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
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: <www3.telus.net/georgemander>
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
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
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 Exhibitors Forum, page 14
Robert B. Martin, Jr., Editor