Handy-Dandy List of Roses that the American Rose Society has rated 8.6 or higher

The Highest-Rated-Roses-_-Hedgerow-Rose
Because my nerdiness knows no bounds, one afternoon I sat down with the ARS handbook and wrote down every rose that had a rating of 8.6 or greater. Of course we know there are a bunch of other factors involved when it comes to having success with growing individual cultivars, (I’m not necessarily endorsing these by providing this list & if you cross reference with HMF you’ll find some disparities) some roses are still being assessed and some aren’t even in the handbook. I just thought it might be helpful to others, too, as we all add roses to our gardens. TIP: I’ve taken the time to add hyperlinks to HMF for each rose. Yay! DATA COLLECTED FROM 2013 AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY HANDBOOK DERIVED FROM ROSES IN REVIEW SURVEY. Not a member of the ARS? You can join HERE{EDIT: I think I’ve since added the roses that were overlooked the first time this posted. Hopefully. But if you see any that I’ve missed, please do let me know.}


To refresh your memory: 

8.3-8.7 / A very good to excellent rose. One recommended without hesitation

8.8-9.2 / An outstanding rose. One with major positive features and only minor negatives. The top 1%.

9.3-10 / One of the best roses ever. Scores in this range should be awarded sparingly.  


For a run-down of what these different types mean, see my Types of Roses page.


Alba Maxima – 8.6

Alba semi-plena – 8.9

Félicité Parmentier – 8.6

Great Maiden’s Blush – 8.9

Königin von Dänemark – 8.6

Madame Plantier – 8.9


Souvenir de la Malmaison – 8.7


Cramoisi Supérieur – 8.7

Louis-Philippe – 8.8

Mutabilis – 8.9

Old Blush – 8.7

Pink Pet – 8.7

Modern and Large-Flowered CLIMBING

Casa Blanca – 9.1

Clair Matin – 8.7

Demokracie – 8.9

Royal Sunset – 8.9

Sombreuil – 8.7


Celsiana – 8.6

Ispahan – 8.7

Madame Hardy – 8.8

Madame Zöetmans – 8.7


Hannah Gordon – 8.7

Lavaglut – 8.6

Poulsen’s Pearl – 8.7

Sexy Rexy – 8.6

Stadt den Helder – 8.6

Travemünde – 8.6


Alain Blanchard – 8.6

Alika – 9.0

Complicata – 8.8


Ards Rover – 8.6


Marchesa Boccella (Jacques Cartier) – 8.8


Irish Elegance – 8.9

Touch of Class – 8.7


Dortmund – 9.0

Heidelberg – 8.6

John Cabot – 8.8

John Davis – 8.7

William Baffin – 8.9


Jeanne Lajoie – 9.0


Giggles – 8.7

Gourmet Popcorn – 8.6

Irresistible – 8.8

Jean Kenneally – 8.9

Minnie Pearl – 8.8

Pierrine – 8.8

Rainbow’s End – 8.6

Whiteout – 9.0


Robin Redbreast – 8.7


Césonie – 8.6

Crested Moss (actually a Centifolia) – 8.6

Old Red Moss – 9.1


Eddie’s Crimson – 9.1

Nevada – 8.8


Tausendschön – 8.7

Hybrid MUSK

Ballerina – 8.6

Belinda – 8.6

Cornelia – 8.6

Francis E. Lester – 8.7

Penelope – 8.7

Prosperity – 8.6


Lamarque – 8.7

Madame Alfred Carriére – 8.9

Nastarana – 8.6

Rêve d’Or – 9.2


La Marne – 8.6

Lullaby – 8.8

Marie Pavié – 8.8

Mrs. R.M. Finch – 8.8

Orange Morsdag – 8.7

The Fairy – 8.7

Verdun – 8.6

White Pet – 8.6


Rose de Rescht – 8.7


Henry Hudson – 8.8

Jens Munk – 8.6

Magnifica – 8.8

Roseraie de l’Haÿ – 8.7

Sniffer – 9.5


Carefree Beauty – 8.6

Elveshörn – 8.9

Gartendirektor Otto Linne – 8.7

Golden Wings – 8.7

Immensee – 8.9

Lyda Rose – 8.9

Morgenrot – 8.7

Pearl Meidiland – 8.7

Pink Meidiland – 8.6

Robbie Burns – 8.8

Robusta – 8.8

Sally Holmes – 8.9

Surrey – 9.0


R. banksiae banksiae – 9.2

R. banksiae lutea – 9.1

R. gallica – 9.0

R. gallica officinalis – 8.7

R. gallica versicolor – 9.0

R. hugonis – 8.7

Kiftsgate – 8.8

R. laevigata – 8.7

R. moschata – 8.8

R. roxburghii – 8.7

R. rubrifolia – 8.8

R. rugosa – 9.1

R. rugosa alba – 9.2

R. setigera – 9.0

R. virginiana – 8.6


Mrs. B.R. Cant – 8.9


Newport Fairy – 8.6

ispahan june 2013 2



About Hedgerow Rose

Laurie Lewis is a gardener, consulting rosarian, writer and photographer currently creating a new garden with her husband, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 beehives and 5 chickens.

20 thoughts on “Handy-Dandy List of Roses that the American Rose Society has rated 8.6 or higher

  1. Sexy Rexy, YES! I was joking about this rose the other day, it must be the official Rex Manning Day rose…a joke which will only be funny if you’ve ever seen the movie Empire Records 😛

    Either way, my wishlist has just grown by leaps and bounds. Which isn’t such a great thing, considering I only have a 10’x3.5′ space to work with!

    1. Yeah, mine too!!

      I just read something about Sexy Rexy (can’t remember where) that this rose was so named because she is so widely used in rose breeding programs. Seems she’s also a bit of a tart. 😉

  2. lol out of all the HT out there only to in that handbook was listed.. That’s interesting that you 🙂

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad at least one other person besides myself is getting some use out of this list. 🙂

      Not surprising about the Hybrid Teas though, right? I don’t have any left in my garden–they just can’t hack it. (I don’t count Grüss an Aachen b/c she’s more of a Floribunda to me.)

      1. Oh I agree my HT and florabunda are almost defoliated, but it has been really wet. But… compared to the antiques they look horrible, the antiques are still foliated 🙂

        But I don’t think I can part with my HT Grande Dame she smells so good and her blooms are big and beautiful!

        1. It’s been a wet spring here, too. It’s interesting to see which roses can still bloom beautifully despite the rain. (For example, I’m not crazy about how ‘Félicité Parmentier’ gets brownish petals.) But I know what you mean, some I would be hard pressed to get rid of even if they get fussy when it’s rainy!

  3. I’m new to roses, and I really appreciate you going to the trouble of compiling this list – so helpful. Any way I could get you to email me a copy of this list? I tried highlighting and right-clicking to copy, but the site won’t allow that. I’ve bookmarked your site, but would really like to have it in the form of a document of some sort. THANKS! – Mark

  4. I’d also love a copy of your list. I use the ARS Handbook a lot, but your list is a nice shortcut. Thank you for giving your time to produce this.

  5. Thanks so much for your list – very helpful as I am searching possible replacements for my ‘winterfail’ roses.

  6. The rose I’m interested in isn’t on the list but you seem to know tons more about roses than I. I’m wondering if the rise called midnight supreme is a hoax. It’s as close to a blue rose as I’ve ever seen and I’m think of buying some seeds. Do you have any advice? Thank very much for your time.

    1. Hi Seth, welcome! You guessed correctly, there is no such thing as a blue rose. Also, growing roses from seed can be tricky business and even if are able to germinate and nurture said seed, it won’t look like it’s parent as roses do not “grow true” from seed. The closest thing to a blue-ish colored rose on the market these days are those with a purple/mauve cast such as Rhapsody in Blue, for example. Thanks for stopping! 🙂

  7. I am looking for a rose that has the name Ruth in it. Found Bloom of Ruth on a UK website but they won’t ship to us. My mother-in-law just passed away and I want a rose in remeberance of her.

  8. i have a very dear friend who is not computer literate. He has a rose that he says is called a Peace rose that is ranked(?) as a #10 and he asked me to find out if there are any more #10’s. I didn’t see any on your list.
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Kay, welcome!
      The Peace rose is a very popular Hybrid Tea but I don’t know of any ranking that classifies it as “10′. My 2014 American Rose Society handbook has it ranked as an 8–which is still very good. Of course, there are other ranking systems besides ARS but as far as they are concerned, I have not seen any rose that has received a perfect “10” scoring. At the end of the day, though, it comes down to what does well in your garden and, of course, what you love to grow that matters! 🙂

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