Types of roses

The rose, which many consider to be the queen of flowers, can take many forms: old or modern rose, bushy or creeping shrub, rigid or supple stems, single or double flowers, low or high stature, etc.

The following practical classification will guide you through the countless varieties and cultivars that are available on the market.

  • Botanical roses
  • Old roses
  • Hybrid tea roses
  • Grandiflora roses
  • Floribunda roses
  • Polyantha roses
  • Modern shrub roses
  • Rambler roses
  • Standard roses
  • Ground-covering roses
  • Miniature roses
  • Standard roses

Botanical Rosebushes

  • These roses grow spontaneously in nature;
  • They usually have single five-petal flowers;
  • They flower only once per year;
  • Horticultural roses were created from these species.

Ex: Damask rose (Rosa damascena), Hemispherical rose (Rosa hemisphaerica), Red-leaved rose (Rosa rubrifolia), Rough rose (Rosa rugosa)

Old Rosebushes

  • Their cultivation dates back to before 1867;
  • Generally, they only flower once (which is why they are said to be non-climbing);
  • They flower on the previous year’s wood;
  • The flowers are very fragrant.

Ex: Rosa damascena ‘Mrs. Hardy’

Hybrid Tea Rosebushes

  • The cross between tea roses (originating in China) and ascending hybrids, made around 1867, gave the tea hybrids;
  • They usually reach 1.2 to 1.5 m (4 to 5 ft.) high;
  • Flowers are 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) in diameter;
  • Tea hybrids are usually grafted;
  • They produce one flower per stem, occasionally 3 to 5;
  • Most are not hardy in Quebec.

Ex: ‘Aromatherapy’, ‘Chicago Peace’, ‘John S. Armstrong’, ‘Peace’, ‘Pope John Paul II’, ‘Radiant Perfume’, ‘Tahitian Sunset’

Large-leaved Rosebushes (Rosa grandiflora)

  • The newest rose classes;
  • This type was introduced in Great Britain in 1954;
  • It was obtained from crosses between tea hybrids and floribunda roses (Rosa floribunda);
  • Plants often exceed 1.5 m (5 ft.) in height;
  • The flower looks like that of tea hybrids, but is smaller;
  • A stem can carry from 5 to 7 flowers.

Ex: ‘Cherry Parfait’, ‘Eternity’, ‘Queen Elizabeth’

Floribunda Rosebushes (Rosa floribunda)

  • Rose bushes are the result of crossbreeding between tea hybrids and roses with multiple flowers (Rosa polyantha);
  • They reach a height of about 90 cm (3 ft.);
  • Clusters of flowers are smaller than those of tea hybrids;
  • Floribunda roses are usually grafted.

Ex: ‘Frankly Scarlet’, ‘Gene Boerner’, ‘Golden Zest’, ‘Julia Child’, ‘Laura Bush’, ‘Lili Marlene’, ‘Lovestruck’

The Polyantha Rosebush (Rosa polyantha)

  • This type of rose was introduced in 1875;
  • They are stocky, upwardly flowering roses;
  • They produce small bunches of flowers;
  • They can reach 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 ft.) High;
  • Because of their small size, they are excellent candidates for our flowerbed borders;
  • They are usually hardy.

Ex: ‘Lovely Fairy’, ‘Mother’s Day’, ‘Ruffle’s Passion’, ‘The Fairy’

English Roses

  • This group of roses is now recognized around the world;
  • It is the result of the hybridization work of English rose grower David Austin;
  • The flowers are reminiscent of old roses;
  • They change color on the road to maturity;
  • They are very fragrant.

Ex: ‘Eglantyne’, ‘Evelyn’, ‘Graham Thomas’, ‘Heritage’, ‘Othello’

Rough Roses (Rosa rugosa)

  • The leaves are thick and rough hence the name of this category of roses;
  • The flowering is often ascending;
  • The flower is usually solitary;
  • Rough roses have decorative fruits (rose hips) in the fall;
  • Their hardiness is generally very good.

Ex: ‘Hansa’, ‘Henry Hudson’, ‘Pink Grootendorst’, ‘Purple Pavement’, ‘Thérèse Bugnet’

Shrub rosebushes

  • These roses are the result of parents of many origins;
  • They are generally larger in size than tea hybrids and grandiflora, floribunda and polyantha roses, sometimes reaching heights greater than 2 m (6 ft.) up to 4 m (13 ft.);
  • They are usually resistant to diseases and insects;
  • They are usually beautiful shrubs with a natural habit;
  • Their hardiness is often good in our regions.

Ex: ‘Be-Bop’, Cap-Diamant’, ‘Carefree Wonder’, ‘Citrus Splash’, ‘Knock Out’, ‘Morden Centennial’, ‘Morden Sunrise’, ‘Prairie Joy’

Rambling Rosebushes

  • Rambling roses can grow between 3 and 15 m (10 to 50 ft.) high, in Quebec a size between 3 to 4 m (10 to 13 ft.) is more realistic;
  • These shrubs have long stems;
  • These stems must be supported because they do not have tendrils or suction cups;
  • They are attached to a support such as a trellis or net;
  • Rambling roses can embellish a wall, column, arch or pergola.

Ex: ‘Alexander Mackenzie’, ‘Dortmound’, ‘Henry Kelsey’, ‘John Cabot’, ‘John Davis’, ‘William Baffin’

Ground-Covering Rosebushes

  • These roses can grow up to 60 cm tall (2 ft.);
  • Their width is typically 2 m (6 ft.);
  • They have long stems;

Ex: ‘Emera’, ‘Flower Carpet’, ‘Flower Carpet Yellow’, ‘Palmengarten Frankfurt’

Miniature Rosebushes

  • A dwarf rosebush (Rosa chinensis ‘Minima’) imported into Europe in the nineteenth century is the origin of these mini rosebushes;
  • These are miniature shrubs averaging 30 to 50 cm (12 to 20 inches) tall;
  • Miniature rosebushes produce 3 to 6 cm (1 to 2 ½ inches) in diameter;
  • They have a balanced port;
  • These rosebushes are suitable for growing in pots.

Ex: ‘Ambiance’, ‘Baby Grand’, ‘Child’s Play’, ‘What a Peach’

Standard Rosebushes

  • These are tea hybrids, floribunda rosebushes, small shrub rosebushes or miniature rosebushes that are usually grafted onto a rose bush;
  • The rosebush can be grafted or not;
  • Height usually ranges from 60 to 120 cm (2 to 4 ft.);
  • Some of these rosebushes are suitable for growing in pots.