------------------------- U of MN Extension Service FO-06750
1997

College of Agricultural, Food,
and Environmental Sciences

Selecting Hardy Roses for Northern Climates

Vera Krischik, assistant professor, Entomology
Kathryn Bevacqua*, and Anne Hanchek*


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 1997  Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.



Selecting Hardy Roses for Northern Climates is a listing of roses that survive the winter in northern climates. These roses tend to be vigorous, are relatively disease tolerant, and require little long-term maintenance. Many people broadly refer to these roses as "shrub roses.

This publication includes three rose lists** with information on appropriate names, class, flower color, blooming frequency, size, form, and hardiness zone. This information can be used to guide purchasing.

The first list describes roses that are low maintenance due to their hardiness and disease resistance. The second list identifies roses that may not be entirely hardy, may need some protection (such as a warmer microclimate), and are susceptible to disease and need applications of fungicides. The third list identifies wild roses that can adapt to low-maintenance landscapes. Information is given on where to purchase and view shrub roses, and the bibliography lists books with more information on shrub roses.

The rose lists on the following pages describe cultivars that are commonly available to gardeners. The terminology used in the lists is defined below.


* Formerly University of Minnesota Horticulture or Entomolgy staff.
** Information provided by Kathy Zuzek (University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center) and Sam Brungardt (University of Minnesota Extension Educator).

The slide set CUES for Hardy Roses (SS-6751) may serve as a companion to this publication.



Recommended for Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments                
Agnes H. Rugosa light yellow-
apricot/D
no 5 x 5 dense 3-4 very hardy                
Alexander MacKenzie S. Rose medium red with lighter reverse/D minimal 6 x 5.5 upright 3-4 slightly susceptible to powdery mildew, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
Applejack S. Rose medium pink/SD yes 6 x 9 spreading 4 developed by Dr. Griffith Buck at Iowa State University                
Assiniboine H. Suffulta medium red/SD no 4 x 6.5 dense 2-4 slightly susceptible to powdery mildew, general leaf spots, and rust but holds up well**                
Autumn Damask Damask medium pink/D no 4.5 x 6 dense 4 very fragrant; will sucker; slightly susceptible to black spot fungal disease, powdery mildew, and general leaf spots and rust but holds up well                
Ballerina H. Musk medium pink/S yes 3.5 x 4.5 arching 4 * small blooms in large clusters, good continuous bloom                
Belle Amour Alba light pink/SD no 4.5 x 7 dense 4 * will sucker Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
Belle Poitevine H. Rugosa medium pink/SD minimal 2.5 x 5 bushy 3-4 very fragrant, large orange hips                
Blanc Double de Coubert H. Rugosa white/D yes 5 x 5 bushy 2-4 very white flowers, very fragrant, orange-scarlet fruits                
Bonica Floribunda shell pink /D yes 2.5 x 4 low arching 4 * a hardier Meidiland rose (France)                
Captain Samuel Holland S. Rose medium red/D yes 6 x 4 spread 3-4 small blossoms in clusters, use as a climber**                
Carefree Beauty S. Rose medium pink/D yes 4 x 4 upright spreading 4 developed by Dr. Griffith Buck at Iowa State University                
Carefree Wonder S. Rose pink with white on reverse/D yes 3 x 3 compact 4 bright orange hips, a hardier Meidiland rose (France)                
Champlain Kordesii dark red/D yes 3 x 2.5 low growing 4 very heavy bloomer, slightly susceptible to powdery mildew, from the Canadian Explorer series** Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
Charles Albanel H. Rugosa medium red/D yes 2 x 4 low growing 2-4 use as a ground cover, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
Chuckles Floribunda deep pink/SD yes 2 x 4 spreading 4 * good continuous bloom, very fragrant                
Communis
  Common Moss
  Old Pink Moss
Moss pale rose/D no 7 x 7 dense 4 will sucker                
Country Dancer S. Rose rose pink/D yes 2.5 x 3.5 dense 4 * developed by Dr. Griffith Buck at Iowa State University                
Cuthbert Grant H. Suffulta dark red/D yes 4 x 5 spreading 3-4 hybrid tea form, somewhat susceptible to mildew, black spot, leaf spots, and rust but holds up well**                
Dart,s Dash H. Rugosa purple red/SD yes 3.5 x 4 dense 2-4 large prolific orange hips, powdery mildew at season,s end                
David Thompson H. Rugosa deep pink/D yes 5.5 x 6.5 dense 3-4 blooms continuously, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
Delicata H. Rugosa light pink/SD yes 3 x 4 bushy 3-4                
Flower Carpet S. Rose deep pink/SD yes 2.5 x 3 low spreading 2-4 * sprays of 15-25 flowers grown on own roots                

Frau Dagmar Hartopp

    Fru Dagmar Hastrup

H. Rugosa light pink/S yes 2.5 x 4 dense 3-4 scarlet hips, very hardy, very fragrant Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
Harison,s Yellow H. Foetida dark yellow/SD no 6.5 x 11 dense 3-4 will sucker, very hardy, the "yellow rose of Texas"                
Henri Martin Moss crimson purple/SD no 5 x 10 spreading 4 long bloom period, very fragrant                
Henry Hudson H. Rugosa white/D yes 4.5 x 7 low spreading 2-4 flowers need to be deadheaded, will sucker, very hardy, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
Jens Munk H. Rugosa medium pink/D yes 5 x 5 upright bushy 2-4 flowers need to be deadheaded, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
John Cabot Kordesii deep pink/D yes 6 x 8 long canes 3-4 use as a climber, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
John Davis Kordesii medium pink/D yes 5 x 6 arching 3-4 slightly susceptible to powdery mildew**                
J.P. Connell S. Rose light yellow/D minimal 5.5 x 3.5 spreading 3-4 very hardy, slow to establish, but then growth is excellent, susceptible to black spot fungal disease, but holds up well**                
Hawkeye Belle S. Rose white with pink blush/D yes 3.5 x 3 upright 4 very fragrant, lasts a long time when cut, developed by Dr. Buck                
Königin von Dänemark Alba medium pink/D no 3 x 2.5 open 4 * large scarlet hips, very fragrant                
L.D. Braithwaite S. Rose crimson red/D yes 5 x 5 bushy 4 good continuous bloom, a David Austin rose                
Lillian Gibson H. Blanda medium pink/D no 9 x 11 arching 4 very fragrant Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
Madame Hardy Damask white/D no 4.5 x 6 dense 4 very fragrant, will sucker, somewhat susceptible to general leaf spots                
Morden Blush S. Rose light pink/D yes 2.5 x 2.5 low growing 3-4 although susceptible to black spot fungal disease, it is better than most other Morden roses at tolerating disease**                
Morden Centennial S. Rose medium pink/D yes 5.5 x 4.5 dense 3-4 although susceptible to black spot fungal disease, it is better than most other Morden roses at tolerating disease**                
Mrs. John Laing H. Perpetual medium pink/D yes 4 x 5 open 4 * slightly susceptible to black spot, powdery mildew, and general leaf spots but holds up well                
Nearly Wild Floribunda medium pink/S yes 3 x 5 bushy 4 good continuous bloom                
Nuits de Young Moss red purple/D no 6 x 6.5 dense 4 will sucker                
Prairie Princess S. Rose pink/SD yes 5.5 x 6.5 open 4 * developed by Dr. Buck                
Sarah Van Fleet H. Rugosa medium pink/SD yes 6 x 4 upright 4 * foliage not rugose                
Sir Thomas Lipton H. Rugosa white/D yes 5 x 6 arching 3-4 Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
Stanwell Perpetual H. Spinosissima blush pink/D yes 3 x 3 low growing 3-4 very fragrant, will sucker                
Summer Wind S. Rose orange pink/SD yes 3 x 3 dense 4 * developed by Dr. Buck                

Superb Tuscan

    Superb Tuscany
    Tuscany Superb

Gallica crimson to deep purple/SD no 4 x 6.5 dense 4 will sucker                
The Fairy Polyantha light pink/D yes 1.5 x 2.5 compact spreading 4 1-inch flowers in clusters, can be used as a ground cover                
Topaz Jewel H. Rugosa medium yellow/D yes 4 x 6 upright spreading 4                
William Baffin Kordesii deep pink/D yes 7.5 x 10 long canes 2-4 may be used as a climber, very hardy, from the Canadian Explorer series**                
William Lobb Moss crimson purple/SD no 6 x 8 spreading 4 * very fragrant                

York and Lancaster

    R. damascena versicolor

Damask blush white
to pink, one color or mixed/D
no 6 x 8 spreading 4                

R. hugonis

    Father Hugo,s Rose

Species medium yellow/S no 6 x 10 spreading 4 black hips Cultivar Class Flower
Color/Type
Repeat
Bloom
Size
(feet)
Habit Hardiness
Zones
Comments
R. primula Species light yellow/S no 11 x 14 arching 4 very hardy                
R. rugosa Species pink to red/S yes 4 x 6 bushy 2-4 very fragrant, red hips                
R. rugosa alba Species white/S yes 4 x 6 bushy 2-4 very fragrant, red orange hips                
R. rugosa albo-plena Species white/D yes 4 x 6.5 bushy 2-4 very fragrant                
R. rugosa rubra Species crimson purple/S yes 4 x 6 bushy 2-4 very fragrant, red hips                
R. setigera Species pink/S no 5.5 x 13 arching 4 small brownish green hips, native to North America                
Class: S = Shrub H = Hybrid Size: Height x Width
Type: S = Single SD = Semidouble D = Double  
* Plant routinely dies back ** Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Not Recommended for Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Cultivar Class Flower Color/Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments                
Adelaide Hoodless S. Rose medium red/SD yes 5.5 x 6.5 Spreading 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease**                
Alba Meidiland S. Rose white/D yes 3 x 4 spreading 5 hardiness varies depending on site (may die outcompletely), grown on own roots, Meidiland roses from France                
Pink Meidiland S. Rose pink blend/S yes 4 x 3 bushy 5 same                
Red Meidiland S. Rose red blend/S yes 3 x 4 spreading 5 same                
Scarlet Meidiland S. Rose medium yes 3 x 5 spreading 5 same                
Constance Spry S. Rose light pink/D no 5 x 5 bushy 4-5 * very few blooms in Minnesota because flowers are produced only on old wood, which dies back; a David Austin rose                
Dortmund Kordesii medium red/S yes 4 x 11 long canes 5 dies back to the crown without protection, very healthy, glossy foliage                
Eutin Floribunda dark red/D yes 3 x 3.5 open 4 * susceptible to black spot fungal disease; good continuous bloom Cultivar Class Flower Color/Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments
Grootendorst Supreme H. Rugosa dark red/D yes 4 x 5.5 bushy 3-4 no fragrance                
F.J. Grootendorst H. Rugosa medium red/D yes 4 x 5.5 bushy 4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
Frühlingsgold H. Spinosissima light yellow/SD no 8 x 11 arching 5 susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
Golden Wings S. Rose light yellow/S yes 5 x 4.5 dense 4 * susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
Hansa H. Rugosa red violet/D yes 4 x 5.5 bushy 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, red hips                
Henry Kelsey Kordesii medium red/D yes 4.5 x 10 long canes 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, may be used as a climber**                
John Franklin S. Rose medium red/D yes 3 x 4 upright 4 flower petals are malformed; slightly susceptible to black spot fungal disease, leaf spots, and rust**                
Martin Frobisher H. Rugosa light pink/D yes 5 x 6 upright 2-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease**                
Morden Amorette S. Rose deep pink/D yes 4 x 5 spreading 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease**                
Morden Cardinette S. Rose medium red/D yes 2.5 x 1 open 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease**                
Morden Fireglow S. Rose orange red/D yes 3 x 3 low bushy 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease** Cultivar Class Flower Color/Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments
Morden Ruby S. Rose pink blend/D yes 3.5 x 5 spreading 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease**                
Othello S. Rose crimson/D yes 6 x 5 upright 5 many other David Austin cultivars are available, almost all are borderline hardy in Zone 4; very fragrant                
Graham Thomas S. Rose dark yellow/D yes 8 x 5 upright 5 same                
Winchester Cathedral S. Rose white/D yes 5 x 5 bushy 5 same                
Heritage S. Rose light pink/D yes 4 x 4 bushy 5 same                
Abraham Darby S. Rose apricot yellow/D yes 4 x 3 upright 5 same                
Mary Rose S. Rose pink/D yes 4 x 4 bushy 5 same                
Pink Grootendorst H. Rugosa medium pink/D yes 3 x 4.5 dense 3-4 no fragrance                
Prairie Dawn S. Rose medium pink/D yes 8 x 10 upright 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
Reine des Violettes H. Perpetual violet red/D minimal 3 x 3 open 4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, very fragrant                
Rosa Mundi, Gallica versicolor Gallica striped white, pink, red/SD no 3.5 x 4 bushy upright 4 susceptible to powdery mildew, will sucker Cultivar Class Flower Color\Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments
Simplicity Floribunda medium pink/SD yes 4.5 x 3.5 upright 5 although grown on own roots, not root hardy in Minnesota (Jackson and Perkins series)                
Red Simplicity Floribunda red/SD yes 4.5 x 3.5 upright 5 same                
White Simplicity Floribunda white/SD yes 4.5 x 3.5 upright 5 same                
Thérèse Bugnet H. Rugosa medium pink/D yes 5 x 5.5 open 2-4 susceptible to powdery mildew, rust, and general leaf spots; will sucker; very hardy                
R. canina Species light pink/S no 4.5 x 6.5 arching 4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, scarlet hips                
R. foetida bicolor, Austrian Copper Species orange w/ yellow reverse/S no 5 x 4.5 upright 3-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
R. foetida persiana, Persian Yellow Species medium yellow/D no 6 x 4 upright 4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease                
R. multiflora Species white/S no 4.5 x 12 arching 4 * very few blooms because flowers are produced only on old wood, which dies back; 3/4" flowers in clusters; small red hips Cultivar Class Flower Color\Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments
R. woodsii Species medium pink/S no 5.5 x 6 spreading 4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, slightly susceptible to powdery mildew and general leaf spots, native to Minnesota                
Class: S = Shrub H = Hybrid Size: Height x Width
Type: S = Single SD = Semidouble D = Double  
* Plant routinely dies back ** Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Native Roses for Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Cultivar Class Flower Color/Type Repeat Bloom Size (feet) Habit Hardiness Zones Comments

R. acicularis

    Prickly Rose

Species deep pink/S no 6 x 5 spreading 2-4 rare in the trade

R. arkansana

    Prairie Wild Rose

Species medium pink/S minimal 2.5 x 3.5 spreading 2-4 rare in the trade, small bright red hips

R. blanda

    Meadow Rose, Smooth Wild Rose

Species medium pink/S no 6 x 7 arching 2-4 small red hips

R. carolina

    Pasture Rose
    Carolina Rose

Species medium pink/S no 3 x 3 dense 4 red hips, will sucker

R. setigera

    Climbing Rose
    Prairie Rose

Species pink/S no 5.5 x 13 arching 4 small brownish-green hips

R. woodsii

    Wood,s Rose

Species medium pink/S no 5.5 x 6 spreading 2-4 susceptible to black spot fungal disease, slightly susceptible to powdery mildew and general leaf spots, red hips
Class: S = Shrub H = Hybrid Size: Height x Width
Type: S = Single SD = Semidouble D = Double  
* Plant routinely dies back ** Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada



Catalogue Sources for Shrub Roses

Many local nurseries and garden centers carry shrub roses. If you are looking for a particular cultivar, check the Andersen Horticultural Library,s Source List of Plants and Seeds, 4th edition (from the 1993-1996 catalogues), at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum,s Anderson Horticultural Library, in Chanhassen, Minn. Another source is the Combined Rose List ($18.00) from Peter Schneider, Box 677, Mantua, OH 44255.

Mail order sources for shrub roses



Public Rose Gardens


Many rose clubs give tours of rose gardens. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area rose clubs include the American Rose Society (North Central District chapter), Minnesota Rose Society, North Star Rose Society, and Twin Cities Rose Club. Others include the Mankato Rose Society, Granite City Rose Society (St. Cloud), and Winona Rose Society.



Bibliography



The following book supplements this publication and can be ordered from MES Distribution Center, University of Minnesota, 1420 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108-6069 (612-624-4900 or 800-876-8636).

Roses for the North: Performance of Shrub and Old Garden Roses at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (MR-6594) by Kathy Zuzek, Marcia Richards, Steve McNamara, and Harold Pellett. An excellent source for information about bloom characteristics, hardiness, disease resistance, and insect problems of approximately 200 hardy roses. The Minnesota Extension Service publication, Rose Diseases (FS-1163) is included in Appendix B.



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