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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
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Full
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Moderate

Rosa, Shrub

Shrub Rose
Rosaceae
Shrubs

ROSA

The rose is the queen of flowers, the most loved and widely planted shrub in all temperate parts of the world. More than 14,000 varieties are grown. Although mostly deciduous, roses can be evergreen in mild climates. Their stems, sometimes quite prickly, may be erect, arching, trailing, or scrambling. Leaves are divided into three, five, or seven leaflets, usually with toothed margins.

Rosa, Shrub

Shrub roses bloom prolifically over a long season and have abundant disease-resistant foliage. Most look good with little or no pruning. Loose categories are listed below.

Hybrid musk shrub roses. Developed a century ago from a descendant of the musk rose (R. moschata), these 6–8-ft.-tall shrubs or small climbers perform well in dappled or partial shade as well as in sun. Most have fragrant, clustered flowers, but tend not to flower prolifically in mild climates.

Hardy shrub roses. From Canada and the Midwest, these are bred to survive northern and Rocky Mountain winters. Some resemble floribundas and grandifloras; their ancestries include hardy species, floribunda, and hybrid teas. They have “country” names like ‘Country Dancer’ and ‘Prairie Princess’. Others, named for explorers like ‘John Cabot’ and ‘William Baffin’, are mostly large shrubs to small climbers descended in part from R. rugosa.

Miscellaneous shrub roses. Of complex or unknown ancestry, these include well-known varieties such as ‘All That Jazz’, ‘Knock Out’, and ‘Sally Holmes’.

Trademarked shrub roses. These are “families” to which new varieties can be added over time. Some of the most popular follow.

The David Austin English roses were developed from various old roses (albas, centifolias, gallicas) crossed with modern roses. These repeat-flowering roses capture the lovely old rose forms and fragrances, and come in a range of colors otherwise found only in today’s hybrid tea roses. They range from low shrubs to climbers. Many have Chaucerian or Shakespearean names, though the three most popular—‘Abraham Darby’, ‘Graham Thomas’, and ‘Mary Rose’—commemorate, respectively, an English industrialist, a noted English horticulturist, and the flagship of Henry VIII’s fleet.

The French house of Meilland has produced the Romantica roses, most of which are named for well known figures in European arts and letters (such as ‘Yves Piaget’); the color range is contemporary, but the full-petaled flowers recall the early hybrid teas and hybrid perpetuals. The trademarked Meidiland family of roses (including ‘Pink Meidiland’ and ‘White Meidiland’) are mostly somewhat billowy shrubs.

Another French firm, Guillot (famous for originating the first hybrid tea rose), offers Generosa roses; these are similar to the English roses in variability and old rose style. ‘Martine Guillot’, with cupped, creamy white blooms blushed with peach, is an example.

Renaissance roses, from the Danish house of Poulsen, are akin to floribundas, with an emphasis on vigor, disease resistance, abundant bloom, and modern flower form.

Flower Carpet is a family of groundcover roses bred by noted German rosarian Werner Noack for easy care and a long season of prolific bloom.

Rose ‘Abraham Darby’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Rose ‘Abraham Darby’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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‘Abraham Darby’

One of the most popular varieties of David Austin English roses. Orange flowers. Grows up to 6 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Blushing Knockout’
Rosa ‘Blushing Knockout’

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‘Blushing Knockout’

Shrub rose with light pink, single flowers. Tough, disease resistant. Grows to 4–5 ft. tall and wide.

‘Carefree Delight’

A shrub rose producing single pink flowers with a white eye. Grows to 3–5 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Carefree Wonder’
Rosa ‘Carefree Wonder’

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‘Carefree Wonder’

Shrub rose producing pink flowers. Grows to 3–4 ft. tall and wide.

‘Gertrude Jekyll’

A David Austin shrub rose with fragrant pink flowers. Grows to 5–10 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Golden Celebration’
Rosa ‘Golden Celebration’

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‘Golden Celebration’

A David Austin rose with large, fragrant yellow flowers. Grows to 4–6 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’
Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’

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‘Graham Thomas’

A David Austin English rose with fragrant yellow flowers. Grows to 6–8 ft. tall and wide. Can be grown as a climber in mild-winter climates.

‘Kaleidoscope’

A shrub rose producing flowers in a warm blend of orange, tan, and pink. Upright, to 3–4 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Knock Out’
Rosa ‘Knock Out’

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‘Knock Out’

Very popular shrub rose with excellent disease resistance and neon red flowers. Grows to 4–6 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Molineux’
Rosa ‘Molineux’

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‘Molineux’

A David Austin shrub rose with fragrant yellow flowers. Grows to 2–3 ft. tall and 3–4 ft. wide.

‘Paul Bocuse’

A Generosa shrub rose with fragrant, salmon pink flowers. Grows to 3–5 ft. tall and wide.

Rosa ‘Pink Knock Out’
Rosa ‘Pink Knock Out’

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‘Pink Knock Out’

Shrub rose with bright pink flowers. Disease resistant. Grows to 4–6 ft. tall and wide.

‘Ruby Meidiland’

Groundcover rose with red flowers. Grows 2–5 ft. tall and 4–6 ft. wide. Can also be grown as a low hedge.

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’
Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

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‘Sally Holmes’

A shrub rose producing huge clusters of white flowers, often touched with pink. In cold-winter climates, remains 4–8 ft. tall and wide. In milder areas, it can be much bigger and is best treated as a climber, that can spread over 20 ft.

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