Rose Classification and Ratings

Rose Care 101 at Cheekwood garden flowers

Rose Classification and Ratings

Classification of Roses:

 There are three main groupings of roses: Species Roses, which are wild roses, Old Garden Roses, which are classes in existence before 1867 and Modern Roses, classes that were not in existence before 1867 (the year the first hybrid tea was introduced). Popular classes of Old Garden Roses are Tea, China, Noisette and Climbing roses whereas popular classes of Modern Roses are Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas, Miniature, Miniflora and Shrub roses, and also Climbers.

Unusual Roses in the Rose Study Garden:

Louis Phillipe: First introduced in 1834 and named after King Louis Phillipe of France, Louis
Phillipe is a china rose that populated the King’s court. It was brought to the US by a Texas politician,
Lorenzo de Zavala, who was Minister to France in the 1830’s. It is believed to have been a gift from the French to Zavala, who planted it at his home in Lynchburg, Texas near Houston.

Duchesse de Brabant: This large, fragrant rose was named for the Duke of Brabant of Belgium
and introduced in France in 1857. It is considered one of the most beautiful roses ever bred. It was a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt, who often wore a fresh bud or flower in his lapel, contributing to its fame and popularity.

China Green Rose: Most rose historians agree that the green rose first appeared during the mid-18th century, as early as 1743, and initially it was poorly received by horticulturalists, having been called “a little monstrosity or an error of nature”. That’s because the green rose lacks true rose petals – its blooms are green. Despite these critics, the hardy green rose flourished and, by the mid-19th century, it began to attract attention around the world, including in the US, where it emerged in South Carolina in 1833.

Reve d’Or: In spite of the French name, this rose has its roots in Charleston, SC. John Champneys, a local rice planter who loved roses, crossed a China rose called “Old Blush” with the Musk Rose, a European rose popular during Shakespeare’s time for its fragrance. A florist in Charleston, Philippe Noisette, then sent the rose to his brother in France, where it was further crossed with various Tea roses known for their ease of growth, re-blooming characteristics and disease tolerance. The result started a new class of roses, called Noisette Roses, one of the first of which was Reve d’Or, introduced in 1869.

For a complete list of roses in the Rose Study Garden, visit nashvillerosesociety.org.

American Rose Society (ARS) Garden Performance Ratings:

ARS compiles official ratings for every commercially available rose. These ratings, which range from 0-10, are a national average based on overall performance, taking into account the variety’s vigor, disease resistance, flower form, and quickness of repeat bloom. The higher the number, the better the rose performs. The scoring system

ARS uses is as follows:

– 9.3-10: One of the best roses ever.

– 8.8-9.2: An outstanding rose (the top 1%).

– 8.3-8.7: A very good to excellent rose (one recommended without hesitation).

– 7.8-8.2: A solid to very good rose (its good features easily outweigh any problems).

– 7.3-7.7: A good rose (a little to somewhat above average).

– 6.8-7.2: An average rose.

– 6.1-6.7: A below average rose.

– 0.0-6.0: Not recommended.

About the Nashville Rose Society:

Founded in 1953, the Nashville Rose Society is a non-profit, member organization that shares a similar passion – a love of roses! We serve all of Middle Tennessee, providing knowledge and information about growing beautiful roses through monthly meetings that feature regional and nationally recognized speakers, workshops for our members at Cheekwood and a monthly newsletter. Membership is open to the public for a nominal annual fee. Our experienced rosarians will personally mentor new members to insure they’re successful growing roses! For more information about caring for roses, the benefits of being an NRS member and a calendar of events, visit nashvillerosesociety.org.

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