Introduction to Rose

Horticulture Guruji

Introduction to Rose

Floriculture & Landscape Gardening

Botanical Name – Rosa spp.

Family – Rosaceae

Chromosome Number – 2n=14

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Important Point and History

  • The word rose is derived from the Greek word ‘eros’ which means ‘god of love’.
  • The fruits are known as Hips, contain many seeds, and are rich in C, B2, K, and E vitamins.
  • Rose Hips
    Rose Hips
    Rose is the national flower of England and Iran
  • Rosa penduline and Rosa bourboniana are thornless species.
  • Rose seeds are Acenes
  • 1st rose Breeder of India is B.K Roy Choudhary developed a variety, Dr. SD Mukherjee, in 1935.
  • 2nd rose breeder was B.S Bhattacharjee who has been known as the ‘father of rose breeding’ developed the variety Ramkrishnadev.
  • ‘Rose Sherbat’ variety developed by B.P Pal (his first variety).
  • Rosa damascena requires winter chilling for flower bud formation.
  • Compared to other parts of the rose, bud union is more sensitive to frost (lower temperature).
  • Pulsing solution – 1-3% sugar + 100-200ppm 8HQC.
  • Thornless varieties of rose -Suchitra, Pusa Mohit, Grand Gala.
  • Most Rose varieties take 60-70 days for blooming after pruning.
  • Wintering in rose common in Western Part of India (Sep.- Oct)
  • Hosur, TN, ranks 2nd in the world in rose growing.
  • Rose oil is the costliest oil in the world.
  • Yellow colour is extracted from Rosa foetida.
  • Rose gives commercial yield up to 8 years.
  • Rose petals change colour Blue (Bluing) due to the accumulation of ammonia.
  • Seeds are hardy and fresh seeds have dormancy.
  • Rose is a symbol of love, adoration, innocence, peace, friendship, affection, passion, and other virtues for thousands of years.
  • It has been universally acclaimed as the ‘queen of flowers’, said by a poetess ‘Sappo’ about 2500 years ago.
    Edouard rose
    Edouard rose
  • In India, it was referred to in old Sanskrit literature as Tarnipushpa, Atimanjula, Simantika, etc.
  • The development of roses in India developed with the distillation of roses as mentioned by Charaka in Ayurveda around 100 AD.
  • Rose cultivation was introduced in India probably during the Mughal period. Babur introduced Persian or Damascus roses to India (1526).
    Persian Rose
    Persian Rose
  • The Edouard rose (R. borboniana) was introduced in 1840 during British rule.
  • Damask and Edouard Roses are highly fragrant and are being cultivated extensively in the country.

Colour and Fragrance in Roses

  • Colours in roses are governed by the expression of water-soluble pigments called anthocyanidin,
  • The three important Anthocyanidins are pelargonidin, cyanidin, and delphinidin.
  • ‘Pelargonidin’ is present in Orange-Red to scarlet flowers.
  • Cynidine is present in Crimson to blush red flowers and
  • Delphinidin present in blue and violet flowers.
  • Besides anthocyanidin there are other numbers of pigment. Such as flavonols and carotenoids for white, yellow, and brown pigments in flowers.
  • The reds and pinks derived their color from the presence of cynidine, while the pale yellow is due to flavonols.
  • The fragrance in rose is due to the presence of various substances like Phenyl ethyl alcohol (PEA), Citronello (Rhodinol), Geraniol Nerol, Nonylaldehyde,


World Scenario

  • As a result of the great demand for modern roses (HT roses) / standard roses, many nurseries have been established in and around the big cities.
  • In 2016-17, the area under flowers was 3.09 lakh ha. and the productivity was 7.30 tons. /ha. and total production of flowers was 22.46 lakh tons.
  • India ranks first with a share of 46.54 percent to the world area undercut roses grown in the year 2012-13 is depicting its importance.
  • Export of rose from India is 2175.38 thousand MT, valuing USD 8.66 million during 2018-19
  • The major rose-producing regions in India are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Chandigarh, while they are grown in limited quantities in Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.
  • Largest importer from India – UK, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore
  • Importer– USA, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Russia, Belarus, France, Belgium, Italy, and Poland
  • Exporter- Netherlands, Columbia, Ecuador, Kenya, Israel, and

Use of Rose

The rose because of its multi-utility occupies a pre-eminent place amongst the flower crops and is one of the oldest fragrant flowers cultivated by man.

1) Garden display:

  • They are planted in small groups to create an excellent mass effect in the rose garden.
  • They can be used in gardens as shrubs, standards, Climbers, hedges, and edges.
  • Climbing and rambling roses can be used to cover walls of houses, fences pergola, and arch.
  • Hedge: Any prickly rose is suitable for this purpose; most floribundas are ideal as they tend to grow more. E.g. Border Coral, Circus, Freshman, and Rumba
  • Edges: Buttons / miniature roses are commonly used to demarcate edges from one feature to another. E.g. Caroline, Lady Reading, Magic, White Button, etc.
  • Some hardy miniature roses can be grown to beautify the rock garden. Hardy miniature and pompon varieties such as the Magic and Fairy Queen can be selected.
  • Small and dwarf polyantha is suitable for the purpose of the pot plants. Varieties like Baby Darling, Cinderella, Starina, Sweet Dream, etc.
  • Climbing miniatures such as Red Cascade and Yellow Doll can be used to grow in hanging pots/baskets.
  • Use as Standard roses (Hybrid Tea roses):

Also called tree roses. HT roses and floribundas having vigorous growth and spreading habit hence are budded on the straight vertical stem of a suitable rootstock at a different height from the ground level to make standards.

Classification of Standard Roses:

According to the height of budding the standard roses are classified into;

  1. Full standard: budding is to be done 100-115 cm above ground level. Hybrid roses and some Grandifloras are suitable.
  2. Half standard: In this case, the budding can be done at a height of 45–60 cm. Floribundas and Polyantha Rose are perfect for growing up as a half-standard.
  3. Weeping Standards: budding is done on bent branches at a height of 150 cm or more. The growing branch resembles a hanging crown. For example, the climber/ rambler rose.

Difference between Rambler Roses and Climber roses

Rambler Roses

Climber roses

1) Rambler produces flowers once a year.

1) Flowers perpetually (round the year).

2) Produces flowers in clusters.

2) Produces singly or in groups of 2’s or 3’s.

3) Flowers lasting for several weeks.

3) Flowering spreads over the season.

4) Rambler is very vigorous.

4) Medium in vigor.

5) Produces heavy crops of small flowers in clusters for several weeks.

5) Produces bigger flowers than ramblers round the year.


2) Loose flowers:

Loose flowers i.e., small and without stem that are used for extraction of essential oils, making garlands, for buttonholes i.e., coat buttonholes, and kora sage (a rose with leaf) – are used as mini bouquets.

a) Rosewater: an important commercial product derived from rose petals, which are used as perfume, medicine, and confectionery. Its important uses are,

  • Eye lotions, used in eye medicines for their soothing properties, are used in drinking water.

b) Rose oil (rose perfume): It is also obtained from rose petals, with a sweet aroma; Medicinal properties; Used in Ayurveda. The Bulgarian ‘rose otto’ is also used extensively in soaps and cosmetics.

  • Used in flavorings in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  • It has antibacterial properties against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Shigella dysentery.
  • Suitable species are: Rosa demacena, R. bourboniana, R. centifolia, R. alba and gallica. R. demascena and R. borboniana are cultivated for rose oil in India.

c) Gulkand: Rose petals are also preserved for direct consumption, prepared by mixing petals and sugar in equal proportions – considered tonic and laxative.

  • damascene, R. chinensis, R. gallica, R. pomifera, and some other fragrant roses such as Edouard roses are commonly used.

d) Pankhuri: Dried rose petals are known as Pankhuri, which are sometimes used to prepare sweets and soft drinks.

e) In Europe, roses are also used to make pot-puri, preserves, rose vinegar, and rose petal wine.

f) Jams, jellies, and syrups are made and exported to Bulgaria for centuries. Gulab jam aids digestion and has some healing properties.


3) Cut- Flowers:

In floriculture, roses are of foremost commercial importance and cut-roses have the highest demand throughout the world and year-round.

4) Source of vitamins:

Rose hips are an excellent source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Every 100 grams of rose hips contain 150 milligrams of ascorbic acid.

Species: R. Acicularis, R. glauca R. davurica, R. pendulina, R. rugosa, R. amblyotis, and R. canina. Apart from Vit-C, the hips of R. rugosa, R. davurica, R. roxburghii, R. acicularis, found to contain A, B2, K & E.


  • There are about 150 recognized and described species were identified; all are indigenous to the ‘temperate regions of the northern hemisphere have been reported to be growing.
  • 12 species have also been found to grow as wild in India. They are as,

Rosa brunonii (Himalayan Musk rose), R. eglanteria (Syn R. foetida, Austrian rose), R. longicuspis, R. macrophylla, R. involucrate (Syn. R. sempervirens), R. walpoleana, R. sericea (Ladakh rose) R. multiflora, R. leschenaultiana (Syn. R. sempervirens), R. moschata (Musk rose), R. rubiginosa (Sweet briar Eglantine rose),

  • As early as the 19th century, one or two hybrids closely related to R. chinensis, due to their recurrent flowering habit, were brought from China to Europe.
  • These were actually hybrids between R. odorata and R. gigantea and gave birth to the popular ‘hybrid tea rose’.
  • These roses were named because they had a taste found in the leaves of China Tea, which are delicately sweet with some smoky aroma.

Classification of Rose

1) Hybrid Tea

Originally developed from crossing between hybrid perpetuals and Tea roses (Tea roses = R. odorata X R. gigantea).

  • Most popular rose.
  • Bearing large highly centered flowers.
  • Eg: ‘La France’ (1867) – The first cultivar of hybrid tea was developed by Guillot in France.


2) Floribunda (Hybrid polyanthas)

  • In 1924, Floribunda named ‘Else Poulsen’ and ‘Kirsten Poulsen’ were developed from the cross between the hybrid tea x Polyanthas.
  • He combined the beautiful forms of hybrid tea with the continuous (perpetual) flowering habit of polyanthus.
  • Flowering in clusters with small size and open centre.
  • Good for garden display.
  • Eg: Wekplapep (2000), Jumpin Jack (1998)


3) Hybrid perpetuals

  • They are the immediate precursors of Hybrid Tea. They are considered to be the offspring of chinensis, R. gallica, and R. centifolia.
  • As the name suggests, those types are not continuous flowering but can be called “remontants”, which flower more than once in a season/year.
  • Eg: Princess, Helence


4) Teas

Also called “tea scented Chinese roses”, they derived their name from their distinctive aroma, which is believed to emit such a scent when a box of tea leaves is opened.

  • They know to have originated from chinensis and R. gigantean (Manipur Tea rose)
  • Free flower types.
  • Eg: Anna Olivies., Lady Hillingdon


5) Grandifloras

  • Mainly obtained from crosses between ‘Hybrid Tea’ and ‘Floribunda’ type.
  • Produces a large number of flowers in a cluster with fine form.
  • Eg: Buccaneer (1952), June Bride (1957), Montezuma (1955), Queen Elizabeth (1954), Jazor (2000).


6) Polyanthas:

  • Dwarf with small-flowered polyanthas is the forerunner of Floribundas. Blooms for several months.
  • Their Ancestry includes crosses of multiflora and R. wichuraiana (Climber) and the Bengal hybrid R. indica major (R. chinensis)
  • Eg: La paquorette (1875), Baby Faurax (1924), Echo (1914)


7) Miniature / Button Roses

  • Popularly known as ‘Baby Roses’ with small leaves and flowers.
  • They are hard and are good for pot culture.
  • Suitable for multiplication by cuttings as well as budding on rootstocks.
  • Eg: Baby gold star (1940), Baby Masquerade, Cindrella, Peon, etc.


8) Climbers and Ramblers

They bear large clusters of small, single, or double flowers, mainly belong to two groups.

Multiflora ramblers from R. multiflora,

Eg: Blush Rambler (1903), Crimson Rambler (1890)

Wichuriana ramblers from R. wichuriana

Eg: American Pilla (1902)


Rose species

The number of species under the genus Rosa recorded in various types of literature is between 120 – 200.

By the 19th century, only 8 species of roses played a role in the development of the varieties cultivated at the time. These are

  1. R. chinensis {Syn. R. indica (China Rose;1759)}

  • A large climbing evergreen shrub.
    R. chinensis
    R. chinensis
  • Flowers single, blush-pink, pink or crimson, rarely white in colour.
  • Non-fragrant.
  • A native to China.
  1. R. damascene (Damask Rose)

  • gallica x R. phoenicia (Summer damask rose);
  • A strong climber with white flowers in clusters.
    R. damascene
    R. damascene
  • Autumn Damask – bifera came from Rosa gallica
  • Crossed with moschata x R. canina
  • Vigorous shrub with exquisite fragrance (Sweet-scented)
  • Flowers in large clusters, semi-double.
  1. R. foetida syn. R. lutea, (Austrian Briar rose)

  • Erect shrub, with the prickly stem.
    R. foetida
    R. foetida
  • Flowers single, bright golden yellow
  • Native to India
  1. R. gallica
    R. gallica

    syn. R. rubra (French rose) (1542)

  • Thornless but an abundance of small prickles.
  • Foliage dark green.
  • Flowers single, purplish – crimson, in small clusters.
  • Hips sub-globose dark red.
  • Native to Central and Southern Europe.
  1. R. gigantea syn. R. odorata var. gigantea (Manipur Tea Rose)

  • A very vigorous climber with thick, hooked prickles on the glabrous stem.
    R. gigantea
    R. gigantea
  • Foliage dark glassy green, partially evergreen.
  • Flowers large (7.5 – 12.5 cm across), white or pale yellow.
  • Fragrant, borne singly.
  • Common in Manipur, Nagaland, and Sikkim
  • Native to Western China.
  • An important ancestor of the Tea, Hybrid Tea, and Noisette roses.
  1. R. moschata (Musk rose)

  • A vigorous climber with reddish, sparsely prickly stem and evergreen.
    R. moschata
    R. moschata
  • Leaves very fine and soft, bright green.
  • Flowers white, usually semi-double but sometimes single with musk fragrance.
  • Hips ovate, orange-red or dark brown.
  • Native to Middle East Himalayas.
  1. R. multiflora
    R. multiflora
  • A deciduous shrub with vigorous climbing branches.
  • Flowers single, white with golden yellow stamens.
  • Born in clusters, scented.
  • Hips are small, red, oval.
  • Originated in North China, Korea & Japan.
  • Introduced to India in 1872.
  1. R. wichuraiana (Memorial rose)

  • A vigorous rambler, producing single flowers – white with yellow centre.
  • Scented, produce in large clusters.
  • Hips small, ovoid, dark red.
  • Originated in Japan, East China, Korea & Taiwan.
  • Introduced to India in 1891.


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