Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

What Are the Parts of a Rose Plant?

By Ann Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Roses come in many forms.

In the hierarchy of flowers, the rose reigns supreme. Greeks described the rose as “the Queen of Flowers,” and the wild rose dates back over 40 million years. The many types of roses include tea, floribunda, grandiflora, climbing, polyantha, hybrid perpetual, hybrid tea, French, Damask, moss, cabbage, hybrid musk, alba, Bourbon, Noisette, China, sweetbriar, tree, shrub and miniature roses.


The portion of the rose plant which grows underground is its root system. Roots deliver water and nutrients to the plant. While it is possible to start a new rose plant by taking a root cutting from a parent bush and planting it in soil, this makes the original rose plant vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections.


The rose plant’s crown grows up from the roots, beginning as a series of shoots. Shoots grow into the branches or canes. Stems called laterals grow out from the canes. Teardrop-shaped leaflets grow in clusters from the stems. From a botanical prospective, the rose’s five-leaflet structure is actually one leaf, not five separate leaves. Bud eyes, which look like tiny green bumps, grow at the base of the leaves. New plant growth emerges from the bud eye. Rose bushes, commonly thought to have thorns, actually have prickles. According to the Pacific Southwest District of the American Rose Society, a thorn is a vascular bundle with a sharp point. A prickle is a dermal appendage that doesn’t contain a vascular bundle. Therefore, the rose’s prickly stickers are prickles, and not thorns.


The rose flower begins as a bud. Hips, the seedpods of the rose bush, develop at the base of the bud. The flower head grows from the stem, attached at the sepals, which resemble leaves. The sepals make up the flower’s calyx. The rose petals make part of the flower called the corolla. The colors and scent of the corolla attract bees to the flower to assist in pollination. The flower has male and female parts, each playing a role in pollination and seed production. The male part is the stamen, which produces pollen. The pistil is the female portion of the flower, which captures pollen brought to the plant from other rose bushes by bees or wind. The stigma, the sticky portion of the pistil, traps the pollen and moves it down a tube called a style and into the ovary to fertilize the eggs.


About the Author


Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.