Explorer Roses

galetta@sympatico.ca, (613) 797 6257

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Galetta Rose Nurseries

closed for the

2018 season

rose growing information index

Explorer Roses
Very hardy roses with exceptional flowering habits. All are named after famous (and not so famous!) Canadian explorers. These are the most popular cold-hardy roses in the world.

These roses were originally developed at the Ottawa research station, with new varieties being introduced from the research station in l'Assomption PQ. Both research programs were closed about a decade ago.

Explorer roses need no winter protection. Your tax dollars at work, and worth every penny!

A red * indicates a climbing Explorer rose.

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We grow a wide variety of hardy roses, but not every rose llsted on the site is always in stock.

To check for availability.... roses in stock

We sell plants from the farm location only: we do not ship plants.

Species Latin Description Width Height Zone
Alexander Mackenzie Rosa ‘Alexander Mackenzie’ (1985) This rose is a tall, upright, vigorous shrub. It bears semi-double, medium red flowers which are fragrant and cupped. They bloom in clusters of 6 - 12. The leaves are light green and glossy with the new foliage being reddish in colour. Can be used as a hedge. Highly resistant to blackspot and powdery mildew. 4-5’ 4-5’ 3
Captain Samuel Holland * Rosa ‘Captain Samuel Holland’ (1990) A pillar-type rose, with an arching or trailing habit, which can be trained as a climber. Deep, pink-red, semi-double flowers are produced in clusters and bloom recurrently throughout the summer. Shiny mid-green leaves are resistant to black spot and powdery mildew. Very vigourous. 4-5’ 6’ 3
Champlain Rosa ‘Champlain’ (1982) This bushy, upright shrub rose is popular because it closely resembles a floribunda rose. It bears velvety, deep red, semi-double flowers which bloom continuously from summer through fall. Excellent resistance to blackspot and powdery mildew as well as being unattractive to aphids.
3’ 3’ 4
De Montarville Rosa ‘De Montarville’ Dark red buds open to medium pink and then fade to a mottled pink when fully open. Upright habit. Medium sized flowers bloom repeatedly from June to September. Very hardy with little spring pruning required. 3’ 3’ 3-4
Frontenac Rosa ‘Frontenac’ (1992) Clusters of large, fragrant, deep pink blooms cover this medium, upright shrub in early summer and continues, though less profusely, through to October.
Very winter hardy and highly resistant to black spot and powdery mildew.
Makes a nice, low hedge.
2-3’ 2-3’ 3
George Vancouver Rosa ‘George Vancouver’ (1994) An upright, bushy shrub with deep rose-red buds which open to bright pink, double blooms. A repeat bloomer from late June through September with hundreds of bright red rosehips in the fall. Its compact size makes it ideal for smaller gardens. Good resistance to mildew and blackspot. 2.5-3’ 2.5-3’ 3
Henry Kelsey


Rosa ‘Henry Kelsey’ (1976) A climber with semi-double deep red petals contrasting with golden yellow centers. It is moderately fragrant and a continuous bloomer. Highly resistant to powdery mildew. A very vigourous climber.
Use with John Cabot, another climber from the Explorer series of roses.
6’ 10’ 4
J.P. Connell Rosa ‘J.P. Connell’ (1987) Flower buds are a lemon yellow, opening to a butter-cream white with light yellow centres. These double blooms are highly fragrant and bloom repeatedly on thornless stems. Have patience! Blooms are sparse for the first year or two but flowers will be larger and have a stronger colour once firmly established. Good disease resistance. 3-4’ 2-3’ 3
John Cabot * Rosa ‘John Cabot’ (1978) A climbing rose with strong, arching stems. Its clusters of pinkish-red flowers are moderately fragrant and bloom continuously from summer until frost. When left as a shrub, it will reach a height of about 5-6’. Good resistance to both powdery mildew and black spot. 5-7’ 8-10’ 3
John Davis


Rosa ‘John Davis’ (1986) These bright pink semi-double flowers have a light, spicy fragrance and are displayed in clusters. Blooms profusely from June until frost. A strongly arching shrub shrub which can be trained as a climber or pillar rose. Disease resistant and extremely hardy. 4’ 8-10’ 3
John Franklin Rosa ‘John Franklin’ (1980) Compact, bushy shrub with deep red, semi-double flowers. These cupped and fringed blooms are borne in very large clusters. Blooms non-stop from summer through frost. Disease resistant dark green foliage. 3’ 3-4’ 4
Lambert Closse Rosa ‘Lambert Closse’ (1994) Deep pink buds open into large, double pale pink, ruffled blooms that resemble a hybrid tea rose. These beautiful flowers have a light rose fragrance. Upright, spreading habit. Hardy and disease resistant. 2’ 2’ 4
Louis Jolliet


Rosa ‘Louis Jolliet’ (1990) Fully double, medium pink flowers are produced in clusters and have a light spicy fragrance. The most flowers of any rose in the Explorer Series...and a continuous bloomer to boot! It’s trailing growth habit makes it easy to train as a climber or just leave it as a sprawling shrub. Very hardy and highly disease resistant. 4’ 5’ 3
Marie-Victorin Rosa ‘Marie Victorin’ Deep, peach coloured buds blossom into delicate, medium-sized, peachey-pink flowers. The peach-coloured flowers are very rare in a hardy rose. Marie-Victorin is very hardy and blooms repeatedly throughout the summer. 4’ 3’ 3-4
Nicolas Rosa “Nicolas” (1996) One of the more recent Explorer rose introductions, Nicolas is a compact plant with clusters of medium-red flowers. The individual flowers average 2” in diameter, in clusters from 1 to 3. Nicolas is a repeat bloomer from June through September, with masses of flowers on a small plant. 2’ 2’ 3
Quadra * Rosa ‘Quadra’ (1994) True, rich, deep dark red flowers bloom repeatedly throughout the season though most abundantly in early summer. These stunning flowers are large, doubled and are borne alone or in clusters of up to four. Its spreading growth habit can be trained to climb. Resistant to powdery mildew and blackspot. Slow growing. 4-5’ 5-6’ 4
Royal Edward Rosa ‘Royal Edward’ (1995) This groundcover rose becomes covered with clusters of double, deep pink flowers which fade to a medium pink. Blooms throughout the summer and well into fall. This rose is vigorous and disease resistant. 1.5-2’ 1-1.5’ 3
Charles Albanel Rosa rugosa ‘Charles Albanel’ (1982) A low spreading rugosa hybrid with fragrant, mauve-red, semi-double flowers which develop into orange red rosehips in the fall. Blooms repeatedly from early summer to frost. Makes a stunning groundcover. Foliage turns bright orange and yellow in the fall and is highly resistant to black spot and powdery mildew. 2-3’ 1-2’ 3
David Thompson Rosa rugosa ‘David Thompson’ (1979) This compact rose-bush produces large, fragrant, rose-red flowers and blooms in profuse waves throughout the summer.
This variety is one of the least thorny of the Explorers.
Very hardy and highly resistant to blackspot and mildew.
4’ 3-4’ 3
Henry Hudson Rosa rugosa ‘Henry Hudson’ (1976) A low growing rose whose pinkish-white buds open to double, sparkling white flowers. These very fragrant blooms stand out against deep green foliage. Makes a great groundcover with its dense and spreading growth habit. Blooms profusely and repeatedly until frost. Extremely hardy and disease resistant. 3’ 2’ 3
Jens Munk Rosa rugosa ‘Jens Munk’ (1974) Very fragrant flowers are semi-doubled, medium pink and often marked with a white streak. Blooms abundantly all summer with attractive, bright red rosehips in fall. Makes a dense, colourful, and prickly hedge. Leaves turn yellow-orange in the fall. Very hardy and extremely resistant to blackspot and mildew. 4’ 4’ 3
Martin Frobisher Rosa rugosa ‘Martin Frobisher’ (1968) Lots of sweetly fragrant, soft pink double flowers cover this shrub throughout the summer. The erect stems have reddish-brown bark and the upper parts have no spines. Dense, compact, pillar shaped shrub. Very hardy and highly resistant. Deadhead finished flowers. 4-5’ 5-6’ 3
Simon Fraser Rosa ‘Simon Fraser’ (1992) Glowing, medium pink flowers bloom profusely and non-stop in clusters of 1-4.
Lightly fragrant, single flowers are produced in the first flush, semi-double flowers as the summer progresses. The branches of this low shrub with an upright growth habit, have few thorns. Hardy and good disease resistance.
2’ 2’ 3
William Baffin


Rosa ‘William Baffin’ (1993) These vibrant semi-double, deep pink flowers with showy golden stamens are held in huge clusters on stiff stems. The slightly fragrant flower bloom all summer long. It can be used as a tall hedge or a robust climber. The hardiest of climbers, it can be left unprotected on the trellis throughout winter. Highly disease resistant. 5-6’ 8 - 10’ 3
William Booth


Rosa ‘William Booth’ (1999) The deep red, pointed buds open as single, rose-red blooms with bright golden stamens. The flowers are borne in clusters and have a light fragrance. This bush has a spreading or trailing growth habit which can be easily trained to climb or used instead as a groundcover. 9’ 3’ 4