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Are Ophelia (& her sports) & Charlotte Armstrong weak own-root?

Posted by bluegirl z8TX (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 15:26

I've been wanting to get both for the past several years because they are such important parents. I want to play around with crossing them.

But they're rarely offered & more rarely in stock. I have a teeny Mme. Butterfly band that will take forever to be mature enough to set hips--IF it survives--it looks marginal now.

Are they really poor on their own roots like many other modern HTs, & hard to propagate? I'll bud onto Ragged Robin--if I can ever get anything to harvest buds from.


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RE: Are Ophelia (& her sports) & Charlotte Armstrong weak own-roo

Yes. Back around 1920, Captain Thomas did a lot of HT trialling for things like rootstock performance. Some were worse than others. Ophelia was bad.

Pickering used to carry it budded on Multiflora. I don't think they do anymore.


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RE: Are Ophelia (& her sports) & Charlotte Armstrong weak own-roo

  • Posted by beth NorCA 9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 19:33

I got my OPHELIA probably 15-18yrs ago from Vintage Gardens. She's still a little tiny thing, like maybe 18" high and 12" wide, and in the ground. Almost died one yr too. I got MME BUTTERFLY from Vintage a few yrs ago, and she's in a medium-sized ceramic pot in a west-facing area. She's at least double the size of OPHELIA. Maybe they just need more fertilizer or something. Unfortunately, I don't get much of it done every yr.


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RE: Are Ophelia (& her sports) & Charlotte Armstrong weak own-roo

Yes, bluegirl, the varieties you asked about are not known for their own root vigor. I grew all the Ophelia, Columbia, Peace, Talisman and Charlotte Armstrong mutations own root in my old Newhall garden years ago and that was a very good environment for them, even own root. Very few had anything even remotely resembling "vigor" on their own roots. It took quite a few seasons for any of the Ophelia clan to generate nearly two by two feet, even with copious water, copious horse manure and regular bud pinching. Now, Radiance and her variants, will grow like weeds own root.

If you're serious about wanting to create your own seedlings, honestly, you will be significantly better off "standing on the shoulders" of more recent breeders, using their vastly improved results over museum pieces of the past. There really isn't anything to gain from the older types as far as vigor and health are concerned. Been there, done that, had fun, but all of those efforts resulted in nothing worth keeping long term. Kim


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RE: Are Ophelia (& her sports) & Charlotte Armstrong weak own-roo

Well, okay--thanks for the helpful confirmations & advice.

It's just that when I type up my rose table of all the favorites I grow (Peace, Peace's many offspring, Chyrsler Imperial & its descendents...) Ophelia & Charlotte Armstrong figure pretty heavily in their genetics.

And, yeah, museum pieces (great description) appeal to me, for their very history, like any other antique.
Though I will admit that the Radiance clan have all that AND good vigor.


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