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The Sports of 'Glowing Amber'
By George Mander
Coquitlam, British Columbia

In 1971, my third year of rose breeding, I acquired from England for hybridizing purposes a sport of the Hybrid Tea 'Piccadilly' named 'Super Sun'. 'Piccadilly', introduced by Sam McGredy in 1960 has the identical bicolor combination of 'Glowing Amber'. Interestingly, its sport 'Super Sun', has almost the identical bicolor of 'Amber Star', the sport of 'Glowing Amber'. 'Piccadilly' has also produced several other sports, including the orange blend 'Piccadilly Sunset' and the red/yellow striped 'Harry Wheatcroft'. I have no doubt that 'Glowing Amber' has inherited its ability to produce sports from 'Piccadilly'.

In 1972 and 1973 I made my first crosses with 'Super Sun' as a pollen parent, using it extensively on the white grandiflora 'Mount Shasta'. Out of hundreds of seedlings produced from this cross in 1974, all but one were only white, pink or red. But the one which stood out had a beautiful purple/cream bicolor combination. It also has very healthy and shiny foliage, but it fully opened in a few hours and also faded rapidly in the sun. I registered this rose in 1991 as the hybrid tea 'MANpurple'. There is a beautiful photo of 'MANpurple' at my web site's gallery: <>

It took me 15 years of trial and error to finally get this purple/cream bicolor back into my first miniature rose. A cross of 'Rise 'n' Shine' x 'MANpurple' produced the miniature 'Rubies 'n' Pearls' which I introduced in 1992. From 1992 on I used 'Rubies 'n' Pearls' extensively as a pollen parent, and sometimes as a seed parent. Over 1,000 crosses of 'June Laver' x 'Rubies 'n' Pearls' produced nearly 15, 000 seeds of which approximately 5000 seedlings germinated. This all out effort finally gave me 'Glowing Amber' which I introduced in 1996.

Two years later, in 1998, 'Glowing Amber' produced its first sport, 'Amber Star'. It was discovered by a local rose friend, who noticed an unusual bloom on his ‘Glowing Amber' plant that was all pink when fully open and not the usual red. My friend called it 'Pinky' and I attempted to root cuttings of it. After successfully rooting cuttings, the first blooms finally opened in early December. To the surprise of everyone it was not a pink/cream but a beautiful amber/orange with a golden reverse. My friend and I agreed that the rose would be named 'Brittany's Glowing Star' for use in Canada and that I would have the rights outside of Canada where it is known as 'Amber Star'.

The most recent sport of 'Glowing Amber' is a yellow miniature that I have registered as 'Amber Sun' ('MANsun') There is also a photo of it on my web site. The story of this one is one that well illustrates the frustrations of working with sports.

In September 2000, exactly two years after the discovery of 'Amber Star', I received a call from an English rose friend who told me that he found a sport on 'Glowing Amber' which was pink (again!!). He only took one cutting of it, but he and the Rose firm of C & K Jones had budded several plants each.

We arranged for three budded bare root maiden plants to be sent to me by C & K Jones in early December 2000. I put them into five-gallon pots and forced the budeyes out under my grow lights during the winter. By February, I had my first bloom to take three cuttings from. As it turned out, two of the plants were 'Glowing Amber' and showed no trace of the color I found on the first one. Immediately I suspected correctly that my English rose friend had also taken budeyes from the main stem from where the sport had originated. The third, however, would lead to 'Amber Sun'.

Some really bizarre things then happened with this budded 'Amber Sun' plant. After I had made my first three cuttings a side shoot had an all yellow bloom. Cuttings taken from this one reverted back to 'Glowing Amber'. In the meantime I also had blooms from the first 3 cuttings taken. Two of those also reverted back to 'Glowing Amber' and just one gave me the 'Amber Sun' color. But the next bloom on this same plant came out as 'Glowing Amber'. In the meantime I was hoping that the second generation 'Amber Sun' cuttings would finally give a third generation of true 'Amber Sun; color. Finally, three cuttings taken from a true color plant on April 28 gave me the first true color third generation on June 20. Then a second plant of those three also gave me the true color 3rd generation on June 26.

Now I had hoped that the third of those would also produce the right color. On May 12 another second generation 'Amber Sun' bloom came out which gave me four more cuttings which all took. The first of those May 12 cuttings started to open on June 30, only 48 days after it was started. It too, came out with the 'Amber Sun' color as third generation and I was 90 % sure that I had finally isolated the right color. During the month of July five more of the April 28 and May 12 new cuttings came into bloom and to my disappointment all five reverted back to 'Glowing Amber'! What a setback !!! It is now August 5, 2001 and I am eagerly waiting for the first blooms of my June 20 and 26 cuttings. And if these also revert back to 'Glowing Amber', my only hope is to get budwood of the true-color sport from England, but I have not completely given up yet!

So, after eight months of making cuttings, from cuttings, from cuttings, all I have got out so far is nothing but 'Glowing Amber' plants of which I had more than enough in my yard already. This has been quite an experience. But hopefully, if 'Amber Sun' works out alright we will have a limited number of plants available from Canada in the fall of 2002, and The Mini-Rose Garden may introduce it in 2003.

First published in the Fall 2001 Rose Exhibitor’s Forum, page 14
Robert B. Martin, Jr., Editor


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