University of Vermont Extension System
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Hardy Roses for Vermont             OH 12

Leonard P. Perry, Extension Professor

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.
Old Garden roses (15 classes, before 1867) Modern roses (10 classes, since 1867)
Species newer:
Gallica Hybrid tea
Alba Floribunda
Damask Grandiflora
Centifolia Miniature
Moss Climbing
Hybrid China older:*
Tea Polyantha
Noisette Shrub
Hybrid Noisette Hybrid Musk
Bourbon Eglantine hybrids
Hybrid Bourbon Rugosa hybrids
Hybrid perpetual  

*although "older" modern roses date to the late 1800's and early 1900's, there have been many cultivars bred and selected in these groups since then.

Those rose classes most often found in typical garden centers and nurseries include the hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, miniature and climber, and are the least hardy in Vermont and similar cold northern climates. The other "shrub" and species types are becoming increasingly available and may be grouped with shrubs in nurseries, and are generally more hardy. Those classes listed below represent the most hardy.

The following shrub rose suggestions are based on 3 years (1998-2000) data of trials at the Horticulture Research Center in South Burlington, VT (USDA zone 4b), and represent survival and performance with drought (summer 1999) and winter injury or survival. For full list of cultivars and ratings visit:

These suggestions are based on only the few cultivars tested of the many available.
Best Species:

acicularis (rose)

xanthina (yellow)

primula (yellow)

Worst species (died):

foetida bicolor

glauca (rubifolia)


Best Explorers (Canadian series):

Charles Albanel (pink)

David Thompson (pink)

Henry Hudson (white)

Worst Explorers:

Adelaide Hoodless

Champlain (died)

JP Connell

Best Rugosas:

Delicata (lilac pink)

Gootendorst Supreme (red)

Hansa (red-purple)

Mont Blanc (white)

Monte Casino (pink)

Monte Rosa (pink)

Schneekoope (white)

Sir Thomas Lipton (white)

Therese Bugnet (pink)

Worst Rugosas:

Agnes (died)

Parfum de líHay


Best Albas (all 5 tested):

alba maxima (white)

Felicite Parmentier (pale pink)

Koenigen von Daenemark (pink)

Maidens Blush (pink)

Pompon Blanc Parfait (white)

Best Shrub roses:

Canary Bird (yellow)

Magnifica (pink-red)

Seven Sisters (pink)

Worst Shrub roses (all died):

Amy Robsart


Cardinal Hume

Country Dancer


Flower Carpet

Sea Foam

Best Gallicas:

Conditorum (purple-red)

Rosa Mundi (pink/red)

Tuscany (red)

Worst Gallicas (died):



Best Damask:

Madame Hardy (white)

York and Lancaster (white/red)

Worst Damask:

Quatre Saisons

Rose of Castile (died)

Better Parkland (W. Canada series):

Cuthbert Grant (wine red)

Prairie Dawn (pink)

Worst Parkland (died):
Morden Centennial

Morden Fireglow

Centifolias: both cultivars poor

Meidiland: (modern French series) pink and white poor, other 6 cultivars died

David Austin: (modern English series) 3 survived poorly, 5 cultivars died.

Return to Perry's Perennial Consumer Page

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Lawrence Forcier, Director, UVM Extension System, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension System and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status.

Last reviewed 7/3/00