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They say roses are red, but probably not blue. Roses also come in pink, yellow, peach and other hues. How many rose types are out there, really?

And how do you know which variety will make the right addition to your yard?

It’s time to start seeing your garden through rose-coloured glasses, once and flor-al.


Which Rose Variety Should You Plant?

The perennial question: how do you know which type of rose to plant in your garden?

There are a few points to consider when choosing your best bud:



colorful roses

Colour plays a huge role when thinking of the right variety to pick. There is an attached meaning and symbolism to every rose colour.

You’ll want to do your research if you’re planning on gifting your cut roses for special occasions. 

Here are the types of roses according to colour.


Types of pink roses

  • ‘Charles Bonnet’
  • ‘Coral Seas’
  • ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’
  • ‘Mary Rose’
  • ‘Royal Jubilee’


Types of red roses

  • ‘Benjamin Britten’
  • ‘Crimson Glory’
  • ‘Darcey Bussell’
  • ‘Obsession’
  • ‘Warrior’


Types of white roses

  • ‘Alabaster’
  • ‘Escimo’
  • ‘Polar Star’
  • ‘Tibet’
  • ‘Vitality’


Types of yellow roses

  • ‘Golden Celebration’
  • ‘Graham Thomas’
  • ‘Julia Child’
  • ‘Sun Sprinkles’
  • ‘Teasing Georgia’



Rose plants vary in size, and so do their flowers. 

Miniature varieties are perfect for small gardens and balconies, while larger ones such as the grandiflora are great for landscaped gardens and cut floral arrangements.


Large roses

Rosa Chrysler Imperial

Large roses, such as grandiflora and hybrid tea varieties, are known for their impressive stature and large, striking blooms. 

These roses often reach heights of more than five feet, making them standout features in any garden landscape. Their long stems and substantial flowers make them ideal for creating dramatic floral arrangements.

Types of large roses:

  • Rosa ‘Chrysler Imperial’
  • Rosa ‘Peace’
  • Rosa ‘Queen Elizabeth’
  • Rosa ‘Tropicana’


Miniature roses

Miniature roses are perfectly suited for smaller spaces, growing to about 15-30cm in height. 

Despite their small size, these roses bloom profusely throughout the season, producing petite, delicate flowers that are a scaled-down version of larger blooms.

Types of mini roses:

  • Rosa ‘Baby Masquerade’
  • Rosa ‘Cupcake’ (be sure to put “plant” when searching for this variety)
  • Rosa ‘Little Flirt’
  • Rosa ‘Sweet Chariot’


Miniflora roses

Miniflora roses are a relatively new classification that bridges the gap between miniature and floribunda roses. These plants feature small, but proportionally larger flowers than miniature roses, on plants that are slightly taller and more robust.

Typically, miniflora roses grow to about 45-90cm tall. They produce flowers that are often more formal in shape, resembling those of hybrid teas.

Types of miniflora roses:

  • Rosa ‘Butter Cream’ (not to be confused with frosting)
  • Rosa ‘Deja Blu’
  • Rosa ‘Foolish Pleasure’
  • Rosa ‘Memphis King’



Abraham Darby Rose

With rose cultivars being cross-bred here and there, many hybrid varieties are losing their perfume. Breeding disease-resistant roses comes at a cost, and the price is your rose’s lovely fragrance.

To give your garden that coveted floral scent, look to Old Garden roses such as Damask and Centifolia roses.

You can also look at planting:

  • Abraham Darby Rose
  • Desdemona Rose
  • Double Delight Rose
  • Mr. Lincoln Rose

These plants are your strong contenders in the fragrance aspect, and beautiful to behold as well.



Growing roses isn’t just for gardening veterans. 

If you’re a first-time rose grower (or feel you’re black-thumbed when it comes to roses), you can still enjoy having these exquisite flowers in your garden.

Luckily, most types of roses in Australia are tough and resistant to disease – perfect when you’re after low-maintenance plant care.



Determining your goal for planting roses can help you pick the best variety for your garden. A rose bush isn’t just a sight for sore eyes, that’s for sure. It’s pretty functional, too. 

Roses can be used as a landscaping accent, as a wall cover-up or groundcover, or grown to make your own cut floral arrangements.


The Big 3 Rose Categories

Most rose experts classify roses into three main categories: Species or Wild Roses, Old Garden Roses and Modern Garden Roses.

Wild Roses are naturally occurring varieties that have been around almost forever.

Then there are the Old Roses and Modern Roses. The primary distinction between old and modern roses is the era of their introduction. 

Old Garden Roses, admired for their rich fragrance and intricate blooms, existed before 1867.

The advent of Modern Roses occurred with the introduction of the first hybrid rose, ‘La France,’ marking a new era in rose breeding. 


Species Roses or Wild Roses in Australia

If wild roses can be described in one word, it’s prehistoric. Wild roses are the ancestors of all modern varieties, as this variety has been around for almost 40 million years.

They usually feature five-petaled blooms in shades of pink, red, or white and possess a simple yet striking appearance. 

These rugged roses, such as Rosa canina (Dog Rose) and Rosa rugosa (Japanese Rose), are naturally disease-resistant and adapt well to a range of environments.

In Australia, wild roses are primarily used for landscaping and hedging due to their hardy nature.


Dog rose (Rosa caninae)

 dog rose

Rosa caninae, commonly known as the dog rose, is a species that traces its origins across Europe and into western Asia. Like most Wild Roses, the Dog Rose is both cold-hardy and disease-resistant. 

It features arching stems that can stretch widely, making it an ideal choice for natural hedges or wild gardens.

Dog Rose flowers are typically pale pink to white and bloom once during late spring to early summer. 

The plant also produces bright red hips in autumn, which are high in vitamin C and often used in teas and jams.


Gallic rose (Rosa gallicanae)

Rosa gallicanae, or the Gallic rose, has a deep historical significance dating back to ancient Rome.

This species is known for its striking, deep pink blooms that appear once annually in early summer. Gallic rose bushes are compact and thorny, making them suitable as protective barriers.

Despite their rugged appearance, they are relatively low-maintenance and offer good disease resistance. The fragrance of Rosa gallicanae is notably rich and has been celebrated in perfumery for centuries.


Indian rose (Rosa indicate)

Indian rose

Rosa indicae, often referred to as the Indian rose, is distinguished by its vibrant, recurrent blooms that can range from deep pink to rich red. Originating from regions in South Asia, this rose variety is particularly noted for its adaptability to diverse climates, flourishing in both temperate and tropical environments. 

The Indian Rose’s continuous blooming pattern from spring through autumn makes it a favourite in ornamental gardens. Additionally, its petals are commonly used in traditional medicines and culinary preparations.


Cinnamon rose (Rosa cinnamomae)

Cinnamon roses

Rosa cinnamomae, known as the Cinnamon rose, is native to regions of East Asia. This species has historically been considered an umbrella classification for other wild roses that don’t fit into other varieties.

It is named for its distinctive, cinnamon-scented leaves and stems. The flowers, which bloom in early summer, are typically soft pink with a faint but pleasing fragrance.

The Cinnamon rose plant forms dense shrubs with robust, reddish-brown bark and is particularly valued for its ornamental hips that turn bright red in autumn.

Rosa cinnamomae is resilient, thriving in a variety of soil types and conditions, and is prized for its hardiness and disease resistance.


Old Garden Roses in Australia

Old Garden Roses, also called heritage roses or heirloom roses, include varieties like Gallica, Damask and Bourbon roses. 

These roses offer a timeless appeal with their captivating scents, layered petals, and historical significance.

Despite their antique roots, they continue to thrive in modern gardens, adding elegance and charm with blooms like ‘Madame Hardy’ (white) and ‘Charles de Mills’ (purple).

They are often more resistant to pests and diseases due to centuries of natural adaptation.


Alba roses

Alba roses

Alba roses’ history is a tale as old as time – as old as 100 AD, in fact. 

These rose plants have enviable blue-green foliage that grows on tall branches. 

Alba roses are called such because of their faint colour which ranges from pale pink to white. They bloom once during late spring or early summer.

Alba roses are tougher than they look. This rose variety is quite easy to care for and is cold- and disease-resistant. You won’t have a hard time tending to this one.


Bourbon roses

Bourbon roses

Like most rose varieties, bourbon roses are a hybrid between 2 rose varieties. 

Bourbon roses are a cross between Damask and China roses and named after Ile Bourbon in France, where they were first cultivated in 1817.

Bourbon roses are old climbing roses, which means that their vine-like growth is a natural mechanism for them. They can be trained to grow on a support and used as a wall cover-up in your garden.

It’s hard not to love these gentle roses – they are almost thornless and bloom repeatedly throughout the year.


Centifolia roses

Centifolia roses

When it comes to rose royalty, Centifolia roses are up there along with Hybrid Tea roses. 

Their tightly-packed petals resemble a cabbage, which earned this rose variety the nickname ‘Cabbage roses’. Centifolias also go by the name Provence roses.

Centifolias have pink or white flowers that bloom once in early summer. These roses are prized in the perfume industry for their strong fragrance. 

They’re perfect if you’re building a garden getaway in your backyard.

You will need to put in extra care when you have these in your garden, however. Unfortunately, they’re not as disease-resistant as other rose varieties.


China roses

China rose

China roses are a practical choice if you’re looking for a disease-resistant variety.

Their constitution leans toward the delicate side, however, so they may need to be protected from harsh winds and cold temperatures.

While these roses can’t hold a candle to the likes of Centifolias, China roses are still attractive in their own right.

Their fragrant flowers come in different colours and are known to be repeat bloomers during summer and late fall.


Damask roses

Damask roses

Along with Alba roses, Damask roses are some of the most antique rose varieties out there.

The versatility of their flowers makes Damask roses one of the most popular roses around.

You’ll find Damask roses used commercially in making perfume, rose water, and herbal tea.

The flowering season for this variety depends on its subgroup.

Summer Damasks bloom once during summer, and Autumn Damasks, or the Four Seasons Damask, bloom during summer and fall.

Damask roses will add a beautiful white or pink colour and a delicate fragrance to your garden.


Gallica roses

Gallica roses, or French roses, are among the oldest rose species in the world. This rose variety can trace its roots all the way back to the 12th century. 

With a flatter, more open form, Gallicas aren’t your typical-looking roses. The petals come in rich colours of fuchsia, purple, and red. Some varieties even have striped petals.

Gallica roses can grow in the shade and are fairly tolerant of cold. Their flowers bloom once, during summer.

These roses are grown for their strong perfume and medicinal properties.


Hybrid Perpetual roses

Hybrid Perpetual roses

Hybrid Perpetual roses may not be as popular now as they were back in the 19th century, but they haven’t lost their stately charm and elegance.

These roses have large, fragrant flowers attached to tall canes.

Some varieties have white flowers, but most come in vivid shades of fuchsia, purple, and red. 


Moss roses

Moss Roses, a distinctive subgroup of Old Garden Roses, are recognised for their unique moss-like growths covering the sepals and buds. This “moss” consists of glandular trichomes that emit a delightful, resinous scent when touched.

Originating from mutations of Centifolia and Damask roses, these blooms display a range of colours from pale pink to deep crimson. Their flowering season is short, offering a single burst of blooms in late spring or early summer.

Although they look delicate, Moss Roses are quite hardy and can flourish in various climates with minimal care.


Noisette roses

Noisette roses

Noisette roses are dreamy rose bushes that can be trained to grow as climbers.

Their pastel flowers bloom in tight clusters that complement brick walls, trellises, and fences beautifully.

Noisette roses’ lush shrubbery and tender canes also make them an ideal choice for canopies.


Portland roses

Contrary to popular belief, Portland roses aren’t related to Portland, Oregon in any way at all.

They are, in fact, named after the Duchess of Portland who received the Scarlet Four Seasons rose as a token in 1775.

The rose went on to be known as ‘The Portland Rose’, the ancestor of succeeding varieties such as the James Veitch rose, Rose de Rescht rose, and Comte de Chambord rose. 

This rose fit for royalty has traits that roses are famous for, such as a distinct floral perfume and a lovely rosy hue.

Portland roses are known for their short shrubs and flower stalks. Most varieties bloom during the summer months, with some continuing to bloom through autumn.


Rambling roses

pink rambling roses

Rambling roses are either the beauty or the beast in your garden. You’ll need to rein it in – or train it – for you to make the most out of this variety. Otherwise, it’s just complete chaos.

Ramblers are known to take over whatever space they can crawl on. They are the ideal rose variety to grow on fences, trellises, or walls.

One beloved rambling rose is the Banksia Rose, which is known to be one of the fastest growing climbing plants to have in a garden.

Ramblers’ flowers are small to medium in size and grow in clusters. While rambling roses aren’t repeat bloomers, you won’t lack dazzling blooms during the flowering season with this variety.

Rambling roses are responsible for those romantic rose-studded archways you see in parks and gardens.

When trained to grow on a support, rambling roses can transform any outdoor space from mundane to magical. Leave them be and their vigorous growth turns to mayhem.

Take care to trim them regularly to prevent this from happening.

If you feel that your ramblers are growing out of control (and frankly too intimidating to prune), it’s helpful to hire professional pruning services for best results.


Tea roses

Have you ever wondered where Tea roses got their name from? Tea roses are named such because of their faint black tea-like fragrance. 

These roses originated from China and have been cross-bred with Hybrid Perpetual roses to produce the famous Hybrid Tea rose variety.

Tea roses have large fragrant flowers that come in pretty shades of cream, pink, yellow, and peach. 

The edges of a tea rose’s petals are slightly curled, giving them a soft and delicate appearance. 

These roses are resistant to disease and are repeat bloomers.


Modern Garden Roses in Australia

Modern garden roses (or just modern roses) combine the old-world allure of traditional roses with the durability and repeat-blooming features of newer hybrids.

They include a broad spectrum of types such as Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, and Grandiflora roses.

They offer greater bloom diversity, richer colours, and enhanced disease resistance.

Some notable examples of modern roses include the ‘Peace’ (yellow-pink blend) and ‘Mister Lincoln’ (red) roses.


David Austin roses

David Austin roses

If you love roses and you’re not yet a member of David Austin’s fanbase, you should be.

This mover and shaker in the rose farming industry developed over 200 rose hybrids during his lifetime.

Having combined traits from Old and Modern Garden roses, David Austin was able to come up with roses that had the best of both worlds.

David Austin roses are known for their lovely colour and rosette form, heavy perfume, and multiple blooms.

As with some other Modern Garden roses, however, they’re not hardy and resistant to disease.


Floribunda roses

purple Floribunda roses

Floribunda rose varieties are a cross between Hybrid Tea roses and Polyantha roses.

These disease-resistant roses produce clusters of yellow, pink, orange, purple or white flowers.

Because of their abundant blooms and low-maintenance nature, they’re quite popular in public spaces like parks and gardens.


Grandiflora roses

As their name suggests, Grandiflora roses are the flamboyant variety among the bunch.

Bold and beautiful, Grandiflora rose bushes inherited the long stems and prominent blooms of their ancestor, the Hybrid Tea rose.

Another rose variety, Floribunda roses, is responsible for the vigorous growth cycle of Grandiflora roses.

You can’t go wrong with these roses if you’re looking for a sturdy and attractive plant to grow in your garden.

A Grandiflora rose can appear as a single flower, or come in clusters of 3 to 5 flowers.

You’ll get to enjoy having Grandifloras in your garden as they’re also fairly hardy compared to other rose varieties.


Groundcover roses

groundcover roses

Roses aren’t just for bouquets and vases. Groundcover roses, or landscape roses, are called such because they’re lush and easy to grow horizontally.

Groundcover roses can be used to cover a bald spot or fill in spaces. Imagine a burst of pink, peach, or red flowers across your garden, and all you planted was the Flower Carpet Rose.

Instead of your usual bamboo or murraya hedges, this rose variety will give you plenty of colour and fragrance to enjoy.


Hybrid Musk roses

Go for Hybrid Musk roses if you’re after hardiness, fragrance, and appearance.

These roses are known for their sweet musk-like scent and delicately coloured floral clusters.

Some varieties exhibit a pale pink hue, while others have yellow, cream, or deep pink petals.

Evenings are when their fragrance is at its strongest.

Hybrid Musk roses are well-loved among rose growers because of their resistance to disease and tolerance to shade.

They’re also versatile and can be trained as climbers or grown as lush shrubs.


Hybrid Rugosa roses

hybrid Rugosa roses

Hybrid Rugosa roses are more similar in form to Gallica roses. Instead of the usual tight rosebud form, Hybrid Rugosa flowers are more open-faced and have loosely packed petals.

These roses also grow tall, with some plants reaching a height of 2m.

You’ll love this rose variety for a lot of reasons.

Aside from their bright green foliage and small colourful blossoms, Hybrid Rugosas are the right choice for you if you’re looking for a hardy rose plant.

They can tolerate cold and drought well and are easy to care for.


Hybrid Tea roses

hybrid tea roses

Bring colour to your world with the queen among the roses. Hybrid Tea roses carry the best traits of their ancestors, the Hybrid Perpetual rose and the old-fashioned Tea rose.

They’re a joy to have in your garden because they’re easy to care for and are repeat bloomers.

They also come in thornless varieties, which makes rose pruning a whole lot easier. 

When it comes to form, Hybrid Tea roses are a cut above the rest. Just take a look at a Hybrid Tea rose and you’ll see why it’s a popular choice among florists.

Each brightly-coloured bloom can reach a width of 8-12.5cm and contain up to 60 petals.

The Hybrid Tea rose’s signature rosebud shape and long elegant stem make it one of the most celebrated roses for gardens and cut floral arrangements.


Modern Climbing roses

Modern climbing roses aren’t really your typical vine, but they mimic a similar mechanism. When trained to grow on a support, they can fill up trellises and climb on fences.

Unlike old climbing roses, however, modern climbers’ vine-like movement doesn’t come naturally to them. Instead, it is either the result of a mutation or mechanical intervention. 

These roses can reach up to a height of 4.5m when grown vertically. They’re at their best when grown horizontally, however, as they produce more flowers this way.

And produce flowers, they do! Climbing roses are known to bloom profusely and yield large flowers as well.


Shrub roses

shrub roses

Most shrub roses are a cross between Old Garden roses and Modern Garden roses. These hardy rose bushes are low-maintenance and disease-resistant.

While its blooms are no match for the Hybrid Tea’s beauty, shrub roses are an ideal match for you if you’re looking for colour and enthusiastic flower growth.

With this variety, you’ll have captivating roses in your garden without the fuss. It’s no wonder that first-time rose growers love them.


Polyantha roses

Another low-maintenance rose variety is the Polyantha rose.

Polyanthas are one of the parents of the famous Floribunda roses. While this variety is not as strikingly beautiful as the Hybrid Tea rose, it is one of the most prolific roses around.

With proper training and support, you’ll enjoy having Polyantha roses. These clusters of white, pink, and red flowers will beautify your garden from spring to fall.

You won’t break your back tending to them, either. Polyantha roses are disease-resistant, easy to care for, and hardy.


Unique Roses for Your Garden

Introducing unique roses to your garden transforms it into a vibrant showcase of extraordinary blooms. 

Each variety listed below offers something special, from whimsical colours to unusual shapes, making your garden a focal point of beauty and intrigue.

After all, who wouldn’t want bicoloured or multicoloured roses?


Abracadabra rose

Abracadabra rose

Known for its striking colouration, the Abracadabra rose features bold, red and yellow stripes that give each bloom a whimsical, almost magical appearance.

This floribunda rose is perfect for gardeners looking to add a splash of dramatic colour and uniqueness to their garden beds or borders.


Black Baccara rose

Black Baccara rose

This hybrid tea rose is renowned for its deep, velvety maroon petals that are so dark they appear almost black. 

Black Baccara is a favourite among gardeners and florists alike for its mysterious allure and excellent form.


Blue Moon rose

Offering one of the closest approximations to blue in the world of roses, Blue Moon captivates with its large, lavender-blue blooms.

This hybrid tea rose is treasured for its unique colour and its fragrant, beautifully formed flowers.


Green rose (Rosa chinensis viridiflora)

Green rose

This unusual rose is characterised by its entirely green blooms, which look more like a bunch of leaves than traditional flowers.

The Green rose is a curiosity in the garden, valued for its rarity and the distinctive texture it adds to both the landscape and floral arrangements.


Joseph’s Coat rose


As colourful as its namesake’s biblical garment, Joseph’s Coat is an exuberant climbing rose that displays multicoloured blooms of red, orange, and yellow.

The flowers change hue as they age, creating a continuous kaleidoscope of colour throughout its blooming season. 

This rose is ideal for trellises, walls, or fences, where it can truly shine as a vibrant backdrop.


FAQs About the Rose Varieties in Australia

Here are answers to some common questions about roses and how to cultivate them successfully in your garden.


Are roses native to Australia?

No, roses are not native to Australia. They originated mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and have been cultivated globally for centuries. 

They now flourish in Australia’s varied climates, making them popular additions to many gardens.


How many rose varieties are in Australia?

Australia is home to thousands of rose varieties, including climbing roses and hybrid teas to floribundas and shrub roses. 

New varieties are continually introduced through rose breeding programs, enriching the diversity available.


What is the most common garden rose in Australia?

With its prolific white blooms and disease resistance, the ‘Iceberg’ rose is one of the most common garden roses in Australia. It’s often seen in both private gardens and public spaces.

On the vertical side, the Eden Rose or Pierre de Ronsard is one of the more popular climbing roses.


What’s the difference between a florist rose and garden rose?

Florist roses and garden roses are bred with different goals in mind.

Florist roses, often seen in bouquets, are carefully cultivated for their longevity after cutting. They have long, sturdy stems and tight buds that open slowly. This makes them ideal for transport and display in arrangements.

Garden roses, however, flourish in their natural habitat. They showcase a variety of shapes, colours, and fragrances. These roses often feature more open blooms and robust scents.


Is the Osiria rose real?

Osiria rose

Yes, the Osiria rose is a real variety. It’s a hybrid tea rose celebrated for its distinctive appearance, featuring striking red petals with a contrasting white reverse.

While it is real, some images circulating online may be enhanced, making the rose appear more vivid than it typically is in a natural setting.

Gardeners interested in growing the Osiria rose should know that while it is visually stunning, it needs careful cultivation to thrive and achieve its unique colouration.


Are garden roses easy to care for?

Most garden roses are relatively easy to care for with some routine maintenance like pruning, watering, and giving them at least 6 hours of full sun everyday.

While there are a lot of references on rose problems and solutions, choosing disease-resistant varieties will help you grow healthy and beautiful roses from day 1.


How many times a year do garden roses bloom?

Most modern rose varieties in Australia are repeat bloomers, flowering multiple times throughout the year. 

Roses typically begin blooming in spring, with peak blooming from October to November, and continue in flushes through summer and into early autumn.

Proper care, like deadheading spent blooms and regular feeding, encourages repeat blooming, especially in varieties like Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses.


What are the best groundcover roses?

Some of the best groundcover varieties in Australia include ‘Flower Carpet’ roses or Our Rosy Carpet, which are known for their disease resistance and vibrant blooms in colours like pink, red, and white.

‘The Fairy’ is another popular choice, offering masses of small pink flowers. 

‘Nozomi’ (white-pink) and ‘Seafoam’ (white) are also excellent for their low growth, spreading habit, and continuous blooming.

About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.