Created in 1954 with the introduction of the rose
'Queen Elizabeth', the grandiflora class represents
the first true melding of hybrid tea and floribunda
characteristics. From its hybrid tea parent the
grandiflora inherits flower form and long cutting
stems; from the floribunda side come increased
hardiness and prolific, clustered blooms. Most grandiflora roses,
although not all, are taller than either hybrid teas or floribundas.
As shrubs, the size and vigor of the grandifloras
have varied widely from cultivar to cultivar - those
included here are time - tested favorites that have
shown themselves to be outstanding, reliable garden
shrubs. In general, they flourish wherever hybrid
teas do, which means that grandifloras are best
reserved for the Southwest, Northwest,
Mid-Atlantic states, and those parts of the Rocky
Mountain West, the Midwest, and the Northeast
where winter temperatures do not drop below
In Canada they thrive only in the southeast and the
coastal regions of the maritime provinces and
British Columbia. Grandiflora roses are likely to prove disease prone in
the Southeast's combination of heat and humidity,
though they should remain healthier at the higher
altitudes of the upper South.
- 'Aquarius' Roses (Introduced - 1971)
- Considered by many to be one of the very best grandiflora roses,
'Aquarius' flowers freely from spring until frost, producing
small sprays of up to five double blooms that are lightly
fragrant. Buds are dark pink, opening to blended
medium pink-and-white 4-inch flowers with high centers. Foliage is
large and leathery.
Plants are urn shaped, upright, and vigorous. They are well suited to beds and
borders, and flowers are ideal for cutting. This rose is extremely disease
- 'Arizona' Roses (Introduced - 1975)
- Like the colors of a desert sunset, the flowers of 'Arizona' rose are a warm blend of bronzy orange
and golden yellow. The high-centered blooms have 25 to 30
petals, are 2 to 4 inches across, and have a strong, sweet fragrance.
Tall, upright plants grow 5 to 6 feet high and have glossy, bright
green, leathery leaves that contrast nicely with the flowers.
However, they are stingy bloomers and are somewhat winter tender.
- 'Camelot' Roses (Introduced - 1964)
- 'Camelot' rose is long lasting both in the garden and as a cut flower. The cup-shaped
flowers are 3 1/2 to 5 inches across with 40 to 55 petals. Blooms are
coral to salmon-pink with a spicy fragrance, and appear in sprays.
The bushy plants grow 5 to 6 feet tall, with large and glossy, dark
green, leathery leaves that have good disease resistance. Plants are
also fairly winter hardy.
- 'Earth Song' Roses (Introduced - 1975)
- The late Dr. Griffith Buck bred roses specifically for disease
resistance and cold hardiness, and in 'Earth Song' he achieved a remarkable
Song' has overwintered successfully for almost a decade at the
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where winter temperatures
regularly drop to -30°F (-34°C). Often the cold there has killed back
its canes, but because grandifloras flower best on new growth, 'Earth
Song' bounces back from such natural pruning to flower
satisfactorily by early the following summer.
Its blossoms open into classic high-centered hybrid tea buds, then spread their
petals into large 4 - 4 1/2 in (10-11.5cm) cups of rich red. The foliage is
handsome; dark and glossy.
- 'Gold Medal' Roses (Introduced - 1982)
- The deep yellow flowers of 'Gold Medal' are flushed and
edged with orange-red. High-centered double blossoms
appear singly or in clusters on long stems and are 3 1/2 to 4
inches across; they bear a fruity fragrance. Blooming in
abundance throughout the season, this is one of the last
roses to quit in the fall. Leaves are dark and glossy, and canes
have few thorns.
Plants are tall, bushy, and upright. They take well to
pruning but prefer to be pruned high. The bush is
suitable for beds and borders, and its flowers are excellent for
cutting and exhibition. Plants are disease resistant.
- 'Love' Roses (Introduced - 1980)
- Actually, 'Love' is a grandiflora that could easily pass for a hybrid tea.
This rose is a compact shrub that bears high-centered buds resembling
those of a hybrid tea. These buds open into bright red blooms with a
flamboyant difference: the back of each petal is silvery pink, giving
the blossoms of 'Love' a hand-painted look.
- 'Montezuma' Roses (Introduced - 1955)
- Urn-shaped buds of this
rose open into high-centered, 3 1/2 - to 4-inch, slightly fragrant
flowers that are a reddened coral-orange. Blooms have 30 to 35
petals and a slight tea fragrance. Bushy, compact, slightly spreading plants are
4 to 5 feet tall and clothed in abundant dark green, leathery, semi-glossy foliage.
- 'New Year' Roses (Introduced - 1982)
- The 20-petaled flowers of
'New Year' rose are a blend of gold and terra-cotta. Individual blooms,
which have a slight fruity fragrance, are 2 to 3 inches across and are
produced in sprays on compact, 3-foot plants. The leaves are large,
dark green, and glossy with fair disease resistance. As with many
grandiflora roses, winter hardiness is better than average.
- 'Olé' Roses (Introduced - 1964)
- Large, long-lived, ruffled flowers
with luminous hues are bright orange-red, an exciting color
reminiscent of a bullfight. Blooms have 40 to 50 petals, are 3 1/2
inches across, are high centered or cupped, and have a slight
fruity scent. Bushy, 4-foot plants are covered in shiny foliage.
- 'Pearlie Mae' Roses (Introduced - 1981)
- Another one of Griffith Buck's hardy, prairie-bred roses, this
shrub was named for the singer Pearl Bailey, and appropriately
so, for 'Pearlie Mae' is a fine performer and a real trouper. Of
vigorous growth and with a tendency to sprawl, this bushy grandiflora
bears deep pink buds in clusters of one to eight that open to 4 in
(10cm) blossoms of golden yellow tinged with salmon. The
leathery green foliage is dark olive green and persistently healthy, making
this a fine choice for a specimen shrub or accent shrub in a flower
border. 'Pearlie Mae' is also an outstanding source of cut flowers.
- 'Pink Parfait' Roses (Introduced - 1960)
- This prolific bloomer is a
blend of light and medium pink, with the petal edges darker than
the bases. The 2- to 3-inch flowers with 20 to 25 petals have a
slender, high-centered form. Slightly fragrant, the blooms are
produced singly or in sprays on long, slender cutting stems. The
bushy plants, which are disease resistant and very winter hardy,
grow 3 1/2 to 5 feet tall and have leathery, semi-glossy foliage of
- 'Prima Donna' Roses (Introduced - 1983)
- Long, slender buds open into high-centered blooms of deep fuchsia pink shaded in
lavender. The 3 - to 4-inch flowers have 25 to 30 petals and a
slight fragrance. They are produced singly early in the season and
in small sprays later on. Plants are long stemmed and have
medium to dark green, shiny leaves that stay disease free. Bushy,
spreading plants grow 4 to 5 feet tall. Despite its name, 'Prima
Donna' rose is not fussy and grows as well in a greenhouse as it does in
- 'Prominent' Roses (Introduced - 1971)
- Known as 'Korp' in Europe, 'Prominent' rose has fluorescent orange-red flowers. The blooms
are a small 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide, with a classic high-centered
form. The slightly fragrant flowers with 30 to 35 petals may
appear singly or in sprays. Plants reach heights of 3 to 4 feet and
have dull, leathery, dark green leaves.
- 'Shining Hour' Roses (Introduced - 1989)
- One of the few yellow grandiflora roses, this one is a gleaming yellow that does not
fade in the heat. The 4-inch blooms, which have 25 to 30 petals,
are high centered or decorative in shape, with a moderate fruity
fragrance. The shiny, disease-resistant leaves cover rounded, 3- to
- 'Shreveport' Roses (Introduced - 1981)
- Named for the Shreveport, Louisiana, home of the American Rose Society, this variety
has oval, pointed buds that open into high-centered flowers borne
on small sprays. The very double, 4-inch flowers (with 50 petals)
are a blend of amber and orange, with a slight tea fragrance.
They are long lasting and therefore excellent as cut flowers. The
leaves are large, dark green and shiny, and the canes are covered
with small, downward-facing thorns. The vigorous 5-foot plants
are disease resistant and winter hardy.
- 'Sonia' Roses (Introduced - 1974)
- 'Sonia' rose has well-formed, shrimp pink flowers that are 3 to 4 inches across
and have excellent substance, making them long lasting when cut. Blooms have 30
petals and a very fruity fragrance. The foliage is dark green, shiny, and
leathery, covering compact, 3- to 4-foot plants. 'Sonia' rose will grow equally well
in a greenhouse or a garden.
- 'Tournament of Roses' Roses (Introduced - 1989)
- Flowers of 'Tournament of Roses' are shades of pink and
beige with a darker pink reverse that fades to coral pink
with age. The double blooms are high-centered, 4 inches
across, and lightly fragrant. They usually appear in small
sprays of three to six flowers. Leaves are large, glossy, and
dark green, and canes bear large prickles.
This rose is moderately vigorous and has an upright habit.
This rose performs best maintained as a 5-foot shrub,
although it will grow taller if allowed, and is suitable for
beds and borders. Flowers are borne freely and are long-lasting, but may not be
ideal for cutting because stems can be short or weak. It is highly disease
- 'Queen Elizabeth' Roses (Introduced - 1954)
- This was the founding rose of its class, the very first grandiflora,
and it remains one of the best. 'Queen Elizabeth' sets a high
standard for any kind of rose, with its disease resistance, hardiness,
and abundant, almost continuous bloom. Its large, double, medium
pink flowers appear singly or in small clusters and range in form
from high-centered to cupped. Because all the flowers in a cluster
commonly open at once, this shrub is also a convenient source of
cut flowers: a single bush of 'Queen Elizabeth' can fill a vase. A
tall, narrow shrub, 'Queen Elizabeth' should be set at the back of
a border so that it won't block the view.
- 'White Lightnin'' Roses (Introduced - 1980)
- This variety has medium-sized, 3 1/2 - to 4-inch flowers that usually
appear in sprays. The blooms have 26 to 32 petals of pure, clear
white. Flowers are cup shaped, with a lively lemony fragrance.
The bushy plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall and have dark green, glossy foliage.