How to Identify Roses

Updated April 17, 2017

Roses come in different varieties and there are quite a number of them. In fact, more than 100 species of roses exist, not to mention there are also several types of garden roses that have sprang from hybridisation. Consequently, identifying roses can be difficult, especially for the untrained eye. Below are some tips on how to identify roses.

Note the size of flower that grows from the rose plant. Each species of rose may have different sizes and colours of flowers. For example, a Floribunda has small flowers that grow in clusters. Hybrid Teas, on the other hand, bear large flowers.

Examine closely the shape of the flower. Some roses have globular flowers while other species have cupped flowers. Other rose species also have expanded flowers while some others have compact flowers. If the petals of the flower are quartered, forming somewhat like the shape of a star, these are Tea or Bourbon roses.

Observe how many times the rose plant produces flowers in a given year. Some rose species, like the Rugosas and the Centifolias, grow flowers only once a year. Other types of roses tend to bloom flowers year round.

Examine the leaf of the plant. The leaves of roses may differ in form, texture, shape, surface covering, colour and snipping at the edges. The manner in which the leaves are held at the stalk may also differ. For example, Ayrshire roses have thin leaflets attached to stringy stalks.

Look at the stem of the plant; the size and shape of the stem can help you identify the type of rose you're looking at. For example, the Hybrid Tea has long stems that distinguish it from other types of roses. Floribundas have short stems.

Examine the position of the pistil in the flower. You can do this by splitting the rose in half with a bladed knife. Be careful not to injure or damage the delicate centre of the rose. If the pistils protrude the full length of the stamen and form a club, and if the stigmas look like a berry, this is a Synstylae rose.

Measure the height of the plant. Some roses grow high while others remain short. A good example is the miniature rose, an extremely popular rose that grows only six to 36 inches high. Grandiflora is another type of rose that grows three to six feet tall.


A rose can be identified through the shape of its leaves, flowers and stem; how high it grows; and the number of petals of its flowers. Roses can also be identified according to the overlapping condition of their petals.

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About the Author

LaTasha Favors has been writing professionally since 2008. She specializes in travel- and health-related topics and has published articles on various websites, including and