History of Hybrid Roses:
Many a gardener has asked the question, what makes a rose a hybrid? The answer is simple. As the name suggests, a hybrid is an offspring that is formed by cross-breeding two different elements. Hybridizing is almost always performed as a means of combining the best traits of two parents, into a single offspring. Rose growers have been hybridizing roses for centuries in effort to produce new and exciting varieties never before seen in the marketplace. They also cross-breed roses to create similar varieties that have extraordinary traits over their parents.
The term hybrid roses doesn't just cover a single class of roses, but rather is a broad sweeping term that refers to any rose that is a product of cross-breeding between two parents. Nowadays, this covers most of the roses you will find in the marketplace because rose breeding has become so popular all around the world. You can still find original roses available for purchase, but most of them will have newer hybrid varieties that will probably much better, and be much more tolerant of diseases, drought, etc. Not to worry, a rose is still just as beautiful by any other name!
Perpetual Hybrid Roses:
Perpetual hybrid roses is a term given to a class of roses that dominated the scene in old Victorian England. These roses were among the first successful cross-bred roses that combined the traditional older European varieties with the repeat blooming Asian varieties. They first made their appearance around 1838 and because the reblooming trait is recessive amongst roses, the first generation of these hybrids were very stubborn and often only bloomed once per season. The hybridizers had to cross these plants with teas or Chinas, or amongst themselves, in order to get a rose that was truly a repeat bloomer.
Once they caught on, hybrid perpetual roses quickly became one of the most popular of all the roses to gardeners and florists alike. At the time, the perpetuals were much more tolerant of the colder northern European climate, than the traditional tea roses of that period. Because of their large, frequent blooms, they also lent themselves well to rose competitions and exhibitions that began starting up around Europe. The biggest drawback that hybrid perpetual roses faced was a lack of colors. They were limited to red, pink, and white, which ultimately led to them falling out of favor for the more colorful hybrid tea roses.
Musk Hybrid Roses:
The musk hybrid roses were a little late to the game and as such they are not technically qualified as old garden roses, however due to their growth traits, they are often classified with them more than they are the modern day roses. Hybrid musks were hybridized primarily by a British rosarian in the early 20th century named Joseph Pemberton. The group is based on a rose created in 1896 named Aglaia. One of the offspring of this rose is named Trier, and it is widely regarded as being the foundation for the entire group.
The genealogy of hybrid musk roses are a little murky however the Rose multiflora is one known parent and the Rosa moschata is also thought to be part of this heritage. Hybrid musk roses are somewhat hardy roses with a strong resistance to diseases. They are also repeat bloomers that form clusters of flowers and of course, as the class name suggest, they all share the trait of having a strong musk fragrance. Hybrid musk roses seem to have a low number of thorns on the stems and the canes tend to be a little thinner than other roses.
Rugosa Hybrid Roses:
Hybrid rugoasa roses are another class that do not qualify into the old garden rose category, but are often associated with them anyway. This group began surfacing around the 1880's and were derived from the Japanese and Korean Rosa rugosa. This class of roses tends to be extremely vigorous growers that all seem to be highly resistant to diseases. Most of the varieties in this class have repeat blooms and strong fragrant flowers. One of the defining traits of the hybrid rugosa roses are leaves with wrinkles, however not all of the hybrids in this class share this trait.
Bermuda Hybrid Roses - "Mystery Roses":
There is a small group of several dozen hybrid roses that have been growing in Bermuda for over a century at least. What makes these roses interesting and valuable to tropical growers is their natural resistance to fungal diseases and damage from nematodes. While experts in this field believe these roses are cultivars of various old garden roses that have long since dropped out of the cultivation line, this rare group of roses seems to excel at blooming in the humid and hot climate typically found in this region. They were nicknamed mystery roses because their original names have long since been lost to history.
Hybrid Tea Roses:
Hybrid tea roses have been one of history's most popular and favorite roses since they were first created in the 19th century. That rich tradition still continues to this day as you are likely to find hybrids teas growing in just about every neighborhood you can travel through. Hybrid tea roses are not as hardy as the perpetuals, but they are far more hardy than the tender tea roses. Hybrid tea roses tend to grow as upright shrubs that are a little stiff and don’t carry near as much foliage as some other roses.
In modern day gardens this trait often looked upon as a disadvantage as it makes them far more difficult to work into some landscaping ideas. Hybrid tea roses also tend to be higher maintenance plants, which does not lend itself well to new growers just learning how to cultivate roses. While their popularity may be somewhat in decline in the modern era, hybrid teas are still the industry standard for bouquets and arrangements and you will find these roses in every floral shop around the world.
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