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Types of roses

Bush roses. These are roses of a bushy habit as opposed to ones which grow on a single stem. The term ‘bush’ usually applies to the bush form of miniature, hybrid tea and floribunda roses, but technically most shrub roses are ‘bushes’ too.

Standard roses. These are hybrid tea and floribunda roses budded on to a tall stock to form a ‘standard’. Miniature standards are budded on to a thinner and shorter stock. Weeping standards are roses of lax habit such as ramblers and some climbers and shrub roses which are then trained down to form a small weeping tree.

Hybrid tea and floribunda roses. Some years ago these were reclassified as ‘large flowered’ and ‘cluster flowered’ respectively. The new names have never really caught on and the old classifications still tend to be widely used, both by amateur gardeners and professionals. They are roses which have been produced by plant breeders over the last century for vigour, colour, good flowering habit and, to some extent, fragrance. As with all roses, their ancestors were the ‘wild’ species, discovered by explorers and plant collectors over many centuries, but new varieties are now largely bred by the crossing of shrub roses and/or existing varieties of hybrid teas (HTs), floribundas, climbers, ramblers and miniatures known to be good parent stock. HTs and floribundas are today the most widely planted types of rose. Large flowered (HT) roses are those generally producing a single flower or only a few per head, whilst cluster-flowered (floribunda) roses usually produce many.

Patio rose is a new expression describing a short-growing, usually floribunda, rose.

Climbing and rambler roses have a lax, spreading habit which makes them useful as climbing plants, given some support or tying in. Rambler roses usually have only one flush of flowers, though a few are remontant (repeat flowering) and they have quite a rampant growth habit. In modern gardens they have largely been superseded by the repeat flowering climbers which are either ‘sports’ of bush roses with a stronger growth habit than the type, or are found to have a form which makes them suitable for this purpose during the production of new seedlings.

Miniature roses are bush roses with an especially dwarf growth habit.

Shrub roses are frequently ‘wild’ rose species originally occurring naturally, but can be sports and hybrids of these originals.

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