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by eileen0 3rd November 2017, 16:41

Also looking for the HT 'Ophelia'

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Also looking for the HT 'Ophelia'

Post by Admin on 2nd November 2009, 21:23

I'll detail the whole story here because I find it quite interesting and Bruce, Karen, Dave, and David, you need to know this too. I've just thrown away the gigantea graft I did last year because it developed symptoms of RMV. I have another gigantea I bought from Reliable Roses and it seems fine so far. But... this unfortunately raises a few issues...

The gigantea was grafted onto the branch of my nice rugose white multiflora plant... when I received it I didn't have any suitable understocks so I grafted it straight to the plant intending to layer it once it took... knowing full well the risk (looks like it didn't pay off). The gigantea started growing and showed signs of RMV and so now I am assuming my whole multiflora plant has RMV Sad I am quite fond of this plant and now have a dilema.

Last year, before grafting gigantea onto it, I took lots of cuttings from this multiflora bush... they hadn't grown sufficiently to graft the gigantea onto but had been taken some months before I received the cutting material. So I have lots of plants of this variety. Question is... did the gigantea have the RMV before I budded it or did the multiflora give it to the gigantea??? I've budded lots of things onto this white multiflora (I have two big plants of it), and nothing else has shown symptoms of RMV after up to two years of growth. So I am hoping the cuttings I have don't have RMV and it was infact the gigantea that passed the RMV onto the big multiflora plant. I asked on RHA if there were any varieties of rose that display RMV symptoms quickly and easily that could be used like a 'rose canary' to bud onto the cuttings. If they develop RMV then I will have to throw all the cuttings out and dig out the two big plants (one was a cutting of the other) and replace them with seedlings I have growing. If they don't then I can assume they are clear of it because if its around they will show it.

Responses on RHA said that the HT 'Ophelia' and its sport 'Madame Butterfly' have been used in the past because they show symptoms of RMV very easily and quickly (not all roses exhibit symptoms equally.. some can even appear unaffected). Apparently 'Queen Elizabeth' has also been used for this purpose.

So now I am chasing some material of 'Ophelia' to keep as virus free stock from which I can obtain budwood to test my understocks. The good thing about 'Ophelia', I guess, is that if your plant doesn't have any signs of RMV then you can probably assume it doesn't have it because it is so susceptible to it. I'm going to ask if 'Dainty Bess' can be used for the same purpose because it is a first generation descendant of 'Ophelia' so may have some of its susceptibility and I have 'Dainty Bess' growing here already (from Dee Smile ).

Bruce, Dave, David, and Karen... this is the same understock I send you so please do not use it or place it near anything where root grafting may pass on the RMV if it turns out to be present. I will keep you posted as to the results of the testing.

David and Alee... the seeds I sent you are fine because RMV does not get passed on through the seed. These will make perfectly good, RMV-free understocks.


Number of posts : 3739
Location : Mudgee
Registration date : 2008-02-08

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Re: Also looking for the HT 'Ophelia'

Post by Ozeboy on 2nd November 2009, 22:21

Simon, thanks for the timely warning as I have it in a pot still so can toss the lot out, plant, pot and soil.

I was going to test it and was not going to place it near my other stocks.
Actuall I have about 50 mother bushes of the same Multiflora.

The Multiflora was packed with the Longicuspis so will keep that one a long way from other plants.

I have mother plants of Multiflora that are virus free, once I use a cane from these to bud , the tops from these are never used but discarded. The reason is if for some reason the buds had RMV then the stocks are infected also. Imagine cutting the tops off budded stocks to make probably10 new stocks all with RMV . The next year you would have 100 stocks with RMV originating from a single bud two seasons past.
The moral of the story, don't use rootstock tops from previous budding.

Alee once showed a link re budding onto last seasons rootstock where the tops were used again and again. Great recipe for an explosion of RMV.


Number of posts : 1671
Location : Glenorie, Sydney NSW
Registration date : 2008-12-28

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Re: Also looking for the HT 'Ophelia'

Post by Admin on 2nd November 2009, 22:27

They were wrapped separately though Bruce.. so chances are very slim any cross contamination occured... I've asked the question on RHA about 'Dainty Bess' being susceptible like 'Ophelia' and then realised my 'Dainty Bess' was budded onto this multiflora... with no symptoms so far.. so I am hoping this means my understock cuttings, of which yours was one, are clean. I will still test them to make sure though I am beginning to wonder whether it is worth it since I have hundred of multiflora seedlings up at the moment and any one of them would make excellent rootstocks.

On the off-chance longicuspis did get cross-contaminated I have about 30 cuttings in from the top section of this plant that I'll be distributing at a later date.


Number of posts : 3739
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Re: Also looking for the HT 'Ophelia'

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