Roses have graced the gardens of man for hundreds of years. Rose species are wonderfully and beautifully varied in color, petals, and origin. All roses, however, fit into one of the following categories: Species Roses, Old Garden Roses, or Modern Garden Roses. Each species is then broken down into sub-categories based on location, growth habits, flower form, and foliage.
Species Roses Species roses, otherwise known as wild roses, are the oldest known rose species and are credited as the origin for all other known and classified roses species. Gardeners are attracted to species roses because of their ruggedness and determination to grow in areas where other roses refuse to, or are not able to, grow and thrive.
Blooming only once per season, species roses are often planted in conjunction with and around hedges and as borders.
Species rose hips are fragrant and are uncannily resistant to pests and disease. Many of the rose hips of these roses are used to naturally attract wildlife, in flower arrangements, and even in cooking.
Old Garden Roses Old garden roses have graced gardens since at least the year 1867, if not earlier. These rose species are also referred to as heirloom roses.
Modern Garden Roses Any rose species introduced after the year 1867 is considered a modern species of rose. The main types of modern garden roses would include:
- Alba - roses are pale pink or white, bloom once, and have foliage that is sage green or grayish green in color with uniform thorns
- Bourbon – repeat blooms, fragrant, varied colors, and favored as show roses
- Centifolia – these roses boast over 100 petals per flower, bloom once, and are also called "cabbage roses"
- Damask – roses are red, pink, or white in color, noted for their intense fragrance
- Hybrid China – a tender variety of rose, known for dramatically changing in color from a light pink or soft yellow, to a deep pink or red
- Hybrid Gallica – thornless stems, red, purple, or pink in color, strong fragrance
- Hybrid Perpetual – repeat flowering species of rose, pink or red in color, and fragrant
- Moss – this class of roses garnered its name from the stick moss-like growth that appears on the flower stem and bud and smells like "pine" when rubbed.
- Noisette – an excellent climbing rose, clusters of flowers that give off wonderful rose fragrance, thrive best in warmer climates
- Portland – pink blooms, smaller plant of only about 4 feet in height, fragrant, and difficult to find in certain areas of the country
- Tea – few thorns, flower colors are white, pink, or pale yellow.
- Floribunda – continuous blooms in large, dense clusters in shrub form
- Climbers – wonderful roses species that are typically trained to climb trellises, arbors, fences, or walls
- Hybrid Tea – typically the type of rose given in a cluster of a dozen for holidays and special occasions. One flower per stem on upright stems.
- Grandiflora – a very tall rose plant often mistaken for a hybrid tea rose, producing both single blooms and clusters of flowers
- Miniatures and Mini-Roses – simply put, a smaller version of the Modern Garden Rose
- Polyantha – individual blooms provide lasting color throughout the growing season
- Shrubs – varied classed and sub-classes of roses in varying colors and shapes of blooms