Yellow Roses for the Canadian Prairies.

Title: Yellow Roses for the Canadian Prairies.

Author: Ronald, Philip

Published in: Prairie Garden 2008 Issue 69, p38, (2008).

Abstract: “The article looks at some rose cultivars that offer blooms in shades of yellow in the Canadian Prairie region. The Morden Sunrise continuously produces semi-double blooms that change from dark orange to creamy yellow with maturity. Hazeldean originated from a cross breeding of Rosa spinosissima and Harrison’s Yellow. The J.P. Connell cultivar produces lemon yellow flowers in cluster of 3 to 8.”

How hardy is Golden Wings? Im looking for real life experience, not text book quotes. I guess Im wondering why it has never been used much in the search for hardy yellows.

It survives unprotected in the Wooster, Ohio OARDC Gardens:

That’s good to hear (uh, see…)! Thank you. Too bad it is a poor seed parent or imagining up winter hardy yellow crosses with it would be easier. I can say that I have been thoroughly unimpressed with J.P. Connell and Modern Sunrise, but I do think Hazeldean and it’s close relations (the other cold hardy yellow briar types) are good ones.

Has anyone ever tried crossing stong yellow minis into cold hardy species? For example, Rosa spinosissima x Baby Love (I can think of many other similar ideas, but the point is obvious).

‘Golden Wings’ also seems to be fully hardy in Chicago, where it gets quite large; in Minnesota, it would lose wood each winter, but usually survives somewhere above the snow line and is a lot hardier than many other shrub roses in that category have been (such as Carefree Sunshine).

I was going to make many such crosses in that group, but life got in the way and I had to leave my roses behind. I bet there are a few breeders who have made, or are planning to make, similar crosses already, though.


Golden Wings is hardy for me here in Saskatoon, it dies back to about a foot every year, but bounces back nicely and blooms from mid summer on. I too was wondering if it was good as a parent, because I’ve seen hips on it every year (although I’m not sure if they’ve ever fully ripened). I do have it near my garage, so it gets some shelter there as well as pretty reliable snowcover (ala shovel).

I like the idea of yellow mini’s with spinossissima and acicularis cultivars, something interesting to try.

Koren in Saskatoon

I made a hybrid using ‘Golden Wings’ pollen last season. I have more this year assuming they live. The pollen has not worked with all seed parents for me. It sets seed fine but most of the seed doesn’t germinate for some reason. I’ll post photos when my hybrid blossoms.

I’ve had some success going back to xanthina, though some prefer Hugonis.

Golden Wings is at the Minnesota Landscape arboretum. Here is a link to some rating I did at the shrub rose garden at the arb for disease (listed first) and cane survival (later in the document). Golden Wings consistently dies back all the way to the mulch without visible cane tissue in that garden. In more protected locations in the Twin Cities it can have more live wood.

J.P. Connell has been a challenging parent probably in part to it being triploid. Morden Sunrise here in typical landscapes has died to the crown barely surviving and blackspot compromizes what does survive. In protected microclimates it does better and if one sprays.




Golden Wings is also a winner here in the warmer climate and sets o.p. hips readily. They do germinate easily in nature, but the rabbits find them tasty and they need protection.

Yeah, my Golden Wings sets hundreds of huge orange ball hips every year (they look awesome during the fall!) but they never germinate under the ground. When Ive done crosses on it, they often come up gigantic and hollow…or never germinate :slight_smile:

Which reminds me, I wanted to try [(Rosa acicularis x R15) x Yellow Brick Road] but YBR became impossible to find after Edmund’s changed route. Ive seen it on the Hortico site, but never in stock during ordering time. I hope it isnt one of those roses that gets lost due to capitalist politics because it is beautiful at Washington Park. At any rate, it would be a good one for adding a good branching habit and R. wich into hardy shrubs.

GREAT resource David! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your work. It benefits us all.

David, I’ve often heard it said that the MN Landscape Arboretum was in a sort of zone 3 pocket in the surrounding zone 4… do you know if anyone ever tried to keep temperature data there over the years, by any chance?

Hi Stefan, That’s a great question. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks, David


I grew up about 4 or 5 miles from the arboretum. I know of one night in 1983 that got down to -40F. Also, it wasn’t unheard of to get to the -30s every few years. So if zone 3 is -30F to -40F, then I guess that area could have been considered zone 3.


In my exposed zone 5 garden (-20 F) with exceptional late freezes, Golden Wings only dies back moderately. It is one of the few parents that I have put a huge effort into as a female, only to get absolutely noting in return. I

This is probably a stupid question, but does ‘Julia Child’ have any survivability in zone 3/4 or colder? What about other recent modern yellow releases?

Jim Sproul

'Baby Love

I’m sure that ‘Julia Child’ would quickly perish in zone 3 … I don’t know of any yellow floribunda types that are truly reliable here, including ‘Morden Sunrise’, which is better suited to zone 4. ‘Golden Wings’ had chugged along for several years until a winter with little snow covering. Definitely a difficult climate for such yellow roses!


I think more attention should be placed on improving the culture for growing existing yellow cultivars in Zone3/4 climates. This means getting them on their own roots and mulching them heavily for winter protection. I have a source for ‘Julia Child’ on its own roots and intend to plant several of them in the Devonian Botanic Garden rose garden this year. This is such an outstanding yellow cultivar that if I can get it to survive and perform relatively well for at least 2- 3 years, then I think it’s worth the effort to grow it.

Baby X R. pendulina sounds like a good cross.

Last year I made a cross of R. blanda X Baby Love-- but I gave the seeds away. Who knows if they survive because so many hips aborted and I didn’t expect any surviving seedlings.