ROSE VARIETIES FOR FLORIDA GARDENS
The choice of a rose variety for planting in the home garden properly
depends upon personal preference for a particular color, form or fragrance
of the flower. Choosing preferred types among the varieties that have
been more thoroughly tested and have proved satisfactory in Florida is
advised, unless the gardener specificly wishes to test other varieties.
In the discussion which follows, we attempt to point out some of the
considerations in choosing reliable roses for planting in Florida. Lists
of suitable varieties are included, Tables 1 and 2, and others are named,
Table 3, which are not suitable in some regions or in any region of the
Certain rose varieties can best be used as specimen flowering shrubs,
or in a mass bedding display of a special flower color, while others are
suitable for covering a wall, fence or trellis. Similarly, certain
varieties are generally preferred as sources of cut flowers for indoor
display. Thus it is wise to give some thought to the intended use or
the placement of the plant in the garden when choosing the variety or
else, to consider the natural growth habit and flowering habit of the
variety selected in choosing its planting location.
When selecting a variety for planting, consider also the later
maintenance requirements of the plant. You can choose roses to produce
spectacular specimen blooms at the cost of extra time and labor in
maintaining them in good health or be content with other colorful
varieties needing a minimum of attention. The many different types,
growth habits and flower characteristics found among the Florida-adapted
varieties should permit a selection of roses that satisfy the requirements
of the garden and the preferences of the home owner as well.
New varieties originate either as selected bud sports or as selected
hybrid seedlings. The current effort being made by rose breeders to
obtain vigorous new varieties which not only bear an abundance of
desirable flowers but also are resistant or immune to troublesome
diseases may eventually yield results that will further benefit the
Florida home gardener,
Many of the newer rose varieties are patented. It should be realized
that a patent number on a rose variety does not mean that it is superior
to unpatented varieties. It merely means that it was judged to be
different enough from any other rose to warrant a patent. During the
seventeen years that the patent is in effect, the price tends to be
standardized regardless of the source or the quality of the plant purchased.
Plants of recently introduced or rare rose varieties, whether patented
or not, are apt to be expensive.
The following is a general rule that has proved helpful in choosing
roses for Florida from the numerous varieties that are offered by rose
plant producers and distributors The rose which in other rose growing
regions of the country typically produces vigorous vegetative growth and
which blooms freely throughout the entire growing season is a rose that
can be expected to perform as well or even better in Florida, provided
good plants are obtained and then given adequate care,
A pamphlet published each year by the American Rose Society (1316
Derry Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, entitled "Guide for Buying
Roses," furnishes information on the comparative ratings of the newer
varieties based on their performance throughout the United States. A
copy of this pamphlet will be sent to you by this society upon request.
ROSES GENERALLY ADAPTED FOR USE IN FLORIDA
Lists of some of the rose varieties which are generally suitable
for cultivation in Florida are presented in Table 1 and in Table 2,
These adapted varieties are grouped in horticultural classes and these
are divided into the older rose classes, Table 1, and the newer rose
classes, Table 2.
Specimens of each of the varieties listed in Tables 1 and 2 are
known to have been established in gardens representative of different
regions of Florida for at least two years, and many of them for ten or
more years. The assistance of Florida members of the American Rose
Society in furnishing information needed in preparing these lists is
gratefully acknowledged. These lists are not intended to limit the
experienced rosarian's selection of roses for planting here, but rather
to commend to others the varieties which these individuals have tested
and have thereby been found to perform especially well throughout the
Most of the older roses listed in Table 1 have been grown success-
fully for many years in Florida gardens ranging from Key West to the
north boundary. The roses listed in Table 1 flourish in gardens of
other southern states, but they are generally considered too tender
for garden cultivation in northern parts of the United.States. Together
with other similar varieties, known to us only by various local names,
they are sometimes collectively called "Florida Roses." They bloom
throughout the year in Florida; once well established, these roses seem
capable of withstanding much abuse and neglect. Owners often are
generous with slips or cuttings, and some varieties can be bought from
The roses listed in Table 2 represent some of the best of the more
recently introduced varieties. Typically, they are capable of producing
vigorous growth and bloom more or less continuously in Florida. In
comparison with the older rose varieties, the range of flower color
and flower form found among the newer varieties is much greater and is
constantly being extended through hybridization and selection.
ROSES WITH LIMITED USE IN FLORIDA
It is evident from the lists contained in Tables 1 and 2 that roses
of many different kinds have proved well adapted to cultivation in
Florida. Some roses, notably those listed in Table 1i are suitable
garden plants only in warmer climates. There are, on the other hand,
certain ones of the rosepecies and varieties which succeed in colder
climates but are not successful anywhere in Florida, or else reach the
southern limit of their range as satisfactory garden plants somewhere
along the Florida peninsula,
These roses, having no cultivated use as flowering shrubs in Florida
Or else being limited to cultivation in the more northern parts of
Florida, are typically those which bloom only in the spring season May
or June bloom in the northern parts of the United States. They are
sometimes referred to as "bnce-blooming roses*" These roses are like
the many northern grown varieties of apple, peach and pear their
flowering requires colder winters than are furnished them in some or in
all parts of Florida. Each of the seasonal-flowering varieties seems
to require a particular amount of winter chilling before normal develop-
ment of their flower buds occurs in the spring. This amount of cold
required determines the southern limit for the regular annual flowering
of the variety, and thus determines the geographic limit of its cultivated
use as a flowering shrub in Florida.
The Hbrid Perpetual class of roses includes many older varieties
which tend to be "once-blooming roses" and which fail to flower satis-
factorily in Florida, as noted in Table 1. Certain ones of the Hybrid
Perpetuals, however, are cultivated in north Florida gardens. Other
seasonal-flowering rose species and varieties which are used to some
extent in Florida are listed in Table 3. The list in Table 3 includes
most of the roses which are commonly used as rootstock in the commercial
production of rose plants, since these rootstock varieties are sometimes
grown as spring-flowering shrubs. The information which is available at
this time concerning the southern limits of the cultivated use of certain
ones of the seasonal-flowering roses is presented in Table 3.
The Multiflora Rose as a Shrub in Florida: One noteworthy example
of a seasonal-flowering rose that is generally unsuitable in Florida
is Rosa multiflora Thunberg, commonly called "Japanese Rose" or "Multi-
flor-aRose." The thorny strains of this rose species have been
recommended elsewhere for home planting as an ornamental hedge and also
as a "living fence" to enclose pastures. This rose produces some
clusters of single, white blossoms during March or in April when it is
grown in the northern extremities of Florida; it fails to bloom in the
Gainesville (Alachua County) area, except following unusually cold
winters; and further south along the Florida peninsula it fails to
bloom during any year. The "Multiflora Rose" is not as tolerant of hot
weather as most roses, and its foliage is usually sparse and unattractive
here during the summer season. In north Florida it shows less tendency
to remain evergreen than most roses, and its canes are bare or nearly
so during the winter season. Local nurserymen can supply the Florida
gardeara number of plant materials for hedging purposes which are more
satisfactory than the "Multiflora Rose."
TABLE 1 EVERBLOOMING BUSH VARIETIES SUCCESSFUL IN ALL REGIONS OF FLORIDA;
THE OLDER ROSE CLASSES -(Grafted or budded plants of these varieties are, with
ew exceptions, available from certain of the commercial rose nurseries. These
varieties, however, are frequently propagated locally by rooting stem cuttings, and
are often grown successfully on their own root.):
'Varietal Name' COMMON OR LOCAL NAME(S) Flower Color Abbreviation;
Flower Double or Very Dbl. unless otherwise indicated.
* 'Cecil Brunner' SWEETHEART ROSE lp,
'Perle 8lOr' SALMON SWEETHEART ROSE yb.
'La Marnet FR~NCH SWEETHEART ROSE Ip; 7 15 petals.
'Baronne Henriette Snoyt pb.
IDuchesse de Brabantt GUAVA ROSE lp.
'Etoile de Lyon' ly.
'Lady Hillingdonl ly.
**S IMaman Cochetl pb.
i* I Marie Van Houttet yb.
'Minnie Francist mp,
'Mlle. Franziska Kruger' pb.
'Mme Lombard' pb.
IMrs. Dudley Cross$ yb; thornless stems.
'White Maman Cochett w.
IWilliam R. Smith' pb.
....- IEugene E. Marlitt' FLORIDA KNAVE mr.
w Souvenir de la Malmaisont lp.
CHINA OR BENGAL ROSES:
** ILouis Philippet FLORIDA ROSE; DAY ROSE lr, mr.
Rosa chinensis mutabilis, Rehder; synonym R. mutabilis, Correvon,
changing: yb to mp; 5 petals.
MINIATURE ROSES (class composed of the horticultural varieties of Rosa chinensis
miinima, Voss Synonym R. rouletti; Correvon.):
'Pompon de Paris' mp,
IOakington Ruby' Ir.
* Among the older roses one large class, Hybrid Perpetual, is generally un-
successful in Florida. The varieties included in tnis class produce satis-
factory vegetative growth here, but they seldom produce flowers. Unfortunately
this class includes the white-flowered variety 'Frau Karl Druschkit or WHITE
AMERICAN BEAUTY, considered by many to be the finest white rose in existence
** The climbing forms of these bush varieties have also proved successful in
Florida. In addition to these climbers, the N6bIejf8 rose class contains a
number of varieties, such as 'Marechal Niel' arnd olfaterret, which are
notallty successful in Florida,
TABLE 2 EVERBLOOMING BUSH VARIETIES SUCCESSFUL IN ALL REGIONS OF FLORIDA;
THE NEWER ROSE CLASSES -(Grafted or budded plants of these varieties are
currently available from many commercial rose nurseries and their retail outlets.
Although some of these varieties can be propagated from stem cuttings and
established on their own root, it is generally agreed that better specimens are
produced when these are grafted- or buddtdg on suitable rootstock.)t
(AARS: All American Rose Selection) *
IVarietal Name' Flower Color Abbreviation; Flower Double or Very Dbl.
unless otherwise indicated.
'Donald Prior' mr; 8 10 petals.
(AARS) 'Fashion' pb.
AARS) 'Floradora' mr.
'Geranium Red' mr.
(AARS) 'Pinkie' we Ip.
'Red Pinocchio' dr.
(AARS) tVogue' pb.
'Susan Louise' lp; 15-25 petals.
(AARS) 'Capistrano' mp.
(AARS) 'Charlotte Armstrong' Ir.
(AARS) 'Chrysler Imperial' mr.
'Comtesse Vandal' pb.
'Condesa de Sastago' ob.
HYBRID TEAS: Continued:
'Crimson Glory'*t dr,
'Dainty Bess -lp; 5
'Editor McFarland' mp.
'Etoile de Hollande'-mr.
(AARS) 'Forty-Niner' rb.
'Golden Dawn' nmy
'Good News' pb.
(AARS) 'Helen Traubel' pb.
(AARS) 'Mirandy'- dr.
(AARS) 'Mission Bells' pb.
'New Yorker' mr.
(AARS) 'Peace, yb.
'President Herbert Hoover'
'Red Radiance' Ir.
(AARS) 'Rubaiyat' Ir.
(AARS) 'Sutter's Gold' yb.
'Talisman' ** pb.
(AARS) 'Tallyho' Ir.
. This award indicates a superior total
gardens established in representative
of these AARS test gardens is soon to
Florida. At present our nearest AARS
rating of the variety in test
regions of the United States. One
be established in Gainesville,
test garden is located at Thomasville,
** The climbing forms of these bush varieties have also proved successful in
Florida. In addition to these, the Climbing Hybrid Tea -Blossomtime' mp.
seems suitable here; the Hybrid Bracteata variety TMermaid' ly., 5 petals,
is an especially satisfactory climbing rose; the trailing Hybrid Setigera
variety 'Mabelle Stearns' mp. is exceptionally free flowering in Florida,
TABLE 3 SEASONAL- OR SPRING-FLOWERING (S-Fl.) ROSES WHICH REACH THEIR SOUTHERN
LIMIT FOR REGULAR, ANNUAL BLOOM IN FLORIDA *
A) The S-Fl. Roses Used For Rootstock in Florida: **
1. 'Dr. Hueyt (Large-fld. Climber) SHAFTER ROBIN.
.wa 2. 'Mme Plantier' (Hybrid Alba), Climber.
3. 'Gloire des Rosomanes' (Climbing China) RAGGED ROBIN.
h. Rosa fortuneana, Lindley. DBL. WHITE CHEROKEE: Vigorous climber.
5. Rosa laevigata, Michaux, CHEROKEE: Rampant climber.
** 6. Rosa multiflora, Thunberg. JAPANESE ROSE; MULTIFLORA,ROSE.
7. Rosa odorata, Sweet. USDA PI 22W49, GDORATA 22449; Vigorous shrub pro-
ducing many pendant canes.
8. 'Texas Wax', TEXAS CANINA; resembles the Odorata rootstock strain.
B) Other S-F1. Climbers Which Bloom in North Florida:
1. Rosa multiflora platyphylla, Rehder & Wilson. SEVEN SISTERS ROSE;
One or more unidentified constant flowering, cluster fl. type bush
varieties cultivated in south Florida are locally called "Seven Sisters
2. 'Baltimore Belle' (Cluster-type fl.; Hybrid Setigera Class).
3. 'Crimson Rambler' (Rambler Class).
4. 'Dorothy Perkins' (Rambler).
*** 5. 'Paul's Scarlet Climber' (Large-fld. Climber).
6. 'Silver Moon' (Large-fld. Climber).
C) S-Fl. Climbers Which Bloom Satisfactorily in North and Central Florida:
1. 'Belle Portugaiset (Hybrid Gigantea) BELLE OF PORTUGAL.
2. 'Mme. Gregoire Staechelin' (Large-fld. Climber) SPANISH BEAUTY.
3. Rosa banksiae, Aiton. BANKS' ROSE; Yellow and white fld. forms.
4. Rosa laevigaa, Michaux. CHEROKEE ROSE; rampant climber.
5. Rosa bracteata, Wendland. MACARTNEY ROSE; rampant climber.
* In general all of these seasonal-flowering roses will produce good vegetative
growth when placed in cultivation in ary region of the state. The southern
geographic limit for regular, annual flower-production, which may vary with
each of these varieties, has not been determined exactly. None of these
roses, however, are known to produce flowers in south Florida (Lee -Pal
Beach counties and south In torth Florida these roses usually flower during
February, March and April, The Banksian roses are exceptionally early
flowering and often bloom in January in north Florida. The Macartney rose
is exceptionally late flowering, blooming here in May & June, then
sporadically throughout the summer.
w* Further descriptions of these roses are presented by Griffith J. Buck in the
article: "Varieties of Rose Understocks", Amer. Rose Annual 1951, pp. 101-
116. Although good specimen roses on each of the eight rootstock varieties
named here are known to be established in particular localities in Florida,
the Odorata 22449 and 'Texas Wax' stocks appear to be more generally suitable
for all parts of Florida.
*** These roses bloom in the Gainesville area (Alachua County) only after
unusually cold winters,
Key to Flower Color Abbreviations Used in Tables 1 and 2 *
white or near white.......
medium yellow........ .......
deep yellow.*.. ............
orange and orange blend... *
light red and deep pink.....
red blend........ ...........
A flower color classification of
fourteen basic color groups used
by the American Rose Society.
Note: Further descriptions of the varieties
named in the preceding tables can be
found in nursery catalogs and in
dictionaries of rose varieties such
as Modern Roses IV, 1952. J. Horace
McFarlan Company, Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania. Price $7.50.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Department of Horticulture
Hort, 200 copies
THE HOME GARDEN CULTURE OF ROSES IN FLORIDA
Roses for Every Garden by Dr. R. C. Allen. 1948. M. Barrows and Co.,
New York. pp. 218. Price $3.95.
Dr. Allen's chapter "Culture for Special Climates" includes discussions
of Florida and of the Gulf Area especially worthy of the attention of
Florida rosarians. This book can be purchased from the American Rose
Society, 1316 Derry Street, Harrisburg, Pa. (ARS membership dues $4.55
Articles by Mrs. G. F. Lampkin, ARS Consultant Rosarian Bradenton,
1) "Some experiences with rose diseases and insects in Florida".
American Rose Annual 1952, pp. 179-182.
2) "Roses need not be annuals in Florida". Amer. Rose Annual -
1953, pp. 196-200.
3) "Good Floridians". This article discussing rose varieties which
are suitable for cultivation here will be published in 19l5
by the American Rose Society.
The bufetin published by the Georgia Rose Society (407 Eighth St., N.E.,
Atlanta 5, Georgia) contains information relating to cultural practices
which has proved helpful to rosarians in Florida. (Joint membership dues
for the Georgia Rose Society and the American Rose Society $$.00 per
I "Roses For The Home" by S. L. Emsweller, W. D. McClellan and F.F. Smith,
1953* U.S. Department of Agriculture, Home and Garden Bulletin No. 25.
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing
Office, Washington 25, D. C., Price 15 cents.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station November, 1953
Department of Horticulture Hort. 200 copies