The next generation trend?

Some months ago their was a topic about using species in hybridizing again. In my research here and other forums a few amouth of hybridizers are going for singles. But when I looked into catalogue from nurseries I see only double and full roses are being introduced. Is their a possibility that single roses become a new trend? What I was thinking, do people which buy roses in general, do they know that their are single roses out their. Because of the huge amouth of doubles and fulls, what is the future of singles?

Hi Timo,

That’s a great question. From working as a greenhouse grower years ago in charge of the rose program and interacting with customers and talking at garden clubs on roses, I think most people tend to like the double roses. I think they are just more familiar with them from art and florist shops. They see my polyanthas and some singles and say they don’t look like roses. What? That sounds strange to me. I had a funny thought. It’s like looking at “supermodels” and then looking at some of us more common people and saying we don’t look like humans. There has been such an overemphasis on some specific ideal that appreciation or awareness of something more common is lost.

I sure enjoy single and semidouble roses. I think that very prolific singles and ones like Jim Sproul and others gorgeous Hulthemia hybrids with dramatic coloring can overcome some of the general commercial hesitancy towards singles. I think there has been very good advancement in popularity/acceptance of singles for landscape roses.



Some of my favorite roses are both single and also once-blooming – [species like xanthina, laevigata, etc.] Compared to Hybrid Teas and other modern types, species roses usually have much better health and often have strong and/or unique fragrance.

All other traits being equal, I would probably always choose a repeat-blooming version of those species (if that were available); but I’m not so sure I’d automatically think that a double-flowered version would have to be an improvement.

The general public seems to appreciate extra petals, but I don’t think that they’re really all that fussy about flower form issues. I think that a healthy, fragrant, blooming machine would be popular, whether it was single or double flowered.

Good question, Timo. From an artistic viewpoint, a single flower has more impact from a distance (something my sister who is a trained artist taught me)than a double flower. Doubles are better appreciated closer up so you can enjoy the details and the “busyness.”

I was a child of the fifties and all I knew were the high centered hybrid teas which were at the top of the pyramid and further down the slippery slope were the less high centered floribundas. I thought that’s all there was since that was all I was exposed to in the catalogs.

When the first Austins came out ( after 30 or so years of the above brainwashing) I thought they looked “funny” and didn’t like them; I was so used to the other style of flower. In time I got use to them and now I love the fullness and flatness of the open bloom, damn the high centers! LOL

If one is getting into garden roses, as opposed to high centered exhibition roses, singles do have a future. Garden roses as landscape roses are usually seen at a distance.

Went to a rose show a few years back and in the arrangements, the one that caught my eye was a bunch of American Pillar (single, pink with white eye) simply bunched in a vase. I was transfixed as was an exhibitor’s wife as we both admired that simple arrangement of single roses and just stood there and looked at them.

So Timo, go for it; Austin changed our perspective on roses and maybe we need to better appreciate the look of singles.

David, loved your analogy to the supermodels and “us.” Sad but true.


Singles only seem to work if they have external traits that make them stand out. ie. disease resistance, heat resistance, massive color impact, etc. Some roses, for example, looks spectacular as singles yet wouldnt if they were fully double (Playboy is a prime example).

“Supermodel” roses reminds me of a couple incidents in my

(mostly) wasted life of growing other things.

When I was still living with my folks, I bought Nevada.

We had as friends an older couple, who had come late in life

to roses, and she had over a hundred, almost all HTs–all the newest and latest AARS, etc. When my Nevada was in bloom, I bragged about it, and asked her to go out and look at it. I think she was shocked–it was spectacular. Nevada is nearly white, single, and large–perhaps four inches across, and the main flush covers the plant, with scattered flowers the rest of the summer, which still stand out, as the flowers are white. Well, the next year the HT lady was growing some of the “other” roses.

A few years later, a truckload of barkmulch was being delivered,and before it was dumped, the driver asked where

I got that dogwood. I had to have him show me the plant

before I realized he was talking about a plant of Frau

Dagmar Hartopp, which had scattered flowers on it. He wasn’t kidding me, he really didn’t recognize a single rose

as a rose. Well, he probably hadn’t seen anything like it,

the plant was grafted so it wouldn’t sucker, was over six

feet tall, and at least eight feet in diameter, and leaves

so dense you couldn’t put your finger in the plant without

touching a leaf. Not at all like a HT rose. I’d love to

have a hedge like that plant.

I don’t often cut roses to take in the house, so singles

like these suit me just fine. Neither of these is perfect, but improving them doesn’t look to be easy–if you want to suggest how to grow more like them, I’d love to hear it.


A comment that I have made a number of times in various posts on the web is that I grow Nearly Wild and Betty Prior at corner spots of my lot to impress the neighbors that I know how to grow roses.


I like the single flowers very much.

And I also think like Tom the main thing is this:

Recurrent blooming



Nice shape of the shrub

So - if all this is given, its not the main question if the flowers are doubled.

But, what should be clear is, that the more petals there are, the more fragrant are the flowers potentially.

(There simply evapourate more substances at one time.)

My favourite Rose Dentelle de Malines is doubled.

But Dentelle de Malines is my favourite rose because of the flower-tsunami it builts every year in June.

In summary I like more the single flowers, … perhaps because for me as a biologist they look less “senseless”. :smiley:

A single flower with a nice shape and interesting colour is perfect in some way.

A doubled flower is kind of “decadent” (but that doesn’t mean bad at all).

For me its like the difference between Rennaissance or Gothic Architecture and the 17th Centurie’s Architecture.



Talk about a flower tsunami – my favorite is the monster rose Mermaid. Indestructible, nice fragrance, bee magnet --puts dogwood to shame. Stopped growing roses 30 years ago, but my interest has been revived by my daughter, Adair. I notice many very attractive singles in catalogues now and even J & P which only had the latest trendy ARS winners back then now offers Mermaid! When I got it I had to go to Tillotson’s Roses of Yesteryear as it was considered to be an old rose out of the mainstream. My daughter seems particularly receptive to singles, but then she grew up with Mermaid.

I’m extremely new to rose growing myself, but my father grew lots of roses. When I was a child, the back fence was covered in Mermaid, and more recently my father has grown a MONSTER Mermaid on the front of the house that keeps threatening to climb over the roof and take over the surrounding trees. When it blooms, it is absolutely COVERED in the most gorgeous pale yellow to white, large single flowers.

Needless to say, the very first roses that I put into my own yard (my father is very envious of my hundreds of linear feet of 6 foot fence) were five Mermaids. I only planted them few weeks ago, so I can’t say anything as to how MY Mermaids will look, but my father’s is a perfect flowering machine.

Another single rose I got is “Star Magic,” a Ralph Moore hybrid bracteata out of the Mermaid x Guinee cross Muriel (I also have a Muriel in my yard, which is double, but not extremely so) and the miniature Sequoia Gold. Its coloring is supposed to be amazing - bright yellow and pink.

Now, since I only started planting my very first roses three weeks ago, I don’t have blooms, but the single roses are amazing, and I can’t wait to see what comes up!

I’m hoping that by crossing some of mine, I might end up with more singles or loosly double.

If anyone has any recommendations on single roses that will prove blackspot and mildew resistent in a very wet zone 8 bordering on zone 9, please let me know!

‘Star Magic’ is Sequoia Gold x Muriel.

“If anyone has any recommendations on single roses that will prove blackspot and mildew resistent in a very wet zone 8 bordering on zone 9, please let me know!”

Hi Adair, hi Roger!

Mermaid is good for a warmer climate. …

What about Rosa banksiae lutescens (NOT lutea)?

It is light yellow, has a single flower and … it should be healthy too, perhaps anyone can give hints, if this is right.

Also its suited to warmer climates, like Mermaid.

Only thing: it is not recurrent flowering. But you won’t miss it. :slight_smile:))



sorry, not Roger, Robert I meant. :-X

Here’s a very sincere vote for the singles. Visually these roses, (I was trained as an artist first) are far superior and hold their own as both a landscape and garden feature.We’ll never really know the next garden fad. Single roses are the basic and how possibly, could these first roses ever go out of style!?

Case in point - I don’t much care for the Austins but one rose of David’s does capture my heart and this is “The Alexandra Rose”. This is the only Austin “left standing” in my zone 5b garden. It is extremely hardy, never without a blossom and very unfussy about siting - and to my eyes it is ethereally beautiful. It doesn’t have a noticeable fragrance but all things can’t be perfect. How about using this lovely in a hybridizing program?

And, here’s another question: For roses that “throw” their scent, are there many roses that can best R. spinosissima or R. rugosa?

Rosa banksiae lutescens is indeed a lovely rose.

I spotted a Hugonis in town. Don’t know if it’s a hybrid species but it had the caracteristics of it. In spring i’ll see if it is realy R. hugonis. I allready took cuttings and OP seeds. Hope I can use it. Would be nice.

re: singles. I noticed Weeks Roses minis are gaining popularity. The majority of them are single, semi-double or “decorative double”. And the same majority are meant for the common garden setting. I think this is a good move by Weeks because the common gardener could prolly care less if it has exhibition form. Also, many minis are such pansy roses due to being raised in a greenhouse generation after generation. Only a few, such as some of Moore’s minis, can truly be called a garden mini that doesn’t need to be coddled by an exhibitor’s care. Also note that many of the popular minis from the UK are also in the same mold. Example: Sweet Magic.

Since the topic of singles came up, I was intrigued by Astronomia which won many awards in trials outside the U.S. a couple of years back. Escimo also took several awards as I recall.

This past year too, some singles took awards, though none quite so universally.


I’d buy it if Star Roses would actually sell it at the nurseries they ship to like their catalog says they should be doing so…

Hi Timo!

Hugonis is nice and some of their offspring could be mildew resistant if you got a good individuum there.

Black spot will not be beaten by hugonis, but for a coast line Rose (mediterranean area, e.g.) its perhaps a great starting position!