Thanks for the list of the others.

I am not as troubled by thorns as many people, possibly because I have had problems finding roses with low black spot.

I know that Dr. Buck was concerned with winter hardiness. I was not sure about Dr. Basye, and now Dr. Stephen George has been working in Dallas with the Earth Kind roses.

Kim, if you are still reading, where does Ralph Moore fit into this list? Did he work to develop roses that could be more disease free? I see that you often list him, but do not know what he did, except that he was highly respected.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:14PM
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You're welcome Sammy. You have to remember that any breeder of any type of plant can primarily only breed for resistance to the pressures of his/her climate. Visalia didn't have extreme disease pressures for decades. Mr. Moore selected his seedlings based upon health (where he was), ease of rooting, vigor and ease of growth own root, attractive appearance then any special characteristics he sought. These included stripes, mossing, decorative sepals like crested mosses and eventually the Halo trait. A very oft repeated admonishment was, "Create a good plant first. It's always easy to hang a pretty flower on it later."

He played with many species, most often utilizing them with his brood of favored miniature breeders. Those he created with the above characteristics firmly in mind. Even with all that said, diseases mutated, climates changed and the rose continued to change the rules on him.

He created a striped Rugosa hybrid with ruffled flowers he sent to Week's for evaluation. He was surprised to hear their reports that it was plagued by rust as that wasn't an issue in Visalia. The rose didn't demonstrate that issue there for several more years when there was appropriate weather to encourage the disease. It was very much the same situation reported about Joseph Pernet-Ducher when, about his Pernetianas, he was asked, "But, what about the black spot?" He responded, "WHAT black spot?" They didn't black spot where he developed and grew them.

Black spot was really only an issue in the nursery, where thousands of small potted roses were grown, crowded in nursery flats on the tables, and then, usually only very early and very late in the year. Out in the open, or grown in pots with more beneficial spacing, even with the constant overhead irrigation, black spot was seldom an issue. When he raised roses which demonstrated unacceptable disease issues for him, he discarded them. His initial Bracteata hybrids can be plagued by rust in climates which foster the disease, but for him, there, they were clean. Out of Yesteryear, Star Dust and Out of the Night remain the healthiest of the bunch, followed by Pink Powderpuff, an amazing and truly beautiful climber.

When I moved into a milder, damper climate, I found many of my favored breeders were no longer as healthy as I'd always found them. I polled other breeders, nursery owners and rose growers whose opinions I respect for suggestions of what to use instead. Mr. Moore's Cal Poly and Magic Wand were unanimous suggestions on every list. Both have been as healthy here as Strawn's Pink Petticoat. Of course, YMMV due to many factors and depending upon what diseases you're considering.

In my climate, Linda Campbell is extremely healthy, but in higher disease pressure areas, she can develop slight mildew on new growth and a little black spot on her lower leaves. His My Stars has been reported to be very healthy everywhere I've heard people speak of it. It's half Playboy and half Basye's Legacy, and completely thornless. Legacy has been able to provide the rust resistance Playboy completely lacks in these parts.

Resistance is honestly a very mixed bag. Dr. Buck bred for arctic hardiness as well as health, yet some of the many dozens of his roses I grew in my old Newhall garden were regularly ill from disease. A favorite I grew was Wandrin' Wind. I found the plant to be of exceptional beauty, and it completely defoliated from rust twice a year, as did most of the Morden series for me. Only a small handful of Hybrid Rugosas are worth growing in much of Southern California, mostly because of heavy rust infection. Healthy roses remain very climate specific. Kim

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 10:19PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Kim, for the above info. I love your "Lynnie" and "Annie L. M" - they are the healthiest among the 14 bands I received from Burlington Roses. When I received these bands, I put a bar of "Irish Spring" soap in front of them to ward off animals. In the middle of the night, I woke up to a loud choking and vomitting noise. It wasn't my kid, but some animal outside.

In the morning, the soap bar was missing. I searched for it, and found it abandoned far away, with bits scattered all over. I took the soap away, and put an apple and a bowl of water outside. In the morning, that animal got even by NOT EATING the apple, but bit off Annie's only bud, the rose that I can't wait to smell.

Back to Basye Blueberry Rose: It has a habit of losing its leaves so easily. I think there's too much water in the pot, so I'll plant in the ground. JeriJen mentioned that it didn't do well for her, but did well for your hot & sunny climate. What's best for Basye Blueberry: partial shade or full sun? dry soil or wet soil? alkaline, neutral, or acidic? Thank you for any info.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:04PM
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I've only grown it in alkaline soil with alkaline water in full, brilliant, all day, direct sun and it was fine, but that was mid desert, southern California. A far cry from Chicago. It was bred and selected as a budded on virus infected Fortuniana in Texas. I hope that tells you something about what suits it best. Kim

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:22PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thanks, Kim, you confirmed my hunch. I was too eager for its thornlessnes and fragrance that I overlooked climate suitability. HMF listed as hardy to zone 4a, but it lost some leaves when the night hit 40. Then more leaves with an all-night and all-day rain. More leaves fell off with the strong wind. Finally the water outside froze, with 30 degrees its leaves turned darkish. It will be bare if I don't take it inside tonight, at 28 degrees.

Annie Laurie McDowell is healthy and looks great in this cold weather - she's a lot tougher than Basyes Blueberry. If she survives this coming zone 5a winter, then she can pass for below zone 6b. Lynnie has 4 buds and laughs at both Chicagoland's strong wind and cold weather. Thank you, Kim, for creating such healthy and tough roses.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Thank you Strawberryhill! I'm glad my "daughters" are behaving for you. But, what you're perceiving as "problems" with Basye's Blueberry not being "hardy" is a misconception. Blueberry is bred from a long line of deciduous, very cold hardy roses. In most climates, it sheds its leaves like your deciduous trees do, often for the same reason. Some of what you're seeing may be due to its being an immature plant, but mostly it's doing what its genes tell it to do in response to the weather. Annie Laurie McDowell is evergreen, therefore probably not quite as cold hardy as Lynnie and Blueberry. Lynnie and Blueberry share a common parent, probably. Basye documented Blueberry has a double dose of Commander Gillette plus Virginiana. I raised Lynnie from Basye's Legacy and Torch of Liberty. Unfortunately, Dr. Basye gave the same rose to two different people and personally identified them as both Commander Gillette and the rose we've named Basye's Legacy. The difference is Legacy is a seedling of Commander Gillette which also contains Rugosa and Moschata. It can make a difference, but without DNA testing, we'll never know what they actually are.

Lynnie can be deciduous in the right climate conditions, but not as quickly as Blueberry. Doubling the amount of Commander Gillette and adding R. Virginiana to the mix reinforces the deciduous character of the rose, making it perform more like an American species rose. Reduce the water, reduce the light quality and quantity and lower the temperatures and the species components in them "tell" them to shed their foliage because COLD weather is coming. Deciduous roses are very often significantly more cold hardy than evergreen ones because they literally shut down, moving most of their growth sap with all of its nutrients back into the roots where it will be available for new growth once conditions are right. Evergreen roses maintain a lot of that sap up in the plant parts so they respond to warmth and increased light much faster, making them more susceptible to late frosts or significantly longer, deeper cold. It's one reason why HTs are much less hardy where you are than some polys and roses bred from cold hardy species. It's the bug-a-boo breeders deal with continually. How do you take the cold hardy performance (shedding foliage, shutting down and ceasing flowering to make them more hardy) and combine it with early, continuous to late flowering while maintaining the healthy foliage late into the season while making the plant resist deep cold? The evergreen, repeat flowering character is in direct contradiction to what makes the intensely cold hardy roses so very cold hardy. A lot of progress has been made, but it is very laborious, painstaking work with many more failures than successes.

It is very probable that Blueberry is the more climatically suitable rose for your climate than many you already grow simply based upon its ancestors. It will do what it 'knows' to do to withstand the deep cold while many others (Annie Laurie McDowell included) will continue trying to push new, soft growth and trying to flower. It's that soft, flowering growth that gets hit hardest, earliest by those temperature drops. So, give Blueberry a chance and observe it in light of it being a deciduous plant, like maples and other hardwood trees in your area. I think it will surprise and enlighten you. Kim

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:38AM
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