The rose called John Cabot was bred in Canada to withstand extreme winters, making it perfect for northern Michigan. The first climbing rose of the Explorer series, it was released in 1978 and was named after an Italian born Englishman named John Cabot who in 1497 sailed west from Bristol, England to find a new trade route to the Orient. Cabot explored the coast of North America from Baffin Island to Maryland and his voyages gave England a claim to eastern North America including Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, and neighboring regions.
This rose can be used as a climber although the strong arching canes of 8' or longer are quite stiff and thorny (making it a bit of a challenge to train,) or it can be grown as a large, free-standing shrub. An impressive flush of blooms in June and July is followed by sporadic rebloom in August and September. It has good resistance to blackspot and powdery mildew. Some think that the individual flowers are not very fragrant, but when John Cabot is in full bloom there is definitely a pleasing sweet aroma that wafts through the garden. A medium red color, the flowers average 40 petals and the plant will set hips if spent blooms are not removed.
Generally hardy in zone 3, John Cabot originated from a cross of R. kordesii, and a hardy seedling originating from Masquerade and R. laxa.