Perhaps the most recognizable of all flowers, the rose (genus Rosa) is a genus of flowering plants renowned the world over for their colorful, showy blooms and rich fragrances. The beginning rose gardener will find that there are many types of rose bushes to choose from, and that rose gardening has its own unique terms and language.
Lady Banks Rose
Lady Banks rose (Rosa banksiae) is a fast-growing rose species native to China. The plant is a "species" rose, meaning that it can be found in nature and is not the result of garden breeding. Lady Banks rose may be categorized as an "heirloom," "old garden" or "antique" rose because it has been in cultivation since before 1867. Lady Banks rose is an "evergreen," meaning its leaves stay green during the winter. The pale yellow rose may grow up to 50 feet in ideal conditions, making it suitable only for large gardens with plenty of space. Lady Banks should be grown in full sunlight, in most soil types. Lady Banks rose may be grown in USDA zones 7 to 10. This rose is somewhat "drought tolerant," meaning it doesn't require supplemental watering from the gardener.
Hybrid Musk Rose
Hybrid musk rose (Rosa "Buff Beauty") is a "hybrid" or "cultivar" rose, meaning multiple rose species have been crossed by man to make this rose. The hybrid musk rose has been bred to exhibit extremely fragrant flowers. Reaching an average height of about 5 feet, the plant produces yellow or apricot roses, which appear throughout the spring, summer and autumn. The musk rose should be pruned (trimmed with shears) lightly to promote good air circulation through the leaves. Allowing air to flow through the plant will help prevent "fungus," which causes unattractive spots and rotting on the plant's foliage. When pruning, take care not to snip "buds," the flowers that haven't bloomed yet. Hybrid musk roses do best in USDA zones 5 to 9 in partial or full sunlight, in moist, well-drained soil.
Cardinal de Richelieu
The Cardinal de Richelieu (Rosa "Cardinal de Richelieu") is an antique rose species from the "gallica" class of garden roses. Introduced to the gardening world in 1840, the rose produces large, "double bloom" flowers, meaning each flower has so many petals that it appears almost as if there are two flowers instead of one. The flowers of the Cardinal de Richelieu are a deep purple or burgundy, and are very fragrant. The plant is on the small side, growing to 1 to 3 feet high with a "spread," or width, of up to 6 feet. The rose does best in full sunlight in a moist, well draining soil that has a soil "pH," or acidity, of about 6.5.