HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
Glossary ListGlossary Term 
For as long as there have been rose hybrids, there have always been some roses that have more than one name. Even within countries with a shared language, one nursery might call a rose one thing, but the same rose might be sold by other nurseries with different names.

In the early 19th Century, rosarians began compiling nomenclatures of rose varieties, listing rose names, and sometimes also giving descriptions, provenance and synonyms. It is not always clear what different writers intended when they grouped rose names together as synonyms; in some cases it is clear that one variety was renamed, but some writers may have only meant to indicate roses that are similar in appearance, or which were interchangeable for horticultural purposes.

With the advent of competitive rose shows, exhibitionists realized that some varieties had flowers that looked very similar to others when displayed as cut roses. In the 1870's and 1880's, the UK's National Rose Society began listing as "synonyms or too much alike" roses that had similar-looking blooms. A variety that might be easily distinguished in a garden setting where differences of habit, foliage, thorniness, etc., can be seen might have a flower that is *not* distinct when presented in a show box amid other cut flowers. These synonym lists, intended for the use of rose exhibitions, caused many confusions in commerce.

For most of the 20th Century, roses were expected to have only one name; rose societies registering new hybrids discouraged the use of synonyms. This standardization is no longer the norm, however, with many roses now being given different names for each part of the world where they are sold.
© 2024