(row' zah)

Common name: Rose

Family: Rosaceae, Rose

Height x width: varies as noted

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: alternate, usually odd pinnate, leaflets toothed

Flowers: early summer to early fall depending on species and cultivar as noted; either once blooming, reblooming once or more after initial bloom (recurrent), or continuously blooming (everbloom); white, pink, red, yellow, orange, purplish with shades and combinations; single or double as noted; variously shaped

Hardiness: zones 3-7 to 9 as noted

Soil: well-drained, some species prefer sandy

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: bacterial leaf spot and crown gall, rose anthracnose, black mold, black spot (often serious), boytrytis blight, powdery mildew (often serious), other fungal leaf spots, fungal stem cankers, mosaic and streak viruses, aphids, asiatic garden and Japanese beetles (often serious), rose budworm, raspberry cane borer, rose chafer, rose curculio, stem girdler, rose leafhopper, leaf roller, rose midge, scles, rose slug, thrips, fall webworm, two-spotted mite, nematodes; often species vary in susceptibility to disease, as do cultivars depending on their parentage

Landscape habit, uses: borders usually planted solely to roses, containers and raised beds, massing, edging for low selections, hedges or along walls, along fences or trellises for climbing

Other interest: roses are native to most parts of the world, depending on species; they are one of the oldest cultivated groups of plants, being first mentioned in 2300 BC; over the centuries they have been used herbally as well as ornamentally, with much lore developing around them; with such a large group and so much breeding over the centuries, this genus stands alone in ornamentals as one of the most complex with thousands of cultivars

Other culture: culture will vary with species, however generally:

modern hybrids often respond to high fertility, although many species and shrub varieties tolerate low fertility; special rose fertilizers can generally be purchased

although roses require well-drained soil, adequate water should be provided especially for hybrids

pruning should be done to remove diseased areas, to remove spent blooms particularly on hybrid teas, after winter for winter injury, to shape a plant, to leave all but prime buds for exhibiting, or to give hybrid teas a break from blooming in warm climates

roses are also one of the most susceptible ornamentals to the most pests and diseases, with some control from selection of resistant varieties, and otherwise an intensive IPM or control program

roses generally do not need staking, allowing them to grow into a shrub of their natural form

climbing roses may need affixing to a support

marginally hardy varieties may need some winter protection in the north

Propagation: most can be produced from cuttings, although many cultivars are commercially budded onto a vigorous rootstock to shorten production time and to increase vigor, seeds are generally only used in breeding



Although there are various classification schemes for roses, each reference and rosarian seeming to have a different version, the following classes are fairly inclusive and basic to most classification systems. Before about 1980, seven classes were generally recognized including hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, miniatures, climbers, old-fashioned and shrub roses. Since then the old-fashioned and shrub categories have been further defined. The year 1867 has also generally been agreed as the division between modern and old garden roses, being the year of the introduction of what many consider the first hybrid tea 'La France'. Using this date, and the new classes, roses may generally be grouped as:

 Old Garden roses (15 classes, before 1867)

Modern roses (10 classes, since 1867)


Hybrid tea













Hybrid China

Hybrid Musk


Eglantine hybrids


Rugosa hybrids

Hybrid Noisette




Hybrid Bourbon




Hybrid perpetual




Those rose classes most often found in typical garden centers and nurseries include the hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, miniature and climber. The other "shrub" and species types are becoming increasingly available and may be grouped with shrubs in nurseries. Some of the modern shrub series and rugosa types are probably the most often found of these latter classes.


Hybrid Teas--these were developed first in the late 19th century from hybrid perpetuals and China teas and consisted of whites, pinks, and reds in elegant, long-stemed blooms; in the late 1800's Joseph Pernet-Dicher incorporated yellow for the first time from Persian Yellow (R. foetida persiana) and for a while these hybrids were called "pernetianas"; with the yellow also came susceptibility to black spot disease; this is the most popular class of roses with the most hybrids; one of the least hardy classes; considered the "rose of the century", 'Peace' is in this class

Floribunda--developed first in the earl 20th century from polyantha and hybrid tea crosses, these resulted in relatively more hardiness than hybrid teas, repeat flowering, and as the breeding progressed many blooms-- the main feature of this class

Grandiflora--first bred in 1954, the goal was and still is for roses with the blooms an stem length of the hybrid teas and the floribunda hardiness and clustered flowers; relatively few exist in this group to date

Miniatures--this class has largely been developed in the last half of this century from most other classes; they are characterized by a low or sprawling habit 3-18" tall, small buds and foliage, thin canes and hardier than hybrid teas

Climbing--they actually do not climb with tendrils or attachments as do vines, but rather have long canes which either arch or must be affixed to a support, so sometimes are merely refered to as long cane roses. One strict system classifies them as "climbers" if they have rigid, upright thick canes and "ramblers" if they have thin canes relative to their length which are flexible enough to be wrapped around a support. Another system classifies them as:

hybrid bracteatas--seldom seen in commerce, require much space

hybrid giganteas--tender being almost evergreen in warm climates

climbing hybrid teas--similar to hybrid teas only with long canes, often sports

kordesii climbers--named after famous 20th century breeder Wilhelm Kordes, a new species of medium size and upright pillar type

large-flowered climbers--those with medium to large flowers that don't fall into other groups

hybrid wichuraiana--once blooming, large with canes to 20', fragrant, from same species

ramblers--long canes, once blooming late, susceptible to powdery mildew, many from multiflora

Species--natural wild roses, native throughout the northern hemisphere, generally considered to have about 200 species although this is debated; flowers are single, have 5 petals, produce self-pollinated hips and seedlings closely resembling the parents; the several species included here are either showy or important parents of hybrids and are the most seen in U.S. commerce.


Species, Common Name


habit, other, cold hardiness


banksiae 'Lutea', Yellow Lady Banks R.

yellow, double, very early

20-30', disease free, zone 7


banksiae var. banksiae

white, double, violet scent

zone 7


blanda, Smooth/Meadow Rose

deep pink

similar to canina, zone 3


canina, Dog Rose

pale pink, small, early

tall, red hips, zone 3


carolina, Pasture Rose

pink, single, fragrant, mid

bright red hips, zone 4


foetida 'Bicolor', Austrian Copper

orange-red, yellow reverse

single, early, fragrant, zone 4


foetida 'Persiana', Persian Yellow

yellow, semidouble, early

parent of hybrids, zone 4


gallica 'Officinalis', Apothecary's Rose

light red, semidouble, large

early, fragrant, old, zone 3


gallica 'Versicolor', Rosa Mundi

red and white striped

oldest striped rose, zone 3



light pink, early, fragrant

reddish leaves, zone 3


hugonis:xanthina hugonis




laevigata, Cherokee Rose

white, single, early, fragrant

arching 6-20', zone 7



white clusters, many

honey scent, hedge, zone 4


multiflora 'Grevillei', Seven Sisters R.

pink/lilac/red, large clusters

double, Victorian, zone 4



lilac pink, single

gray-green foliage, zone 4


pimpinellifolia, Scotch Briar

creamy white, single, early

black hips, suckers, zone 4


*rubiginosa, Sweet Briar

pink, small, once bloom

tall, foliage scented, zone 4


rubrifolia: glauca





mauve pink, fragrant, single

everbloom, thorny, zone 3


*rugosa 'Alba'


as above


*rugosa 'Rubra'

deep pink

as above


setigera, Prairie Rose

pink fading, clusters

arching, red hips, zone 4



pink, single, fragrant, mid

orange hips, upright, zone 3


wichuraiana, Memorial Rose

white, small, early summer

prostrate long canes, zone 5


woodsii, Western Wild Rose

pink or white, single

upright, zone 4


xanthina f. hugonis, Father Hugo's Rose

primrose yellow, many

thorny, ferny, red hips, zone 4



Old Garden--these consist of several classes, generally derived from a particular species, and which were established prior to 1867-- the introduction of one of the first hybrid teas 'La France' and designated by the American Rose Society as the dividing line between old and modern.

Albas--tall and upright, soft and downy foliage, thorny canes, fragrant, white and pale pink flowers once-blooming, originally from alba

Bourbons--from borboniana, a natural hybrid of China and damask from the Isle of Bourbon (now Reunion Island), moderately hardy with better shape than Chinas and more recurrent bloom than damasks; hybrid Bourbons may be listed as a separate class

Centifolia--popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, these were believed developed in Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries, double and once-blooming, the inner petals are often packed into a button, intensely fragrant, thorny and long canes have sparse foliage

China, Tea--these repeat bloomers, not reliably hardy, were collected by European explorers from China in the late 1700s and early 1800s; the Chinas have smooth stems and leaves, were originally dwarf, and have loosely cup-shaped blooms; the tea-scented China roses or Teas have glossy leaves and few thorns, and when crossed with hybrid perpetuals led to the modern hybrid teas; hybrid China roses may be listed as a separate class

Damask--ancient hybrids of damascena and gallicas, these were forced indoors out of season by the Romans, and preserved in monasteries for medicinal use through the Dark Ages; intensely fragrant flowers are in tight clusters of 3 to 5, so tight that blooms sometimes do not open; most are quite thorny

Gallica--many dark colors with yellow or gold stamens, these ancient hybrids were also cultivated by the Romans; once blooming, fragrant, upright, and attractive hips after flowering

Hybrid Perpetuals--most popular in the mid 19th century, these hybrids largely of teas, Bourbons and Portlands were grown through the 1920s; original hybrids resembled old garden ones with tightly packed petals, later followed by more open and quite large flowers, and most recently resembling its offspring the hybrid teas

Hybrid Spinosissimas--similar to but more ancient than their shrub rose kin, these are also known as Scotch, burnet or pimpinellifolia roses; ferny, low and good flowering

Moss--a group of sports either from the centifolias or the damask perpetuals, the former having heavy green moss on the calyx and stems, the latter having brown moss and reblooming in the fall; popular during the Victorian era, the pine-scented buds yield intensely fragrant and fully double flowers with tightly packed petals

Noisette--developed by a nurseryman named Noisette in France from an American repeat-blooming climber hybrid of China and musk roses; lacking winter hardiness, they were popular in warm climates during the first half of the 19th century; hybrid Noisettes ma be listed as a separate class

Portland--also called damask perpetuals, they descend from the autumn damask, gallica and China roses; some of the original repeat-blooming hybrids, they were popular during the mid 19th century; rounded with smooth stems and foliage, the fully double petals are fragrant and with the outer petals curving inward form fluffy balls

Shrub, older hybrids--this catch-all group includes those not found in the old garden group being derived since 1867, but most of which date to the late 1800s and early 1900s and are often lumped under modern roses:

hybrid eglantines--these upright, tree-like hybrids were developed in the late 1800s by Lord Penzance and often contain eglanteria and foetida, the latter imparting susceptibility to black spot disease

hybrid musk--these generally repeat bloomers are more similar to their multiflora than their moschata or musk parents; they resemble large versions of multifloras and date from this century

hybrid spinosissimas--these are modern hybrids being upright, arching, rather open, early to bloom with large, sweetly fragrant and mostly single flowers

polyanthas--from the Greek for "many-flowered", these dwarf forms of climbing and rambling roses are some of the latest to bloom often going until frost, they are reliable shrubs but have been largely superseded by their offspring the floribundas, originally they came from multiflora and chinensis parents

Shrub, rugosa--this subcategory of shrubs roses is listed here separately as so many current selections of the 20th century derive from this species described above, in addition rugosa species have bright red and edible hips rich in vitamin C

Shrub, modern hybrids--this catch-all group includes the most recent hybrids since 1867, often part of a series, which are not listed under other classes; the series include that of Dr. Buck of zone 4 in Iowa, the David Austin English roses, Meidiland landscape roses from France, Carefree series also from Meidiland, the Explorer and Parkland series from Ontario and Manitoba respectively in Canada and bred for hardiness, and the Kordesii hybrids from Wilhelm Kordes in Germany.



The following are only those listed by many U.S. sources, or highly recommended by rosarians and in rose references. Often these recommendations may be subjective, and not include worthy cultivars highly recommended by others or for other specific climates.





'Abraham Darby'

shrub (Austin)

apricot, large, fragrant

tall, spreading

'Adelaide Hoodless'

shrub (Parkland)

red, small, clusters

spreading, once blooming


shrub, rugosa

amber gold, double

fragrant, no hips

'Alba Meidiland'

shrub (Meilland)

white, double

spreading, on own roots

'Alfred de Dalmas'

old, moss

creamy pink, double

recurrent, fragrant

'All That Jazz'

shrub, modern

coral salmon semi-dbl

fragrant, upright, AARS

'Amber Queen'


amber yellow, double

fragrant, low, AARS



pink, white center

large clusters

'Angel Face'


lavender edged red

fragrant, ruffled, AARS

'Baronne Prevost'

old, hy. perpetual

deep rose, double, flat

fragrant, vigorous rebloom

'Belle Poitevine'

shrub, rugosa

lavender pink, fragrant

semi-double, recurrent

'Betty Prior'


deep pink, spicy scent

everbloom, a classic

'Blanc Double de Coubert'

shrub, rugosa

white, double, fragrant




bright red clusters

recurrent, dark foliage

'Blush Noisette'

old, noisette

blush white clusters

double, recurrent, fragrant


shrub (Meilland)

pink, good hips

tall, upright, everbloom

'Carefree Beauty'

shrub (Buck)

pink, large, clusters

tall, arching, everbloom

'Carefree Wonder'

shrub (Meilland)

pink/white clusters

upright, everbloom


shrub (Explorer)

velvet red, semidouble

everblooms, zone 5, low

'Chicago Peace'

hybrid tea

pink, yellow, apricot

fragrant, disease resistant

'Chrysler Imperial'

hybrid tea

dark red, fragrant

2-3', 1953 AARS award



white, tiny pompoms

spicy fragrant, upright


old, gallica

pale pink, cupped

orange hips, upright

'Crimson Glory'

hybrid tea

velvet red, fragrant

spreading, disease resistant

'Cuthbert Grant'

shrub (Parkland)

wine red, recurrent

zone 3, low

'David Thompson'

shrub (Explorer)

red, double, large

fragrant, upright

'Don Juan'


dark red, double

fragrant, upright

'Double Delight'

hybrid tea

red/white, fragrant

2-3', 1977 AARS award




hardy, disease resistant



red, double, clusters

3', good hedge

*'F.J. Grootendorst'

shrub, rugosa

dark pink clusters

double, recurrent

'Fair Bianca'

shrub (Austin)

white, double, fragrant

everbloom, small

'Fantin Latour'

old, centifolia

soft pink, double, large



shrub, musk

silver pink clusters

double, recurrent

'First Prize'

hybrid tea

pink/ivory, double

fragrant, good cut, AARS

'Flower Carpet'

shrub (German)

rose pink, double

everbloom, low, recent

'Fragrant Cloud'

hybrid tea

coral red, double

very fragrant, awards

'Frau Karl Druschki'

old, hy. perpetual

white, large

one of best white roses


shrub, spinnos.

yellow, single, early

arching, vigorous, hardy

'Garden Party'

hybrid tea

white, pink edge

double, fragrant

'Gene Boerner'


pink, double, repeats

hybrid tea type, AARS

*'Golden Showers'


yellow, fragrant

recurrent, 1957 AARS

'Graham Thomas'

shrub (Austin)

yellow, cupped

upright, not hardy


shrub, rugosa

crimson purple, large

fragrant, recurrent, red hips

'Harrison's Yellow'

old, spinoss.

yellow, double, early

arching, hardy

'Hebe's Lip'

shrub, eglanteria

white, red margins

semidouble, early, fragrant

'Henry Hudson'

shrub (Explorer)

white lavender blushed

recurrent, semidouble, low

'Henry Kelsey'


red, semidouble

recurrent, hardy, arching


shrub (Austin)

pink, cupped, reflexed

fragrant, low, dense, dark



white, fragrant


'Jens Munk'

shrub (Explorer)

pink, double, fragrant

recurrent, upright, dense

'John F. Kennedy'

hybrid tea

white, green center

double, fragrant

'Joseph's Coat'



fragrant, 10'

'King's Ransom'

hybrid tea

deep yellow, double

fragrant, AARS

'Konigen von Danemark'

old, alba

rose pink, button eye

fragrant,Queen of Denmark

'La Ville de Bruxelles'

old, china

pink, double, large

midseason, fragrant, hardy

'Maiden's Blush'

old, alba

blush pink, double

fragrant, 15th century

'Margo Koster'

shrub, polyantha

coral, cupped, clusters

late, fragrant, dwarf

'Martin Frobisher'

shrub (Explorer)

pale pink, fragrant

tall, everbloom

'Minnie Pearl'


pink, fragrant

hybrid tea type

'Miss All-American Beauty'

hybrid tea

deep pink, double

fragrant, AARS

*'Mister Lincoln'

hybrid tea

dark red, fragrant

5-6', 1964 AARS award

'Mme Hardy'

old, damask

white, fragrant

once bloom

'Mme Isaac Periere'

old, bourbon

magenta-pink, large

fragrant, recurrent, 7'

'Morden Blush'

shrub (Parkland)

pink, long bloom


'Morden Centennial'

shrub (Parkland)

yellow, double

fragrant, recurrent, low

*'Nearly Wild'

shrub, modern

rose pink, single

fragrant, recurrent, hardy

'New Dawn'


pearl pink, double


'Old Blush'

old, china

pink, double

everbloom, upright


hybrid tea

red, double, fragrant

good cut, AARS award


hybrid tea

deep yellow, double

fragrant, AARS


shrub (Austin)

red, double, large



hybrid tea

creamy white

disease resistant, best white


hybrid tea

yellow edged pink

double, fragrant, popular

'Perfume Delight'

hybrid tea

deep pink, double

fragrance variable, AARS

'Perle d'Or'

shrub, polyantha

golden apricot

delicate starburst flowers

*'Pink Grootendorst'

shrub, rugosa

pink, double, clusters


'Pink Meidiland'

shrub (Meilland)

deep pink, white eye

small foliage

'Pink Peace'

hybrid tea

deep pink, double

very fragrant, awards

*'Queen Elizabeth'


pink, fragrant

5-6', 1955 AARS, good cut

'Rainbow's End'



hybrid tea type, fragrant

'Red Cascade'


bright red pompoms

sprawling climber type

'Red Meidiland'

shrub (Meilland)

red, white eye

spreading, recurrent, hardy

'Reine des Violettes'

old, hy. perpetual

velvet lilac purple

large, fragrant, recurrent

'Rose de Meaux'

old, centifolia

pink, small, fragrant

early bloom

'Rose de Rescht'

old, portland

fuchsia, large pompom

fragrant, recurrent


old, moss

rose pink, fragrant

recurrent, hardiest moss

*'Scarlet Meidiland'

shrub (Meilland)

red, small, clusters

spreading, fall rebloom

*'Sea Foam'


creamy white clusters

double, fragrant, recurrent

'Sir Thomas Lipton'

shrub, rugosa

white, semidouble

fragrant, recurrent



pink suffused coral

fragrant, good cut

'Souvenir de la Malmaison'

old, bourbon

soft pink, double, large

recurrent, 6-8'

'Stanwell Perpetual'

old, spinosiss.

pink, double, fragrant

recurrent, hardy



scarlet, fragrant


'Sweet Chariot'


magenta pompoms

spreading, fragrant

*'The Fairy'

shrub, modern

bright pink clusters

everbloom, zone 4

*'Therese Bugnet'

shrub (Explorer)

pink, double, fragrant

recurrent, red fall/winter


hybrid tea

pink/yellow, fragrant

5', 1955 AARS award


hybrid tea

brilliant orange

5-6', 1963 AARS award



white-red, fragrant

York & Lancaster, pre 1550

*'White Meidiland'

shrub (Meilland)

white, full, large


'William Baffin'


bright pink, semidbl

everbloom, large, hardy


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course, fall 1997.

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