The Perse School

All is rosy in the Biology Department

10 Dec 2015

Last Friday, the Biology Department welcomed Ian Limmer from Peter Beales Roses – the company that bred the Perse Rose especially for the School’s 400th anniversary. Issy in Year 7 has written an account of her form’s fascinating session where the group learned all about the genetics of the rose. We hope you enjoy reading.

“On Friday morning 7T had a very interesting talk about the Perse Rose from a member of the Peter Beales Rose Company. He explained to us the process of making a new rose. First of all you have to decide which breeds of roses you want to cross, and which will be the most suitable for the type they want to produce. When they decide which roses are going to be parents they take the petals off the roses and one rose would have its’ pollen put onto the other rose, which gives a pollen parent and a seed parent. Then they record the roses that were crossed and the date of the cross.

Over several months the seed parent develops hips, which are where the seeds are made and kept. When the hips are ripened they are carefully opened up and the seeds are taken out and placed in a special jar which is labelled for the seeds. The seeds are then sown to germinate in special lines organised by crosses. After they have grown, it is decided which ones are good enough to carry on with the procedure, as only a small number are ‘perfect’.

Over the next couple of years the roses continue to be bred, and more testing takes place to see if they are all perfect. They are often taken to the Chelsea Flower Show to see how much interest they get as new roses. Many people often contact Peter Beales Roses, asking for the rose to be named after them, which can be done for a small fee.”

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