Modern classification of roses began in 1867, and since this time hybridizers have created many new classes and varieties of modern roses. Floribunda and grandiflora are two of the modern rose classes. The other modern rose classes include the hybrid tea, climber, miniature, polyantha, rambler and shrub rose. Though the floribunda and grandiflora were both crossed with a hybrid tea, there are many differences between these two classes.
To create floribundas, hybridizers crossed a hybrid tea and a polyantha, so it often has hybrid tea-type flowers, but not always. The grandiflora class began in 1954 with the rose Queen Elizabeth. This grand rose was named in honor of the queen’s accession to the throne in 1952. And so the grandiflora was crossed with a hybrid tea and a floribunda.
Like the name implies, the floribunda has an abundance of flowers. According to “Ortho’s Complete Guide to Roses” some floribundas have single or semidouble flowers that are cup-shaped or flat. Floribunda flowers come in various colors and sizes and will produce sprays of flowers all summer. Grandifloras have high centered flowers that are slightly larger than floribunda blossoms and long, strong cutting stems inherited from the hybrid teas. They are also hardy and have clustered blooms.
Floribundas and grandifloras are of much different use when designing a garden, whether it is a rose garden or a garden that incorporates roses. Floribundas are great plants for landscaping, and because of their low bushy form they are very suitable for hedges, edgings or mass plantings. They are hardy and low growing. Grandifloras, on the other hand, do not grow low, but quite high. They are the tallest of modern roses except for climbers. They are useful for screens or the back of a border.
Types of Floribundas
Varieties of floribundas that are good for gardening include Anabell, Angel Face, Apricot Nectar, Betty Prior, Brown Velvet, Cathedral, Escapade, Fire King, French Lace, Iceberg, Marina, Orangeade, Playboy, Playgirl, Saratoga, Sea Pearl and Vogue. Most of these flowers are single with five to 12 petals, but a few are semi-double or double with 13 to 45 petals.
Types of Grandifloras
Popular grandifloras are Aquarius, Arizona, Camelot, Gold Medal, Love, Montezuma, New Year, Pink Parfait, Prima Donna, Shining Hour, Shreveport, Sonia, Tournament of Roses, White Lightnin’, and of course Queen Elizabeth. Many of these roses are double or very double flowers and have 25 to 30 petals per bloom, but some, such as Camelot, can have 40 to 55.