The genus, Rosa, includes may different types of plants, most of which are valued for their flowers. Over the centuries, many species have been discovered and brought into cultivation in plant nurseries. They vary considerably in the size and form of the plant and the colors and form of their flowers.

There are three broad categories that are often applied to roses based on their growth habit.

  1. Bush Type Roses - includes most of the cultivated types usually grown in the home landscape. These have been further subdivided into several subcategories listed below.

  2. Shrub Roses - these roses are mostly species types that bear single, five petaled flowers in early summer. They form rather large shrubs that grow on their own, winter hardy rootstock.

  3. Climbing Roses - technically, these do not "climb" in the way vine plants such clematis or ivy climb. Rather, these are roses that grow very long canes. With support and tie down, they can be grown up the side of a building, fence or trellis but they will not climb without human help.

In addition to these categories, there are several other groupings of roses based on the species' history and other factors.

I. Bush Type Roses

A. Hybrid Teas

  • monthly or ever blooming types

  • single or double flowers

  • fragrance

B. Floribundas

  • flowers in clusters with individuals resembling hybrid teas

  • tolerates neglect better than most roses

C. Grandifloras

  • flowers resemble hybrid teas except they are smaller and in much greater abundance

D. Miniatures

  • roses with a maximum height of 6 inches

E. Polyanthes

  • flowers smaller than grandifloras and borne in clusters

  • hardy plants

  • good for use in mass plantings

F. Hybrid Perpetuals

  • also called "June roses"

  • flowers are large but lack the refinement of hybrid teas


G. Old-Fashioned or Heritage Roses

  • plain but fragrant flowers


H. Tree or Standard Types

  • bush type roses grafted onto an upright cane


II. Shrub Type Roses
  • miscellaneous group of wild species

  • large plants with dense growth habit

  • winter hardy

  • fine textured foliage

  • good for use in hedges

  • More about Shrub Roses...

III. Climbing Types [Plants with long canes that require support.]

A. Rambler

  • very rapid grower [up to 20 ft/yr]

  • flowers in dense clusters but individuals are less than 2 inches across

  • flowers once per season on the previous year's growth

B. Large Flowered

  • slower growing than the ramblers

  • require heavy pruning

C. Everblooming

  • produce an abundance of flowers in early summer

  • a few additional flowers in the fall


D. Climbing Hybrid Teas

  • bush type plant with long canes

  • do not bloom continually as do the bush types


E. Climbing Polyanthes and Floribundas

  • similar to the bush types

F. Trailing Roses

  • long canes that creep along the ground

  • good for hill stabilization or on walls

  • flowers are not distinctive

  • very hardy plants


Other Categories of Roses


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