Roses Types


The classification of roses can occur on many levels. Grouping of plants sharing similar qualities can be done on a botanical level or a horticultural level.

Botanically speaking, roses belong to the family Rosaceae (rose-ay-see-eye). This is a large family and includes species considered to be food and ornamental crops. Familiar garden plants such as raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, almond, peaches, apples, and hawthorns are also members of the Rosaceae family. The rose family is made up of herbs, shrubs and trees comprising about 100 genera and well over 3,000 species.

Almost without exception, the plants we call roses all belong to a single genus called Rosa within a subfamily called Rosoideae (rose-oy-dee-ee).

Taxonomists put plants into the genus Rosa based on the following characteristics:

  • Stipules (a pair of green, flag-like appendages at the base of the leaf)
  • Compound leaves, usually with an odd number of leaflets (3, 5, or 7)
  • Prickles (outgrowths of the epidermis at any point along the stem), but never true thorns (modified stems originating from the buds just above the leaves)
  • 5-petaled flowers or petals in multiples of five (R. omeiensis is an exception with only 4 petals)
  • Unique to roses, production of “hips” as their fruit type

Botanists and taxonomists decide if plants belong in the genus we call Rosa. Horticulturally speaking, however, gardeners want to know more about the plant at a practical level. Factors such as growth habit, flower form, color, hardiness, foliage type, origin, and history play an important role in how a gardener makes selections. Modern Roses 12, published by the American Rose Society (ARS), is the authority on classification based upon characteristics such as leaves, stems, prickles, flowers, and fruit. According to the ARS, there are over 40 different classes. This detailed system is useful for hybridizers, nurserymen and scientists but may be a bit overwhelming for the average home gardener.

Rose selection for the home gardener is probably best made based upon how the plant will be used in the garden, the type of growing conditions and personal taste.

Almost all cultivars of roses in gardens today have come about through very complicated genetic influences. Horticultural classification allows us to group plants according to general features. Even though roses within each group share common features, these fairly arbitrary divisions can become very fuzzy.

Classes of roses such as hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, and miniatures are household names, but these are only four of the many classes of roses that are available to the home gardener. The wide array of classes may cause confusion and maybe a little intimidation. The gardener needs to keep in mind that the assignment of a rose to a certain class can be very fluid. The same rose may be placed in different classes by different authorities. There seems to be no set “box” for each rose.

The terms “old garden rose” and “modern rose” are quite commonly used. This is another classification level that can cause confusion and doesn’t always have clear boundaries. It is generally accepted that 1867 is the date that separates old roses from modern roses with the introduction of the first hybrid tea rose. However, it is the date that a class is created, not the year a specific variety is introduced that determines whether a rose is considered old or modern. For example, Gallicas are ancient roses. If a rose were to be introduced in 2008 that had Gallica parents, the new variety would be considered an old garden rose and not a modern rose because of its parentage. This is just another example of how classification can be very complicated.

Species Roses


These are roses as nature gave them to us. They are the species of the genus Rosa found growing naturally throughout the Northern Hemisphere. These roses are an enormously varied group of plants. They are vigorous, thriving on minimal maintenance, and tend to be extremely hardy and disease-resistant. It should be noted however, that there is variability within species. Some may be more tolerant than others. They range in size from ground cover types to very large upright growers and climbers. Their flowers can be very large and single or small and in clusters. Colors range from white to pink to crimson.

Species roses often have relatively simple, 5-petaled flowers followed by very colorful hips that last well into the winter, providing food for birds and winter color. Almost all are once-blooming in early summer. Perhaps the most familiar species for sale today is Rosa rugosa because of its superior hardiness, disease resistance, and extremely easy maintenance. The species has been widely hybridized. Species roses may not be for everyone. Rose enthusiasts like to include them into their collection for historical purposes as well as ease of maintenance.

  • Rosa carolina, Pasture Rose: A native American variety. Fragrant, bright pink, single blooms from May through July. Plant grows to 4 x 4 feet. Nice red foliage in the fall along with red hips. Spreads by suckers. Makes an excellent hedge or garden-to-woods transition plant.
  • Rosa foetida bicolor, ‘Austrian Copper’: Showy, fragrant, single, orange flowers with a yel- low reverse. Blooms in June. Plant grows to 5 x 5 feet. Suckers freely if allowed, making it a good hedge. This rose is the genetic source of yellow in Western roses.
  • Rosa rubrifolia, Red Leaf Rose: Small, star-shaped, pink flowers produced in June and complemented by purple-red stems and gray- red foliage. Round, deep red hips. Very large plant growing up to 9 x 7 feet. Makes a good back- ground for other perennials.
  • Rosa harisonii, ‘Harison’s Yellow’: The rose taken west by the Forty-Niners. Fra- grant, bright sulfur yellow flowers on arching canes in June. Plant grows to 6 x 8 feet. Suckers freely and will produce a large plant. Fern-like fo- liage. Because yellow is not indigenous in Ameri- can roses, there would have been no “Yellow Rose of Texas” without ‘Harison’s Yellow.’
  • Rosa hugonis (xanthina), ‘Father Hugo’s Rose’: Also known as “The Golden Rose of China.” Has attractive fern-like foliage on thin, brown, arching canes. Fragrant, single, yellow blooms in early June. A large shrub growing to 9 x 6 feet. Provides excellent fall foliage color.
  • Rosa setigera, Prairie Rose: A North American native. This plant tends to be a trailing shrub to about 5 x 6 feet. Foliage is light green on arching canes. Flowers once in the spring with single, deep pink flowers. No fra- grance. Produces small, round, red hips. Plant is tolerant of light shade and moist soils.
  • Rosa omeiensis (R. sericea omeiensis and R. sericea pteracantha), Wingthorn Rose: A graceful, arching plant with fern-like foliage on canes that bear very large, translucent red, wing- like prickles that are outstanding in the sunlight. Flowers are single, four-petaled, and creamy white, borne in early June. Large plant growing to 10 x 8 feet. Will also tolerate some light shade.
  • Rosa spinosissima (pimpinellifolia), Scotch Briar Rose: A vigorous, hardy native of northern Europe. Early, once-blooming with sprays of white flowers followed by round, black, shiny hips in fall. Small, gray-green leaves on reddish canes that offer winter color. Grows to 5 x 4 feet. Tolerant of poor soils and some shade.

Old European Garden Roses


There are five classes of roses that make up what is known as the most venerable group of cultivated roses. They are Gallica, Damask, Alba, Centifolia, and Mosses, and represent the hybrid groups that prevailed in European gardens prior to the widespread trade of Rosa chinensis in the eighteenth century. They are typically very fragrant and extremely cold-hardy (USDA zones 3-5). European roses tend to do better in cooler zones and may suffer when planted in zones 7 and higher. Also, contrary to common belief, the old European garden roses are not as disease-resistant as reported.

Gallica Roses

The Gallicas are the oldest cultivated Western rose surviving the fall of the Roman Empire by becoming naturalized wherever they had been planted. Gallicas tend to make bushy upright shrubs with fine prickles and dull green, heavily veined foliage that turns dark red in the fall. Gallicas are extremely hardy and are tolerant of soil not overly fertile. Fragrance is variable. Flower color is limited to stronger pink and purple-crimson shades. When grown on their own roots, Gallicas tend to sucker free, producing once-blooming compact shrubs growing to about 4 x 4 feet.

  • ‘Apothecary’s Rose’: The red rose of Lancaster has a long history and was valued for its perfume source as well as its medicinal value. An upright plant growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Heavy-blooming once in June with light crimson, semi-double flowers that are highly scented. Produces a heavy crop of small, oval, orange hips. Foliage is coarse and dark gray- green. Plant is tolerant of light shade. 
  • ‘Complicata’: Late spring-blooming with abundant, sweetly scented, 5-inch blooms that are bright, clear pink. Blooms are single with small pleats. Round orange hips in the fall. Plant grows to about 7 x 7 feet with arching canes. Because of its size, this plant can be used as a pillar rose. Will tolerate light shade.
  • ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’: A compact bush that grows to about 4 x 3 feet with stems that are almost free of prickles. Foliage is dark green edged with light maroon. Pink buds open to long-lasting, dark purple-red, velvet-like blooms with moderate fragrance. Summer-flowering only. USDA Zones 2-5.
  • ‘Charles de Mills’: Very large-flowering Gallica. Erect shrub growing to about 4 x 4 feet. Dark crimson blooms with purple tones that fade to purple mauve-gray. Flowers late spring.
  • ‘Du Maitre D’Ecole’: Among the largest Gallica blooms, starting out deep rose-pink and fading to light pink. Once- blooming starting in June. Dense foliage on a plant that grows to about 3 x 3 feet. Canes are almost without prickles.
  • ‘Hippolyte’: One of the finer Gallicas. Large, fragrant blooms of carmine-purple on long, arching canes that are free of prickles. Early summer bloom only. Smooth, dark foliage. Plant grows to about 6 x 4 feet.
  • ‘James Mason’: A bushy, somewhat lax shrub growing to 3 x 3 feet. Very heavy one-time bloomer in mid-June. Deep maroon red scented flowers. USDA Zones 2-5.
  • ‘Rosa Mundi’: A sport of the Apothecary’s Rose. One of the oldest known striped roses. Blooms are pale pink and striped with crimson, white and rose-pink. Very fragrant. Once-blooming in early summer. Compact plant growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Very good rose for mixing with perennials and other shrubs.
  • ‘Tuscany Superb’: A sport of the “Old Velvet Rose.” Blooms are very fragrant, semi-double, and rich velvet dark red with bright yellow stamens, once-blooming in June. Very vigorous shrub growing to about 4 x 4 feet, producing strong, upright canes.


Damasks are among the most ancient of garden roses. They were cultivated by the Romans and would have died out had it not been for the European monasteries that cultivated roses for medicinal purposes. Damasks are taller than the Gallicas with paler, larger foliage. Their habit tends to give a graceful, somewhat arching plant that opens up under the weight of its flowers. Damasks are known for their strong, distinctive, “old rose” fragrance and their June flowering, which produces a large quantity of blooms used in the making of potpourri. Flower color ranges from white to deep pink. Flowers are borne in clusters of 3-5 or more. Damasks are extremely winter-hardy, have little problem with dis- ease, and require little maintenance. Most bloom once in mid-summer.


  • 'Botzaris’: Flat, fully double white flowers on a medium size shrub growing to 4 x 3 feet. Strong fragrance. One time bloomer. Looks good even when not pruned. USDA Zones 2-5.
  • ‘Hebe’s Lip’: Named after the cupbearer of ambrosia to the Olympian gods. Blooms are semi-double, creamy white, with the edges tipped in deep rose. Prominent yellow stamens offer contrast. Very fragrant. Summer-blooming only. Plant grows to about 5 x 3 feet.
  • ‘Kazanlik’: A vigorous Bulgarian rose used as one of the varieties in the making of attar of roses. Ideal for the making of potpourri. Double, medium-pink blooms with strong fragrance. Summer-blooming only. A large shrub growing to about 5 x 4 feet. May need some support for best growth.
  • ‘Madame Hardy’: One of the classic Damask roses. Considered perfect with regard to flower form. Pure white blooms, semi-double and very fragrant. Bright lime-green foliage. A vigorous shrub growing to about 5 x 4 feet. With support it can grow to 10 feet. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Madam Zoetman’s’: Soft pink double blooms with a strong fragrance. Early one-time bloomer. Compact shrub growing to 4 x 3 feet. Dark green foliage. USDA Zones 2-5.
  • ‘Quatre Saisons’: Also known as the Autumn Damask. Heavy flush of very fragrant, clear pink, double flowers in early June followed by several light repeat blooms until fall. Considered an excellent source of petals for potpourri. Said to have been the petals sprinkled in Rome at the time of Nero. Plant grows to about 4 x 3 feet.
  • ‘St. Nicholas’: Compact shrub growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Gray-green leaves on canes that have numerous prick- les. Single flowers are a rich pink. Reblooms throughout the summer. Good production of colorful hips if not dead-headed.

Alba Roses

Alba roses are known as the "White Roses of Shakespeare." Albas are noted for their soft scent, sparse prickles, and deep blue-green foliage. Albas often reach a height of 7-8 feet, making them the tallest of the old European garden roses. Contrary to what their name suggests, blooms range from white to medium-pink. All Albas are once-blooming in mid-summer. Because of their height and foliage color, they make good backdrops for other plants. Albas are some of the toughest roses, offering extreme cold-hardiness and tolerance of considerable neglect. Albas will produce some bloom in the shade. They seem to grow very well and happily along a north-facing wall under the dappled shade of tall trees.

  • ‘Alba Maxima’: Also called the “White Rose of York.” Very fragrant semi-double, white flowers producing an excellent crop of bright red hips in the fall. Gray-green foliage produced on canes with few but large prickles. Forms a large shrub up to 10 feet tall with support. Without support the plant grows to about 6 x 6 feet. Tolerant of light shade. This is another of the roses used as a component of ‘attar of roses.’
  • ‘Belle Amour’: A strong, tall shrub growing to about 6 x 3 feet with gray-green foliage. Produces semi-double, light pink blooms that have a myrrh fragrance. Summer-blooming only.
  • ‘Felicite Parmentier’: Clear, soft pink blooms with medium-strong fragrance. Summer-blooming only. Shrub grows to about 5 x 5 feet, producing arching canes with bright green foliage. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Konigen von Danemark’: Blooms are full, long-lasting, deep pink with pale edges. Very fragrant. Summer-blooming only. Plant grows to about 5 x 4 feet. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Maiden’s Blush’: Blooms are loosely double, clear pink with pale edges. Has sweet fragrance. Summer-blooming only. Plant grows to about 5 x 4 feet and has blue- gray foliage. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Madame Legras de St. Germain’: Tall-growing plant with very few prickles on the canes. Foliage is gray-green and downy. Flowers are double, white, and produced in clusters that hold up well in rainy weather. Very highly scented. Summer-blooming only. Plant grows to about 6 x 6 feet, and if supported can grow to 12 feet.
  • ‘Madame Plantier’: Very heavy early bloomer. Clusters of yellow- tinged, cream white flowers that change to pure white. Very fragrant. Plant grows to a large, full bush of 8 feet or more if supported.


These are the "hundred petaled" roses or "cabbage roses" made famous by Dutch still life painters and are the result of hybridizing efforts by Dutch breeders in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Centifolias are distinctive shrubs, with large, coarse leaves, numerous prickles, and long, floppy canes. All are extremely fragrant. Centifolias are also very tough, winter-hardy plants that show few problems with fungal disease. Centifolias are one-time, mid-summer bloomers noted for the fullness and size of their flowers. They range in color from dark pink to lavender. Because their large blooms often weigh down the canes, many gardeners prefer to grow Centifolias as pillar roses or to train them over low fences to keep the flowers propped up.

  • ‘Bullata’: Also known as the “Lettuce Leaf Rose.” Blooms are globe-shaped, 3 inches in diameter, medium- pink, and very fragrant. They are summer-blooming only. Leaves are unique in that they are loosely crinkled and indented, much like lettuce. New growth is bronze-colored. Plant grows to about 4 x 4 feet.
  • ‘Cabbage Rose’: Blooms are globe-shaped, rich pink, with a very strong fragrance. Plants form a loose, open shrub growing to about 5 x 4 feet. Coarse leaves on canes with numerous prickles. Summer-blooming only.
  • ‘Rose de Meaux’: A short, upright version of the “Cabbage Rose.” Flowers are pink, small, 1-inch double, and very fragrant. Blooms earlier than Cabbage Rose on plants growing to about 2 x 2 feet.
  • ‘Juno’: A shrub growing to about 4 x 4 feet with arching canes. Flowers are globe-shaped, light pink, with a green eye. Flowers are highly scented. Summer- blooming only.
  • ‘The Bishop’: Full rosette shaped flowers are a mixture of purple, magenta, cerise and purple. Very fragrant. Blooms earlier than other Centifolias. Upright habit 4 x 2 feet. USDA Zones 2-5.
  • ‘Tour de Malakoff’: A large, vigorous plant that grows to about 8 feet and can be trained to climb. Has abundant, fragrant, loosely double, magenta blooms tinted with purple. Excellent display of colorful hips.


The first Moss roses appeared as sports or mutations of Centifolia roses during the eighteenth century. Later they were joined by sports of Damask roses, which brought with them repeat blooming characteristics and darker colors. The name of this class comes from the fragrant, piney-scented glands that cover the buds, sepals, and pedicels, giving the plant a fuzzy appearance and a characteristic that is unique among roses. Plant size and garden habit are variable among the Moss roses. Most of them are very hardy, but they do tend to be highly prone to powdery mildew when conditions are favorable for this disease. All of the Moss roses bloom heavily in early summer, with some rebloom occurring late in the season. Flower color ranges from white to very dark crimson.

  • Deuil de Paul Fontaine’: Large, crimson flowers that have a touch of purple. Will repeat bloom. Plant grows to about 3 x 3 feet. Has abundant red moss on the sepals and stems.
  • ‘Henri Martin’: Heavy display of semi-double, crimson flowers. Summer-blooming only. Plant grows to about 5 x 8 feet. Will tolerate warm summers. USDA Zones 2-6.
  • ‘Jeanne de Montfort’: Bronze buds open to large clusters of pink blossoms. Summer-blooming only. Large plant growing to about 6 x 5 feet.
  • ‘Perpetual White Moss’: Heavy, brown-green moss on sepals and stems. Large, fully double, white blooms that are heavily scented. Repeat bloom through the summer. Plant grows to about 4 x 3 feet.
  • ‘Salet’: Rose-pink blooms with good fragrance. One of the best repeat-blooming moss roses. Plant is upright and vigorous with arching canes growing to about 5 x 4 feet.
  • ‘William Lobb’: Semi-double flowers are crimson with a pink reverse. Summer-blooming only. Buds are heavily mossed and pine-scented. Vigorous plant producing prickly canes to about 6 feet high.

Hardy Repeat-Blooming Old Roses


As can be seen, hardy old garden roses offer just about everything a gardener could ask for in a rose: extreme winter-hardiness, excellent tolerance to disease, exquisite blooms, and outstanding fragrance. The one thing that is lacking is recurrent bloom throughout the summer. Gardeners wanting to combine all of the qualities mentioned above with rebloom capabilities need only to look toward the Bourbons, Portlands, and Hybrid Perpetuals.

Bourbon Roses

The Bourbon rose first appeared in the 1800s on the Isle of Bourbon (now Reunion) in the Indian Ocean. Bourbons bear large, full blooms that have a very heavy fragrance. They are extremely vigorous, producing shrubs that are big, wide, and very adaptable for training as pillar roses or on a fence. Most rebloom very reliably in colors that range from white to deep pink to scarlet. Bourbons are hardy to zone 4 and may survive colder climates with winter protection. Bourbons are occasionally subject to blackspot and mildew, which is not a major drawback because of the overall vigor of the shrub.

  • ‘Louise Odier’: Camellia-like, pink flowers produced in clusters all summer. Very fragrant. Plant is very vigorous and may be trained as a pillar growing to about 7 feet high.
  • Madame Ernest Calvat’: Large, shaggy, rose-pink blooms produced all sum- mer. Very fragrant. Plant grows to about 5 x 4 feet.
  • ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’: Large, loose, deep-pink blooms produced all sum- mer. Very intense fragrance. Upright plant habit, growing to about 6 feet high. Very well branched. May be trained as a pillar. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison': One of the most beautiful Bourbon flower types. Blooms don’t hold up well in very wet weather, however. Blooms are off-white with a pink hue and very large, up to 5 inches. Repeat bloom through the summer. Plant grows to about 5 x 5 feet.
  • ‘Variegata di Bologna’: Round, purple and cream-white striped flowers on a plant that can reach up to 8 feet high. Repeat bloomer and very fragrant.
  • ‘Zephirine Drouhin’: This plant may be treated as a climber since it will grow to 10 feet tall. Blooms are rose-pink, double, very large, and fragrant. Canes have very few prickles. Repeat bloomer.

Portland Roses

The Portland rose was discovered in 1775 by the Duchess of Portland. It was also known as Damask Perpetual and was considered a great discovery because it was among the very first reblooming garden roses. Portland roses are considered one of the very best old roses for the small garden because they tend to form shrubs that are only 3-4 feet tall and wide. In addition, the blooms are very highly scented. Blooms range in color from pink to red. Portlands have dark green foliage that holds up well and helps show off the blooms. Portlands may be a little tender for very cold USDA hardiness zones. Portlands benefit from winter protection in zones 4-5. It has been found that Portlands need about 2–3 years to get established in a new location before reliable bloom can be expected.

  • ‘Comte de Chambord’: Large pink flowers with a very strong fragrance. Continuous-blooming on plants with large, gray- green foliage. Plants grow to about 3 x 2 feet.
  • ‘Duchess of Portland’: Also called the ‘Portland Rose.’ Single to semi- double, scarlet flowers produced on compact plants which grow to about 3 x 2 feet. Needs dead- heading for best effect.
  • ‘Jacques Cartier’: Also sold as ‘Marquise Bocella.’ Deep pink flowers produced on a strong plant with leathery green foliage. Continuous-blooming with slight fragrance. Plant grows to about 3 x 2 feet and will tolerate some light shade.
  • ‘Marbree’: Pale pink blooms marbled with deep rose. Plant tends to be taller than other Portlands, growing to about 5 feet. Repeat bloomer with little fragrance.
  • ‘Rose de Rescht’: Highly scented fuchsia-red flowers produced in small clusters. Vigorous plant that grows to about 3 x 2 feet. Repeat bloomer. Needs very hard pruning to maintain good free-blooming characteristics.

Hybrid Perpetual

The hybrid perpetual class is truly a hybrid. This class came about from the crossing of Bourbon roses with roses from just about every other class. Hybrid perpetuals are a varied group and were very popular during the Victorian era. Some varieties tend to be less reliable in their rebloom ability, and there is variation in height. Most hybrid perpetuals are tall-growing, up to 6 feet or more. This makes them excellent candidates for use as pillar roses or along a fence. Most hybrid perpetuals bloom heavily in the early summer followed by an occasional bloom in the summer and a moderate bloom in autumn. Colors range from white to crimson with exceptional fragrance. Blooms often look like full-blown hybrid teas. Hybrid perpetuals are only moderately hardy in zone 5, needing winter protection or special siting for best survival. They also suffer occasionally from blackspot and mildew. Hybrid perpetuals also perform better after they have had a chance to establish themselves in an area.

  • ‘American Beauty’: Crimson blooms with moderate fragrance produced on long, strong stems good for cutting. Repeat-bloomer. Plants grow to about 3 x 3 feet and have a hybrid tea habit.
  • ‘Baronne Prevost’: Medium-pink, double blooms produced in spring with a heavy rebloom through the summer. Classic old rose form with an intense fragrance. Vigorous, compact shrub growing to about 4 feet high.
  • ‘Ferdinand Pichard’: Fragrant, bluish-pink blooms with crimson streaks. Repeat-blooming throughout the season. Plant has deep green foliage and grows to about 5 x 4 feet. One of the better striped roses.
  • ‘Frau Karl Druschki’: One of the best of the pure white roses. A repeat bloomer that produces large arching canes up to 6 feet long. Not much fragrance. Does best when trained horizontally along a fence.
  • ‘Paul Neyron’: Very large, loose, open, rose-pink blooms up to 7 inches in diameter. A vigorous upright shrub growing to about 4 to 5 feet tall with glossy green leaves. Repeat-bloomer.
  • ‘Reine des Violettes’: A classic old garden rose. Very intense fragrance; continuous-blooming; violet-shaded; double flowers. Canes are almost without prickles. Large up- right plant growing to about 6 feet tall (can be trained as a climber up to 10 feet tall).

Tender Repeat-Blooming Old Roses


Gardeners living in warmer hardiness zones (USDA Zones 6, 7, or 8) may find it difficult to grow quality rose varieties that fall into the old European garden rose class. Many old European roses prefer cooler climates for best growth. There are, however, three classes of tender old garden roses that do well in warmer climates: Chinas, Teas, and Noisettes.

China Roses

Varieties of China roses were long-standing favorites in Chinese gardens before Western collectors brought them back to Europe. In Europe, Chinas were soon welcome additions to the garden because of two qualities: recurrent bloom and a “new” color, a clear, bright, crimson red. China roses are far less tolerant of cold than European varieties and need extra winter protection and proper siting to survive. China roses tend to be short, with an open, airy habit. Foliage emerges a bright red before changing to a bright green on stems that are very thin. The thin stems bear a surprisingly large number of blooms. These roses also tend to resent heavy pruning. All of these characteristics add a great deal when China roses are used in a mixed herbaceous border. Flowers are not very well- scented and tend to get darker with age instead of fading. Because Chinas will not tolerate very cold winters, they are suggested for USDA Zone 6 or warmer conditions. Greater survivability can be achieved if these roses are grown on their own roots and not grafted. This may allow gardeners to grow them in USDA Zone 5 with protection.

  • ‘Cecile Brunner’: Small, light pink, compact blooms with slight fragrance. A continuous bloomer on a short plant growing to about 4 x 2 feet. Good for warmer zones.

  • ‘Mutabilis’: Yellow blooms fade to crimson. Young foliage is bronze colored. Very prolific bloomer which needs a sheltered, sunny location to survive cold cli- mates. Has the potential to grow to 20 feet tall in the right site

  • ‘Old Blush’: Due to its ancient Chinese history and its use in hybridization, considered to be the “mother of all repeat blooming roses.” Blush-pink flowers produced freely all summer. Canes practically thorn-less and very upright. Plant grows to about 6 x 4 feet.

Tea Roses

Tea roses also have their origin in China and were probably bred from Chinas. As a class, tea roses have qualities that make them excellent garden subjects where climate is appropriate. Most tea roses are hardy to only USDA Zones 6-7. Teas are very vigorous and disease-resistant and have some unique qualities. The canes of tea roses are very slender, making the flowers face outward or down. The foliage is very glossy green and sharp-pointed. Tea roses are most famous for their buds. These often open in an elegant spiral fashion.

Flower colors are soft and subtle, ranging from apricot to yellow to peach. They are also very heavy repeat bloomers. The fragrance of tea roses is also rather unique. Some have compared it to tobacco or black tea leaves.

  • 'Gloire de Dijon’: A climbing tea thought to be one of the best and most reliable yellow climbers. Prolific, pink-tinted deep yellow flowers that are very fragrant. Sturdy canes growing to about 12 feet tall.
  • ‘Lady Hillingdon’: Apricot-yellow flowers, fragrant and reliably re- peat-blooming. New growth is plum-colored. Very few prickles on canes growing to 18 feet tall. Can be trained as a climber.

Noisette Roses

Noisettes were the first reblooming climbing roses and the first class of roses to be originated in America. The Noisettes are for the most part very vigorous shrubs or climbers that offer blooms in very soft colors and some of the only yellow blooms found in old rose varieties. Many of the Noisettes are sensitive to winter cold below USDA Zones 6 and 7. However, some of the varieties within this class may be hardy further north and may warrant a place in the garden when grown against a sheltered, south-facing wall. Noisettes remain unequaled among climbers for vigor, disease-resistance, scent, and prolific rebloom ability.

  • ‘Blush Noisette’: Fragrant, small, pinkish-white flowers produced in clusters. Reliable repeat bloomer. Vigorous shrub growing to about 6 feet. Can be trained as a climber growing to 10 feet. Glossy green foliage.
  • ‘Champney’s Pink Cluster’: Clusters of double, pink flowers. Very fragrant. A very large plant growing to about 15 feet with support. The very first noisette rose.
  • ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’: Very fragrant, pale pink blooms in clusters. Repeat-blooming. Very vigorous shrub that can grow to about 10 x 10 feet.

Modern Roses


The modern age of rose growing began officially when a new class of rose was developed from a tea/hybrid perpetual cross. The year was 1867, the hybridizer was Jean-Baptiste Guillot, the rose was ‘La France,’ and the class that was born was the hybrid tea. The most popular roses sold and the ones that have the most name recognition in the modern rose class are the hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda and miniature and mini-flora.

Hybrid Tea

These roses typically have long pointed buds on long stems that offer an endless pallet of colors. All colors but blue and black can be found in hybrid teas. Perhaps of concern is the fact that in exchange for the perfect rose, with its perfect form and spectacular colors, an enormous amount of inbreeding has taken place. This has robbed many of the hybrid teas of the disease-resistance and winter hardiness that was found with many of the old roses. Another often mentioned is that hybrid teas no longer "smell like roses." In fact, many have lost their fragrance. However, with more than 6,000 varieties of hybrid teas available, it is possible to choose carefully from this pool and have hybrid teas that are vigorous and reliable. Many of the hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras will require spray programs to maintain healthy foliage.

  • ‘Crystalline’: Large, white flowers on a tall upright plant growing to 4 to 5 feet. Spicy fragrance. Does best with some heat and may require support. Very disease resistant. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Double Delight’: Large, full blooms that are cream white with edges tipped in red. One of the very best for fragrance. Plant grows to about 3 x 2 feet.
  • ‘Fragrant Cloud’: Large orange-red flowers on a plant growing to 3- 4 feet tall. Very strong spicy rose fragrance. Susceptible to black spot and mildew. Color gets deeper during cool weather. USDA Zones 5-7.
  • ‘Mellow Yellow’: Large deep yellow flowers with a strong citrus fragrance. Susceptible to black spot. Plant grows to 3-4 feet tall. Flowers tend to be larger in cool weather. USDA Zones 5-7.
  • ‘New Zealand’: Large double, light pink flowers on plants growing to 3-4 feet tall. Very strong spice rose fragrance. Very disease resistant. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Olympiad’: Large, bright red blooms. Plant has an upright habit and is bushy with matte green leaves. Has a light fragrance. Color is better in areas with cool summers.
  • ‘Peace’: One of the best known roses. Blooms tend to vary in color depending on soil type but are usually creamy yellow, edged with pink. A large, vigorous plant growing to about 4 feet with glossy green foliage. Light fragrance.
  • ‘Sunset Celebration’: Large apricot flowers with a slight fragrance. Plants grow to 3-6 feet tall. Very disease resistant. USDA Zones 5-8.

Grandiflora Roses

"Grandiflora" is a term coined in 1954 to describe a new rose developed from a cross between hybrid tea and floribunda roses. Grandifloras tend to carry their flowers in clusters on top of tall stems. The flower size is a bit larger than floribunda. Grandifloras are one of the taller roses in the modern rose class, so they work well in the back of the border or as a screen. Grandiflora blooms are usually double but lack a striking fragrance. 'Queen Elizabeth' was the very first entry in the grandiflora class.

  • ‘Gold Medal’: Very tall, vigorous plant with deep green foliage that shows good resistance to black spot. A continuous supply of deep yellow blooms that have a rich, fruity fragrance. Stems have very few prickles. Color also seems to be better in cooler climates.
  • ‘Queen Elizabeth’: A tall, upright plant that produces large pink blooms in clusters with a moderate tea fragrance. This is the first grandiflora rose and is considered by many to be one of the best.

Floribunda Roses

Floribundas came about when a polyantha rose was crossed with a hybrid tea rose. This was done in an effort to produce roses that were compact and had superior hardiness and disease resistance, something that was found to be lacking with hybrid teas. The American rose firm Jackson and Perkins coined the name floribunda and introduced the class at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Many floribundas produce an excellent display of flowers and are often used as low hedges, in borders, and in containers with other landscape plants.

  • ‘Betty Prior’: Single, deep pink, lightly fragrant blooms on vigorous plants growing to about 3 feet tall. A recurrent bloomer. A good plant for group planting or hedge. Considered to be one of the best floribundas from the 1930s.
  • ‘Europeana’: Semi-double dark red flowers with a slight fragrance. Small shrub growing to 2 to 3 feet tall. Susceptible to mildew. Does best in heat. USDA Zones 5 through 10.
  • ‘Iceberg’: Pure white, double flowers carried in large clusters on upright plants growing to about 3 feet tall. Continuous-blooming. Foliage is glossy, light green. Benefits from winter protection in colder areas.
  • ‘Moondance‘: Large white flowers with a raspberry fragrance. Tall upright plant growing to 5 feet. Very disease resistant. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Nearly Wild’: Outstanding shrub for use in a group planting. Neat mound growth habit to about 3 feet tall, producing a continuous display of single pink blooms in clusters.
  • ‘Playboy’: Large, single orange flowers on a compact shrub growing to about 3 feet tall with dark, glossy green foliage. Repeat-flowering.
  • ‘Showbiz’: Red, double, medium size flowers. Slight fragrance. Compact plant growing 16 to 24 inches tall. USDA Zones 5-8.

Miniature and Mini-Flora Roses

Miniatures are just that — small bushes with small flowers. Miniature roses have enjoyed a remarkable increase in popularity over the years. Many factors play into the increase, not the least of which is their adaptability to small gardens and containers and their dependability as extremely winter-hardy garden roses. Miniatures descended from a single dwarf China rose called ‘Rouletii.' Miniatures were very popular with Chinese gardeners and only became popular in the United States when breeding programs started to blossom just after World War II.

Miniatures range in height from 3 inches to 18 inches. Most are continuous bloomers with little or no fragrance. As a class, they are excellent for containers, borders, rock gardens, and other small spaces. Miniatures are almost always grown on their own root, not grafted. As a result, they are extremely winter-hardy. Much of the hybridization work on miniatures is now done in the United States producing many of the better contemporary varieties.

A quote from David Austin, a prominent English rose breeder, sums up the miniature rose revolution: "It is an odd fact that the miniature roses have received more attention in the land of the ‘bigger and better,' the United States, than anywhere else." Maybe it's time to think of miniatures not just as plants growing on windowsills or in clay pots in grandmother's kitchen, but as versatile garden plants.

  • ‘Baby Boomer’: Semi-double pink flowers on plants growing to 18 inches. No fragrance. Disease resistant. Good for containers. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Child’s Play': White flowers with pink edges. Fruity fragrance. Plant grows to 15-20 inches tall. Susceptible to black spot but mildew resistant. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Rainbow’s End’: Flowers are a yellow blend with red edges. No fragrance. Plants grow to 12-20 inches tall. Shade tolerant. USDA Zones 4-11
  • ‘Winsome’: Purple blend flowers. No fragrance. Compact plant growing to 18-24 inches tall. Disease resist- ant. USDA Zones 5-10.

Shrub Roses


This class of rose is a "catch all" for roses that do not fit well in other classes. This "duke's mixture" of a class includes everything from hybrid rugosas developed in the late 1800s, to hybrid musks developed in the 1900s, to floribundas and the latest and newest introductions in landscape roses.

"Shrub rose" may be a poor choice of words, and as a result the term is largely artificial because all roses are in fact shrubs –just as is a lilac or a forsythia. "Shrub," as applied to roses, is more a case of definition by usage rather than by description.

Shrub roses are noted for their well-rounded shape, their exceptional winter hardiness, and their better than average disease resistance.

Today's gardeners are finding the task of maintaining quality roses a bit easier with the introduction of many shrub roses into the market. Shrub roses are also very free-flowering, producing a good supply of fragrant flowers all summer. Shrub roses are bred and selected for planting "outside" the rose garden, blending well into a mixed border of flowers, as landscape hedges, and into the landscape at large.

One may find reference to both old and modern shrub roses. Both classes have merit. The old shrub roses are tall (6+ feet) and need a lot of space. They are also extremely hardy and pest-resistant. Modern shrub roses tend to be more compact while still maintaining the qualities you would find in older shrub roses. Modern shrub roses can be found carrying class names and terms such as "English Garden Roses," "David Austin Roses," "Sub-Zero Roses," "Dr. Buck Roses," "Kordesii Roses," "Canadian Explorer Roses," "Parkland Roses," "Meidiland Roses," "Hybrid Rugosa," and "Hybrid Musk."

Hybrid Rugosa Roses

Rugosa roses are a class of nineteenth-century origin. But the potential of using Rosa rugosa as a parent in breeding programs only surfaced a few decades ago. This produced a wealth of plant material that has resulted in one of the larger and more important classes within the shrub rose group.

The result is a rose with exceptional cold tolerance and disease resistance, handsomely wrinkled foliage of the rugosa parents, but with a wider variety of flower form and color and a plant habit that ranges from compact shrubs to vigorous climbers. Rugosas make perhaps the ideal low-maintenance landscape rose. In fact, applying fungicides often results in very severe leaf injury and loss. Rugosa roses can tolerate drier conditions without much reduction in bloom and can be grown in light shade. Add to this their ability to produce an exceptional display of hips in the fall and attractive fall color and you have a rose that most home gardeners welcome.

Two outstanding strains of hybrid rugosa roses are the 'Canadian Explorer' series and the 'Parkland' series. Both of these are products of Canadian rose breeding programs. The 'Explorer' roses were bred in Ottawa, Ontario and named after famous Canadian explorers. The 'Parkland' roses came from Morden Station in Morden, Manitoba, Canada. 'Parkland' roses differ somewhat from 'Explorer' roses in that the 'Parklands' may freeze to the snow line or to the ground. If they are on their own root, they will regrow and flower very well. This freezing back tends to make 'Parklands' a smaller-statured plant perfect for the perennial garden or smaller urban garden. There are a number of 'Explorers' that make excellent climbers for northern gardens.

Some key points with 'Explorer' and 'Parkland' roses are:

  1. They tend to do better when not fertilized to excess; heavy fertilization prompts lush, soft growth.
  2. Because the 'Explorers' have rugosa heritage, they do not like fungicide applications; treatment with fungicides for blackspot will make leaves deteriorate faster.
  3. Many of the hybrid rugosas perform better in cooler climates. In areas where it gets very hot, performance tends to decline. There are however a number of varieties that are more heat tolerant. Many rugosas are also tolerant of salt spray, which makes them good candidates for planting in areas where road salt spray is a problem.


  • ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’: Papery, pure white, semi-double blooms with a strong spicy fragrance. Repeat-flowering on a vigorous upright plant that grows to about 4 X 6 feet. Very dark green leaves that show excellent disease resistance. Good fall color with large, orange hips. Tolerates some shade.
  • ‘Dart’s Dash’: Large, semi-double, crimson blooms on a small bushy shrub that grows to about 3 x 4 feet. Re- peat-bloomer. Rich, leathery foliage. Produces numerous hips in the fall.
  • ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’: Also sold as ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup.’ Large, pale pink flowers on a bushy plant growing to about 3 x 4 feet. Continuous-flowering. Excellent dark red hips in the fall.
  • ‘Hansa’: Large mauve flowers with a clove fragrance. Re- peat-flowering. Dark foliage that shows excellent disease resistance. Vigorous vase-shaped plant growing to about 6 x 7 feet. Numerous large red hips. Tolerates some shade.
  • ‘Hunter’: Brilliant, double, red flowers. Continuous-blooming on a compact plant growing to about 4 x 4 feet. Tolerates some shade.

Explorer Shrub Roses

  • Captain Samuel Holland': Large, medium-red flowers. Heavily serrated, dis- ease-resistant foliage. Large plant growing to about 6 x 5 feet.
  • ‘Champlain’: Double, bright red flowers produced on compact plants growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Continuous-flowering. Stems have very few prickles. Disease-resistant foliage.
  • ‘Henry Hudson’: White semi-double flowers with a clove fragrance. Repeat-flowering on a low, bushy plant growing to about 4 x 4 feet. Light green foliage with good dis- ease resistance. Tolerates light shade. Makes a good hedge.
  • ‘Jens Munk’: Medium-pink flowers with a spicy fragrance. Continuous blooming on a dense upright plant growing to about 5 x 6 feet. Small, light-green foliage with good disease resistance. Tolerant of light shade and summer heat.
  • ‘Simon Fraser’: Pink, semi-double flowers produced in clusters. Compact plant growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Excel- lent foliage that shows good disease resistance.

Parkland Roses

  • ‘Morden Centennial’: Dependable repeat-blooming clusters of 4-inch, rose-pink flowers. Slight fragrance. Vigorous compact plant growing to about 3 x 3 feet. Dark glossy foliage with good disease resistance.
  • ‘Morden Fireglow’: Small clusters of double, red-orange flowers. Re- current blooming. Compact plant growing to about 3 x 3 feet.
  • ‘Topaz Jewel’: The only yellow-flowered, recurrent-blooming rugosa. Foliage is smooth and not typical of rugosa. Compact plant growing to about 4 x 4 feet.
  • ‘Winnipeg Parks’: Cherry-red, semi-double blooms on a vase-shaped plant growing to about 3 x 4 feet. Recurrent bloomer. Foliage is burgundy-red tinged and has good disease resistance.

Dr. Griffith Buck Roses


Dr. Griffith Buck was an Iowa State University rose hybridizer. He developed a number of varieties that are excellent landscape roses because of their winter hardiness and disease resistance. Dr. Buck applied the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest to his roses. If his roses couldn't survive the winter without protection and maintain good foliage without fungicides, he felt they didn't deserve to be introduced on the market. Just another pretty face didn't count much in his breeding program. His roses are sometimes referred to as "sub-zero" roses.

  • ‘Amiga Mia’: Pink double blooms produced in clusters. Light fragrance. Leathery green foliage on plants that are bushy and upright growing to about 3 x 4 feet. Continuous-blooming.
  • ‘Apple Jack’: Large semi-double pink flowers on upright plants growing to about 5 feet. Stems arch slightly. Green leathery foliage that has the fragrance of apples when crushed.
  • ‘Carefree Beauty’: One of Dr. Buck’s most popular roses. Large, semi-double, pink blooms with a strong fragrance on bushy plants that grow to about 3 x 3 feet. Continuous-blooming. Good display of orange hips in the fall. Excellent plant where a small everblooming shrub is needed. Good in combination with perennials.
  • ‘Freckles’: Semi-double pink blooms with yellow centers borne in clusters on erect plant growing to about 4 feet high. Continuous-blooming. Foliage is a copper-green color.
  • ‘Prairie Princess’: Coral-pink flowers with light fragrance. Repeat- blooming on a vigorous upright plant growing to about 5 feet high. Dark green, leathery foliage. Good disease resistance. One of the parents of ‘Carefree Beauty.’

Hybrid Musk Roses


The hybrid musk roses came to us by way of England in the early 1900s. Hybrid musks are often overlooked as a class of rose for the garden, but they offer much. Hybrid musks are generally large (6+ feet) and have an arching habit. Most all are hardy to USDA zones 5-6. They have attractive leathery foliage and rebloom reliably through the summer in large trusses of small- to medium-sized flowers with a strong fragrance. Hybrid musks have outstanding disease resistance and are exceptionally tolerant of filtered shade, blooming well with as little as 5 hours of direct sunlight. Most can be used as pillar roses or as short climbers for walls and fences.

  • ‘Ballerina’: Clusters of small, pale pink, single flowers throughout the summer. Light green foliage with good disease resistance. Plant is vigorous with arching habit, growing to about 5 x 5 feet. Toler- ant of light shade.
  • ‘Buff Beauty’: Double, apricot-yellow, fragrant flowers. Repeat- blooming. Vigorous spreading shrub growing to about 5 x 5 feet. Good disease resistance and tolerance of light shade.
  • ‘Francesca’: Large sprays of apricot-yellow flowers on a vigorous plant growing to about 4 x 4 feet. Continuous-blooming. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Nymphenburg’: Apricot flowers produced in clusters on a large plant growing to about 8 feet high with support. Glossy green foliage. Repeat-blooming habit.
  • ‘Penelope’: Large, light pink, semi-double blooms with a light fragrance. Foliage is a dark green with red shades on a plant that grows to about 5 x 4 feet. Continuous-blooming. Tolerant of light shade.
  • ‘Robin Hood’: Clusters of cherry-red blooms on a dense compact plant growing to about 5 x 5 feet. Continuous- blooming. Tiny red hips in the fall.

English Roses or David Austin Roses


Not considered an official class, the English roses have become very popular through the work of breeder David Austin. English roses are meant to combine old rose style and scent with modern rose habit and rebloom. All of this comes at the expense of the typical hardiness and disease resistance one would find in the "old roses." USDA zones 5B-6 seem to be the limit for many of these introductions. However, with proper siting and winter protection you may get away with planting in colder zones. Many of the varieties offered tend to look more like hybrid teas in growth habit than old garden roses. This is why Austin suggests grouping 2 to 3 plants on 18-inch centers for the full old rose bush look. A site with light shade coming in the mid-afternoon helps blooms to retain their fresh look longer.

  • ‘Evelyn’: Large apricot-yellow blooms. Very fragrant, a small shrub growing to about 2 x 2 feet. Has re- peat bloom capability.
  • ‘Gertrude Jekyll’: Double, deep pink blooms on an upright bushy plant growing to about 4 x 3 feet. Very fragrant and continuous-blooming.
  • ‘Golden Celebration‘: Large, cupped yellow flowers. Strong citrus honey fragrance. Plant grows to 5 feet tall. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘Crocus Rose’: White medium blooms. Mild tea fragrance. Tall, bushy habit growing to 4 feet. USDA Zones 6-8.
  • ‘Mary Rose’: Double pink blooms on an upright branching plant growing to about 4 feet high. Very free-flowering. One of the more hardy Austin roses.

Landscape Shrub Roses


Landscape shrub roses is a term that has become familiar to the home gardener, as it is commonly used to market many of the newer shrub roses entering the marketplace. It is a very loose and open ended term and has been defined in terms such as “a rose that is typically over 4 feet high and grows in a mounded shrubby shape.” However it is defined, there are countless good examples of landscape shrub roses on the market. Many of them share common traits such as excellent disease resistance, outstanding winter hardiness, ability to look good with minimal pruning and the tendency to fit in well with other perennials and shrubs.

  • ‘Carefree Delight’: Pink blend flowers with a white center on tall plants with arching canes growing to 3-5 feet tall. Slight fragrance. Disease resistant dark green foliage. Excellent as a hedge. Red hips in the fall. USDA Zones 4-7.
  • ‘Knock Out’: Clusters of deep cherry red flowers on plants growing 3-4 feet tall. Dark green foliage that has a burgundy cast. Very disease resistant. Orange red hips in the fall. Many varieties in the series: ‘Double Knock Out’, ‘Pink Knock Out’, ‘Blushing Knock Out’, ‘Rainbow Knock Out’, ‘Sunny Knock Out’. USDA Zones 5-9.
  • ‘Scarlet Meidiland’: Clusters of scarlet flowers on a very vigorous “ground cover” type rose. Grows 2-3 feet tall and can spread to 6 feet. Very disease resistant and tolerant of tough sites. USDA Zones 4-7.
  • ‘Little Mischief’: Clusters of deep pink flowers on a vigorous rounded shrub growing to 2-3 feet tall. Glossy green foliage. Very disease resistant. USDA Zones 4-9.
  • ‘Snowdrift’: Clusters of white flowers on an upright plant growing to 3-4 feet. Disease resistant. Spent blooms tend to fall off cleanly. USDA Zones 4-9.
  • ‘Home Run’: Large, single deep red flowers on a vigorous plant growing to 3 feet tall. Flowers get darker in cool weather. Excellent disease resistance. Plants do well in hot, humid areas. USDA Zones 4-9.

Roses with Long Canes


Roses in this class go under a variety of names: ground cover roses, climbers, ramblers and pillar roses. The common thread is that all of them have very long canes that can be directed along the ground or over structures. No rose truly climbs, as they don't have tendrils or other devices to help grasp on supports. Many of the climbers offered in garden centers are sports or mutations of standard hybrid teas. As a result, their hardiness is very questionable in colder climates, where they often freeze to the ground each year. As a result, the reason gardeners grow climbers–to cover a structure–is lost; the process has to start new each year. Climbers and ramblers are distinguished by their bloom and growth habit. Climbers generally bear large flowers singly or in clusters on very heavy canes. Many climbers have periodic rebloom in late summer or early autumn. In addition, the more horizontal a climber can be trained, the more blooms it will produce. Climbers range in height from 8-25 feet. Rambling roses are almost all once-blooming with small flowers in large clusters. The canes are generally very slender, flexible, and easily trained. Ramblers get very large, often growing to 15-25 feet. Rambling roses were favorites with Victorian gardeners.

Gardeners in colder climates often have fewer choices when selecting climbers due to the difficulty of successfully overwintering the long canes. There are a number of excellent hardy 'Kordesii' and 'Canadian Explorer' types grown as climbers that overwinter very nicely. A number of roses found in the other classes can be treated as climbers, pillars, or groundcover roses by virtue of the fact that they have long canes that with support can be trained upward.

  • ‘Blaze Improved’: Dark red continuous blooming. Vigorous grower to 12-15 feet. Good disease tolerance. Blooms on old and new wood. USDA Zones 4-8.
  • ‘Henry Kelsey’: (Climbing Explorer rose): Vivid red, semi-double blooms with a spicy fragrance on plants growing to about 8 feet. Recurrent-blooming. A good rose for use with a split rail fence. Shade tolerant. Blooms on old and new wood. Orange hips in the fall. USDA Zones 3-6.
  • ‘John Cabot’: (Climbing Explorer rose): Crimson double blooms borne in clusters. Heavy recurrent blooming. Vigorous climber up to about 8 feet tall. One of the better Explorer types. Blooms on old and new wood. USDA Zones 3-6.
  • ‘John Davis’: (Climbing Explorer rose): Vivid pink flowers with a spicy fragrance. Grows to 7 feet tall. Canes have a reddish coloration. Very disease resistant. Blooms on old and new wood. USDA Zones 3-7.
  • ‘New Dawn’: Soft pink flowers with repeat blooming in late summer. Vigorous grower to 18-20 feet. Disease resistant. Blooms on old wood. USDA Zones 5-8.
  • ‘William Baffin’: (Climbing Explorer rose): Bright pink, semi-double blooms. Continuous-blooming. Very vigorous plant and one of the hardiest climbers. Grows to about 9 feet tall. Dark green foliage that shows good disease resistance. Excellent winter hardiness and a good rose for use on a split rail fence. Blooms on old and new wood. USDA Zones 3-6.