Climbing Roses

One of the most romanticized images of Nantucket is the “‘Sconset Rose-Covered Cottage”. The most prevalent rose in Siasconset is ‘American Pillar’. Introduced in 1902 by Van Fleet, it’s stunning when in full bloom, covered in sprays of carmine flowers with white centers. Of course, there are many other climbers available to us in a variety of flower forms and colors. Following is a list of climbing roses that are readily available and their characteristics.

Rose Collage


Rosa ‘New Dawn’

Clusters of Pink buds, opening to large, light pink double blossoms that fade to nearly white. Blooms on new and old wood.  Glossy dark green leaves.  Lightly scented.  Introduced in 1930.  Climbs to 20’ tall.   Good disease resistance.

Rosa ‘Eden’ aka ‘Pierre De Ronsard’

Large rounded, fully double, flowers open with a deep carmine center fading to white at the edge of the blossom.  Free-flowering.  Glossy dark green leaves.  Lightly scented.  Introduced in 1987.  Slowly climbs to 12’ tall.  Good disease resistance.  Shade tolerant.

Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’

Clear white, double blooms appear in clusters on old wood only.  Mild sweet rose scent.  Introduced in 1968.  Climbs to 14’ tall. 

Rosa ‘Zepherine Drouhin’

Pink, frilly, double blossoms with a white eye.  Strong bourbon rose scent.  Re-blooming.  Practically thornless.  Introduced in 1868.  Climbs to 8 to 10’ tall.  Shade tolerant.

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

Buff-colored buds open to large, single white flowers.  Color is distinctively pink in cooler temperatures.    Slight fragrance.  Blooms on new wood.  Free-flowering.  Introduced in 1976.  Climbs to 6 to 12’. 

Rosa ‘American Pillar’

Clusters of pink, single blossoms have a white eye.  Lightly scented.  Blooms only in early summer.  Deep glossy green leaves.  Vigorous rambling habit.  Introduced in 1902.  Climbs to 20’ tall.  Prone to powdery mildew early in the season.

Rosa ‘Blaze Improved’

Clusters of pure red, double flowers.  Lightly scented.  Blooms on new and old wood.  Introduced in 1932.  Climbs to 14’ tall. 

Rosa ‘Golden Showers’

Abundant clusters of single, yellow flowers with frilly petals.  Sweet licorice fragrance.  Blooms on new and old wood.  Introduced in 1956.  Climbs to 14’ tall.