This glossary and Classification of Roses will help with various rose and horticultual terms. Note that the Catalogue links will take you to the section of the catalogue for that type of rose.
- Alba Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- The third ancient group, hybrids between a rose of the R. canina section such as R. mollis and R. gallica, or possibly a Damask. Alba roses are always white or pale pink flowered, sweet scented, with bluish leaves. They make large bushes up to 2.5 m, with rather few thorns.
- Antique Roses (See Catalogue)
- See Old Roses.
- Bourbon Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- Before the opening of the Suez Canal (1871) the Ile de Bourbon, now Reunion, east of Madagascar, was an important stopping point for French ships sailing between the Far East and Europe. By 1817, R. chips had been grown there, as had the Autumn Damask from Europe, and they were apparently planted together as mixed hedges. A French botanist, M. Breon, noticed an intermediate between the two types in such a hedge and moved it to his botanic garden whence seeds were sent to M. Jacques in Paris. He raised from them the original Bourbon rose, which was painted by Redout6 in i824. It had semi-double, bright pink flowers, good scent inherited from the Damask, and good autumn flowering. The Bourbon roses were bred by crossing this original Bourbon with Gallica and Damask hybrids.
- Boursault Roses (See Old Roses)
- These large shrubs or semi-climbing roses raiesed in the early nineteenth century, were said to be derived from R. pendulina x R. chinensis, but their chromosome number suggests that either R.. majalis or R. blanda were used, not R. pendulina proper. R. blanda has also been used to breed thornless roses in the USA.
- Canina Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Centifolia Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- (also called Cabbage Rose, Holland Rose, Rose des Peintres, or Provence Rose). The original Centifolia roses probably appeared around the end of the sixteenth century, from a cross between the Autumn Damask and an Alba. They make large, rather floppy bushes with very double flowers hanging on weak branches. A single or semi-double sport arose in the early nineteenth century, before which the group was sterile and the early varieties grown were all sports from the original cross.
- China Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- China roses had been cultivated and new varieties produced on a large
scale in China for many centuries before the first were brought to
gardens in Europe in 1792.
The dwarf, perpetual-flowering Chinas were mutants of the climber R. chinensis, some possibly hybridized with R. x odorata. This mutation has been observed in cultivation with Little White Pet being a dwarf perpetual-flowering sport of Felicite et Perpetue. The original introductions from China were Slaters Crimson, China introduced in about 1792, and Parsons Pink China, now called Old Blush, in 1793. The original Chinas are dwarf, Up to 2 m, but usually around 1 m, and rather tender with red or pink single or loosely double flowers.
- Climbing Roses (See also Ramblers) (See Catalogue)
- Many roses are natural climbers, and several of those e.g. R. gigantea, R. chinensis and R. moschata are important ancestors of modern roses. Furthermore, it has been noted that the gene for climbing is dominant over the dwarf (or bush) gene. Therefore it is not surprising to find many climbing Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; some of them arose as seedlings, others as sports of normal roses, such as Climbing Iceberg. Many of these climbing sports are summer flowering only, others have some later flowers. More recent large-flowered climbers, many raised by McGredy, are regularly repeat flowering.
- Damask Roses (See Old Roses)
- There are two groups of Damasks, the Summer Damask, once-flowering, and the Autumn Damask which has a second flowering in the autumn. Both have been grown since ancient times. The Summer Damask is a hybrid between R. gallica and R. phoenicea, a native of the eastern Mediterranean which looks like R. multiflora, with hairy leaves. The Autumn Damask is a hybrid between R. gailica and R. moschata. They are rather less hardy than the Gallicas, often taller, up to 2.5 m, with usually richly scented, red, pink or white flowers in loose clusters.
- Damascena Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Eglanteria (Rubiginosa) Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- English Roses: (abbrev. ER, DA) (See Modern & Old roses) (See Catalogue)
- This new group of roses, often called David Austin Roses, was introduced in 1969 by David Austin of England. These roses are an attempt to combine the best traits of both Old Roses and Modern Roses. David Austin has attempted to produce roses with the classic flower forms and fragrance of the Old Roses on plants that repeat bloom like the Modern Roses. Some of the popular English Roses are Abraham Darby, Graham Thomas, Heritage, and Mary Rose. See the rec.gardens.roses FAQ for more information about English Roses.
- Filipes Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Floribunda Roses (abbrev. FB or FL) (See Modern Roses) (See Catalogue)
- Floribundas were created about 1909 by crossing the Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas. They produce flowers in clusters, not singly like the Hybrid Teas. Floribundas are usually shorter plants than Hybrid Teas and tend to produce more flowers and smaller flowers than Hybrid Teas on shorter stems. Although Hybrid Teas provide excellent cut flowers, Floribundas are well suited as good landscape plants providing lots of color. Many Floribundas are not very fragrant.
- Foetida Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Gallica Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- (Also called Rose of Provins) Grown since ancient times, these are varieties of Rosa gallica, a short suckering rose, native of southern Europe from France eastwards to central Turkey. They are very hardy, once-flowering, with strongly scented flowers ranging from pink, through crimson, to purple. Height up to 1.5 m.
- Grandiflora Roses (See Modern Roses) (See Catalogue)
- The Grandiflora is a "manufactured" class--the class was invented for the rose
Queen Elizabeth, introduced in 1954 by Germain's Nursery in the USA. This rose was
a cross of Charlotte Armstrong, a Hybrid Tea, and Floradora, a Floribunda. This
rose is representative of the attempts at that time to produce a "different" rose (a
mere 100 years after the first Hybrid Tea appeared) that would have the characteristic
long stems, large beautiful blooms and pointed buds of the Hybrid Teas with the
hardiness and flower clusters of the shrubbier Floribundas.
Grandifloras have a tendency to grow quite tall and produce full, large flowers. They come one to a stem as well as in clusters. The gangly growth habit is remniscent of their Tea heritage. The individual florets are larger than the standrad for Floribundas yet not usually as large as the huge blooms of the Hybrid Teas.
The United States recognizes this type of rose as a separate class in rose competitions while the International rose community lumps them in with the Hybrid Teas and often refer to the whole bunch of them as "large-flowered modern roses".
Grandifloras: Shining Hour, Queen Elizabeth, Sundowner, Prima Donna, John S. Armstrong, Lady Luck, Tournament of Roses, Gold Medal, Camelot, Ole, Sonia, Love.
- Ground Cover Roses (See Catalogue)
- The late 1980's witnessed the advent of genuine low-growing ground-cover Roses, specialty bred to spread without gaining height. Incidentally, these make wonderful hanging basket displays. Also beginning to make their presence felt are Climbing miniatures and Climbing Patioes, which will no doubt prove dually popular.
- Hybrid Musk Roses (See Old Roses)
- These roses were mostly raised by the Reverend Joseph Pemberton, at Havering-atte-Bower in Essex, using the rose Trier, a hybrid between a hybrid tea and a seedling of Aglaia, which had the musk rose in its ancestry. Thus the name Hybrid musk is rather far-fetched though generally accepted. Pemberton crossed Trier with various Hybrid Teas, producing several very beautiful, though sterile, seedlings; tall, repeat-flowering, scented shrubs, with large clusters of small flowers. Penelope(1923) and Felicia (1928) are well-known examples.
- Hybrid Perpetual Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- Over a thousand varieties of Hybrid Perpetual were raised in the latter
part of the nineteenth century, of which probably less than a hundred
survive today. The ancestor of this class was the Portland x China
hybrid, Rose du Roi, which appeared in 1816. When crossed with both
Hybrid Chinas (Gailica x China crosses) and Bourbons, in about 1835, a
new class of Hybrides remontants or Hybrid Perpetuals was born. Some of
the first were raised by Laffay, notably La Reine and Gloire des
Rosomanes , the latest such as Arilaga in the early twentieth century.
The Hybrid Perpetuals are usually rather coarse growing, usually red, mauve, pink or white, often with huge flowers and strong shoots which need to be pegged down so that they produce flowers along their length. Their Portland ancestry makes these hardier than the Noisettes, but they still need protection in cold areas.
- Hybrid Tea Roses (See Modern Roses)
- Hybrid Teas are easily the most popular class of roses today. Hybrid Teas as a group
have large flowers with a high-pointed bud. They are excellent repeat bloomers, often
blooming almost continually. They bloom one flower per stem on long sturdy stems making
them excellent for cutting. Hybrid Teas come in a large variety of colors. Hybrid Teas are
The rose "La France", bred in 1867, is classified as the first Hybrid Tea rose.
- Kordesii Roses (See Old Roses)
- A hybrid between R. rugosa and R. wichuraiana named Max Graf (I 9 I 9) was a sterile diploid, but Kordes succeeded in raising three seedlings from it in 1940 and 1950-1 which were fertile tetraploids, the beginning of a new race of Kordesii hybrids, such as Parkdirektor Riggers.
- Macrantha Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- Using R. x macrantha Daisy Hill, possibly a hybrid between R. canina and R. x alba, Kordes produced several hybrids, one of which, Raubritter, is exceptionally beautiful; unfortunately it is triploid and sterile, so no further generations have been raised. A similar breeders' dead end has been Cerise Bouquet, a hybrid between R. multibracteata and a Hybrid Tea; Crimson Glory.
- Macrophylla Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Miniature, Miniflora & Patio Roses (See Catalogue for Miniature, Miniflora)
- Miniature roses grow to only about 6"-18". The plants, leaves are all miniatures
of the larger roses. Miniature roses tend to be quite hardy and can be grown in containers.
Modern miniatures were raised from the dwarf China rose, Roulettii, long grown on cottage windowsills in Switzerland, and rediscovered by Henri Correvon in 1922. Mini-roses are particularly popular at present in America, for growing in small yards or indoors under lights; some of the larger varieties are known as Patio roses. New colours and shapes have been introduced by crossing with Floribundas, and singles by using R. wichuraiana. Other dwarf Chinas, such as Pompon de Paris were very popular as pot plants in the nineteenth century.
The 1970s also saw the introduction of Miniature Roses, perfect replicas of their big brothers and sisters. These were followed by dwarf Shrub Roses, now generally, (though unofficially) called Patio Roses. Both of these groups are ideal for small gardens and quite lot of people now concentrate on growing them to the exclusion of the taller varieties.
In response to the demands of hybridizers and others, the ARS in May of 1999, approved the official addition of a new classification of roses. This new classification has been given the name Mini-flora.
It is being used to designate the increasingly more popular miniatures with larger flowers and larger leaves, that did not fit into the miniature designation properly, but also did fit into the floribunda classification.
There have already many roses registered in the new classification. Some of these have variously been previously informally designated as patio roses or sweetheart roses by the hybridizers and growers introducing them.
- Modern Roses: (See Old & English roses)
- Refers to roses introduced since 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was created. Usually refers to Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, or Grandiflora roses.
- Moss Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- Moss roses originate as mutations or sports on normal roses. The first is recorded in 1720. At present they are known to have appeared three times on Centifolia roses, and less often on Damask roses, in which the moss is stiffer and brownish. A single-flowered Centifolia Moss which appeared in the early nineteenth century enabled hundreds of Moss hybrids to be bred, in addition to the numerous sports that had appeared in the eighteenth century.
- Moyessi Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Musk Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Old Roses (abbrev. OR, OGR, AR) (See Modern & English roses)
- Sometimes called Old Roses, Old Garden Roses, Old-fashioned Roses or
Antique Roses, these are the varieties of roses that existed before 1867
when the first Hybrid Tea was introduced. Some of the classes of Old Roses are
the Albas, Bourbons, Boursaults, Centifolias, Chinas, Damasks, Gallicas,
Hybrid Perpetuals, Mosses, Noisettes, Portlands, and Tea roses. Some of the
Ramblers and Rugosas are considered Old Roses.
As a group, Old Roses tend to be once blooming, though some are repeat bloomers. They tend to be more disease-resistant and require less maintenance than the Hybrid Teas which accounts for some of their popularity. There are exceptions to this, especially the China and Tea roses. The China and Tea roses are tender and disease prone, but are very important because they provide the repeat blooming genes to many classes of roses (notably Hybrid Teas). See the rec.gardens.roses FAQ for more information about Old Roses.
- Pimpinellifolia (Spinosissima) Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- The early Scotch or Burnet roses raised in about 1900 were selections of R.. pimpinellifolia, some possibly crossed with R. pendulina to introduce red colour. Kordes, however, crossed varieties of the Burnet rose with Hybrid Teas, and produced a beautiful range of single-flowered shrubs such as Frufihlingsmorgen (1940) and Fruhlingsgold (1950).
- Polyantha Roses (See Modern Roses) (See Catalogue)
- The first dwarf Polyanthas were perpetual-flowering dwarfs of R.multiflora crossed with a dwarf China. These were hardy and floriferous, but small-flowered and without scent. In around 1910 the Danish breeder Poulsen began to cross dwarf Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas to try to introduce more hardiness into Hybrid Teas. These were called Poulsen roses, or Hybrid Polyanthas. Few of these survive today, having been overtaken by the Floribundas which were derived from them.
- Noisette Roses (See Old Roses)
- The forerunner of the Noisette rose was a hybrid between R. moschata and Parson's Pink China made by Champneys in 1802 in South Carolina and named Champneys' Pink Cluster. It was a climber with bunches of semi-double pink flowers but summer flowering only like R. moschata. Seeds of Champneys' Pink Cluster were raised by Phillipe Noisette in Charleston, and from these he selected Old Blush or R. noisettiana which was illustrated by Redoute in 1821. This, when crossed with Park's Yellow China, produced the climbing yellow Noisettes such as Desprez a fleur Jaune, yellow Tea roses, and finally, large-flowered climbers such as Marechal Niel.
- Patio Roses
- See Miniature, Miniflora & Patio Roses.
- Portland Roses (See Old Roses)
- Portland roses were named after Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, 2nd Duchess
of Portland. The original, a hybrid between an Autumn Damask and R.
gallica Officinalis, has been known since I 792. Portland roses were
valued for their late flowering as well as their rich red colour, and
were soon crossed with Chinas to produce the forerunners of the Hybrid
In the nineteenth century, by crossing roses from the Orient with those from the west, new groups were developed. Among these were the Portland Roses, though few of them now remain.
- Poulsen Roses
- By the early twentieth century the Polyantha Roses were already popular; but to improve them still further, the Danish Poulsen family crossed some Polyanthas with Teas, thus creating, in 1924, a new group that became known as the Poulsen Roses.
- Rambling Roses
- Ramblers throw up long non-flowering shoots from near the ground in summer; these shoots produce clusters of flowers along their length the following year and are then finished and in gardens pruned away; Climbers, on the other hand, produce shoots that have a productive life of more than two years and often become very thick and woody. There are three major groups of Ramblers, distinguished by their ancestry:
- Rambling Roses:Sempervirens Ramblers (See Ramblers)
- This was the earliest group to be raised, hybrids between the European Mediterranean R. sempervirens and other unknown roses. The most famous group such as 'Adelaide d'Oridans' was raised by M. Jacques around 1827.
- Rambling Roses:Multiflora Ramblers (See Ramblers)
- These were crosses between the Chinese R. multiflora and various Hybrid Perpetuals or Hybrid Teas made around the end of the nineteenth century. Some included R. wichuraiana in their parentage through 'Crimson Rambler', an old Japanese hybrid. These are mostly quite hardy.
- Rambling Roses: Wichuraiana Ramblers (See Ramblers)
- Two very different looking groups belong here; the large flowered, such
as Albertine were mostly raised by Barbier at Orleans around 1900-20,
and have large flowers similar to loose Hybrid Teas. R. luciae, a close
relative of R. wichuraiana, was said to be one parent of these, with
Teas or Hybrid Teas as the other.
The small-flowered, such as Dorothy Perkins, are said to be a cross between R. wichuraiana and a Hybrid Perpetual. Most of these were raised in the USA by Jackson Perkins, or M. H. Walsh. Other Ramblers of generally similar appearance have been produced using different members of the synstylae section, such as Kew Rambler with R. soulieana, and Baltimore Belle using the Prairie Rose R. setigera. This last should be exceptionally hardy.
- Rubrifolia Roses (See Old Roses) (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.
- Rugosa Roses (See Catalogue)
- These roses are seedlings or crosses of R. rugosa, a very hardy species from northern Japan and Siberia . They are all thorny, with leaves with impressed veins, and generally well scented flowers. Several hybrids were raised in the early part of this century of which the Grootendorsts are the most familiar; they were R. rugosa crossed with a multiflora hybrid.
- Species Roses
- Species roses are those found growing in the wild.
- Shrub Roses
- Shrub roses are close relatives of species roses that have been improved by hybridizers for garden culture.
- Sweet Briar Roses (See Old Roses)
- The most familiar of these hybrids of R. rubiginosa were made by Lord Penzance, using the semi-double form Janet's Pride, crossed with various China hybrids and R. foetida; these kept the scented foliage of the Sweet Briar which has been lost in later crosses.
- Tea Roses (See Old Roses)
- The Tea rose, Rosa x odorata, is a hybrid between R. gigantea and R.
chinensis, that occurred long ago in China, and many varieties were
cultivated there. Two of these were introduced to Europe: the pale pink
Humes Blush tea-scented China (1809) and Parks Yellow tea-scented China
(1824), but unfortunately neither is now in cultivation in Europe.
Their progeny, however, have survived, and a whole class of Tea roses
was bred froth them, by crossing with Bourbons and Noisettes, These,
when crossed with Hybrid Perpetuals, became Hybrid Teas.
Tea roses are generally either climbers or small, sparse bushes, with a continuous succession of large flowers of great beauty, in shades of pink, buff or light yellow. They have few thorns and are rather tender (American hardiness zone VIT), growing best around the Mediterranean, in California and in Australia.
- Tree Roses (See Catalogue)
- No entry yet.