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Introducing 'Ingrid'
by George Mander

Imagine you are looking at ‘Glowing Amber’ – my miniature rose with tiny petals that are yellow at the base and blend into hot red as they reach upward. Now imagine magnifying it a notch to a mini-flora or patio size. I now have such a rose. From the time it germinated in 2000, I have called it my big ‘Glowing Amber’. But I registered it this June with IRAR, and now I call it ‘Ingrid’ after my wife.

‘Ingrid’ came from a cross of ‘Hot Tamale’ with ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’. I am sure it inherited its bi-colour from ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’ just as ‘Glowing Amber’ did.

After twenty years of working with big roses, I changed direction in 1989 and started hybridizing minis only. Most of you are familiar with my first mini, ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’, registered in 1992. From 1991 to1998 I have exclusively used ‘June Laver’ as a seed parent and ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’ as pollen parent. This cross produced ‘Glowing Amber’ and many other good minis.

However, in 1998 I started to use ‘Hot Tamale’ as seed parent. It is an orange blend miniature rose bred by Canadian-born Keith Zary for Jackson & Perkins. Unexpectedly, most resulting seedlings were too large and too tall to call miniature. Wasn’t it lucky that just at that time the new mini-flora class was established?

I switched over to ‘Hot Tamale’ because it never had mildew or blackspot from the time I first grew it. As it sets seed readily, I went all-out in 1999 and did hundreds of crosses on about 40 plants of it growing in 2 gallon pots. For every one of those crosses I used ‘Rubies 'n' Pearls’ as the pollen parent. As it is also very mildew resistant (but gets blackspot if not sprayed) I thought it would be a very good combination to produce some very disease resistant seedlings. My crosses produced nearly 4000 seeds, but only about 500 germinated. I waited with great anticipation for the results. Exactly the opposite happened from what I had expected, and it was the greatest disappointment of my 30 years of hybridizing roses. When the seedlings were 2 weeks old, mildew started on just a few, and within 2 weeks it spread like wildfire to about 95 % of the plants. Just like in previous years, I grew the seedlings in my basement under grow lights. 90 % were thrown out before I even saw their first blooms and I only kept 10 seedlings for further tests. By 2004, more had to go because of too much mildew and now there are six left.

There are a number of reasons why I selected the ‘Ingrid’ rose over the five other sister seedlings that I am still testing at this time. First and foremost it had the ‘Glowing Amber’ colour which is now well known world wide. The foliage is above average in disease resistance. It’s the most vigourous rose in 36 years of hybridizing. In my five years of testing this rose I found it to be above average in winter hardiness, plus “the blooms don’t mind the rain, like a duck in the water” as one of my rose friends in California wrote to me.

The foliage is extremely shiny. I wanted to exhibit ‘Ingrid’ at the September 2005 Vancouver Rose Society parlour show, and asked them to add a single specimen class for mini-flora roses. It didn’t happen. So I managed to find one spray (with two blooms) to qualify for the only class. Then came a big surprise: it was disqualified ! – not judged ! The note on my entry tag read : “Suspect ‘leafshine’ applied to foliage”. After showing roses for twenty-five years, I know better than to try this form of cheating. By rubbing the foliage with a tissue, I showed the judges that there was nothing foreign applied to the foliage. But the judging was done. Well – this little anecdote demonstrates how shiny the foliage is!

The only negative characteristic about this rose is that it has many prickles!

Up to 2004, I had only three plants and my wife liked the blooms very much, but wanted to wait one more season with more blooms to see before naming it. In 2005 I had seven plants. I put them in larger pots and gave them the best care and fertilizer. My extra work paid off with lots of noble blooms and many sprays with 5 to 9 blooms each. During the summer of 2005, I took many digital photos and have now uploaded 18 of the ‘Ingrid’ rose to HelpMeFind Roses, where I now have a total of about 230 photos of my different varieties. Finally, by mid-June 2005 my wife and I were convinced that it may be a better rose than ‘Glowing Amber’ – my best up to now.

My hybridizing goal for the future will remain minis and mini-floras. With the seed parents in pots, I can take them inside under grow lights in mid-October to ripen the hips further. For big roses one should have a greenhouse because in the open the hips never ripen properly to get good germination. This was the main reason I switched to hybridizing minis in 1988/89. I have learned all this the hard way after hybridizing big roses in the open for twenty years.

There are three other mini-flora sister seedlings of ‘Ingrid’ which may be introduced in the near future. Two are numbered, MAN 2/00 and MAN 3/00 and one registered as ‘Pink Topaz’. All three can be seen at HelpMeFind Roses with photos and Breeders Comments. Budwood of these three plus 15 other varieties was send to The Netherlands for tests in 2004. In August 2005 the first reports received indicated that ‘Ingrid’ is their No.1 favourite! ‘Glowing Amber’ is their second.

Editors note : * * *
Mr. Mander lives in Coquitlam, B.C., where he is occupied mostly with care-giving for his wife who hopes to see the rose bearing her name succeed in commerce. He is best known for the pure white ‘Canadian White Star’ that was chosen by Canada Post for one of the rose stamps in 2001. We still receive envelopes from rose friends with that stamp on them.

He informed Roses-Canada that ‘Ingrid’ was introduced by Hortico in the autumn of 2005 and may be sold out by now. Select Roses in B.C. will introduce it in spring 2006. In the U.S.A., it will be introduced by John's Miniature Roses in 2008. It may also be introduced in Europe in the near future.

First published by ROSES CANADA. Nov. 2005 issue.
Reprinted with permission. Edited by Harry McGee

George Mander
November, 2005


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