There are actually thirty-five types of roses, or to be more precise, thirty five categories. No other flower has a wider range of size, color, shape and bloom form, than the rose, so when you start your rose selection process it's helpful to know the complete range of possibilities.
The American Rose Society classify's types of roses into three main groupings, using the magic date "1867" as the divider. The year "1867" was chosen because it was the year of the introduction of the first hybrid tea: La France. Roses known to be in existence prior to "1867"are referred to as Old Garden Roses or O.G.R's, and those after "1867" as Modern Roses.
So, the three major types of roses (groupings) are:
Within these three broad groupings are a total of 35 categories, some of which are a lot more common than others. We have listed and commented only on the more common types of roses.
These are often called wild roses and are listed by Latin name beginning with R. for Rosa. They have single petals and bloom only once. The bush may be 6 to 20 feet.
They are famous for their heavy fragrance, but often only produce blooms once a year. They do, however, have a good hip production.
An upright bush of dense blue-green foliage and white flowers. Often a climber.
These types of roses are single blooming, sprawling rose that originated in Scotland.
A thorn-less, once blooming rambling type rose.
Dutch hybrid "cabbage" roses. Winter hardy bushes of 4 to 8 feet. Blooms often have over 100 petals!
Some are repeat blooming but all have a very heavy fragrance. Bushes grow 3 to 6 feet.
Small 2 to 3 foot bushes with repeat blooming flowers of spicy fragrance. These are often very weak stemmed bushes.
Once blooming, small bushes which are winter hardy. Often very brilliant colors.
Six foot bushes in mostly pinks and reds. More famous in the 19th century for their scent and repeat blooming.
One of my favorites because of the "moss" covered top of the stem. Bushes are 3 to 6 feet tall and winter hardy.
These types of roses are large, sprawling bushes to 20 feet, with clusters of fragrant blooms. Originated in Charleston, USA.
Four feet tall bushes named after the Duchess of Portland. Hybrid cross of several different O.G.R.s.
The forerunner of the modern Hybrid Tea. Small plants with large blooms on very weak stems.
Please note that there are actually 21 categories in the 'Ó.G.R.' section.
These are the most common types of roses. The French breeder, Guillot introduced the first Hybrid tea which had elegant blooms and also repeated. Breeders were quick to realize that roses could be 'planned' and so far over 10 000 have been successful, since 1867.
These are the most popular of modern roses. Large, shapely blooms of 30 to 50 petals in all sorts of shades and colors. The 'Peace' Rose in 1945 was the earliest. In 1954 the Grandiflora was found by crossing the hybrid tea with the floribunda. Grandiflora grow to well over 8 feet. 'Queen Elizabeth' was the first Grandiflora in this class.
Bushes have large clusters of flowers with many blooms in flower at one time. These are the second most popular rose bushes after the Hybrid Tea, although the Tea blooms in a 6 weeks cycle while the floribunda blooms continuously. Easy to care for, hardy and more reliable than the tea's. Polyanthas tend have smaller flowers on smaller, sturdy bushes.
Miniature versions of the hybrid tea form of rose bush. Hardy, usually on their own root system and displaying miniature flower forms. Very versatile: edging and hanging baskets for example. Usually grow to about a metre (or 3 feet.)These are my personal favorites.Mini flora is a new category recognized in 1999: a sort of intermediate stage between floribunda and miniature.
These types of roses are sprawling, large bushes (up to 15 feet!)in every direction. Vigorous and hardy with large clusters of flowers. But you need plenty of room! David Austins or English roses are in this group which has five sub divisions.
A large range of shapes and flowers but characterized by their long, arching canes and climbing habit. Large bushes that need space to climb: fences, walls, arbors!
Please note that there are actually 13 categories in the Modern Roses section.
The American Rose Society has sorted roses into 35 categories. Basically, 35 types of roses! This helps as a basis for our selection when we are ready to plan our rose garden. Please check our page on Rose Types which provides a clear overview of the more common roses that you are likely to include in your garden plan.
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