How common are sports?

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jakaufmann
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How common are sports?

Post: # 70660Post jakaufmann
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:17 am

Currently, I have about 200 roses in my garden. At my father-in-laws greenhouse, we have a few thousand. He’s been telling me I should pay lots of attention to whether I see a sport happening. I know it happens, but I’m not entirely sure it’s common enough to spend a significant amount of time doing this.

My primary goal is hybridization, so I will spend most of my time caring for and observing my seedlings and such along with planning for the next round of breeding.

I know that sports are random, but some cultivars it is more common. Essentially, my question is what are the odds of actually finding a sport? Is it worth putting significant effort into looking for sports?

Thanks!

jbergeson
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Re: How common are sports?

Post: # 70661Post jbergeson
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:55 am

Just keep an eye out. A flower-color sport will be pretty easy to spot.

I had William Baffin sport to a soft pink. Also Morden Blush sports to white quite often. Other than that I haven't seen any.

So no, it's not worth putting effort into just looking for sports, but if you look at your roses once in a while you'll be scouting automatically.

Karl K
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Re: How common are sports?

Post: # 70662Post Karl K
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:07 am

Some "sports" are reversions. It is worth checking the parentage in such cases. For example, the Polyantha 'White Koster' frequently sports red. It often appears as a red streak, a few red petals or a bloom that is all or mostly red. I once had 'Mothersday' sport a white petal. And once I had 'Margo Koster' sport to a striped form, but the contrast was not strong enough to make it worth preserving. And then there was what appeared to be 'Margo Koster' reverting to 'Dick Koster'.
http://bulbnrose.x10.mx/Roses/Rose_Pict ... tered.html
http://bulbnrose.x10.mx/Roses/Rose_Pict ... rting.html
http://bulbnrose.x10.mx/Roses/Rose_Pict ... oster.html

So, finding sports on the Koster Clan of Polyanthas is a little like shooting fish in a barrel. And I've read that even more can be found/induced by regenerating plants from root cuttings.

Karl

roseseek
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Location: Zone 9b Central California, Sunset Zone 15
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Re: How common are sports?

Post: # 70663Post roseseek
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:01 pm

Once you are familiar with what to expect from your roses, spotting a sport actually requires little time and not a lot more attention than you probably already pay them. ANYTHING which appears out of the ordinary can be a sport. Sometimes it's as insignificant as a lighter colored wedge on a darker petal. Others, it may be a significant reduction (or increase) in prickles, can length, number of petals and a whole lot more possibilities. I never really spent inordinate amounts of time searching for mutations, other than when I shopped large wholesale nurseries which grew hundreds to thousands of the same varieties . Your chances of catching a sport increase quite nicely when you have several thousand canned plants of the same rose to sift through. I think you may be surprised how often you can find them under those conditions. In just a few years, I found nearly a dozen, mostly in HTs and floribundas.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

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