Types of Roses
These very brief definitions were first put in place privately, to help me become a better gardener and organize the deluge of terminology that I would come across while shopping for roses–but then I thought it might be nice to share this information so that others could get some use out of it, as well. Please understand that while I am enthusiastic about roses, I’m not an expert on the subject so if I make any mistakes here I apologize. I also can’t help but share my own opinions. I hope you’ll forgive me for that, too.
PS: Please bear with me while I update the photos this summer.
3 Main Groups:
Roses are divided into 3 main groups: Species (wild) roses & their hybrids, Old Garden roses and Modern roses. Species roses are typically large climbing or shrub-like roses with single, flat flowers blooming in late spring or early summer followed by hips (seeds) in autumn. They are the parents of the modern roses we have today. Old Garden Roses include the following classes: Alba, Ayrshire, Bourbon, Boursault, Centifolia, China, Damask, Gallica, Hybrid Perpetual, Moss, Noisette, Portland, Ramblers and Tea. Modern Roses are a broad mix which include the following types: Climbing, Floribunda, Grandiflora, Hybrid Musk, Hybrid Rugosa, Hybrid Tea, Landscape (including Groundcover) or Shrub, Miniature, Mini-flora and Polyantha. The American Rose Society currently recognizes 37 classes of roses.
ALBA: An Old Garden Rose. Perhaps this rose may even have been in existence as far back as the 1st century!! Albas are most likely a cross of Rosa canina and Rosa damascena. Albas have light pink to white fragrant blossoms on an upright shrub with blue-grey-green foliage. Albas can tolerate shadier conditions are cold-hardy. They are once-blooming late spring/early summer.
R. alba semi-plena an Alba rose
AUSTIN: David Austin, the English rose breeder, introduced his first creation, ‘Constance Spry’ in 1960 and since then has developed an enormous collection of modern roses with the look and scent of old European varieties and the added benefit of repeat bloom. David Austin’s roses are often referred to as “English Roses,” however, I prefer to stick to calling them “Austin Roses” as there are many other hybridizers who also hail from England. The collection is so large that it has been separated into subgroups: English Alba Hybrids, English Musk Hybrids, Leander, and Old Rose Hybrids. I’ve dabbled in growing many a David Austin rose, but, sadly, had to leave so many behind in former gardens. I think his roses are some of the most rewarding (and sometimes challenging) to grow and I hope to add more as we cultivate our newest rose garden.
‘Strawberry Hill’ A David Austin English Rose
AYRSHIRE: An Old Garden Rose. Probably originated from the wild species rose, the white Rosa arvensis however there are some arguments that the original Ayrshire was raised in Scotland from an unidentified seed. A cold-hardy, vigorous rose (no doubt due to it’s parentage), Ayrshires can reach heights of 20-30 feet and covered with thousands of blossoms. Once blooming late spring/early summer.
BANKSIAE: Rosa banksiae, also referred to as ‘Lady Banks’ a native of China, is a species rose noted for being practically thornless and bearing clusters of small, violet-scented flowers on a massive, spreading shrub. There are four forms of Rosa banksiae, with two single-petaled types and 2 double (pom-pom like) petaled types. The double flowered types are said to be sports of the single. All Banksian roses need A LOT of room to grow and prefer warmer conditions (such as against a south-facing masonry wall.) I wish I had the room for this rose because I am completely in love with Rosa banksia lutea, with it’s ferny foliage and butter-yellow blossoms. Banksian roses bloom once on previous year’s growth.
BOURBON: An Old Garden Rose. Named for La Réunion island (formerly known as Île Bourbon) in the Indian ocean, these roses are probably a cross from a China and Damask which were growing on the island. Bourbon roses are fragrant, full and cupped in shades of light pinks to deep pinkish-reds. The canes are usually long and arching which was probably inherited from their Damask heritage (although some Bourbons are shrubby) and make good candidates for pegging or training as a climber. From their China heritage, Bourbons will often exhibit repeat-bloom. In my experience, Bourbon roses are susceptible to fungal disease such as blackspot and mildew.
‘Reine Victoria’ A Bourbon Rose
BOURSAULT: An Old Garden rose. Climbing, with arching semi-smooth canes and flushes of bloom in early summer. Boursault roses are probably descended from Rosa pendulina and Rosa chinensis and are characterized as having fragrant purplish-red blossoms.
BUCK: As in Dr. Griffith Buck, the hybridizer who made it his mission to create roses that could survive a harsh northern winter without any fuss or muss. The modern shrub rose ‘Carefree Beauty’ is by far his most successful rose to date. It is also an “Earth Kind™” rose (see below.)
‘Carefree Beauty’ a Buck and Earth Kind™ rose
CENTIFOLIA: An Old Garden Rose. Like the name describes, Centifolia roses are packed with petals, 100 or more, and are often known as the “cabbage rose” because of it’s full, rounded, lush blossom shape. Centifolia roses were bred by Dutch hybridizers in the 17th-19th century and were the subject of Dutch and Flemish flower painters of the 18th and 19th centuries including Redouté. Centifolia blossoms are fragrant and appear in shades of white to pink. Cold-hardy but disliking hot, humid growing conditions, this rose can get quite large and may need support. (The blossoms are understandably heavy and may droop on the stems.) The Centifolia origin is fuzzy but probably derived from crosses between Rosa gallica, Rosa moschata, Rosa canina and Rosa damascena, but no one is certain. Centifolia roses bloom once, in early summer, and are used in the fragrance industry. In particular they are grown in the Grasse region of France, the perfume capital of the world.
“Fantin-Latour” a Centifolia rose
CHINA: An Old Garden Rose. China roses caused quite a sensation to the rose world when introduced to the west in the late 18th century. Until then, the autumn repeat-blooming Damasks were the only roses known to have a second flush of blooms. China roses offered many new exciting variances to the rose gene-pool including: reliable repeat-bloom (In fact, China roses were sometimes referred to as “Monthly Roses” for this trait), new scents and color changes (such as a deepening of color as the rose matures and shades of yellow and dark red which were not yet present in European roses.) The blossoms, which are high/centered and unfurl when opening are the predecessors of today’s modern roses. China roses are a complex group of cultivated and natural crosses. They are smaller in stature, graceful and slender. Of all the China roses, ‘Mutabilis’ , an Earth Kind™ rose, is probably one of the most popular.
CLIMBING: Roses don’t officially “climb” as they do not grasp or wind any tendrils or leaves. However, they may throw out very long canes which can be trained along a support. Climbing roses can include: Modern Large-Flowered, Pillar, Ramblers, Noisettes, Old Garden Roses, Ayrshires, Hybrid Moyesii, Hybrid Sempervirens and Hybrid Tea roses. Climbing roses are good candidates for “pegging,” that is anchoring part of the long cane to the ground thereby increasing flowering along the length of the cane and possible rooting it to create an additional plant.
‘Blaze’ A Modern Climbing Rose
DAMASK: An Old Garden Rose. The original Damask probably originated in Syria or thereabouts and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. Damasks have uncertain parentage but are like descendants of a Gallica rose and a species rose. Damask roses are white to shades of deep pink and are typically once-blooming. Winter hardy, they can have tall, arching, thorny canes, with strongly scented blossoms. The oil of ‘Rosa damascena’ is utilized in the perfume industry.
‘Madame Hardy’ A Damask Rose
DELBARD: A recent collection of highly perfumed shrubs and climbers from Delbard of France.
DRIFT: Landscape roses marketed through Conard Pyle (various hybridizers) and are a cross between groundcover and miniature roses. Touted as being disease/pest resistant and winter hardy with consistent bloom.
EARTH KIND®: Earth Kind is a registered trademark associated with rose cultivars that were field tested by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. To receive the status of being an Earth Kind rose, they must demonstrate superior performance without chemical or physical interventions such as: drought and poor soil tolerance and pest and disease resistance.
‘Flower Carpet®’ an Earth Kind® rose
EGLANTERIA/EGLANTINE: ‘Sweet Briar’ rose, a species, famed in the famous poem by Shakespeare in “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” The hybrids of Rosa eglanteria have mostly single-petaled blossoms with foliage scented strongly of fresh, green apples. This rose is once-blooming producing bright red hips in autumn.
ENGLISH: See “Austin”
‘Heritage’ A David Austin “English Rose”
ENGLISH LEGEND®: See “Harkness”
EXPLORER: Roses bred by Canada’s Agriculture-Agrafood Department for rugged durability in cold-winer climates. They mainly possess the Rosa kordesii bloodlines. A good example of an Explorer rose is ‘William Baffin’.
‘William Baffin’ An Explorer Rose
EURODESERT: Actually not a type of rose, but a company that has since closed it’s doors. Eurodesert’s inventory consisted of roses, many of them Hybrid Perpetuals, that were imported from Europe that could withstand the southern California high desert where the nursery was located, hence the name. When Eurodesert Roses closed shop, hundreds of varieties were sent to Vintage Gardens. I’ve included Eurodesert roses here in this list simply because it can be confusing when you read a site saying they have “Eurodesert roses for sale.” “What’s that?!” you might ask. Well, now ya know!
FLORIBUNDA: This is a modern rose, a cross between a hybrid tea and a polyantha, with each stem producing clusters of large blossoms. The term “Floribunda” was coined by a hybridizer for Jackson & Perkins, Dr. J.N. Nicolas. Floribundas have the upright, loose habit and shape of a hybrid tea, not the lax, dense, sprawling habit of a polyantha. They come in a wide range of colors. The first Floribunda was ‘Grüss an Aachen’ which is still widely grown today.
‘Shazam!’ A Floribunda Rose
FLOWER CARPET®: Sometimes referred to as “groundcover roses” Flower Carpets are incredibly robust: winter hardy, disease and pest resistant as well as free flowering. Bred by Reinhard Noack of Germany, not all Flower Carpet roses share the same relations and therefore may not look anything like the other. However, they all bear the same durable characteristics. The “Next Generation” series which includes: ‘Scarlet’, ‘Amber’ and ‘Pink Supreme’ have improved heat/humidity and disease tolerance.
‘Flower Carpet ® Amber’ Rose
FOETIDA: A species rose and the source of the yellow trait in today’s modern roses. Incidentally, foetida roses also have a strong susceptibility to blackspot which was passed to other roses carrying the yellow trait. The term “foetida” translates in Latin to meaning unpleasant smelling. Foetida roses have a strong scent, perhaps not unpleasant but I suppose it depends on the one smelling it–I can’t say I ever have so don’t have an opinion either way. The first yellow hybrid tea, ‘Soleil d’Or’ was accidentally bred from a cross between ‘Rosa foetida’ and a red hybrid perpetual. Foetida roses are winter hardy, once-blooming and can reach heights of up to 10 feet.
FOUND: A rose that has been discovered and not yet identified. They will take a temporary name reflecting the location from where it was discovered and sometimes that can be quite silly. Example: “The Flores Street House Eater“.
“Arcata Pink Globe” A Found (also a Hybrid Setigera) Rose
GALLICA: An Old Garden rose. Sometimes referred to as “French roses” or “Provins roses” they are one of the oldest cultivated species of roses with examples stretching back as early as the 12th century. Gallica roses are fragrant and although once-blooming but put on quite a show when they do. They can form a dense, thick shrub (prone to suckering), and reach heights of about 4-5 feet. Gallica roses bloom in shades of light pink to deep pink, to dark wine hues, and even striped colorations. Empress Josephine was quite taken with Gallica roses and her garden at Malmaison was filled with them. They are tolerant of shade, poor soils and cold winters. Famous Gallicas include: Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’ (Apothecary’s Rose) and ‘Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (or ‘Rosa Mundi‘). Gallicas are one of my favorite class of roses!
R. gallica ‘Officinalis’ A Gallica Rose
GARDEN EASE®: The information on these are a little sketchy but from what I can gather, they are a collection of roses introduced by Jackson & Perkins. Supposedly rugged and maintenance free. An example is ‘Caramel Kisses™’
GENEROSA: Modern roses introduced by french company, Roseraie Guillot. Just like David Austin’s English roses, Générosa roses exhibit old garden rose sensibilities with modern, repeat bloom.
GRANDIFLORA: The term “Grandiflora” was coined with the introduction of ‘Queen Elizabeth’ a modern floribunda rose introduced in 1954 which didn’t quite fit the standard of hybrid teas and other floribundas so a new class was created. I think over time this distinction will fade away?
HARKNESS: Marketed in France and Germany as English Legend® these are a group of hardy shrub roses much in the vein of David Austin and Romantica roses created by the English company, Harkness, which has been in business since 1879.
HYBRID PERPETUAL: Depending on year of introduction may be considered an Old Garden or Modern rose. Hybrid perpetuals are types of roses that were very popular in the mid to late 1800′s. They are highly scented, large-flowered, in shades of pink and red with scattered repeat bloom and graceful form reminiscent of their Old Garden rose ancestors. They are the forerunners of our modern Hybrid Tea and English roses with the originals as crosses between Hybrid Chinas with Portlands and Bourbons. Sadly they lost popularity when Hybrid Tea roses were introduced and, oddly, became the standard of the “perfect rose.”
‘Reine des Violettes’ A Hybrid Perpetual Rose
HYBRID TEA: Not to be confused with Tea roses, older Hybrid Teas are a cross between Hybrid Perpetual and Tea roses and more recent Hybrid Teas (after the introduction of ‘Peace’ in 1946) are generally crosses of HT’s with other HT’s. The first Hybrid Tea was ‘La France’ which was introduced in 1867 marking the distinction between Old Garden and Modern roses. Hybrid Teas come in an incredibly diverse range of colors are are distinguished by their long, strong stems with large, high, pointed buds and repeat blooms. I’ve dabbled in Hybrid Teas over the years but admittedly, they’re not my favorite class. I’m learning to appreciate them more, though!
‘Sedona’ A Hybrid Tea Rose
KNOCK OUT®: Introduced in 2000 by Bill Radler, Knock Out won the prestigious All American Rose Award the very first year of distribution, and has since sold by the millions and continues to do so. They are incredibly reliable, hardy, disease resistant and a good gateway drug to growing other roses.
‘RADcon’ A Pink Knock Out® Rose
KORDES: A German company (over 120 years old) specializing in rose hybridization. ‘Iceberg’ is a famous example of a Kordes rose. The New Generation® roses of Kordes offer low maintenance and disease resistance.
KORDESII: The original Kordesii (Kordes of Germany) rose was a cross between Rosa rugosa and a Rosa wichuraiana hybrid in 1940. Kordesii roses are used in hybridization for their winter hardiness, such as in the Explorer series of roses. They are vigorous roses with shiny foliage and typically bright red, pink and sometimes white or yellow flowers. The explorer rose, ‘William Baffin’ has Kordesii bloodlines. We grew ‘William Baffin’ in a former garden and it’s definitely one of my favorites. It takes up a lot of room, but manalive this rose is rugged!
LANDSCAPE: A catch-all phrase to define shrub roses for landscape use. They must be hardy, repeat-flowering, pest and disease-resistant with little to no care to qualify as a “landscape rose.”
MACRANTHA: The original Rosa macrantha is considered an Old Garden Rose, a hybrid heavily influenced by Rosa gallica with possibly some Rosa alba in it’s gene pool. Macrantha roses flower once in late spring on an arching or mounding shrub and are typically light pink to white. An example of a Macrantha hybrid is ‘Raubritter’.
MARCHEN® ROSEN: From Kordes & Sons of Germany, Märchen Rosen translates to “Fairy Tale Roses” and is their version of the “English” rose–lush, full, scented blossoms with repeat bloom.
MEIDILAND: These roses come from the famous French breeder, Meilland, and are defined as low-maintenance, rugged, repeat-blooming, etc. In short, a perfect landscape rose. Often Meidiland roses are ground-hugging and make for good erosion control.
MINIATURE: A miniature rose is just that–a rose in perfect miniature. Usually miniature roses resemble diminutive Hybrid Tea or Floribundas but there are also some that appear similar to Old Rose blossoms with single-petaled, double and semi-double blossoms. The first miniature rose recorded is ‘Peon’ (also known as ‘Tom Thumb’) which was introduced in 1936 and is a cross between ‘Rouletti’ and ‘Gloria Mundi’.
MINI FLORA: A term copyrighted by rose breeder Benjamin Williams to describe slightly larger than normal miniature roses.
MODERN: Roses brought into existence following the introduction of the first Hybrid Tea, ‘La France’ in 1867 are referred to as Modern Roses.
‘Piñata’ A Modern Climbing Rose
MOSS: An Old Garden rose. Moss roses are so named for the mossy-like growth on their penduncles and sepals which give off a pine-resin scent when touched. Moss roses are a genetic mutation of a Centifolia (and possible Damask) and are available in a variety of colors. They are shrub like, growing to heights of about 4 feet and usually once-blooming although some varieties, such as ‘Salet’ repeat. Many are not particularly robust and are primarily grown for their unusual beauty. Exceptions include ‘Henri Martin’ which is highly rated.
‘Henri Martin’ aka ‘Red Moss’ a Moss rose
MOYESII: A species rose from China, this rose bears red flowers followed by large hips which are high in vitamin C. Vigorous winter hardy, hybrids of Rosa moyesii will form a large, broad shrub in shades of red, pink or white.
MULTIFLORA: Rosa multiflora is a species rose native to Asia and listed as invasive in northeastern United States. Originally introduced to help with soil erosion, hedging and food for wildlife, it’s vigor and hardiness has enabled it to spread quickly choking out native plants. Rosa multiflora blooms once in late spring/early summer with trusses of white, honey-scented blossoms (distinguished from the Native American species rose which does not produce so many flowers per branch) followed by a multitude of bright red hips in autumn. Rosa multiflora is often used as a rootstock for grafted roses (primarily European.)
‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’ a Hybrid Multiflora rose
MUSK: Rosa moschata is a species of this rose which has been cultivated for centuries with origins most likely in the Middle East. It’s habit can be that of both a shrub and a climber with white, 5-petaled single flowers bearing a strong musk-like scent. Musk roses and their hybrids emit their fragrance through their styles (not the petals as most roses) therefore they belong to the Synstylae group of roses as identified by Graham Thomas. Thomas described the scent as that of the rare musk deer of Asia; a true musk scent which is light and sweet. The group of hybrid musk roses is relatively young and many were developed (by way of the Noisettes) by Reverend Joseph Pemberton of England between 1912 and 1939 who appreciated fragrance in a rose. Hybrid musk roses do not create many basal breaks and it’s best to prune with a light hand if at all. Colder winter regions may experience a lot of winter dieback with their Musk hybrids. ‘Buff Beauty’ and ‘Ballerina’ are two examples of popular musk hybrids.
‘Cornelia’ Hybrid Musk Rose
NEW GENERATION: See “Kordes”
NEXT GENERATION: See “Flower Carpet”
NOISETTE: An Old Garden rose. The first true American hybrid rose when in 1802, John Champney of South Carolina crossed ‘Old Blush’ (a gift from his french neighbor Philippe Noisette) with Rosa moschata resulting in ‘Champney’s Pink Cluster’. Noisettes are typically smaller in stature, shrubby, with scented blossoms in shades of pink.
OLD GARDEN: Technically, roses that appeared before 1867 (when the first Hybrid Tea, ‘La France’ was introduced) are Old Garden Roses. They include: Species (wild), Albas, Bourbons, Centifolias, Damasks, Chinas, Gallicas, Hybrid Perpetuals, Moss, Noisettes, Portlands and Teas (not to be confused with Hybrid Teas.) There is discussion by some rosarians that new roses bred from old classes should be considered an OGR.
‘Tuscany Superb’ a Gallica from the early 19th century and an Old Garden Rose
OSO EASY®: The origins of Oso Easy roses are confusing as they are developed by different breeders, but they all share the distinction that they are own-root, easy care landscape roses which are promoted (many through Proven Winners) as being tough as nails and free-blooming hence the name, they are “Oh, so easy!”
‘Oso Easy Cherry Pie’
PATIO: A more recent (circa 1996) term to describe a rose that is small, compact, free-flowering and suitable for a container on a patio or terrace, hence the name.
PAUL BARDEN: Paul Barden has been breeding a beautiful collection of roses from older classes (such as Gallica, Damask and Moss) Rogue Valley Roses carries a nice selection.
PIMPINELLIFOLIA: See R. spinosissima
POLYANTHA These types of roses are characterized by prolific sprays of small blossoms held above the foliage like a cloud and in flower from summer through fall. The first Polyantha, ‘Pâquerette’ was introduced in 1875. Earlier Polyanthas were developed by crossing a China rose with a dwarf version of Rosa multiflora but later Polyanthas had an infusion of Tea roses in the parentage. Some classic examples of Polyanthas are ‘The Fairy’ and ‘Cécile Brunner’. While Polyanthas still have a place in a rose garden, Floribundas seem to have replaced them in popularity.
‘The Fairy’ A Polyantha Rose
PORTLAND: An Old Garden rose. The name derives from the rose that was first in it’s class, ‘Duchess of Portland’ which has been around for over 200 years (although the origin is unknown) and was a cross between a Damask, ‘Quatre Saisons’ and Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’. It was the Duchess of Portland who, around 1800, sent her little Rosa paestana rose which she acquired from Italy to Malmaison and which it was subsequently named for her. Portlands were then grown and bred extensively at Malmaison thanks to the influence of Empress Josèphine and her gardener André Dupont. Portland roses are smaller in stature and bear flowers that are heavily scented of Damask. The blossoms are on shorter stems and therefore appear as though they “sit” in the foliage. Portlands may have a repeat bloom in the fall. They, along with Bourbons, Chinas and Damasks, are the parents of the Hybrid Perpetuals.
‘Comte de Chambord’ A Portland Rose
RENAISSANCE® ROSES: Poulsen of Denmark’s version of the “English Rose.” An Old Garden rose appearance with strongly scented blossoms and repeat blooms.
RAMBLERS: In general, once-blooming hybrids of Rosa wichuraiana or R. multiflora which are characterized by long, sprawling, pliable canes which can be trained as a climber or left to cover wide areas. Vigorous growers, ramblers bear clusters of smallish blossoms in a dramatic display followed by orange-red hips. Their leaves can have a susceptibility to mildew. Ramblers can easily overtake a structure and even climb trees. A fine example of a rambler is the hybrid Wichuraina, ‘American Pillar’.
‘American Pillar’ a Rambler rose
ROMANTICA: France’s answer to the English roses, Romanticas are characterized as having Old Garden rose charm with repeat bloom. The term was coined by the french company which introduced them, Meilland.
‘Pierre de Ronsard’ or ‘Eden’ A Romantica Rose
RUBIGINOSA: See “Eglantine.”
RUGOSA: Rugosa roses are quite possibly the oldest roses in existence (according to fossil studies), are incredibly hardy and easy to naturalize. They are characterized by their strongly scented blossoms and wrinkled, leather-like leaves. Rosa rugosa, the species, is native to Japan and forms a dense thicket-like shrub with single-petaled blossoms followed by cherry tomato sized hips. Rosa rugosa has naturalized on the shores of the easter US coast and helps with dune erosion as well as offering habitat and food for wildlife. Rugosa hybrids have retained the rugged traits of the species but now include more colors and blossom forms (such as doubles). Rugosa roses are relied upon in breeding programs for roses that are being developed to withstand less than ideal growing conditions and colder temperatures (such as the Kordesii roses). Rugosa roses dislike being sprayed with any chemicals and may drop all of their leaves in protest. I remember planting a Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’ near our garage side door and not expecting it to get so large that it almost completely engulfed the opening. I didn’t mind, though. It was kind of magical to sneak past the fragrant blossoms and overhanging canes to get inside.
Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ a Rugosa rose
SEMPERVIRENS: Also known as the “Evergreen Rose” Rosa sempervirens is a species native to southern Europe and bears white, fragrant, single-petaled flowers in summer followed by orange-red hips in autumn. Sempervirens hybrids were the work of the gardener to the Duc d’Orleans (later King Louis Philippe). A fine example of a Sempervirens hybrid (crossed with a Noisette) is the rambler, ‘Félicité Perpétue‘ sometimes referred to as ‘Seven Sisters’. My grandmother, Celeste, always talks about the ‘Seven Sisters’ that grew at her home in Cottonport, Louisiana and how much she misses that rose. Someday I would love the find that rose and grow it just for her, but it might be a challenge as so many roses have been given that name it’s hard to know which one is really ‘Seven Sisters’.
SETIGERA: Rosa setigera, sometimes called the “Prairie Rose” is a Native American species bearing sweetly fragrant single-petaled roses in white to pink in midsummer followed by rounded red-orange hips if there are both male and female plants present. From HMF: “Rosa setigera is the only rose that is cryptically dioecious – - meaning there are male-only and female-only plants that generally look alike but whose sex is determinable microscopically, by counting the number of flowers per inflorescence (male plants have more flowers) or by looking for hips (hips are found only on female plants).” SOURCE The rose breeder Rudolf Geschwind (1829-1910) developed many Setigera hybrids, such as ‘Himmelsauge’ which are hard to find but are supposedly great roses. A popular example of a hybrid Setigera rose is ‘Baltimore Belle’ introduced in 1843.
‘Erinnerung an Brod’ a Hybrid Setigera Rose
SHRUB: Shrub roses is sort of another catch-all phrase that is supposed to define roses that are rugged and fuss-free such as the Knock Outs, Flower Carpets, Meidiland, Oso Easy Care, Hybrid Rugosas, Simplicity, Générosa and so forth. However, shrub roses also comprise the David Austin group of “English roses” which are certainly not all fuss-free.
‘Golden Wings’ A Shrub Rose
SIMPLICITY: From the powerhouse that is Jackson & Perkins came Simplicity roses which are marketed as great plant-it-and-forget-it hedge rose. Simplicity roses have been in cultivation for about 18 years but there are not many individual representatives in the group. In my experience, Simplicity roses needed winter protection and were greatly susceptible to blackspot. For an easy hedge, a better choice might be one of the Knockout roses. ?
SOULIEANA: R. soulieana, a species rose, discovered pre-1895 by Father Soulié. It has thorny, arching canes and single yellow/white blossoms with prominent stamens. An example of a rose bred from R. soulienana is ‘Kew Rambler’
SPECIES: Sometimes referred to as “wild roses,” species roses have existed without cultivation for hundreds of years and are the parents of the Old Garden and Modern roses of today. Species roses have a simple, elegant beauty and in most cases have single-petaled flowers followed by colorful hips. They can range in size from only a few feet to 30+ feet (example: a species rose found “climbing” a tree). Species roses, by their very nature, are rugged and hardy. They are most often listed by their scientific name in rose catalogues but some do have common names for example: R. roxburghii is more commonly referred to as ‘Chestnut Rose’.
Rosa glauca A Species Rose
SPINOSISSIMA: Rosa spinosissima also known as the ‘Scotch Rose’ is a white, single-petaled species characterized by small, ferny foliage, thorny canes and hips that are a dark maroon or black. Habit is short and shrub like and extremely rugged being tolerant of shade, poor soils and winter hardy to zone 3. A popular hybrid Spinosissima is the Damask/Spinosissima cross ‘Stanwell Perpetual’.
‘Stanwell Perpetual’ a Hybrid Spinosissima rose
SWAMP: Rosa palustris, also known as the “Swamp Rose” is a species native to the Eastern portion of the United States and bears single-petaled pink flowers on arching, thorny canes. Swamp roses bear the unique characteristic in that they are found in marshlands, stream banks and swamp thriving in dappled sunlight and moist, acidic soil. I think it would be interesting to see the results of this rose used in a breeding program.
TEA: An Old Garden rose. A cross between Rosa gigantea and the China Rose, Rosa chinensis. Tea roses are not at all cold-hardy but bring a delicate beauty to their hybrids exemplified in high, urn shaped blossoms on graceful stems as well as adding soft yellows and apricot hues to the gene pool. Crossed with Hybrid Perpetuals, Tea roses are one of the parents of our modern Hybrid Teas.
ULTIMATE ROSE™: A registered trademark belonging to Jackson & Perkins.
WICHURAIANA/WICHURANA Rosa wichuraiana, sometimes referred to as the “Memorial Rose” is a white, single-petaled species blooming once in late spring/early summer. The flowers are borne in clusters and have a strong, clover-like scent. Wichuraiana hybrids are characterized are being vigorous and hardy, with glossy, dark green foliage and flowers ranging in the palest pinks to deepest pinks. Long, arching canes enable these roses to be suitably trained as a climber. The great rose hybridizer, Dr. Walter Van Fleet is credited with creating 12 Wichuraiana hybrids, among them ‘Dr. Van Fleet’ which gave sport to the hugely successful climber ‘New Dawn’. Rosa wichuraiana has been used in the Explorer series rose breeding program.
‘Dr Huey’ A Hybrid Wichurana Rose
WILD ROSES: See “Species”
WONDER ROSE: See “Flower Carpet”
All text and photos are ©Hedgerow Rose 2010-2013. Please do not reproduce without permission.