What Are Spray Roses?

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According to the American Rose Society, the definition of spray in rose terminology is "Several flowers buds which arise from one peduncle and develop into many flowers on short pedicels." There can be anywhere from three to 150 rose flowers in one spray. This flower formation is also referred to as cluster, inflorescence and candelabra. There are many types of rose bushes that produce sprays of blooms but there are variations within the types.

Noisettes

  • The noisette rose is a type of old garden rose that usually blooms in sprays. The result of a cross between a musk rose and a China rose, it is the only "rose class" that originated in the United States, according to Steve Jones of the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society. Champneys' Pink Cluster, the original noisette introduced in 1811, was a climber that produced pink pom-pom type blooms in sprays. The Celine Forestier cultivar was first introduced in 1842. It blooms in sprays of three to four creamy yellow flowers with dark peach or pink tints. Alister Stella Gray was introduced in 1894. It blooms in sprays of medium to light yellow flowers.

Polyantha

  • Polyantha rose bushes are generally short, commonly growing to only 3 feet tall, and hey bloom in sprays or clusters. They were popular "miniatures" in the early 1900s, before extensive hybridization produced the miniature roses that are common as of 2011. Paquerette, the first polyantha cultivar, was the result of a cross between two species of wild roses. These small bushes produce small flowers, usually 1 to 2 inches in diameter, but they produce them in huge full sprays. Prince Jean de Luxembourg blooms in sprays of 100 to 150 small white flowers. The Verdun cultivar has small carmine-red flowers in sprays of 25 to 50 blooms. Climbing Mademoiselle Cecile Brunner is a climber that produces sprays of soft pink flowers.

Floribundas

  • The floribunda rose bushes produce flowers in sprays. However, there are bloom formation variations within this type and even within certain cultivars. Floribundas originated in the early 1900s. They began with a hybrid cross between a polyantha, which blooms in sprays, and a tea rose, which produces only one flower per stem. The Dicky cultivar can produce as many as 36 sprays of flowers throughout the spring and then produce single blooms, one bloom per stem, in the fall. The Fabulous floribunda cultivar always blooms in sprays. The French Lace floribunda always produces only one bloom per stem.

Grandifloras

  • Grandiflora rose bushes are the result of a cross between floribunda roses and tea roses. There are cultivars that bloom in sprays and others that produce one bloom per stem. The Queen Elizabeth cultivar is believed to be the first rose classified as grandiflora. It produces clear pink fully double flowers of 2 to 4 inches in width in both single and spray formation.

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