Types of Roses: Amazing Varieties of Rose Hybrids and List of Rose Cultivars

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Types of Roses
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Roses are types of flowering shrubs that are famed for their beauty, scent, and wonderful flowers. There are so many varieties, colors, and types of roses that is it difficult to describe each one. Some types of roses have simple compact flowers that can be quite small. Other species of roses have large showy fragrant flowers packed with dozens of petals.

Roses (genus: Rosa) are woody plants belonging to the family Rosaceae which is in the order Rosales. This means that roses are related to trees and shrubs such as cherry trees, raspberries, almond trees, and plums. There are also many different types of roses that are suitable for almost any garden environment. Some miniature rose bushes are perfect for growing indoors in containers.

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In general, roses are classified by 3 main categories – modern garden roses, wild roses, and old garden roses. There are over 300 species of roses in total, with lower classifications of roses totaling thousands of cultivars and hybrids. Rose cultivars also come in almost every shade of color imaginable. Depending on the rose species, the shrubs may bloom once a year or bloom multiple times throughout the year.

Rose plants also range in size from small compact bushes with miniature flowers to large climbing roses that can cover trellises. Most varieties of garden roses are medium-sized shrubs that produce a multitude of beautiful flowers.

Over the years, gifting roses has come to symbolize many emotions and feelings. For example, a bunch of red roses means love and romance, whereas white or yellow roses can signify friendship, celebration, or joy.

Due to their exquisite beauty, roses are one of the most beautiful flowers in the world.

Types of Roses With Pictures and Names

We have created an extensive list of different types of roses with their common names and pictures to help you identify what kind of rose you have.

This list of roses contains many popular, stunning, and showy types of roses. You will also find out about some of the best cultivars in each subspecies of rose and how to grow them to make your roses thrive.

Modern Roses

The classification of modern roses includes all roses that have been cultivated since 1867. The first of the modern roses was a hybrid developed by Jean-Baptiste Guillot. This was a cross between a hybrid perpetual rose and a tea rose. (1)

It is regarded as difficult to classify modern roses, as many of them derive from Old Garden Roses and hybrids. Modern rose varieties are also very varied, which makes exact classification difficult. The most popular types of modern roses are hybrid tea roses, grandifloras, and floribundas.

Let’s look in more detail at the many lower classifications of modern roses.

Hybrid Tea Roses

tea rose is a type of modern rose

The tea rose is a popular hardy rose shrub

Hybrid tea roses are identified by their long, straight stems and pointed blooms. One of the reasons why hybrid tea roses are popular is that they almost constantly bloom.

These garden roses produce well-formed flowers than can be up to 5” (12 cm) wide when in full bloom. The flowering shrubs can grow to between 3 and 6 ft. (0.9 – 1.8 m) high and produce a number of fragrant flowers. Due to the beautifully-formed flowers and sturdy stems, they are very popular for cut flower arrangements.

Hybrid teas are hardy shrubs that are cold hardy to USDA zones 7.

Some notable hybrid tea roses:

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  • Rosa ‘Peace’ is an award-winning rose with large fragrant pink and yellow flowers.
  • Rosa ‘Double Delight’ has multi-colored red and white petals with a slightly ruffled look.
  • Rosa ‘Chrysler Imperial’ is a beautiful example of a romantic red rose with citrus scents and double flowers.
  • Rosa ‘Full Sail’ is a type of white rose that blooms from spring until fall and has a wonderful sweet scent.
  • Rosa ‘Tropicana’ has large showy coral colored flowers with strong scent.
  • Rosa ‘Papa Meilland’ has dark fragrant red large flowers that bloom over summer and early autumn.
  • Rosa ‘Dark Night’ has dark red large flowers with pale yellow underside petals.
  • Rosa ‘Apricot Candy’ has double apricot-coral flowers. This beautiful rose shrub blooms from spring to autumn.
  • ‘Black Baccara’ hybrid tea rose is a type of black rose flower – it has gorgeous black-tinged burgundy-red petals.

Shrub Roses

shrub rose (picture of white garden rose)

Shrub roses have many clusters of flowers on each plant

Shrub roses are in a classification of roses that don’t fit into the other groups of modern roses. In general, shrub roses are hardy rose varieties and can include species of roses that bloom once a year or are repeat-flowering hybrids. Usually, shrub roses produce many clusters of flowers on each plant.

Shrub roses can grow to between 5 and 15 ft. (1.5 – 4.5 m).

Some notable shrub rose cultivars:

  • ‘Fruhlingsgold’ is a flowering rose shrub that produces a mass of yellow and white flower clusters.
  • ‘Molineux’ rose could also be classed as a David Austin rose. The yellow showy blooms have a slight musky Tea Rose scent.
  • ‘Swany’ rose shrubs are a low-growing rose variety that is great for ground cover. Expect to get numerous white rose flowers on this cultivar.

Miniature and Miniflora

miniature rose (picture of pink rose flowers)

There are various types of miniature roses that can be grown indoors or outdoors

If you are looking for beautiful roses to grow indoors, then any of the miniature species of roses are great. These cultivars resemble hybrid tea roses but are just miniature versions. You can also plant “miniflora” roses along borders or edges in gardens.

Most miniature rose bushes grow to between 6” and 36” (15 – 91 cm) high and have small, perfectly formed rose-shaped flowers. Because these varieties of houseplant roses are descended from outdoor cultivars, they need periods of cold to survive. Some species of miniature roses are single blooming and others are repeat bloomers.

Some notable miniature rose cultivars:

  • ‘Cupcake’ is a repeat-blooming type of miniature rose shrub with pink flowers.
  • ‘Petite de Hollande’ is a beautiful example of a compact mini rose that has beautiful pink flowers.
  • ‘Stars and Stripes’ has clusters of small red and white patterned petals.
  • ‘Autumn Splendor’ produces stunning miniature flowers with two-toned orange and red petals.

Climbing Roses

climbing roses

The are many stunning hybrids of climbing roses in many color varieties

Varieties of climbing roses are types of rose shrubs that have long flexible stems. One of the beauties of climbing roses is that they bloom throughout the summer and fall.

These climbing roses can grow to around 20 ft. (6 m) and provide height and color in any garden. Unlike climbing vines, roses in this category don’t climb by sticking to walls or trellises. You need to attach the woody vines to surfaces to help them climb. When in full bloom, climbing roses can look spectacular with masses of pink, red, white, or yellow flowers.

Some notable climbing rose cultivars:

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  • ‘Blaze’ is a stunning climbing rose variety with deep red showy rose flowers that bloom from spring until fall.
  • ‘Eden’ with its delightful pink flowers can turn any wall, trellis, or structure into a sea of pinks.
  • ‘Cecile Brunner’ has clusters of small light-pink flowers and exhibits vigorous climbing ability. This is also a type of polyantha rose.
  • ‘Iceberg’ is a climbing rose cultivar with massive white ruffled flowers and grows up to 15 ft. (4.5 m) high.

Rambler Roses

rambler rose

Rambler roses can grow higher than climbing roses

Rambler roses are similar to climbing roses but are a different classification. The difference between species of rambler roses and climbing roses is their height and blooming habits. Rambler roses can grow up to 30 ft. (9 m) tall but they only bloom once in the season. However, some new rambler rose cultivars are available that are repeat bloomers.

When rambler roses bloom in late spring and early summer, the effect is truly spectacular. Rambler roses produce large showy clusters of small compact flowers with up to 20 per stem.

Some notable rambling rose cultivars:

  • Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ is a vigorous climbing rose cultivar with beautiful white, jasmine-type flowers. One specimen is said to be the largest rose in England and is 50 ft. (15 m) high and 80 ft. (24 m) wide!
  • ‘Gardenia’ is a hardy rambler rose cultivar with bushy pale-yellow flowers and a wonderful sweet scent. This is a repeat blooming cultivar.
  • ‘Adelaide d’Orleans’ has delicate clusters of small pale pink buds that open to white blooms.
  • ‘Dorothy Perkins’ is a popular type of rambler rose with large clusters of pink blooms.
  • ‘Princesse Louise’ has pale pink buds that open to ruffled white blooms.

Tree Roses

tree rose picture

Tree roses give stunning look to any garden landscape

Tree roses are a spectacular type of rose bush that look like a small flowering tree. The tree rose is developed by grafting a rose bush to the top of a long rose cane. Some rose growers graft 2 or 3 different rose bushes to create stunning floral displays.

Tree roses are eye-catching shrubs in any garden. The beautiful rose bush sits on top of the “tree trunk” and lets you admire some of the most beautiful flowers in a garden at eye level. Many miniature species of roses also make good tree roses.

Polyantha Roses

Rosa Polyantha 'The Fairy'

Rosa Polyantha ‘The Fairy’ has beautiful pale pink flowers

Rose cultivars classed as polyantha roses produce clusters of small rose flowers from spring until fall. Flowers on polyantha roses generally measure 1” (2.5 cm) in diameter and are usually pink, red, or white. It is not uncommon for some rose shrubs to have blooms on them for the whole season.

One of the reasons why polyantha roses are some of the most popular types of roses is the fact that they are low-maintenance and very hardy garden plants.

Some notable polyantha rose cultivars:

  • ‘Gruss an Aachen’ has light-peach-colored petals that form rosette-shaped double flowers.
  • ‘The Fairy’ is a type of rose with light-pink to white flowers. The tightly packed flowerhead may contain 25 or more petals.
  • ‘Happy Rose’ have cherry red small flowers.
  • ‘Cecile Brunner’ have pale pink fragrant blooms that repeat flowering during summertime.

Floribunda

rosa pomponella

Rosa ‘Pomponella’ is a type of compact floribunda rose that reaches 2.6 ft. (80 cm) high

Floribunda roses are identified by their many clusters of stunning flowers and have a distinct bushy appearance. This is described as a ‘free-flowering’ type of rose species due to the abundance of blooms it produces.

Floribunda roses have variety of colors including purple, orange, yellow, white, and pink.

Floribunda roses are cultivated by crossing Polyantha roses with Hybrid Teas. This produces hardy species of rose bushes that are easy to care for.

Due to their vigorous flowering habits, floribundas are often chosen for landscaping and beautifying public parks.

Some notable floribunda rose cultivars:

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  • ‘Iceberg’ gets its name due to the abundance of pure white floribunda rose flowers. This floribunda rose is also cultivated as a climbing rose.
  • ‘Anne Harkness’ has beautiful creamy-pink petals with a darker red center.
  • ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose flowers have chocolate-orange petals that look stunning in gardens or vases.
  • ‘Tuscan Sun’ has apricot-orange flowers in small clusters that bloom throughout the season.
  • ‘Honey Bouquet’ has beautiful yellow fragrant large flowers.

Ground Cover Roses

Avon ground cover rose with white flowers

Ground cover rose ‘Avon’ has white flowers with yellow center

As the name suggests, ground cover roses are low-growing species of roses that are also easy to maintain. Usually, rose cultivars in the ground-cover category grow to between 1 and 3 ft. (30 – 90 cm) tall. These landscaping roses are perfect to provide plenty of color for your garden along with fragrant scents and green foliage.

Some notable ground cover rose cultivars:

  • ‘Avon’ has brilliant white flowers in an open form and pretty bronze-yellow center.
  • ‘Flower Carpet Coral’ roses have pretty coral-colored wispy flowers that create the fragrant flowerhead.

David Austin Roses (English Roses)

David Austin rose

Rosa ‘Cottage Rose’ David Austin has beautiful pink ruffled flowers

David Austin is a famous rose breeder who has created some of the most stunning English roses. Although this is not a separate classification, David Austin roses are now world-famous. Rose cultivars in this category were grown to have the best features from Modern and Old roses.

Over the 50 years that David Austin has been breeding roses, over 240 new cultivars have been created. These English roses are winter hardy and disease resistant. David Austin English roses are well-known for their large showy fragrant flowers and beautiful pastel shades.

What is special about David Austin roses? They have the wonderful fragrance of Old Roses and the hardiness and vigorous flowering habits of modern roses.

Some notable David Austin rose cultivars:

  • ‘Benjamin Britten’ is a type of English rose with striking crimson-red flowers and double blossoms.
  • ‘Charlotte’ is a hardy English rose cultivar with exquisite showy butter-yellow and white flowers. Each flower packs as many as 100 petals!
  • ‘Gentle Hermione’ rose has fluffy large flowers that are pale pink and smell wonderful.
  • ‘Darcy Bussell’ is a fast growing rose with masses of deep red-crimson fragrant blooms.
  • ‘Harlow Carr’ has pink flowers with strong scent that bloom from early summer until fall.
  • Munstead Wood’ has stunning dark red-crimson blooms with strong scent.

Grandiflora Roses

Grandiflora - Pink Parfait

Grandiflora ‘Pink Parfait’ rose has beautiful pink flowers

The classification of Grandiflora roses includes roses that are crosses between hybrid teas and floribundas. The rose name Grandiflora comes from the fact that this species is larger in size than floribunda roses. Some of the larger cultivars can reach heights of up to 8 ft. (2.4 m).

Since the 1980s, Grandiflora roses are no longer as popular as they once were. Most people choose roses from the hybrid tea or floribunda categories for their gardens.

Some notable Grandiflora rose cultivars:

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  • ‘Love’ is an appropriate name for this large red rose with its delicate white shades in the center.
  • ‘Cherry Parfait’ looks stunning due to the brilliant white petals and reddish edging.
  • ‘Dream Come True’ has amazing rose-shaped flowers with soft orange, pink, and red multicolored petals.
  • ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is the classic Grandiflora rose and has a beautifully formed elegant flower that is a pretty shade of pink.

Old Garden Roses

old rose

Old roses include many groups with many cultivars each

Old garden roses are classified as any type of rose that was cultivated or existed before 1867 when the first modern rose was created. Roses in the ‘old garden’ category are also referred to as heritage or historic roses.

The identifying features of old garden roses are their intense fragrance and large showy double blooms. Traditionally, old garden roses were single bloomers but in the 1800s newer repeating bloomers were cultivated.

Old Garden Roses are classified into a number of groups. Here are descriptions of these groups of heritage roses:

Alba Roses

rosa alba

Rosa Alba ‘Maiden’s Blush’ – beautiful white garden rose

One of the oldest types of rose hybrids and they bloom in the late spring or early summer. Expect to get beautiful white and pink showy flowers from Alba roses.

Bourbon Roses

bourbon rose - fragrant rose

Louise Odier bourbon rose variety

Roses in the ‘Bourbon’ category have large ruffled pink blooms that have a wonderful fragrance and bloom repeatedly. These are also among the category of climbing roses.

Tea Roses

old tea rose

Old tea rose are not cold hardy but they are fragrant roses

Tea roses originated in China and are characteristic of having a delightful tea scent. These roses are repeat bloomers but are not cold hardy and prefer warmer climates.

Gallica Roses

rosa gallica

Rosa Gallica

Roses in the Gallica classification bloom just once in the season. They produce some of the best examples of Old Garden Roses that have maroon, purple, magenta, crimson, or red color.

Damask Roses

damask rose

Rosa x damascena

This ancient rose category gets its name from Damascus in the Middle East. Some Damask rose cultivars bloom in the summer and some bloom in the fall. There are also some varieties that are repeat bloomers.

Centifolia Roses (Provence Roses)

centifolia rose

Rosa x centifolia (also called Provence Rose and Cabbage Rose)

Also called Cabbage Roses, Centifolia roses have very large flowerheads that resemble a cabbage. Usually, the attractive rose flowers are in various shades between white and dark pink. Because of their intense fragrance, they are often used to create rose scents.

Chinese Rose (Rosa chinensis)

Chinese rose

Rosa chinensis

Species of old garden Chinese roses are often viewed as the main parent of modern cultivars. These repeat bloomer roses helped develop many of the modern roses that continue flowering from spring until fall.

Noisette Roses

noisette rose

Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’ is a type of light pink Noisette rose

Heritage Noisette roses were important types of roses to develop yellow and orange cultivars. Their large fragrant flowers continually bloom throughout the season.

Moss Roses

moss rose

Mose rose

One of the attractive features of Moss roses is the woody scent they give off. These roses produce a wide variety of showy colorful flowers and are some of the most beautiful Old Garden rose hybrids.

Ancient Hybrid Roses

musk roses

Pemberton Hybrid Musk rose ‘Penelope’, dating from 1924

There are a number of ancient hybrid rose varieties that are technically not classified in the Old Garden Rose category. However, most lists of rose categories classify some hybrids from the late 1800s along with other heritage and historic roses.

Hybrid Musk Roses produce clusters of simple flowers each with 5 petals. The name of this rose group comes from the strong musky smell the flowers emit. Musk rose hybrids are prized for their dense green foliage.

Hybrid Perpetual Roses were some of the first hybrids in the West to be cultivated as “reblooming hybrids.” This rose group includes many ancient rose cultivars from other categories that were cultivated to be repeat bloomers.

Hybrid Rugosa Roses is another category of rose that are grouped with Old Garden Roses but are newer hybrids. These repeat-blooming roses are extremely fragrant and have showy double flowers.

Bermuda “Mystery” Roses are an important group of roses due to the fact they grow in tropical countries but are resistant to disease. This makes these roses important for cultivating hardy, disease-resistant new breeds. They are called “mystery” roses as the names of the rose species aren’t known.

Species Roses (Wild Roses)

wild rose

Wild rose flower has 5 petals

“Species roses” is the botanical name for roses that grow naturally in the wild and are not the result of hybridization or cultivation. Usually, all types of Species Rose are single bloomers and have simple flowers with 5 petals.

Wild roses are good to grow in your garden if you want a hardy, low-maintenance plant. In fact, some gardeners say that wild roses seem to thrive on neglect rather than care and attention. They generally have a spreading nature and produce pretty pink flowers when they bloom in spring and early summer.

Some popular types of Species Roses for your garden include:

  • Musk Rose (Rosa maschata)
  • Scots Rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia)
  • Lady Banks’ Rose (Rosa banksiae)
  • Sweetbriar Rose (Rosa rubiginosa)
  • Rosa moyesii – a wild rose species that blooms in the fall

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