Wild roses are the ancestors of hybrid garden roses and are considered a species by themselves. A true wild rose is a creation of nature, with no improvements devised by man. They have five petals, never more, and come in deep red, pink, white and yellow. Out of the more than 20,000 different roses in the world, only about 100 are considered to be true wild roses. They are classified by their country of origin and the features they contributed to the modern rose. Wild roses do not need much care and can be grown in an established garden or as part of a wildflower meadow.
Hesperhodes and Carolinae
Hesperhodes and Carolinae are two types of wild roses that are native to North America. The Hesperhodes are native to the Southwestern part of the United States. They flower repeatedly and have hips that look like gooseberries. Carolinae grows exclusively in North America and is one of the most famous and popular of all wild roses.
Platyrhodon and Banksianae
Platyrhodon and Banksianae both originated in China. Platyrhodon is the family that contains the chestnut rose. Banksianae is a small group of six climbing wild roses. One of them, Lutea, has almost no thorns. These are among the roses that bloom earliest.
Laevigatae and Bracteatae
Laevigatae and Bracteatae are wild roses from China. Laevigatae is a group of five roses, one of which grows in the Southern United States. Bracteatae has three types of wild roses. One of them, Mermaid, grows in the milder climates in the United States.
Pimpinellifoliae and Chinenses
Pimpinellifoliae and Chinenses are another two from China.
Pimpinellifoliae has eighteen members, many of them popular garden choices. Chinenses is a group that is grown exclusively in China.
Gallicanae and Caninae
Gallicanae and Caninae are two varieties that originated in Europe. Gallicanae is the foundation for European garden roses and includes Centifolias, moss roses, Damask roses and Gallica roses. Caninae is not related to cultivated hybrid roses.
Cinnamomea and Synstylae
Cinnamomea is the group that is responsible for the diversity in the shape of the modern rose and the quality of the rose hips. Synstylae is one of the ancestors of today's floribunda and rambling rose types.