Kinds of Roses

By The Old House Web

Kinds of Roses

List of photos associated with this story.

Outdoor roses are commonly separated into three main groups by their habits of growth - bush roses including miniatures, shrub roses and climbing roses.

These groups can be divided into many classes, as shown below:

Classifying roses.

    Modern Classes Hybrid Teas Floribundas Grandifloras Miniatures
    Older Classes Polyanthas Hybrid Perpetuals Old Fashioneds (Heritage)
    Miscellaneous group of wild species, hybrids and cultivars
    Ramblers Large-flowered Climbers Everblooming Climbers Climbing Hybrid Teas Climbing Polyanthas Climbing Floribundas Trailing


Mature bush roses are 2 to 6 feet tall, except for miniatures, which grow 6 to 24 inches tall. However, shrub roses can grow to heights of 3 to 10 feet or more. Neither of these main groups requires support. Climbing roses produce long canes that may grow 4 to 12 feet or more and need some kind of support.

Bush roses are grouped into types primarily according to their flowering habit, winter hardiness, size and type of growth. Major classes of recent cultivars include hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora and miniature. Common classes for older cultivars include polyantha, hybrid perpetual and old-fashioned or heritage. Tree or standard roses is another group and includes adaptations of bush roses.

Hybrid Teas:

Hybrid teas are also known as everblooming roses because they bloom continually throughout the growing season. They are also the most commonly grown of all roses - when the word roses is used, it generally suggests a hybrid tea cultivar.

Mature hybrid tea rose bushes are 2 to 6 feet tall, depending on the cultivar. The flowers vary from singles, which have one row of petals, to doubles, which have many rows. In general, the buds are pointed and long and the flowers are generally borne one to a stem. Occasionally they may produce clusters of three to five. Hybrid tea cultivars are available in a wide range of colors, including pure white and many shades of red, yellow, pink and orange. All cultivars are good for cutting, although some have short stems.

Most hybrid teas have some fragrance. This characteristic varies, however. When fragrance is present, it is usually most intense in early morning before the fragrant oil evaporates from the base of the petals. Floribundas: Floribunda roses usually bear their flowers in clusters, and the individual blooms of many cultivars closely resemble hybrid teas. Some new cultivars tend to have single but smaller blooms than hybrid teas. Floribundas are increasing in popularity, especially for use in bed plantings where many blossoms are desired.


Grandiflora roses are a cross between hybrid teas and floribundas. They resemble hybrid teas in hardiness and in type of bloom - they can have either single flowers on long stems or clusters. The flowers are somewhat smaller than those of hybrid teas. The flowers are good for cutting.


Miniature rose plants, including leave and flowers, are very small; for some cultivars, height is about 6 inches, but may range from 6 to 24 inches tall. Miniatures are used for rock gardens, edging beds, borders and as featured beds in a landscape.


Flowers of polyantha roses are smaller than those of grandifloras, but are borne in large clusters. The clusters are similar to many of the climbing roses in form and size of individual flowers.

Polyanthas are hardy and may be grown in many areas where hybrid teas are difficult to grow. They are most frequently used in bed plantings or in borders with perennials and are excellent for mass plantings. One popular cultivar is The Fairy.

Hybrid Perpetuals:

Hybrid perpetuals are the June roses of grandmother's garden. Their flowers are large, but generally lack the refinement of hybrid teas. One exception is the white-flowered cultivar, Frau Karl Druschki, which many consider the finest of all white roses.

Prior to the development of modern hybrid teas, hybrid perpetual roses were very popular. As their name indicates, they are considered everblooming types, although some of them do not bear continuously throughout the growing season. They usually develop large, vigorous bushes if they are given good cultural care and are properly pruned. They are very hardy and tolerate low winter temperatures without protection.

Old-Fashioned or Heritage Roses:

Old-Fashioned roses include the cultivars and species that were popular in colonial gardens. Though the flowers of the old-fashioned roses differ from those of the new cultivars, they are usually much more fragrant. These roses are all very hardy, require little care, and furnish an abundance of flowers in June. A few cultivars are recurring bloomers.


Tree or standard roses are distinctive because of the form of the plant rather than the type of flower. They are grown by grafting any of the bush-type roses on upright canes. Many of the better-known cultivars of bush roses are available as tree roses. Tree roses are used in formal plantings or to accent a particular part of a garden. These plants need special winter protection to survive northern winters.


Shrub roses are actually a large group of roses that include wild species, hybrids and cultivars that develop a large, dense type of growth that is useful in general landscape work. They are hardy in all sections of the United States. While their flowers are usually smaller and have fewer petals than other types of roses, many shrub cultivars bear very attractive seed pods - fruits or hips - in the fall. They have fine-textured foliage and some are quite useful for hedges or screen plantings.


Climbing roses include all cultivars that produce long canes and require some sort of support. They are often trained on fences or trellises, but some are grown without support to cover banks and help prevent soil erosion. They are becoming more popular as improved cultivars-disease resistant, everblooming, larger-flowered - are developed.

Like bush roses, climbing roses are grouped into several types. Types frequently overlap, and some cultivars can be classified under multiple categories. Most rose catalogs list the following types: ramblers, large-flowered climbers, overblooming climbers, climbing hybrid teas, climbing polyanthas, climbing floribundas and trailing roses.

Rambler Roses:

Rambler roses are rapid growers, sometime developing canes as long as 20 feet in one season. The flowers are borne in dense clusters and are small, generally less than 2 inches across. The plants flower only once during a season and only on canes that were produced the preceding year. The foliage is glossy and the plants are very hardy, but many cultivars are susceptible to mildew. Older cultivars are being replaced by newer climbing cultivars that bear larger flowers throughout the growing season and that are less vulnerable to mildew.

Large-Flowered Climbing Roses:

Large-Flowered climbers grow slowly compared to ramblers. They are often trained on posts or some other support, and can require heavy annual pruning to keep them contained. Because this type of climber is often trained on some type of support it is well adapted to small gardens where they may be trained against a wall, fence or small trellis. However, many cultivars do not bloom as freely when the canes are trained horizontally. The flowers on vigorous plants may be large and useful for cutting.

Everblooming Climbing Roses:

Everblooming climbers usually bear an abundance of flowers in early summer. After this period of heavy bloom, the plants produce a few scattered flowers until fall. Then, if growing conditions are favorable, the plants may bear heavily again in fall.

Climbing Hybrid Tea Roses:

Climbing hybrid tea roses are actually bush varieties that exhibit climbing characteristics. When a hybrid tea produces a cane that has the climbing characteristic, the new type of plant is usually given the same name as the bush cultivar from which it originated-Climbing Crimson Glory, for example.

In general, the climbing forms of hybrid teas do not bloom as continually as the bush forms. However, the flowers, foliage and other characteristics are usually identical. Climbing hybrid teas are as susceptible to winter injury as the bush forms.

Climbing Polyanthas, floribunda Roses:

These types, like climbing hybrid teas, originated from bush-type polyanthas and floribundas that grew climbing canes. Flowers of these climbing types are generally identical to the bush forms from which they originated, and they also are fairly continuous in blooming. They are hardier than climbing hybrid teas, but cannot withstand severe winter climates without protection.

Trailing Roses:

Trailing roses are well adapted to planting on banks or walls. They produce long canes that creep along the ground and make a pleasing groundcover. The flowers may not be as attractive as other types, but because of their hardiness, they can be grown on banks or walls where other types of roses would not survive severe winters.

Photos associated with this text.

Photo title - Photo size  
Rosa Adeline - 69K Rosa Adeline - 40K
Rosa Belle Isis - 81K Rosa Belle Isis - 28K
Rosa Belle de Crecy - 42K Rosa Eddies Crimson - 74K
Rosa Eddies Crimson - 64K Rosa Frau Dagmar Hartopp - 75K
Rosa Frau Dagmar Hartopp - 56K Rosa Grootendorst Supreme - 49K
Rosa alba Koenigin Van Dennemark - 66K Rosa alba mme Plantier - 72K
Rosa alba mme Plantier - 31K Rosa alba semiplena - 30K
Rosa alba semiplena - 71K Rosa centifolia June - 23K
Rosa centifolia communis - 28K Rosa damascena Gloire de Guilan - 32K
Rosa damascena Kazanlik - 40K Rosa damascena York and Lancaster - 28K
Rosa delicata - 53K Rosa eleganteria Catherine Seyton - 74K
Rosa eleganteria Catherine Seyton - 43K Rosa eleganteria Meg Merrillie - 34K
Rosa foetida persiana - 46K Rosa gallica officinalis - 78K
Rosa gallica officinalis - 47K Rosa geranium - 58K
Rosa geranium - 56K Rosa multiflora - 90K
Rosa rubrifolia - 44K Rosa rubrifolia - 78K
Rosa rugosa - 84K Rosa rugosa - 42K
Rosa spp. - 75K
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