David austin old english roses

Alexandra Farms is the largest licensed fresh-cut David Austin® Wedding Roses grower in the world. These beautiful and romantic roses feature old garden rose shapes and fragrances. They are the top choice of brides and event planners around the world who are looking for something extra special for their bouquet or event decor. We grow 15 of David Austin’s most romantic varieties and are constantly testing new varieties for future release.

About David Austin
David Austin was born in 1926. From an early age, he was interested in gardening. In the 1940s, a copy of George Bunyard’s book on old roses gave him the idea of crossing old roses with modern roses, and he went into business as a nurseryman in the early 1960s. The old roses – gallicas, damasks, albas, etc. – had all but died out at that time. His objective was to create new roses in the style of old roses by combining the unique charm and fragrance of old roses with the wide color range and repeat-flowering qualities of modern roses. In the early 1990s, David began breeding for cut roses, focusing on roses with the shapes and fragrances of old garden roses and the vase life of commercial cut varieties. The Wedding & Event Roses in this collection are the result of his work. Mr. Austin passed away peacefully at his home in Shropshire, England, on Dec. 18, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was 92. He leaves behind a great legacy that many around the world will treasure as a result of his passion, unwavering vision and life’s work.

For further information and inspiration, please visit the David Austin website.

Click here to download the David Austin Care & Handling information.

Request a printed copy of the latest David Austin brochure here.

The Fascinating History of David Austin Roses

A lush, flowering rosebed is the crowning glory of the garden – these classic beauties offer an enchanting world filled with endless colors, scents, and sizes to try. But not all roses are created equal. In fact, some breeds are so special, they take almost a decade to create. Such is the case for the 900 varieties offered by David Austin Roses, an England-based rose breeder and terrain favorite. We chatted with Rebecca Reid, rose expert and US representative for David Austin Roses, to learn more about the fascinating history of these hybrid roses, where to start if you’re new to rose gardening, and the one mistake most gardeners make (and how to avoid it!).
terrain: Can you tell us a little bit about the history of David Austin Roses?
Rebecca: In the 40’s, as a teenager, Mr. Austin was fascinated with roses, but when his sister gave him A. E. Bunyard’s Old Garden Roses for his 21st birthday, he took action. His love was for the Old Roses (whose colors were primarily whites, blush, pink, and soft red), but the modern Hybrid Tea roses were growing in popularity. They offered a wider color range and repeat flower. David Austin had the brilliant idea to cross the two – to create a completely new rose – one that had the beauty and fragrance of the Old Roses, with the benefits of the modern roses.
terrain: David Austin Roses are obviously incredibly special. Can you tell us what sets them apart from other roses out there?
Rebecca: The extensive breeding. Our roses are bred for not only fragrance, but disease resistance, repeat bloom, grace, and charm. From pollination to sale, the process takes nine years! For each new rose released, roughly 120,000 unique roses have been grown for research. Most roses in the collection have large, densely petalled blooms and the collective group is known as English Roses.

Photo courtesy of David Austin Roses Ltd

terrain: How do David Austin Roses get named? They’re all so romantic and lovely sounding!
Rebecca: Mr. Austin is a huge fan of British literature. Some roses are named after Shakespearean characters, others the surrounding British landscape, castles, royalty, and notables. Gertrude Jekyll, one of our most fragrant roses, is named for famed the garden designer and Munstead Wood, her garden. Other honor family members. Olivia Rose Austin, a newer introduction, is considered one of Mr. Austin’s best introductions to date.
terrain: For those gardeners who might be intimidated about dipping their toe into the world of roses – what advice do you have?
Rebecca: Don’t be afraid! A rose in merely a flowering shrub. People are terrified of pruning. The more you prune, the more flowers you get. You cannot kill a David Austin Rose by pruning it incorrectly. You don’t have to open up the center – they are not hybrid teas. You don’t have to obey the ‘cut just above a five-leaflet leaf’ rule. Many of the rose rules were created by gardeners who grew roses for exhibition. Once established, roses can be very drought tolerant – so back off on watering once your rose is established.
terrain: Do you see a recurring trouble spot that many gardeners have when it comes to roses? How can they remedy that?
Rebecca: Everyone thinks roses must have 6-8 hours of full sun. David Austin Roses will flower in four hours of sun. This is key: Plant them where they will get morning sun that transitions into afternoon sun or shade. Never plant a rose (ours or anyone else’s) where it gets no sun in the morning and then gets full sun in the afternoon. It’s too intense and the rose will stress. Don’t forget to feed: roses that bloom a lot – and ours do – benefit from an initial feeding when leaves appear, and immediately after each flush of blooms. And lastly, DON’T OVER WATER!
Ready to take the rose plunge in your own garden? Contact the local terrain store to check on availability near you!

Late last year, on Dec. 18th, David C. H. Austin, Sr., the legendary English rosarian and founder of David Austin® Roses Ltd., passed away at the age of 92. According to representatives, he died peacefully at his home in Shropshire surrounded by his family, an end befitting a man who brought so much beauty and wonder to the lives of others.

Rose hybridizer and writer David C. H. Austin founded David Austin Roses in 1969 in Shropshire, England. The Austin nursery, display gardens and plant center in the village of Albrighton draw visitors from around the globe.

Born in 1926 and raised on a family farm in the Shropshire countryside, Austin’s interest in flowers blossomed early. As the story goes, he was just a schoolboy when he found in the school library an issue of the great garden magazine Gardens Illustrated. What he saw on the pages ignited a passion that would last a lifetime. Austin’s father, a farmer, did not initially approve of his son’s interest in breeding flowers, but when the younger Austin turned 21, his sister gifted him with a copy of A.E. Bunyard’s book, Old Garden Roses. The rest, as they say, is history. Austin devoted his adult life to breeding what eventually became known as “English Roses.” His groundbreaking varieties combine the beauty and fragrance of classic varieties with the diversity of color and repeat-flowering habit of newer Roses. Austin eventually achieved worldwide success, but it did not come overnight. Austin’s first rose, introduced in 1961, was ‘Constance Spry.’ Industry professionals told him buyers would never be interested in what they called his “old-fashioned roses,” but Austin persisted, initially selling stock from his own kitchen table. By 1969, he had developed and was offering repeat-bloomers. But his real breakthrough came in 1983, when he introduced three of his English Roses at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Back at Chelsea the following year, Austin won the first of many gold medals. With a subsequent increase in sales, Austin was able to upgrade and expand his business and also his garden at Albrighton, which today is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful Rose gardens in the world.

The Austin gardens in Albrighton, England. The photo was taken in 2018 by White Flower Farm’s Eliot Wadsworth.

To best understand the patience, perseverance and wonder of what Austin accomplished in his lifetime, it helps to know that from pollination to sale, the process of creating a new Rose takes nine years. For each new Rose released, roughly 120,000 unique Roses are grown for research.

Rose Olivia Rose Austin™: Any Rose named for a member of David Austin’s family must be exceptional, and this lovely Shrub Rose is certainly that. Cupped, double blossoms of blush pink expand into old-fashioned rosettes that pale to pearly pink at their edges. They carry a rich perfume with sweet fruity notes.

Austin has 240 Rose varieties to his name. Although he was awarded countless honors during his lifetime, he has been quoted as saying that his greatest satisfaction was “to see the pleasure my roses give to gardeners and rose lovers around the world.”

Rose Claire Austin™: This intensely fragrant, double-flowering beauty is named for David Austin’s daughter. The shrub and its flowers are an elegant presence in any garden. Plants have an arching form that makes them well suited for use as small climbers.

At White Flower Farm, we are honored and privileged to have worked with David Austin’s company over many years. We are delighted that David Austin® Roses Ltd. and its remarkable breeding program will continue under the guidance of Austin’s eldest son, David J.C. Austin, who has been with the company since 1990 and who assumed the role of managing director in 1993, and David Austin’s grandson, Richard Austin. We look forward to doing our part to perpetuate David Austin’s remarkable legacy and to encourage the enjoyment of his exceptional Roses.

Emma Watson, Elizabeth Taylor, Emilia Clarke, Kate Middleton, Helen Mirren. Widely acknowledged as beautiful women, they all have more in common than just their celebrated beauty. They have all also been revered as an English Rose. From the majestic Helen Mirren through to our future Queen Kate, the ideal of the English Rose has remained the same. Yet while the checklist of characteristics required to be deemed as beautiful and an English Rose have remained the same, the society in which we live in has changed drastically.

Britain is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. We have accepted and enjoyed many of immigration’s influences over the past sixty years. But is it time to take it a step further, and accept that if chicken tikka masala can consistently be voted as one of the top British dishes, a woman of Indian descent, or any woman who is English by birthright and is beautiful without fitting the dictated mould, could and should be labelled as an English Rose.

While I don’t claim to be a beauty, as a mixed race young woman, with my curly dark hair, coffee coloured skin and thick thighs, I am aware that I am far from the image of an English rose. I have some beautiful friends, but because they’re black, or ginger, or too tall, they do not live up to what is demanded to be easily accepted as a stunner. This past week, this has been brought to the forefront with the media’s attention on the revelation of Prince Harry’s new girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle. Harry, already has felt the need to defend Markle from attacks from the media, whose behaviour around the issue caused ‘a line to be crossed’ in his eyes. Let’s say things go very well for the very attractive couple, and who knows, she is the newest addition to the Royal Family, she will become an English princess. Markle is frequently discussed with references to her beauty, her Instagram is full of fans’ gushing comments, but while Kate was so readily taken into the hearts of the country and seen as the perfect combination of beauty and purity suitable for a princess, for the label English Rose, it is highly unlikely Meghan Markle will experience the same enthusiasm. She is too sexy, an American, divorced. But if she were to be accepted, her beauty used to redefine our notion of an English princess, and an English Rose, that would be a game changer for all those women who do not exist within the lines of the concept of an English rose.

It is time to stop categorising and defining different types of beauty. Pretty is pretty, beautiful is just beautiful. It is time to appreciate all beauties under a label that has for so long been exclusive for a very specific type of woman. The English Rose label should continue to include the original beauties, but it can also include so many more. So let the changing face of our constantly evolving multicultural society be reflected in our ideas of beauty, and the changing face of the English Rose.

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English Rose

English Rose

English roses are some of the most fragrant blossoms available, and they’re now seeing a surge in popularity. Their double blossoms are a cross between old-fashioned roses and modern ones, bringing back the sweet fragrance along with new, lush colors.

genus name
  • Rosa
  • Part Sun,
  • Sun
plant type
  • Rose
  • 1 to 3 feet,
  • 3 to 8 feet,
  • 8 to 20 feet
  • 2 to 5 feet
flower color
  • Purple,
  • Red,
  • Orange,
  • White,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Spring Bloom,
  • Fall Bloom,
  • Reblooming,
  • Summer Bloom
problem solvers
  • Slope/Erosion Control
special features
  • Fragrance,
  • Good for Containers,
  • Cut Flowers
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9
  • Layering,
  • Stem Cuttings

Colorful Combinations

English roses have a better habit than many of the older types and fit in among perennials, often becoming the star of the garden. You can find English roses in a variety of colors, from traditional soft pinks and whites to vibrant corals, oranges, and yellows. Petal counts of these roses are substantial–some of the largest you’ll find. Many of the English roses also rebloom.

Create a fragrant and pretty rose wreath using these six steps.

English Rose Care Must-Knows

Along with being prolific bloomers, English roses are fairly low maintenance. They perform best in full sun. This produces the largest and biggest number of blossoms while preventing any foliar diseases. However, English roses do well in part sun, particularly in warmer climates where sheltered afternoon sun keeps them cool during the heat of the day and also helps create the most intense fragrance.

English roses require well-drained soil to thrive. Because some types rebloom and grow vigorously, make sure to amend the soil with rich, well-aged compost and add fertilizer according to package directions.

Pruning English Roses

English roses benefit from regular pruning to keep them looking their best while encouraging healthy flowers. Prune in late winter, just before new growth emerges. A general rule is to prune back your rose back by about one-third of the total height to maintain its current size and shape. You can prune more or less depending on how large you want your shrub to grow. Uneven soil moisture and drought encourages fungal diseases, so remove any dead or dying branches. Pruning also helps with air circulation around your plant, which can prevent powdery mildew and black spot fungus. You can also prune after the initial wave of blossoms to help hasten along a second set of flowers.

More Varieties of English Rose

‘Gertrude Jekyll’ rose

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Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ offers rich magenta blooms that unfold from fringed buds on an upright, vigorous plant. The flower fragrance is a rich antique rose perfume. Plants can be maintained as tall shrubs or encouraged to climb to 10 feet. Otherwise, it grows to 5-6 feet tall. This reliable variety is hardy in Zones 5-9.

‘Graham Thomas’ rose

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This variety of Rosa bears warm peachy-yellow blooms that appear in clusters and have the enticing scent of antique roses and a hint of violets. This vigorous variety grows to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide as a pruned shrub rose or 12 feet tall as a climber. Zones 4-9

‘Heritage’ rose

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Rosa ‘Heritage’ features huge, pale pink blooms that possess a sweet combination of fruit, honey, and carnation. They appear continuously through the season on the rounded, shrubby plant. It grows to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide as a shrub or to 7 feet if allowed to climb. Zones 5-9

‘Mary Rose’ rose

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This particular rose is an early bloomer that produces full, ruffled double flowers in a sweet pink permeated with an antique rose, honey, and almond fragrance. The plant forms a dense shrub that grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9

‘Mary Magdalene’ rose

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Rosa ‘Mary Magdalene’ bears apricot-pink petals around a central button in a flower style called a rosette. The double blooms have a sweet tea-rose scent. This variety grows to 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

‘Jean Giono’ rose

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This Rosa selection is a French-bred variety that produces full, double blooms packed with spice-scented golden-yellow petals with tangerine centers. The foliage is a shiny dark green. The plants grow 4-5 feet tall and are hardy to Zone 5, with winter protection.

‘The Dark Lady’ rose

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Rosa ‘The Dark Lady’ bears large, crinkled blooms that blend shades of red and violet and unfurl on a plant that spreads slightly and grows to 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

‘St. Swithun’ rose

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This variety of Rosa bears bowl-shape, frilled blooms in clear pink, redolent of myrrh, that appear on a vigorous plant with climbing tendencies. The canes can be pruned to maintain a medium shrub rose shape or encouraged to climb to 8 feet. The plant is covered with disease-resistant foliage and grows 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9

‘Othello’ rose

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Rosa ‘Othello’ features fully double, dusky crimson flowers that repeat throughout the summer and contrast with the dark green foliage. They have a strong, antique rose fragrance. This variety is thorny and very hardy. It grows to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9

‘The Prince’ rose

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Rosa ‘The Prince’ produces cupped rosettes of deep crimson that darken to a mysterious shade of dusky purple. They possess a strong antique rose fragrance. The plant is a good repeat bloomer and compact, reaching 2-1/2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

Garden Plans For English Rose

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Modern Garden Roses

Modern Roses are those varieties bred after 1867. Most people imagine these types when they think of roses. Classification of Modern Roses can be complicated because many have Old Garden Roses in their ancestry, but they are largely classified by growth and flowering characteristics. Unlike Old Garden Roses which bloom once a year, Modern Roses bloom continuously. They also have a larger bloom size and longer vase life, but lack fragrance, and are less hardy and disease resistant.

Climbing Roses

Although climbing roses do not actually climb like vines do, they have stiff, upright canes that can be manually trained along a support. Some canes can reach upwards of fifteen feet. Climbing roses produce more flowers when grown horizontally rather than vertically. They are commonly attached to walls, fences, and trestles. They tend to have large flowers and are almost always repeat bloomers.

English / David Austin Roses

Although not officially recognized as a separate class, David Austin—sometimes called English—roses are highly popular among consumers and retailers. David Austin started breeding roses over 50 years ago with the goal of creating a new group of roses that featured the best characteristics of both Old and Modern Roses. The hundreds of varieties of David Austin roses have the rosette form and heady fragrance of Old Roses with the repeat flowering capability and wider color range of Modern Roses. Despite their popularity, they are susceptible to disease and not as hardy as other varieties.

Floribunda Roses

Floribunda roses are a cross between a Hybrid Tea and Polyantha roses. Each stem produces a cluster of large blossoms in the classic Hybrid Tea shape. Floribundas can be found in a variety of colors including orange, yellow, pink, purple, and white. They are generally disease resistant and tend to be hardy and easy to care for. These roses are known for their stocky, rigid shrubbery, and often used in landscaping in public parks and spaces.

Grandiflora Roses

Grandiflora roses are a class that was created in the last century to classify crosses between Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses that fit neither category. They are a combination of the graceful blooms of the Hybrid Teas and the repetitive growth cycle of Floribundas. Grandiflora roses have large, showy flowers that are produced on long stems, either singly or in clusters of three to five blooms. Their shrubs are generally larger and more upright than Hybrid Teas. Although hardy and vigorous, they tend to be less popular than Hybrid Teas or Floribunda roses.

Groundcover Roses

Also known as “landscape” roses, this type of rose was developed to fulfill the desire for a garden rose that offers color, form, and fragrance, but is also easy to care for. They tend to reach max height at three feet, though some only grow as tall as one foot, and are usually wider than they are tall. Typically groundcover roses are disease and pest resistant, repeat flowering, low growing, and low-maintenance.

Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid Tea roses have been the favorite of the Modern Roses, and come in a very diverse range of colors. They are known for their long, upright stems, which make them an extremely popular cut flower. Hybrid tea roses have large, well-formed, pointed blooms, which can be up to five inches in diameter. They are the least hardy of modern roses and have a reputation for being high-maintenance.

Miniature Roses

Miniature roses are miniature versions of Hybrid Tea roses. They have petite stems, leaves and flowers, and are hardy and versatile plants. Miniatures come in a wide range of colors including pink, orange, white, and yellow. Most miniature roses bloom continuously for two to three weeks at a time. They are often marketed and sold as houseplants, as they grow well in containers and are only six to eighteen inches tall. They also work well in narrow borders and small garden areas.

Polyantha Roses

Polyantha roses are known for their prolific bloom—from spring to fall a healthy plant could potentially be covered in flowers. They typically have large clusters of small flowers, and come in shades of white, pink and red. Polyantha roses remain popular due to their reputation as low-maintenance, disease resistant, and hardy plants. They are ideal candidates for containers or small gardens.

Rambling Roses

Rambling roses, or ramblers, are vigorous growers with numerous clusters of small to medium-sized blossoms, and long, flexible canes. They are often once blooming, but may be repeat or continuous. If they lack a support system, ramblers will grow along the ground and cover anything in their way, such as buildings, cars, plants, and trees. But if well trained, ramblers may be used to decorate structures such as arches and pergolas.

Shrub Roses

Shrub roses include a wide variety of roses that do not fit into any other category. Many are a cross between Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses, and combine traits from each. Generally, they are hardy, easy-care plants. Bloom style may be single, cabbage-like or anything in between, and fragrance level varies. Most shrub roses are repeat bloomers, and their growth is generally graceful and spreads easily.

Old Garden Roses

Old Garden Roses, sometimes called heritage or historic roses, are a traditional class of roses bred before the arrival of the hybrid tea rose in 1867. These roses are known for their strong fragrance, high petal count, bloom shape, disease resistance, and ability to withstand the cold. They generally bloom once a year during the summer months.

Alba Roses

Alba roses are hybrids that are some of the oldest garden roses, dating back to before 100 A.D. They have tall, elegant bushes with lovely blue-green foliage and white or pale pink blossoms. Alba roses bloom once in late spring or early summer and are among the hardiest of roses—they are disease-resistant, low-maintenance, and can tolerate shade and cold conditions.

Bourbon Roses

Most likely a cross between Damask and China roses, Bourbon roses were first introduced in France on the Île Bourbon in 1817. They have lovely full blooms in various shades of pink, white and red, and often have an intense and heady fragrance. Bourbon roses typically have very few thorns or none at all. They can be trained to climb, and are repeat-bloomers.

Centifolia Roses

Centifolia roses are known as Cabbage roses, as their blooms are closely packed with many thin, overlapping petals that resemble the head of a cabbage. They may also be called Provence roses after the section of France where they were once grown. Colors range from white to pink, and the blooms often droop or nod due to their large size. Because these roses are so fragrant, they are often used in the fragrance industry. Centifolia roses bloom once in early summer, thrive in full sun and are typically less disease-resistant than other varieties.

China Roses

Introduced to the West in the late 18th century, China roses are a complex group that have contributed greatly to the parentage of today’s hybrid roses. They are typically fragrant and have smaller, more compact blooms compared to other varieties. China roses come in multiple colors and bloom repeatedly in summer and late fall. The plants are somewhat tender and may need protection in colder climates, but most are very disease-resistant.

Damask Roses

Originating in Biblical times, Damask roses are some of the oldest roses in the world. There are two groups of Damasks: the Summer Damask, which blooms once in summer, and the Autumn Damask (also called the four seasons damask), which blooms in the summer and has a second flowering in fall. These roses come in a variety of colors from white to deep pink and have very fragrant blossoms that are often used in the perfume industry.

Gallica Roses

Gallica roses are one of the oldest species with some varieties dating back to the 12th century, and have long been prized for their medicinal properties and lovely scent. They are sometimes referred to as French or Provins roses. Gallica roses come in shades of pink, red, purple, and may even be striped. Some varieties are intensely fragrant. They bloom once during the summer, and are tolerant of shade and cold.

Hybrid Musk Roses

Although Hybrid Musk roses are not officially considered Old Garden Roses, they tend to be grouped with them. They were mostly bred by the Rev. J. Pemberton early in the twentieth century. These roses have single flowers with five petals in clusters, and have a strong musk-like scent that is light and sweet. Hybrid Musk roses also have healthy, lustrous, and bushy foliage, and tend to be disease-resistant.

Hybrid Perpetual Roses

Although they were ultimately overshadowed by their descendants, the Hybrid Teas, Hybrid Perpetual roses became the most popular rose in the world among gardeners and florists in the nineteenth century. They are known for their lovely scent and ability to repeat bloom. Hybrid Perpetuals have very large blossoms with a strong fragrance and come in shades of pink, purple, red, and sometimes white.

Hybrid Rugosa Roses

Hybrid Rugosa roses are a very hardy species rose from Northern Japan, China, Korea, and Siberia. Although not officially considered Old Garden Roses, they tend to be grouped with them. They have rich, green foliage, a lovely fragrance, and tend to be disease-resistant. Their small, simple blossoms have a limited color palette and are best enjoyed on the bush, as they’re not the classic rose blossom form.

Moss Roses

Named for the moss-like growth covering the top of their stem, Moss roses are very fragrant and come in a wide array of lovely rose colors. They are known for the pleasant scent of woods or balsam they emit when rubbed, and are cherished for this trait. Their shrub-like plants are primarily grown for their exceptional beauty. Moss roses are once-bloomers and their hardiness varies.

Noisette Roses

Descending from the China rose, Noisette roses were the first roses to be bred in America with the aid of John Champney, a rice farmer in Charleston, South Carolina. Noisettes are historically important for contributing hues of orange and yellow to Old Garden Roses. They bear fragrant clusters of blooms in a wide range of colors and have tall, bushy plants. Most are continual or repeat bloomers.

Portland Roses

This group of roses was named after the Duchess of Portland after she was given a rose that produced the whole class of Portland roses. At one time there were dozens of varieties, but today only a handful remain. Some may have a strong fragrance, and the flowers tend to have very little stem so that the leaves are closely packed around the flowers. They mainly flower in the summer, but may also continue to flower into the fall.

Tea Roses

Originating in China and one of the only parents of the modern Hybrid Tea rose, Tea roses are named for their fragrance that is reminiscent of Chinese black tea. They have a wide range of colors including white and pastel shades of pink, yellow, and apricot. The blooms are large and fragrant with a delicacy of form and color not found in today’s roses. Their petals tend to roll back at the edges, producing middle petals that have pointed tips. Tea roses are repeat-flowering and disease-resistant.

Species Roses

Species roses are wild roses that include natural species that haven’t been hybridized. They are very hardy plants that survive on minimal maintenance, and are often characterized by five-petal flowers that bloom in early summer. Many species roses grow quite large, and may even form thickets. Wild roses can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and their fossil records go back nearly 30-40 million years!

The vastness of the rose family can be overwhelming. At first glance many roses look the same, but upon further inspection you can really begin to tell the difference between the shape and structure of each bloom. For example, the Species Roses have a loose five-petal structure, while the Gallica roses have layered, tightly clustered petals. To help you understand each category and class better, we created a compendium of popular garden roses that lets you directly compare each type of rose.


Image credits:

Abraham Darby, Tamora CC Image courtesy of Takashi .M on Flickr

American Pillar CC Image courtesy of Spedona on Wikimedia Commons

Anne Harkness, Catherine Mermet, Celine Forestier, Cricket, Iceberg, Lemon Delight, Maman Cochet, Pompon Blanc Parfait, Rêve d’Or, Rosa rubiginosa CC Image courtesy of Stan Shebs on Wikimedia Commons

Aprikola, Blaze, Blush Noisette, Mme. Alfred Carriere CC Image courtesy of Anna reg on Wikimedia Commons

Avon CC Image courtesy of Libby norman on Wikimedia Commons

Ballerina, Baroness Rothschild, Blanc Double de Coubert, Buff Beauty, Bullata, Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes CC Image courtesy of Cillas on Wikimedia Commons

Blanche de Belgique, Bluenette, Duc de Cambridge, Heidi Klum, Honeymilk, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sugar Baby, Pink Star CC Image courtesy of Huhu Uet on Wikimedia Commons

Breath of Life, Cécile Brünner, Charles de Gaulle, Cramoisi Superieur, Earth Song, Honorine de Brabant, Princesse Joséphine-Charlotte, Queen of Sweden, Rose de Meaux, Rosa nutkana, Sunset Memory, St. Cecelia, CC Image courtesy of T.Kiya on Flickr

Charles Austin CC Image courtesy of Yoko Nekonomania on Flickr

Charles de Mills, Cornelia, Rosa Mundi CC Image courtesy of Amanda Slater on Flickr

Comte de Chambord, Ferdinand Pichard CC Image courtesy of Jamain on Wikimedia Commons

Constance Spry CC Image courtesy of Rosa Staropramen on Wikimedia Commons

Crested Moss, Duchesse de Brabant, Graham Thomas, Hansa, Louis Philippe, Marchesa Boccella, Mutabilis, Paul Neyron, Queen Elizabeth, Reine Des Violettes, Rose du Roi, Rosa moschata, St. Nicholas CC Image courtesy of Malcolm Manners on Flickr

Dainty Bess CC Image courtesy of chipmunk_1 on Flickr

Dortmund, Peace CC Image courtesy of Roozitaa on Wikimedia Commons

Double Delight CC Image courtesy of Marumari on Wikimedia Commons

Duchess of Portland, Felicia, Général Jacqueminot, Hebe’s Lip, Koeniging von Danemark, La Reine Victoria, Madame Pierre Oger, Parson’s Pink China, Rosa foetida, Safrano, Semi-plena, Soleil d’ Or, York & Lancaster, Zéphirine Drouhin CC Image courtesy of A. Barra on Wikimedia Commons

Flower Carpet Coral CC Image courtesy of Patrick Standish on Flickr

Golden Wings, Polareis CC Image courtesy of F. D. Richards on Flickr

Governor Rosellini, Montezuma, Pink Parfait CC Image courtesy of HomeinSalem on Wikimedia Commons

Hume’s Blush CC Image courtesy of Cliff on Flickr

Kiftsgate CC Image courtesy of Ulf Eliasson on Wikimedia Commons

La France CC Image courtesy of Arashiyama on Wikimedia Commons

La Reine CC Image courtesy of Rhian on Flickr

La Ville de Bruxelles, Tuscany Superb CC Image courtesy of Nadiatalent on Wikimedia Commons

Leda CC Image courtesy of Kleuske on Wikimedia Commons

Louise Odier CC Image courtesy of Jengod on Wikimedia Commons

Madame Hardy CC Image courtesy of VasenkaPhotography on Flickr

Maiden’s Blush CC Image courtesy of Ausis on Wikimedia Commons

Milkmaid CC Image courtesy of Eric Timewell on Wikimedia Commons

Mister Lincoln CC Image courtesy of Captain-tucker on Wikimedia Commons

Mollineux CC Image courtesy of Kelvinsong on Wikimedia Commons

Moon Shadow CC Image courtesy of Drew Avery on Flickr

Penelope CC Image courtesy of Georges Seguin on Wikimedia Commons

Petite de Hollande CC Image courtesy of Nadiatalent on Wikimedia Commons

Renaissance CC Image courtesy of Mogens Engelund on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa acicularis CC Image courtesy of Denali National Park and Preserve on Flickr

Rosa arkansana CC Image courtesy of Alexwcovington on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa canina CC Image courtesy of Roberta F. on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa carolina CC Image courtesy of D. Gordon E. Robertson on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa gallica Officinalis CC Image courtesy of Col Ford and Natasha de Vere on Flickr

Rosa laevigata CC Image courtesy of Midori on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa moyesii CC Image courtesy of Patrick Nouhailler on Flickr

Rosa nitida CC Image courtesy of Sakurai Midori on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa persica CC Image courtesy of Yuriy75 on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa pimpinellifolia CC Image courtesy of Velela on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa prattii CC Image courtesy of El Grafo on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa setigera CC Image courtesy of Michael Gras, M.Ed. on Flickr

Rosa virginiana CC Image courtesy of Alvesgaspar on Wikimedia Commons

Rosa wichuraiana CC Image courtesy of 영철 이 on Flickr

Rosa woodsii CC Image courtesy of dougwaylett on Wikimedia Commons

Swany CC Image courtesy of Noumenon on Wikimedia Commons

The Fairy CC Image courtesy of 4028mdk09 on Wikimedia Commons

Venus CC Image courtesy of Javier martin on Wikimedia Commons

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