How Many Types of Roses Are There?

What Is a Rose?

The rose has been a favorite flower of humans for five millennia. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are many types of roses out there.

So how many types of roses are there? Unfortunately, answering this question is more complicated than it seems. There are many ways to distinguish between different types of roses.

What Are the Different Types of Roses?

In short, when people think “rose,” chances are good that they are thinking of a member of the genus Rosa. Rosa encompasses more than three hundred species of woody perennials.

Said species come in a remarkable range of sizes, shapes, and other factors of relevance. However, most interesting about them is their flowers, prized for their beauty as well as their pleasing scents.

With that said, it is important to note that interested individuals have a much easier time hybridizing roses than some of the other plants out there. This contributed much to the development of thousands and thousands of cultivars over the course of millennia.

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There is no simple and straightforward method used to come up with a classification system for roses. This is particularly true because many types of roses have been hybridized again and again before reaching their current forms. Thus, making roses a classification nightmare for even the most enthusiastic rose lovers.

However, it is common for interested individuals to sort the cultivars out there into three types of roses, which are wild roses, old garden roses, and modern garden roses.

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The Three Rose Classifications

In short, wild roses include the roses found growing out in the wild as well as a small number of their immediate hybrids.

Meanwhile, old garden roses include the roses that were before 1867, whereas modern garden roses include the roses cultivated since 1867 to present.

Please note that a particular rose can be an old garden rose even if cultivated after 1867. The classification is based on when a cultivar's class was cultivated rather than when the individual rose was cultivated.

Of course, classes of roses tend to have similarities within their ranks. For example, both the Centifolia and the Moss classes are old garden roses.

However, Centifolia roses are distinguishable by the fact that they bloom once to reveal beautiful flowers with more than one hundred petals. Whereas Moss roses have moss-like growth on their buds as well as their stems.

Likewise, modern garden roses range from Hybrid Tea roses, which are the roses that see the most use as cut flowers, to Grandiflora roses, which look similar to their Hybrid Tea counterparts but tend to be much bigger in scale.

How Many Types of Roses Are There?

Based on this, it should be clear that there is no easy answer to the question of “How many types of roses are there”. If one counts the species that fall under the genus Rosa, there are more than three hundred types of roses.

However, if one counts the various cultivars of those species, that number soars into the thousands, with more added on a regular basis. This also excludes other methods for distinguishing between different types of roses within these classes.

An excellent example of this being the difference between Antique Roses and Old Roses. These roses differ based on whether a particular old garden rose is traceable to Chinese roses that were introduced to Europe at around 1792.

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