The Most Common Rose Names and Their Meaning

Roses are one of the most beautiful, evocative and instantly-recognisable flowers in the world. They come in a kaleidoscope of gorgeous colours and in many different varieties. Read on to discover the rose name meaning and we’ll tell you the most popular rose names.

14 March 2023

There’s no flower so ingrained into the culture of Britain than the rose. The Tudor Rose is the symbol of the country and the rose is the national flower. While there’s no definitive list, it’s believed there are around 150 species in the genus Rosa and thousands of cultivated varieties. To give you a complete list of rose names would be a titanic task but we’ll give you the most common rose names, we’ll tell you about the history of roses and we’ll explain the rose name meaning.

Roses are red and violets are blue is not strictly true. There are dozens of different colours and shades of roses from white to black and everything in between and they’re so much more than just a pretty flower.

Rose oil is made into perfume and rose water is a popular ingredient in different types of food. Rose petals are used to flavour tea, and rose hips, the small berries attached to the plant, can be made into jam, tea and even soup.

Read on to discover some of the most popular rose names, but first, the rose name meaning and a short history of roses.

A Brief History of Roses

Pink Roses (Photo: Owen Franken via Getty Images)

Roses are one of the world’s oldest flowers. The distant relatives of roses appeared in the fossil record about thirty-five million years ago, but cultivation didn’t start until around five thousand years ago.

The Chinese were growing beautiful rose gardens from around 500 BC and philosopher Confucius wrote of the emperor’s library containing hundreds of books on roses. We don’t know what the most common rose names were then, but later in this article we’ll let you know what the most popular rose names are today.

Most of the garden roses we see today are developed from Chinese roses that came to Europe in the eighteenth century. Indeed, Napoleon’s wife Josephine founded the stunning rose garden at Château de Malmaison in Paris. It is still there today.

List of Rose Names

Hybrid Tea Roses (Photo: Benjamin Hagels / EyeEm via Getty Images)

The sheer number of entries in the list of rose names can be overwhelming and confusing for even the most experienced gardener. Therefore, we’ll give you the most common names of roses listed alphabetically with a short description.

Climbing Roses

There’s a famous saying associated with climbing roses – first year for sleep, second year for creep, third year for leap! Climbers are the perfect way to add height. They will grow up and over walls, arches and trellises. Some of the most popular rose names for climbers include Claire Austin, Etoile de Hollande, New Dawn, Climbing Iceberg, Starlight Symphony and Scent from Heaven.

Floribunda Roses

Latin for ‘many flowering’, these stunning roses are the result of crossing polyantha roses with Hybrid Tea roses. They are bushier and slightly smaller than the HTs and are hardier than most varieties but most have no scent. The most common rose names for floribundas include York Minster, Gold Spice, Hot Chocolate, Lady Marmalade, Irish Eyes, Ketchup & Mustard and Absent Friends.

Grandiflora Roses

Translated as ‘large flowered’, the grandiflora is a relatively new variety. It was introduced in 1954 with a cultivar called Queen Elizabeth, presumably developed for Her Majesty’s coronation. It is a cross of Hybrid Tea roses and floribunda roses. It is the best of both worlds in that they look like HTs and cluster like floribundas. Some of the most common rose names of grandifloras are Rock ‘n’ Roll, Ch-Ching, Tournament of Roses, Lagerfeld, Cherry Parfait and Strike It Rich.

Ground Cover Roses

As the description implies, ground cover roses are wider than they are tall and create a carpet of beautiful flowers at low level. They are particularly good for sloping gardens and can be planted together with other low-rise flowers. This list of rose names includes Suffolk, Partridge, Flower Carpet, Raubritter, Rushing Stream, Centre Stage, Apricot Drift and Novarospop.

Hybrid Tea Roses

These are the roses most commonly found in florists. When you think of a classic rose, you’re probably thinking of a Hybrid Tea. The large flowers on straight stems typically contain 30 – 50 petals and come in a huge variety of colours. The most popular rose names of the Hybrid Teas include Prince William, Mr Lincoln, Compassion, Dawn Chorus, With Thanks, Tequila Sunrise and Lynda Bellingham.

Patio Roses

Often called miniature roses, the patio variety are essentially dwarf floribundas. They are great in small pots or where space is at a premium, but they don’t have to be reserved for the patio. They work equally as well in beds around the garden. Some of the most common rose names for the patio variety include Golden Angel, Peter Pan, Simply Sally, Letchworth Centenary, Sweet Dream and Rainbow Magic.

Polyantha Roses

Polyanthas don’t look like classic roses but they’re just as beautiful. They are small shrub roses – sometimes called dwarf roses – and they were created in the 1870s. The flowers are usually white, cream, pink and peach. In this list of rose names, the most common polyanthas include Ballerina, Little White Pet, Fairy, China Doll, Mother’s Day Orange and Bloomfield Abundance.

Rambling Roses

Rambling roses are more like turbo-charged climbers! They flower in big clusters and have long and pliable stems that can be tied in place. They can grow over pergolas or even to hide unsightly features on walls. Some of the more common rose names for ramblers include Emily Gray, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Rambling Rector, American Pillar and Albertine.

By Many Other Names

So there we have it. The story of roses and the most popular rose names, even if it does sound like the list of runners at the Grand National!

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