Rosa ‘Francis E. Lester’

single white old-fashioned rose

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

'Francis E. Lester' is admired on account of its very large trusses of richly perfumed flowers. They open flat, showing off the white petals that are edged with a faint pink tint. Christine Allen, GPP selection committee member and rose expert, describes them as "exceptionally elegant" and seeming "to float above the foliage." The foliage itself is lush - glossy and copper tinted. In summer, you will be able to enjoy the wonderful fragrance of its blossoms from across the garden. Its flowers are also popular with bees and butterflies In autumn it produces round, scarlet hips that last well into January. All ramblers provide good protection, including potential nesting sites, for wild birds.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: best in full sun, but will flower fine in light to open shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: fragrant summer flowers

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: burgundy, gold, bronze

Great Color Partners: rose, lavender, purple

Culture Notes
This vigorous and large rose grows best in rich well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand and clay. The flowering will be best in full sun, but it will still produce a good show in light or open shade. Although it will tolerate a considerable amount of drought, occasional watering during dry weather will keep it looking its best. No pruning is needed to maintain this vigorous grower, but provide ample room for this large shrub to fully develop. It has good disease resistance. Young plants may take three to four years to reach a blooming size.
Geek Notes
'Francis E. Lester' originated at the Lester Rose Gardens in the US in 1946.