Landscape uses of roses are quite varied because of the many different types of roses. They can be mass planted in beds, used as specimen or trained plants, planted as screens or hedges, or located near fences or arbors and allowed to climb. Several miniature cultivars can even be used as a ground cover or as edging material. Roses are available in almost any color imaginable and are suited to a number of sites.
The most common classifications of modern roses today are hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, climber, miniature and shrub roses. These descended in part from eight species of roses that came to Europe from Asia in the 16th century. They became the modern hybrids, principally because they were able to bloom repeatedly throughout the growing season. Most of the other species only bloom once, in June or July.
Hybrid Teas are the most popular garden roses. They are results of interbreeding the hybrid perpetual with tea rose cultivars. Hybrid tea roses are typically characterized as bush form with large flowers, borne singly or in small clusters, on a stem. Hybrid tea plants are quite hardy across North Carolina, and bloom throughout the summer and fall until frost.
Floribunda roses are a result of crossing Polyantha with hybrid tea varieties during the early twentieth century. Generally, they have smaller flowers than hybrid teas, but produce more flowers on each stem. Floribundas are usually low-growing, densely branched bushes which are quite adaptable to many landscape uses. Color range from snowy white to deep crimson.
Grandiflora roses originated by crossing hybrid tea and floribunda roses. The resulting rose is quite vigorous, and produces larger, but fewer flowers than the floribunda.
Climbing roses originated by crossing species roses with several other cultivars. While no rose is a true climber, having no means of gripping or attaching itself to a support, this rose sends out long shoots or canes which can be trained over fences, arbors, or trellises. Because of the wide genetic background, climbers have quite a variation of characteristics. Some bloom only once, while others bloom continuously. Some have large, hybrid tea type blooms, while others bloom in small clusters.
Miniature roses have become quite popular with home gardeners in the last 10 to 15 years. The plants are small in stature, ranging in height from 3 to 12 inches, and have small buds, stems, foliage, and flowers. Several species are popular as both outdoor landscape plants and indoor potted plants. Miniature roses are available in a wide range of colors. They are hardy in most of North Carolina.
Shrub roses generally don't fit well in any of the previously mentioned classes. They have a varied genetic background but are characterized by the bushy, shrub-like form. Shrub roses are vigorous, hardy, and are adapted to a wide landscape use.
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