An Explanation of Rose Shapes and Types

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Posted by @Calif_Sue on
Roses come in an astonishing variety of shapes and sizes that can be used to complement any gardening style, from relaxed cottage gardening to more formal bedding or courtyard schemes. Few flowers can equal the rose for massed effect in the garden, but it is the individual bloom that makes it the "Queen of Flowers." These blooms come in widely diverse shapes, sizes, colors, and scents. Here are some brief descriptions of a few common flower shapes and petal counts, illustrated with photos from our ATP database.

Bloom shapes:

The Cupped bloom has outer petals that are a bit longer than the petals toward the center of the bloom, curving slightly inward. The top surface is slightly hollow, forming a cup. Blooms can start out globular and open into the cupped form. There are some variations of the cupped bloom: Deep Cup, Shallow Cup and Open Cup.

 The flat bloom is just as it sounds, with petals generally flaring out.

 Globular blooms have petals that enclose the center of the bloom, hiding the stamens and almost forming a rounded ball.

High-Centered describes the bloom form in which the petals at the center of the bloom stand above the outer opened petals, so that the overall shape of the bloom forms an inverted cup.  Hybrid teas often have high-centered blooms.  Some floribundas, polyanthas, and teas also have high-centered blooms.

Quartered blooms contain many petals tucked into a cup shape, standing straight up and flattened against each other. The petals form a scalloped arrangement that seems to divide the flowers into four equal parts.


  Rosette blooms are very double flowers with many slightly overlapping petals of different sizes.

Pompon blooms are small, rounded, and filled with numerous tiny petals.

In a few cases rose blooms can mimic the flowers of other plants, for example:

A Dahlia A Clematis Fruit tree blossoms

Petal counts can further enhance the descriptions of most of the bloom shapes discussed above.

Petal Counts:

Single blooms are fully opened and almost flat, consisting of 1-7 petals per bloom.

 Semi-double blooms consist of 8-15 petals in two rows.

Double blooms consist of 16-25 overlapping petals in three or more rows.

Full: 26-40 petals in three or more rows.

Very full: 40+ petals in three or more rows.

Click on the individual photo names to see additional images. To further explore the various shapes and forms, you can go the the Rose Database here, click on "Search by characteristics," and check the features you would like to see. Please note, to view bloom shapes that are mentioned above but not listed, such as Rosette and Pompon, check 'Other' and type in the shape.


Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Star shaped rose by lisagreenow Jul 1, 2019 3:30 PM 3
Rose Shapes and Types by valleylynn Feb 12, 2013 5:54 PM 16

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