This class of rose came into existence when 'Queen Elizabeth' rose was introduced to the market in 1954. In fact, the grandiflora rose class embodies the maiden true blend of the characteristics of hybrid tea rose and floribunda. The grandiflora has inherited the form of the flowers as well as the long cutting stems from its hybrid tea rose parent.
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Similarly, this class has inherited the hardiness as well as plentiful, clustered blooms from its floribunda parent. In fact, most roses in the grandiflora class, however there are exceptions, are usually taller compared to either the floribundas of hybrid tea roses. Grandifloras are shrubs whose size as well as vigour has varied extensively from one cultivar to another.
The floribundas that have been included in this article are the ones that are time-tested and have proved to be exceptional and reliable garden shrubs. Generally, floribundas do well in places where hybrid tea roses also flourish.
In other words, it is best to grow this class of roses in the Northwest, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic states and some regions of the Rocky Mountain West, the Northeast and the Midwest where the temperatures during the winter months do not drop below -10°F (-23°C).
As far as Canada is concerned, floribundas only flourish in the southeast and the coastal areas of the marine provinces as well as British Columbia. When grown in the Southeast, which has a combination of heat and humidity, grandifloras are generally found to be susceptible to diseases. However, this class of roses ought to be healthier when grown in elevated altitudes in the upper South.
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Introduced - 1971
Many rose lovers consider 'Aquarius' to be among the most excellent grandiflora roses. This grandiflora cultivar blooms freely from spring till the first frost of the season. The plants produce as many as five small sprays of double flowers that emit very light fragrance.
The buds of 'Aquarius' rose have a dark pink hue and they unfurl to reveal blended medium pink and white flowers with high centers. Each flower of this rose measures about 4 inches across. The foliage of 'Aquarius' is large with a leathery texture.
The plants are upright and vigorous. They are urn shaped and ideal for growing in garden beds and borders. The flowers of 'Aquarius' rose are excellent for use as cut flowers. This rose is exceptionally resistant to diseases.
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Introduced - 1975
The color of the flowers of 'Arizona' rose reminds one of the hues of a desert sunset. This grandiflora cultivar produces flowers that are a warm combination of golden yellow and bronzy orange. The flowers are high-centered and each measures anything between 2 inches and 4 inches in diameter.
A singly flower of 'Arizona' rose is composed of about 25 to 30 petals and are potently sweet scented. The plants are upright, tall and grow up to a height of about 5 feet to 6 feet. They produce bright green, glossy leaves having a leathery texture. The leaves of 'Arizona' rose contrast well with the flowers. Nevertheless, this rose blooms sparsely and is rather winter tender.
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Introduced - 1964
The prominent characteristic of 'Camelot' rose is that the flowers last for a long time both in the garden as well as in the form of cut flowers. The flowers of this grandiflora cultivar are cup-shaped and each measures anything between 3 ½ inches and 5 inches across and is composed of as many as 40 to 55 petals.
The color of the blooms of 'Camelot' varies from coral to salmon-pink and they have a spicy aroma. The flowers appear in sprays on bushy plants that grow up to a height of anything between 5 feet and 6 feet. The plants produce large and glossy leaves having a leathery texture. The plants not only possess good resistance to rose diseases but are also moderately winter hardy.
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Introduced - 1975
Noted American horticulturist Dr. Griffith Buck bred several roses, especially for their ability to resist diseases as well as cold hardiness. 'Earth Song' is one of his remarkable successes. This rose has successfully over wintered for nearly a decade at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where temperatures drop below -30°F (-40°C) during the winter months.
Time and again, the severe cold prevailing in the region has killed back the plant's canes, but 'Earth Song' bounced back from such situations caused due to natural pruning to blossom adequately at the beginning of its growing season in the next summer.
This was possible because grandifloras blossom best on their new growths. 'Earth Song' produces high-centered buds, which are typical of hybrid tea roses, and these buds unfurl into large cup-shaped flowers having a rich red hue.
The individual flower of this grandiflora cultivar measures roughly 4 inches to 4 ½ inches (10 cm to 10.5 cm) in diameter. The foliage of this rose is also attractive - dark green and glossy.
Introduced - 1982
As the name of this grandiflora cultivar suggests, 'Gold Medal' bears deep yellow blooms that are flushed and their edges have orange-red hue. The flowers have a high-centered form and they may appear singly or in clusters on long stems.
Each flower of this rose measures about 3 ½ inches to 4 inches in diameter and they emit a fruit-like fragrance. The plants blossom in profusion all through their growing season and it is among the last roses that bloom into the fall. The leaves of 'Gold Medal' rose are dark green and glossy, while the canes are almost without thorns.
The plants of 'Gold Medal' rose are upright, tall and bushy. They are adaptable to pruning and have a preference for high pruning. This rose is apt for growing in garden beds and borders and its flowers are a wonderful source of cut flowers. In addition, the flowers are also excellent for exhibition. The plants are resistant to rose diseases.
Introduced - 1980
Although 'Love' rose is basically a grandiflora, it can easily be pass off as a hybrid tea rose. This grandiflora cultivar is a compact shrub bearing high-centered buds which has close resemblance to the buds of hybrid tea rose. These buds unfurl to reveal brilliant red blooms with a ostentatious difference – the reverse side of the petals have a silvery pink hue that makes the flowers of 'Love' appear as hand-painted.
Introduced - 1955
'Montezuma' rose produces urn-shaped buds that unfurl into high-centered, reddened coral-orange blooms. Each flower of this grandiflora cultivar measures about 3 ½ inches to 4 inches in diameter and has a slight fragrance.
Each bloom of 'Montezuma' is composed of as many as 30 to 35 petals and they have a light tea fragrance. The plants of this rose are compact, bushy and somewhat spreading in nature. The plants grow up to a height of 4 feet to 5 feet and are almost covered with plentiful dark green, semi-glossy foliage having a leathery texture.
Introduced - 1982
A 'New Year' rose is composed of 20 petals that have a blend of terra-cotta and gold. Individually, the flowers measure 2 inches to 3 inches across and have a slight fruity scent. The flowers appear in sprays on compact plants that grow up to a height of 3 feet.
The leaves of this grandiflora cultivar are dark green, large and glossy. The plants are fairly resistant to rose diseases. Similar to many other grandiflora roses, the winter hardiness of 'New Year' is above average.
Introduced - 1964
The flowers of 'Olé' are large and ruffled with glowing colors of bright orange-red. The exciting hues of this rose remind one of a bullfight. Individual flowers measure about 3 ½ inches in diameter and is composed of anything between 40 and 50 petals.
The flowers have a high-centered form and may also be cup-shaped. The blooms of 'Olé' have a long life and emit a slight fruity fragrance. The plants are bushy and grow up to a height of 4 feet. The plants are clothed with glossy foliage.
Introduced - 1981
'Pearlie Mae', a prairie-bred rose, was also bred by horticulturist Dr. Griffith Buck. This rose was appropriately named after singer Pearl Bailey because it is also a wonderful performer as well as a real trouper. This is a bushy grandiflora that has a vigorous growth and tendency to sprawl.
'Pearlie Mae' rose bears as many as one to 8 deep pink hued buds in a cluster and they unfurl into golden yellow blossoms that are tinged with salmon. Each flower of this rose measures about 4 inches (10 cm) across. The foliage of this rose is dark olive green and has a leathery texture and it remains healthy constantly.
These attributes of 'Pearlie Mae' rose makes it a wonderful selection for growing in the form of a specimen shrub or an accent shrub in a flower garden border. In addition, this rose is a wonderful source of cut flowers.
Introduced - 1960
'Pink Parfait' rose is an inexhaustible bloomer and the flowers of this grandiflora variety have a blend of pale and medium pink, while the color of the petals is deeper at the edges compared to that at their base. The individual flower measures anything between 2 inches and 3 inches and is composed of as many as 20 to 25 petals.
The flowers have the typical hybrid tea high-centered form and they are slightly scented. The flowers are borne singly or they may also appear in sprats on long and slender stems that are excellent for cutting. The plants are bushy and resistant to diseases.
In addition, they are exceptionally winter hardy and grow up to a height of anything between 3 ½ feet and 5 feet. The foliage is medium green, semi-glossy with a leathery texture.
Introduced - 1983
'Prima Donna' rose produces long and slender buds that unfurl into high-centered flowers with deep fuchsia pink shaded in lavender. The individual flower of this grandiflora cultivar measures 3 inches to 4 inches in diameter and is composed of 25 to 30 petals.
The flowers have a slight fragrance and they appear singly at the beginning of the growing season and later on they are borne in sprays. The plants of 'Prima Donna' rose produce long stems and the color of their leaves vary from medium to dark green.
The leaves are glossy and free from diseases. The plants are bushy and have a spreading nature. They grow up to a height of anything between 4 feet and 5 feet. Its name notwithstanding, 'Prima Donna' rose is not hard to please and it grows equally well in the garden as well as a greenhouse.
Introduced - 1971
In Europe, 'Prominent' rose is also known as 'Korp' and the flowers have a luminous orange-red hue. The flowers of this grandiflora cultivar are small and measure 2 ½ inches to 3 inches across. The blooms have a high-centered form and are slightly fragrant.
Each flower of this rose is composed of 30 to 35 petals. The flowers may appear in sprays or singly on plants that grow up to a height of anything between 3 feet and 4 feet. The plants produce dull, dark green leaves having a leathery texture.
Introduced - 1989
'Shining Hour' is among the few yellow roses in the grandiflora class. The roses have a luminous yellow hue which does not fade even when they are exposed to intense heat. Each flower of 'Shining Hour' measures about 4 inches in diameter and is composed of 25 to 30 petals.
The flowers have a high-centered for or may also have a decorative shape. The flowers have a mild fruity fragrance. The plants produce shiny leaves that almost cover the rounded plants that grow up to a height of anything between 3 feet and 4 feet. This rose is rather resistant to diseases.
Introduced - 1981
This grandiflora cultivar has derived its name from Shreveport in Louisiana, which is the home of the American Rose Society. 'Shreveport' rose produces oval, pointed buds that unfurl to reveal high-centered, very double flowers. The flowers appear on small sprays and the individual blooms measures 4 inches and are composed of as many as 50 petals.
The hue of the flowers is a blend of amber and orange and they emit a light tea fragrance. As the flowers of 'Shreveport' last for a long time and are excellent for use as cut flowers.
The leaves of this rose are large, dark green and glossy, while the canes are swathed with small, downward-facing prickles. The plants are vigorous and grow up to a height of 5 feet. In addition, the plants of 'Shreveport' rose are resistant to diseases and also winter hardy.
Introduced - 1974
This grandiflora variety bears well-formed flowers having shrimp pink hue and excellent substance. The flowers last for a long period even when used in the form of cut flowers. Each flower of 'Sonia' measures 3 inches to 4 inches in diameter and is composed of 30 petals.
The flowers of 'Sonia' have a fruity fragrance, while the foliage is dark green, glossy and have a leathery texture. The foliage almost covers the entire plant which grows up to a height of 3 feet to 4 feet. This rose will flourish equally well when grown in a garden or a greenhouse.
Introduced - 1989
'Tournament of Roses' bears high-centered double blooms that have a light fragrance. The blooms have shades of beige and pink, while the reverse side of the petals have a darker pink hue that fades to coral pink as the flowers mature. More often than not, the flowers of this grandiflora variety are borne in small sprays of three to six blooms.
Each flower of 'Tournament of Roses' measures about 4 inches in diameter. The leaves of this rose are large, dark green and glossy, while the canes have large thorns. As far as their growth is concerned, 'Tournament of Roses' is moderately vigorous and it has an upright growth.
In fact, this rose offers its best performance when it is maintained as a shrub growing up to a height of 5 feet. However, the plants are capable of growing taller if they are allowed to. In addition, this rose is an excellent choice for growing in garden beds and borders.
The flowers of 'Tournament of Roses' are borne freely and they also last for a long time. However, they are not the best roses for use as cut flowers because their stems may be small as well as weak. The plants are exceptionally resistant to diseases.
Introduced - 1954
'Queen Elizabeth' is the very first grandiflora rose and even today it continues to be among the best of its class. Precisely speaking, 'Queen Elizabeth' is the founding rose of the grandiflora class. In fact, this founding grandiflora has set very high standard for any type of rose.
It is not only exceptionally resistant to diseases and hardy, but also bears continuous and plentiful blooms. The flowers of 'Queen Elizabeth' are large, double and may be borne singly or appear in small clusters. The flowers have a medium pink hue and their form may vary from high-centered to cup-shaped.
Since all the flowers in a cluster generally unfurl simultaneously, this grandiflora is a wonderful source of cut flowers. To be precise, flowers from a single 'Queen Elizabeth' bush can fill a vase. 'Queen Elizabeth' rose is a tall and slender shrub that should ideally be grown at the back of a garden border to help it not to prevent blocking view.
Introduced - 1980
This grandiflora cultivar bears medium-sized flowers which more often than not appear in sprays. The individual flowers of 'White Lightnin” measure about 4 inches across and is composed of 26 to 32 petals having pure and clear white hue.
The flowers are cupped and emit a lively lemony scent. The plants are bushy and grow up to a height of anything between 3 feet and 4 feet. The foliage is dark green and glossy.