Polyantha - White Pet Question

gen6tex(8b)September 23, 2011

Four years ago I planted four cuttings of White Pet. I was led to believe these plants rarely exceed two feet so I placed them on 27"-28" centers so that they would form a loose informal hedge. My plants grew to well over three feet and are considerably crowded now.

Also, I was told by an employee at ARE that this variety blooms white, white-white. The buds are pink and open to a white rose with petals edged in pink. Sometimes they are slightly blush on opening with no edging and sometimes they are white depending on the conditions.

Is it possible I have another variety that closely resembles white pet?

I love them. They are grand old gals that grow like weeds and bloom their hearts out. They rarely have evidence of pest or disease and are hanging tough in our horrible drought here in Central Texas without supplemental water!

Does anyone else have a White Pet that defies the variety description? Could this be a sport?

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roseseek

What you describe is how it grows in the inland valley heat with little pruning here in Southern California. It's accepted to be a dwarf sport of a large rambler. I'd expect there to be a wide range of plant size just as there is with Mme. Cecile Brunner and Iceberg due to the mutations being a continuum, rather than just an "on or off" proposition. You can find plants of these which remain smaller or want to nearly climb. Mutations in either direction, can perform rather surprisingly.

If your plants have to reach for light, they can be expected to grow larger to throw themselves into the sun. If they receive benefits of more food and water and better soil, they can be expected to be larger. If your growing season is longer than where the size to expect was reported, they can be larger. If you prune less or more lightly than those who report smaller plants, yours can be larger.

Yes, yours COULD be a slightly different "mutation" than those reported to be smaller or slightly different in color, but my observation and experience point more toward variations in climate and culture. Kim

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:03PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Mine get touches of pink depending on the weather, and is 3' tall at least. Yes, she's is 1 tough old girl...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:27PM
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jacqueline9CA

I have three, the oldest of which is over 10 years old. None of them have exceeded 2 feet in height. They bloom 10-11 months of the year. The buds sometimes have a pink caste, but my flowers are all white, all of the time.

However, I presume that Kim is correct and that it is a matter of growing conditions. HMF lists its maximum height as 3 feet. This is supposed to be a sport of Felicite et Perpetue, a large climbing noisette/sempervirens cross that is once blooming. So, a miracle happened and a polyantha sport appeared that was very small and ever blooming, but it obviously has "interesting" genes, so the fact that it produces slightly different things in different climates is not suprising.

An aside - isn't it interesting that two of the best everblooming roses ever, White Pet and New Dawn, were NOT hybridized on purpose, but are sports of old once bloomers?

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:39PM
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roseseek

Almost like Baby Faurax. Harry Wheatcroft claimed that Baby Faurax was the dwarf, repeat sport of Veilchenblau. Kim

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

What a very interesting thread. I would be very curious to learn if hoovb and Jackie got their White Pets from the same source or different ones. Both are growing theirs in California (Jackie are you in northern or southern?) yet hoovb's is at least 3 feet tall but Jackie's haven't exceeded 2 feet.

I had a White Pet (referred to in the catalog as Little White Pet) years ago, on a property that I no longer have (and they cut down White Pet :( ) in the same city I still live. I got mine from Roses of Yesterday and Today. It was planted on the north side of a 2-story home and so was in considerable shade for large parts of the day. But it bloomed pretty much continuously for most of the year. It was also a good 3 feet in height. I called it Big White Pet.;) And it had the most wonderful (to me distinctive) very sweet scent.

Interestingly, I saw White Pet at Eurodesert Roses (in a desert area of Southern Cal and often VERY hot) this year. Planted in full sun, no shade at all. The plant was VERY dwarf in size, although it looked quite healthy. Growth habit simply didn't look like mine at all. It wasn't in bloom so I didn't have a chance to smell the fragrance for a comparison. I should write and ask where the plant came from....

As an experiment I just bought Caroline Marniesse from Vintage as they list an alternate name for it, "Lykke White Pet" and explain it came to them from Denmark identified as White Pet. However, according to the Vintage website and catalog, that id seemed wrong as it could produce 3-foot canes, both upwards and sideways. I was wondering if it might have been what I had previously as White Pet. Caroline Marniesse arrived in the mail yesterday (along with 7 friends!) and just happened to be in bloom. Nope, not the rose I had as White Pet because the fragrance was very different, not sweet as my White Pet had been, but included an element I don't like at all. Possibly the scent described in roses as "musk". The foliage was different too, bigger and more hefty looking.

So was mine, from years ago, bigger because it was grafted? Because it was a particular clone? Did planting it in a lot of shade make the difference? I don't know.

Melissa

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:03PM
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gen6tex(8b)

Yes, a very interesting thread. Thanks for the feedback all. I think you are right Kim, variations in climate and culture.

This rose must be extremely popular. I spent most of 2007 searching for it. Made two trips to Independence to the Antique Rose Emporium in the spring and fall to no avail. Searched catalogs and online and finally found a grower in Oregon (Rogue Valley Roses) in January 2008. All they had were these teeny tiny rooted cuttings. I think maybe I need to propagate it and do some guerilla gardening.

Funny, I detect no fragrance with mine. The only thing holding it back from being the perfect rose.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 5:05PM
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jacqueline9CA

I got my first Little White Pet (the other two are from rooted cuttings of it) at the Celebration of Old Roses at least 20 years ago - I have no idea from whom. I knew NOTHING about roses, but I had read one of Graham Thomas' books, and he lauded it as "still the best small white rose" (he was pointing out that no one had created a better one since 1879, and that no one had even created LWP, since it was a sport!) , so I bought it and got lucky that it likes our climate. I am in No Cal in a classic Mediterranean climate.

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 6:12PM
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roseseek

gen6tex, you may finally detect fragrance if you can cut a spray and bring it indoors. The fresher the flowers, the greater your chances. I doubt if your climate is very humid these days, which can permit all of the oils and alcohols creating fragrance to evaporate very early. As variable as this and many other roses can be, climate and culture make the most sense. Enjoy! Kim

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 6:36PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Yes, White Pet has pink buds and can have a pink case in cooler weather here.

Mine gets to 3', but can be kept in bounds if trimmed back. Mine came from Wayside, 17 years ago.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 4:01PM
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jacqueline9CA

Kim - now you have done it! I looked up Baby Faurax, and now I have to have one - I have a Veilchenblau climbing up a tree in my back garden and I love love it!

I have a new little oval bed in my front garden where I have planted Margo Koster, Dick Koster (sported from Margo and has been stable for 4 years, so I hope it stays that way), Charles Walker Mignonette, Mignonette, and a small polyantha that I have forgotten the name of, surrounding the base of a 36" standard of Peach Drift. Now I am going to have to add Baby Faurax to that poly garden! I figured out how to fit it in, now I just have to acquire it. All your fault!

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 10:42AM
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roseseek

Jackie, you might want to look at my Lauren, too. It's an OP seedling of Baby Faurax and is much more of a garden plant than Baby Faurax. It flowers heavily with none of the mildew BF demonstrates in my garden, nor in any which have reported back to me. It's much more graceful than BF, with the same color. I think you might like it! I'd include a link to it on HMF, but the site is down for upgrades and maintenance. Kim

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 3:04PM
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sherryocala

Gen6tex, I have 2 White Pets, one in a pot and one in the ground. The potted one is probably 2' by 2-1/2' and the one in the ground is probably a bit taller and wider. I remove the whole cluster when I deadhead, so I suppose they could be bigger. The coloration here is as ARE told you. I like them very much.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 10:31PM
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jacqueline9CA

OK Kim - now I really am doomed. I looked at Lauren on HMF, and it is PERFECT for my poly garden! Could you let me know where I can order it?

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 12:25PM
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roseseek

Hi Jackie, glad you like it! Burlington and Vintage should both have it. I know they both grow it. I've had very nice reports of its performance. Kim

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 12:32PM
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jacqueline9CA

Thanks Kim - I just ordered it from Vintage.

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 8:54PM
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roseseek

Great, Jackie! Can't wait to hear what you think of it. Thank you. Kim

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 12:16AM
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