A brief history of historic roses

Josephine de Beauharnais

Comparatively few of the hundred or more rose species found in the wild have contributed to the make up of present-day garden roses.

The principal parent species are:

  • Rosa gallica
  • Rosa moschata
  • Rosa fetschenkoana
  • Rosa canina
  • Rosa chinensis
  • Rosa gigantea
  • Rosa foetida 
  • Rosa multiflora

Significant sub-groups derived from

  • Rosa arvensis
  • Rosa pimpinellifolia
  • Rosa wichurana 
  • Rosa  rugosa

The following rose groups have been selected because they form part of a chain of evolving types providing the backbone of the history of this popular garden flower.

Gallicas

Damasks

Albas

Centifolias

Mosses

Portlands

Chinas

Rugosas

Bourbons

Noisettes

Teas

Hybrid Perpetuals

Hybrid Teas

Polyanthas