The name of the Rose


quoteThis article will probably please the ladies. By the way, the post might be also useful for guys who get confused while trying to buy a bouquet to impress their fiancées… Today in fact we will bring you some… roses! But we are terminologists, so we will go a little bit into details. Before smelling the fresh parfume of these flowers, we have to ask: do you know how many types of roses exist? White, coloured, wild: many are the varieties, as many are the terms related to them. The name itself, “rose”, has a complex and long history indeed. The root of the term is Indo-European, and it went through some linguistic changes during centuries. Latin students know very well that “Rosa, Rosae” is the first classical example of declension taught. From Latin it derives the English “rose”, well-known in literature classes for the notorious Shakespearian use of it. You remember Romeo and Juliet, we suppose. Men discovered roses ages ago as wild, beautiful flowers, and in time they learned how to select and grow different species and cultivars, in order to transform them into ornamental plants.


Tree Roses

Nowadays we can distinguish literally hundreds of hybrids, not so easy to classify; but we dare to do a little work of terminology. Without mentioning the whole of the cultivars, which is almost impossible. We will talk instead about own-root rose, grafted rose, standard roses. More on, to complete our exposition, we will mention species roses, old garden roses and modern roses. Own-root roses nowadays are probably the most common: a self-explanatory name to distinguish the plants that grow with their own roots. You can take a cultivar, root it, and still you’ll have an identical clone of the parent.


Wild Rose

Sometimes, otherwise, gardeners use grafted roses, a technique to implant different cultivars on a root. To be more precise, you will use a scion (the top of a cultivar), genetically different from the rootstock, the root in which is deployed. Grafted roses usually grow faster, but there are some drawbacks, as they are delicate and they have less resistance. Tree roses or standard roses are grafted roses implanted together. Tree roses are delicate as well, for they are vulnerable to wind and cold. Species roses are instead the original, wild roses, you can find in nature. As a conclusion, we mention the old-garden roses, the first species being cultivated. Breeding is an ancient practice whose birth can be dated centuries ago: we have examples in China, Egypt, Greece and Iraq. The “turn” of the discipline is precisely dated: 1867. A French gardener firstly invented a truly modern rose (or modern garden rose), he named “La France“. From now on, breeders managed to create roses with big flowers, capable of blooming repeatedly, of any size and shape.


La France

Read more on Rose Terminology. If you instead want a general glossary about flowers, read this past post.

Matteo Poles

Social Media Specialist

Communication Trainee at TermCoord