Best Roses

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The following varieties are recommended for the South Puget Sound area by the Olympia Rose Society. Remember: your mileage will vary.

Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras Floribundas
Polyanthas Large Flowered Climbers
Miniatures Shrubs and English roses
Old Garden Roses Ramblers

Hybrid Teas (HT) and Grandifloras (GR)

Hybrid Tea blooms are commonly high pointed with many petals arranged in a circular outline. The plants generally grow three to five feet tall.  The stem growth is usually upright and blooms are generally produced one to a stem.  Grandiflora blooms generally have a hybrid-tea type bloom which tends to grow more than one to a stem.   The plants are larger than hybrid teas.

  • Red
    • Opening Night (HT)
    • Liebeszauber (HT)
    • Crimson Bouquet (GR)
    • Firefighter (HT)
    • Mister Lincoln (HT)
    • Olympiad (HT)
    • Ingrid Bergman (HT)
  • Red Blend
    • Cherry Parfait (GR)
    • Love & Peace (HT)
  • Pink
    • Memorial Day (HT)
    • Tournament of Roses (GR)
    • Bewitched (HT)
    • Queen Elizabeth (GR)
    • Fragrant Memory/Jadis (HT)
    • New Zealand (HT)
    • Fame! (GR)
    • Peter Mayle (HT)
    • Savoy Hotel (HT)
    • Silver Jubilee (HT)
  • Pink Blend
    • Gemini (HT)
    • Keepsake (HT)
    • Helen Naude' (HT)
    • LeAnn Rimes (HT)
    • Secret (HT)
    • Silver Jubilee (HT)
    • Touch of Class (HT)
  • Yellow
    • Elina (HT)
    • Gold Medal (GR)
    • Jean Giono (HT)
  • Yellow Blend
    • Peace (HT)
    • Gift of Life (HT)
  • Orange-Red
    • Reba McEntire (GR)
    • Fragrant Cloud (HT)
  • Orange Blend
    • Artistry (HT)
    • Octoberfest (GR)
    • Die Welt (HT)
    • Voodoo (HT)
  • Apricot Blend
    • Sunset Celebration (HT)
    • Marilyn Monroe (HT)
  • White
    • Tineke (HT)
    • Whisper (HT)
    • Full Sail (HT)
    • Pascali (HT)
    • Polarstern (HT)
    • Pristine (HT)
    • Maria Shriver (GR)
    • Honor (HT)
  • Mauve
    • Fragrant Plum (GR)
    • Neptune (HT)
    • Lagerfeld (GR)


Unlike Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras, Floribundas carry many blooms on each stem. The blooms are normally smaller than those of hybrid teas and grandifloras.  The plants generally grow less than three feet tall and have spreading growth habit.

  • Red
    • Lavaglut
    • Europeana
    • Showbiz
  • Red Blend
    • Chihuly
    • Eyepaint
    • Playboy
  • Pink
    • Playgirl
    • Day Breaker
    • Sexy Rexy
    • Hannah Gordon
  • Yellow
    • Julia Child
    • Sunsprite
    • Easy Goin'
    • Top Notch
  • Orange-Red
    • Sarabande
    • Trumpeter
  • Orange Blend
    • Livin' Easy
    • Anabell
    • Liverpool Echo
  • White
    • Margaret Merrill


Polyanthas typically have blooms 1 to 3 inches across with no special form, but in large clusters.  No fragrance normally.

  • Red
    • Mothersday
  • White
    • Marie Pavie
    • Snow White
  • Pink
    • Cecile Brunner
    • China Doll
    • The Fairy
  • Yellow/Pink Blend
    • Perle d'Or

Large Flowered Climbers

Roses with long canes grown on trellises with large blooms (3 to 4 inches across) that are generally repeat blooming.

  • Altissimo (Medium Red)
  • Fourth of July (red and white stripes)
  • Aloha (corally pink)
  • New Dawn (pink, small flowers, very large plant)
  • Handel (Red Blend)
  • Sombreuil (white)
  • Dublin Bay (red)


Diminutive roses with blooms ranging in size from 1/2" to 1 1/2" in diameter and with plant size varying from 6" to 24".

  • Red and Red Blend
    • Beauty Secret
    • Miss Flippins
    • Merlot
    • Sweet Caroline
    • High Spirits
    • Magic Carrousel
    • Starina
  • Apricot Blend
    • Jean Kenneally
    • Loving Touch
  • Pink and Pink Blends
    • Minnie Pearl
    • Mother's Love
    • Baby Blanket
    • Heartbreaker
    • Pierrine
    • Pink Petticoat
  • Yellow and Yellow Blends
    • Rise 'n Shine
    • Cal Poly
    • Seattle Sunrise
    • Behold
    • Ty
    • Luis Desamero
    • Party Girl
    • My Sunshine
    • Rainbow's End
  • White
    • Snow Bride
    • Irresistible
    • Amy Grant
    • Gourmet Popcorn
  • Orange and Orange blends
    • Dee Bennett
    • Little Flame
    • Gizmo
    • Little Jackie
    • Cheerup
  • Mauve
    • Winsome
    • Vista


These are roses that do not fit into existing classes. Form, size and flowers are varied. They are usually hardy and vigorous growing.

  • Red
    • F.J. Grootendorst
    •  William Baffin
    • Knockout
  • Pink
    • Ballerina
    • Bonica
    • Sparrieshoop
    • Fimbriata
    • Fru Dagmar Hastrup
    • Carefree Beauty
    • Lady Elsie May
  • Yellow and Orange
    • Golden Wings (Yellow)
    • Autumn Sunset (gold)
    • Westerland (orange)
    • Buff Beauty (buff, fragrant, short climber)
  • White
    • Nevada
    • Jacqueline du Pre' (bright red stamens, fragrant)
    • Blanc Double de Coubert
    • Sally Holmes
    • Francis E. Lester (hybrid musk)
  • Purple
    • Roseraie de l'Haye (fragrant)
    • Hansa (fragrant)


English Roses

These are the popular 'David Austin' roses.  While the flowers are gorgeous and the plants grow well and flower well, few are anything like disease resistant in our climate. 

  • Graham Thomas (golden yellow)
  • Tamora (apricot)
  • Abraham Darby (pink blend)

Old Garden Roses

Rose types grown or classified prior to the introduction of the first hybrid tea in 1867. There is also a group of old garden roses introduced after 1867 to the early 1900's.  Some classes of OGR bloom only once a year, in our area usually about 6 weeks in May and June (much longer bloom season than you get out of a rhodie!)  These are the oldest classes - albas, gallicas, damasks, most mosses, and pretty much all species roses.  Other classes repeat bloom, maybe spring and then again in fall, maybe throughout the summer.  These are the newer classes, developed after the introduction of Chinese roses:  Chinas, Teas, Hybrid Perpetuals, Bourbons, hybrid musks.  Do some research before purchasing - check out HelpMeFind and The Antique Rose Forum for more information on specific roses.  Chinas and Teas are successfully grown in Seattle and Portland areas, but may not get enough heat to bloom in Olympia unless planted on a south-facing wall or other heat-accumulating area.

  • Red
    • Crimson Globe (Moss)
    • Louis Philippe (China)
    • R. rugosa rubra (Rugosa)
    • Waldfee (Hybrid Perpetual)
  • Pink
    • Apothecary's Rose (Gallica)
    • Common Moss (Moss)
    • Jacques Cartier (Hybrid Perpetual)
    • Konigen von Danemark (alba)
    • Quatre Saisons/Rose of Castile (autumn damask)
    • Maiden's Blush (alba)
  • Yellow
    • Fruhlingsgold
    • Harison's Yellow
    • Lady Hillingdon (Tea)
  • White
    • Coquette des Alpes (Bourbon)
    • Leda (Damask)
    • Mme. Hardy (Damask)
    • Frau Karl Druschki (Hybrid Perpetual)
    • White Bath (Moss)
  • Blends
    • Honorine de Brabant (striped pink Bourbon)
    • Ferdinand Pichard (striped pink Hybrid Perpetual)
    • Rosa Mundi (Gallica)
    • Striped Moss (Moss)
    • Mutabilis (color-shifting China)
  • Mauve
    • Charles de Mills (Gallica)
    • Tuscany (Gallica)
    • Tuscany Superb (Gallica)
    • William Lobb (Moss)


    No longer an official category, but useful nonetheless.  Long, lax canes to 15-30ft long depending on variety.  Small flowers, usually once-blooming, but what a show!


  • Adélaide d‘Orléans (appleblosson)
  • American Pillar (pink w/ white center)
  • Félicité et Perpétue (Seven Sisters) (appleblossom)
  • Ghislaine de Féligonde (pale gold)
  • Lykkefund (white)
  • Paul‘s Himalayan Musk (pale pink)
  • Sander‘s White Rambler (white)
  • Seagull (white)

© 2008,  The Olympia Rose Society . This page last modified:  Saturday, November 12, 2011