Suggestions for a winter hardy mother.

The Canadian Explorers, William Baffin and John Davis, are good winter hardy, repeat blooming “fathers” (pollen donars). Does anyone have a recommendation for a repeat blooming rose that can serve as a good mother that has the winter hardiness of the 2 above roses?

By serving as a “good” mother I mean that it forms more than just a few seeds per hip (William Baffin does that). The reason that I add “repeat blooming” is that I have a lot of semi-hardy, repeat blooming shrub roses that start blooming in late June (after the early hardy once bloomers). By “hardy” I mean something hardier than, say, the German Kordesii type (which I consider only semi-hardy).

You don’t want much, do you? :slight_smile:

I have had William Baffin here in Charleston, West Virginia for at least 10 years, and it is repeating (sort of) for the first time this year. These flowers are on three new canes from old wood, so it’s not true recurrence, just the sort of remontance which is caused by late growth of a few canes.

I’ve not grown John Davis, but I’ve heard that it too is mostly once-blooming.

Have you looked at some of the later Morden Parkland roses?

I’ll be watching to see what answers you get.


My impression is that the Morden Parkland roses are not in the same league as the Explorers as far as winter hardiness is concerned.

I have found that ‘Adelaide Hoodless’ sets large hips (not quite sure how many seeds in each individual hip yet though) and is repeat blooming and healthy. I recieved this rose instead of ‘Adelaide d’orleans’ by accident. I’m impressed by the “footprint” of the canes (almost 10" around). I’m going to play a little with her in the future.

Hi Henry,

I have had the same problem with Explorers.

William Booth sets a lot of hips with many seeds per hip. I am not sure about germination, but it cannot be worse than William Baffin or John Cabot. It might be worth a shot.


You may also want to try R. Kordesii. It certainly has a proven record of passing on hardiness and disease resistance.

Hi Henry,

You might want to consider Prairie Celebration. Although it is not nearly as hardy as William Baffin or John Davis, it did survive its first northern Wisconsin winter. Dieback was fairly severe here (about 8-10 inches of live wood), but it has rebounded nicely and I suspect that it would be much hardier in Ohio. It is both a good pollen parent and a very receptive female with 8-15 seeds/hip. It has good re-bloom. It has also been quite disease resistant in the two summers I have grown it and I am seeing that disease resistance showing up in some of the seedlings–not such a surprise with L83 as one of the parents of Prairie Celebration. I have to admit that I had hoped for better winter hardiness–I crossed some tender roses to it because I expected it to be pretty tough with respect to winter. I doubt that many of the seedlings with tender parents will survive here, but I also have crosses with hardier parents that may improve the winter hardiness over Prairie Celebration while retaining female fertility.

I purchased Emily Carr (Canadian Artist Series) this spring and the plant has displayed very robust growth. The plant is still untested with respect to winter hardiness and disease resistance(not much black spot pressure yet), but it is setting nice-sized hips with many of the crosses I performed. I do seem to recall David Zlesak saying that disease resistance on Emily Carr was not nearly as good as that of Prairie Celebration. Anyway, these are a couple of the newer Canadian roses that may be useful as female parents. I will always be a big advocate for Prairie Joy as a parent–both ways.


I’ve worked r. kordesii a few times as a hip parent… it makes considerably lots of seeds per hip. (I don’t know the exact numbers, but lots.) I remember my seedling of R.kordesii X Basye’s Amphidiploid, I had over 35 seedlings… that that came from 5 hips. For me, that’s a lot.

I’ve sowed OP seeds from Harrison’s Yellow… it also makes lots of seeds, but not as much as kordesii.

Kordesii is an easy parent. You have to wade through the non-repeaters a bit but it’s very rewarding to work with. Seedlings have good vigor.

I got so many seedling the one season I used kordesii that I gave my original specimen to Mike Fitts.

I’ve got plenty of offspring to carry forward now.


Do you have L-83?

Paul, no I do not have L-83; I do have the seedlings of it that you sent.

My intention in this thread was to find a hardier mother than a kordesii to cross with pollen of less hardy roses. For example, William Baffin is much more hardy than other kordesii based roses that I am familar with (the mother was kordesii). I assume that it gets its extreme hardiness from the Suzanne part of the pollen parent (Red Dawn X Suzanne).

In the past, I have germinated a number of open pollinated William Baffin seeds hopeing to find a more fertile self seedling. I have not been successful so far.

If you go to my seedling number page pollen diameters, highest first - Google Sheets

and use your find command with the key words “William Baffin” , you will see all of the William Baffin seedlings that I have kept.

As can be seen, I have used a number of relatively hardy “mates” with William Baffin; but so far none of these seem to have gotten away from the limited fertility of William Baffin.


A hardy(zone 4 at least) repeat blooming rose is the Holy Grail for us northerners. Other than the Explorers, I haven’t found any yet and the Explorers aren’t that reliable at repeat blooming. William Baffin only blooms once for me. John Cabot usually has a second flush in the fall, but it’s not quite as hardy as WB. And like you say neither are not good mothers.

Henry, you have made numerous crosses with the Explorer roses. Are any of those seedlings good mothers? How are they for hardiness?

I have several seedlings of Chuckles x William Baffin that look promising. They have better repeat and are healthier than William Baffin and it’s OP seedlings. They probably won’t be as hardy as WB though, but I’m hoping they’re hardier than Chuckles, which is probably the hardiest Floribunda. The idea is to cross the siblings to get back the hardiness of WB. Hopefully they’ll be good mothers as well.

I think that we have to create are own hardy remountant mothers, since there are so few of them out there.

Paul Geurts - regarding how hardy my William Baffin crosses are - unfortunately, for a number of years now, we seem to be suffering from “global warming” so most everything appears hardy here in zone 5, northeast Ohio.

Regarding whether any are good mothers; you must of missed my statement. “As can be seen, I have used a number of relatively hardy “mates” with William Baffin; but so far none of these seem to have gotten away from the limited fertility of William Baffin.”


Sorry Henry,

Sometimes I read too fast and I miss things. I start thinking of a reply before I’ve finished reading.

That’s kind of discouraging to hear though. I was hoping, like you, to skirt that issue by crossing WB with a good mother.

The only Explorer I have any luck as a mother is Champlain and that is only hardy to the snow line here. This year I crossed it with John Cabot and R.arkansana OP. I also crossed Carefree Beauty with John Cabot. We’ll see how those seedlings do.


I will try to get you a piece of L-83. It was regarded by Dr. Svejda as being very reliable in passing on exceptional Winter Hardiness.



I just thought of something. Last year David gave me two OP seedlings of his John Davis OP. David thinks that John Davis OP must be a cross of John Davis x R.laxa becuase it looks very much like R.laxa except with larger flowers. Both of my seedlings came thru last winter unscathed and it was the coldest winter here in ten years(-26f). They did have some repeat this summer and they’ll probably have better repeat as they mature.

I used both of them this year as seed parents. With the larger of the two, all of the attempts took with about 11 seeds per hip. With the other one about half the attempts took with about 7 seed per hip. I used different pollen parents with each of them. We’ll see how well the seeds germinate this winter.

Since, I was going to eliminate the smaller of the two because I don’t need two plants, you can have it if you want it.

Paul Gerts, yes I would be interested in (John Davis OP)OP. Thank you.

Paul Barden, yes I would be interested in L-83. Thank you.


Suzanne is in background of several Bucks, mostly as pollen parent thru Morning Stars X Suzanne.

Is Suzanne also female fertile?

I have an open pollinated seedling of Suzanne which is female fertile with diploid pollen. See (use your search command):

Unfortunately, none of these crosses have yet flowered (except one which I apparently missed when it flowered this spring).


I used kordesii successfully both for seed and pollen last year.

Does anyone know the hardiness rating for kordesii. HMF lists it only to zone 6 which seems unlikely.

Thanks, Robert