Roses come in a huge range of sizes, shapes and colors, and placing them in classes helps us organize roses that have similar characteristics. The American Rose Society resets classification schemes from time to time, adjusting to new developments in roses.

Ebb Tide
'Ebb Tide'

Climbing Roses

Modern climbing roses are no more than very tall-growing versions of shrub roses. Most grow to about 8-12’ tall, and require tying and support. They will not twine around a post on their own. Climbing roses that are grown only vertically will produce flowers only on the tips of their growth, so for best flower production, train upward and then outward.


English Roses

The category of English Roses was created David Austin by breeding old roses with modern roses to select the best traits of both. For 2021, 'David Austin Roses' are not available to us, but for comparable roses, refer to ‘English Inspired’ roses on our rose list. Flowers are often very large, stuffed with petals and dripping with fragrance like antique roses, and have the modern virtues of smaller sized bushes, repeat bloom and a broad range of colors. Many have upright shrubby structures, but some of the faster growers can be trained as climbers.

Graham Thomas
'Graham Thomas'

Floribunda Roses

Flowers occur in large clusters and are typically 3-4” across. Used for cutting and garden display. Often plants grow in a shrubby round shape. Disease resistance varies.

Grandfloral Floribunda 'Playboy'

Heritage Roses

These are roses which have been in cultivation since 1867 or earlier. Moss, Musk, Bourbon, Alba and Damask roses are found in this group. Many of these are very large shrubs (think blackberry brush) with incredible old-rose scented flowers. Most will bloom only once per season for a few brilliant weeks in spring, and only a few will repeat bloom.

The only old rose we carry is ‘Zephirine Drouhin’, a climbing Bourbon rose. Its lovely double pink flowers are very fragrant, and unlike many old roses, it blooms all summer. Canes are primarily thornless and grow to about 12 feet.

Zephirine Drouhin
‘Zephirine Drouhin’

Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora Roses

The most popular rose by far, Hybrid Teas provide a tremendous range of color, fragrance, form, and disease resistance. Flowers are often high-centered formal double forms, held on long stems with a single flower on each stem.

Grandiflora roses were originally bred by crossing Hybrid Tea roses with Floribundas. The result is a plant very tall in stature with large Hybrid Tea style flowers that bloom in clusters.


Landscape Roses

These roses vary greatly in growth from ground cover roses to large shrubs. Most require less maintenance than other types. Generally, they are marketed as disease resistant plants be used as a summer flowering shrub in the landscape. Flowers are often called “self-cleaning” meaning they don’t require deadheading in order to repeat bloom.

Miniature Roses

These are like tiny versions of Hybrid Tea Roses. Flowers are 1-2 inches across, leaves are small and growth is short and shrubby, to around 18-24 inches.

Rugosa Roses

Our hardiest and most disease resistant roses. Single flower forms with 5 petals are common and most are in shades of pink or white. Many repeat bloom and some carry a spicy clove scent. Quilted rich green foliage and enormous rose hips are defining characteristics. Ungrafted Rosa rugosa will spread to form a thicket, so plant it where there is plenty of space!

Rosa rugosa
Rosa rugosa alba

Species Roses

These are “wild” roses, as they occur in nature, and are not a hybrid. Most grow to be large plants and have only one annual bloom. Oregon’s native roses fall into this category.

Rosa pisocarpa
Rosa pisocarpa


All you need to know about caring for roses in the Pacific Northwest.