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PlantFiles: Hybrid Kordesii Rose
Rosa 'William Baffin'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: William Baffin
Hybridized by Svedja; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1974

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2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:
Deep pink (dp)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly

Trained to climb

Patent Information:

Other Details:
Resistant to black spot
Resistant to mildew
Resistant to rust
Stems are very thorny

Pruning Instructions:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa  by poppysue

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By 33libra
Thumbnail #3 of Rosa  by 33libra

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Thumbnail #6 of Rosa  by linjasar

By northgrass
Thumbnail #7 of Rosa  by northgrass

There are a total of 19 photos.
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8 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Jul 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In September 1998, the Montreal Botanical Garden (Le Jardin Botanique de Montreal) carried out a survey of its roses' resistance to black spot, powdery mildew and rust. This is one of the outstanding varieties which showed a 0% to 5% infection rate. The data were taken on well-established roses.

Arguably the hardiest rose that can be grown as a climber. Can sucker aggressively to form a thorny thicket if grown own-root; better if grafted on multiflora root stock.

I think the color of 'William Baffin' is best described as "hot pink." If you prefer a softer color, 'Blushing Baffin' is a soft pink branch sport of 'William Baffin' that's the same except for the flower color.

Positive lindypuddin On Mar 5, 2012, lindypuddin from stony mountain, MB (Zone 3a) wrote:

i've grown a few of the morden and ottawa explorer roses in
my zone 3a garden. this rose is in a raised planter and yet comes back year after year. it hasn't gotten huge as it does suffer from die back, but with fertilizer it does grow and flower faithfully.

Positive CCPikie On Aug 19, 2011, CCPikie from Elmhurst, IL wrote:

I bought William Baffin at a local nursery after reading through some rose catalogs and researching online. As the ad copy suggests, this is a very hardy and vigorous rose. When my other roses are being defoliated by blackspot this one doesn't have a mark on it. No mildew or rust either. Moreover, this is the most cold hardy rose I've seen. There is no winter dieback at all. I leave it tied to my fence with no protection other than mulch at the base. It's a big rose. I've had mine about three years and it's about twelve feet across. I prune away any new growth which doesn't fit flat against the fence. I wouldn't call it a rebloomer. It flowers in June and continues for about five weeks.

Positive BoPo On Jun 28, 2011, BoPo from Milwaukee, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've not known this one to be a climber as someone here posted. It grows in an upright arching habit - definitely plan on growing it like a tree, but with a support of some type at the time it's initially planted (a backdrop trellis). Blooms are hot pink, not orange.

Mine grows successfully in zone 5b with just a few suckers that I cut back each spring. I have mine growing against a fence with a wrought iron trellis support behind it. It grows large, and would be a nice specimen at the corner of someone's yard due to its overall size and arching habit.

No winter dieback for me. I do cover the crown with a mound of soil in the winter but that's it. Profuse blooms right now, end of June early July, and sporadic blooms thereafter. This one is a stunner, but requires some upkeep in terms of trimming and shaping.

Third year, the rose bush, with the assistance of garden twine to a trellis, grows to about 10 feet in height. Friends have one of these next to their home, and yes, it is LARGE. Make room for this one. Well worth it, minimal winter care, as long as you don't mind pruning for shape and size. Very thorny.

What a beauty.

Positive tgwWhale On Jan 5, 2011, tgwWhale from Casco, WI wrote:

William Baffin: the rosebush that ate New York.

This rose is a beast. It grows like a weed and suckers from the roots. It overwhelms even weeds. I had it growing next to an arbor; it was pulling the arbor over. After a few years the stems get too thick to cut with a lopper without great effort. Two years ago I pruned out about two-thirds of the bush; by the end of summer you couldn't tell I had, and it was overwhelming everything around it again. It seems 100% winter-proof, even here in NE Wisconsin where winter temperatures typically bottom out around 20 or 25 degrees below zero.

It is absolutely covered with pink blooms at the end of June. After that it reblooms regularly on new wood. Fertilizer increases the rebloom, but also its tendency to devour the neighborhood.

If you don't mind the way it eats up its neighborhood, this is a great shrub rose to plant: disease resistant, totally winter-hardy, vigorous grower, very floriferous. I wish it would be fragrant, but it isn't; with hundreds of blooms open at once, it would perfume the whole neighborhood. Other than that flaw, I don't think you can go wrong with this rose; but keep those loppers ready and sharp!

Neutral Redkarnelian On Nov 7, 2006, Redkarnelian from Newmarket, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

Developed by Agriculture Canada (Svejda); Explorer series rose.

Positive davidthomas On Jun 25, 2006, davidthomas from Hinsdale, MA (Zone 4a) wrote:

We have had great luck with this William Baffin. It's first few years we cut it back each spring, but this year we only pruned dead wood and it seems to have loved that. A wonderful pink bloom, we have few or no suckers. It is on the south side of a dark building where it does get some wind when it is from the west. We are in tough zone 4.

Positive linjasar On Jun 17, 2006, linjasar from Upper Saint Clair, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Super hardy rose. It has suckered for me and it is surrounded by stone. Usually two to three suckers a year. It doesn't get much sun and it still blooms in late June and early July. I have not had any rebloom to date.

Positive northgrass On Mar 3, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very hardy with no winter die back here in zone 4b.
It covers itself completely in late June and early July with loads of dark pink blossoms. Although said to repeat, it never has for me. It looks great on a trellis. It has grown to about 8 feet in the 6 years I had it and has not suckered at all for me. I have noticed that some specimens are of lighter pink than mine.

Positive jsandco On Oct 21, 2004, jsandco from West Bend, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Carefree plant. Lots of bloom, lots of dark orange hips. Grows fast, easy to propagate. Be sure to have lots of room for this plant, it gets big quick. Suckers freely. It is supposed to be a climber, but in my experience the cane are too thick and sturdy to train as a climber.

Neutral Paulwhwest On May 14, 2004, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bred in Canada. Won the Classic Shrub Rose award from six different societies from 1999-2001, and the Shrub award from the Monocacy Rose Society in 2000 and from Grosse Pointe Rose Society in 1999.

Parentage: seedling of rosa kordesii


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Jose, California
Bartlett, Illinois
Elmhurst, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Rock Rapids, Iowa
Litchfield, Maine
Danvers, Massachusetts
Hinsdale, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Missoula, Montana
Rye, New Hampshire
Champlain, New York
Jefferson, New York
Ravenna, Ohio
Chiloquin, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
Reading, Pennsylvania
Sarver, Pennsylvania
Linden, Virginia
Casco, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Star Prairie, Wisconsin
West Bend, Wisconsin

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