Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has developed a new cultivar grouping of roses called the Canadian Artist Cultivar group (Richer and Davidson, 2004). This new series is similar to the well-known Parkland and Explorer rose Cultivar groups and demonstrates the active participation of the Canadian industry in the development of roses. The first cultivar from this new Cultivar group, ‘Félix Leclerc’, will be available in June 2007 in memory of the Canadian artist, Félix Leclerc, who was also an author, composer, singer, actor, and writer, as well as a defender of Quebec's rights. His monumental body of work, which is known in Canada as well in Europe's French-speaking communities, is tinged with integrity and his love for his country and the French language. Leclerc lived in Île d'Orléans (Quebec) and died on 9 Aug. 1988.
Rosa ‘Félix Leclerc’ was selected based on its plant growth habit, hardiness, disease resistance, flower size, flower color, and length of flowering season. Biological characteristics to distinguish this cultivar from similar rose cultivars are the double pink flowers on a climbing habit. When used as a pollen source, ‘Félix Leclerc’ may result in unique rose types, such as the ‘Quadra’ rose developed by Ogilvie and Arnold (1996).
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