Domestic roses on wild rootstock?

Our house has a very nice row of pink roses that runs along the length of our terrasse. They came with the house and my guess is that they are maybe 30 years old.

We first noticed two years ago that one of the roses had stems that were growing taller than the rest and leaves that were slightly wider and lighter color green. But this week is the first time that the plant in question bloomed with flat white flowers, and it is pretty clear now that the plant is a wild dog rose.

I am trying to figure out where the dog rose came from. We live in a small village but are not close to any wild meadows. It seems the most likely explanation is that the dog rose was the original root stock onto which the pink domestic rose was grafted. But is that how rose grafting works? Are ornamental roses grafted onto wild root stock? I googled this a bit and couldn’t find much.

Yeah, the rootstock varieties for roses are often quite similar to wild rose species - not always actual wild species, but they are selected for things like growth habit, disease resistance and physical durability and not selected for bloom features, lack of thorns, etc. So they often look a lot like their wild type.

Aren’t most of the fancy rose varieties you buy grafted onto plain(?) rose stems? I have trouble imagining a rose variety reproducing faithfully (and how would you tell, other than growing it out to see what blooms?)

That’s right - named varieties of garden roses generally cannot be reproduced by seed - they are propagated by grafting onto a rootstock. The rootstock plant often determines the shape and vigour of the whole plant, but sometimes the rootstock tries to produce ‘sucker’ shoots of its own, arising from below the graft union - these are normally removed (I think by pulling them off - as cutting them supposedly provokes the production of more suckers).

There’s a new one every minute.

I don’t know roses, but roses are related to apples, and that’s the way apples are usually grown.

I always thought that apple trees were the most common graft for tree roses.

I don’t think roses and apples can be united by grafting. They are related, but not all that closely.

Rose varieties are grafted on briar rose rootstocks or other rootstock varieties that are also roses.

Good example of an old gardener’s tale just being passed around for decades. I have examined the base of a few tree roses and saw no similarity to any apple trees I may have had.

I recall a discussion about trees particularly temperate nut trees like walnuts and acorns but also fruit trees like apples. The life cycle to grow a new plant, and the inability to isolate from wild varieties pollen is too difficult to breed true varieties. So these trees are not domesticated in the true sense. Thus most varieties of something like apples are the result of grafts. I recall reading that one variety (Golden Delicious apples?) was the result of a single branch mutating and producing the variety, and the entire industry of those apples is due to grafts.

Grapes were hit by a pest, Phylloxera, which devastated vinyards. The olny solution was to graft desired grape varieties onto North American grape vine roots and stems.

I keep meaning to dig up my rose bushes and replace them, as I think the annual regrowth is the root stock, not the actual varieties. One of these days…

There’s a specific rootstock variety of rose called Dr Huey that is commonly used in North America that is actually a really pretty rose (and as a result, ends up often being left alone when it produces suckers)

This brings up an interesting point - graft compatibility between species is dependent on biolochemical factors as well as anatomical - it is sometimes possible for plants from different genera in the same family to be grafted - Pear (Pyrus) onto quince(Cydonia) is common, and it works because both of those genera are in the same family (the rose family - Rosaceae), but it also works only because of anatomical factors such as the alignment of cambium layers and the vascular pressures inside the plant.

Roses and apples are also in the same family, but It’s probably mostly anatomical incompatibility that prevents roses from being grafted onto apple - the young growth of rose plants is typically soft, pithy and highly vascular throughout - the young growth of apples is twiggy with a very well defined ‘bark’ layer and ‘wood’ core.

Thanks, so that would confirm my hypothesis. It definitely looks like a wildtype plant, but I am not much of an expert on wild roses (now, if you want to talk about wild orchids, let me know :smile: )

I agree, that Dr Huey has a fantastic color