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Award-Winning Fragrant Roses

What do you think most gardeners are looking for when shopping for a new rose? If you thought a specific colour, flower size, or disease resistance then you would be wrong. The number-one criterion for a new rose purchase is simply fragrance, and one sniff can sell a plant faster than I can by extolling its many other attributes. So, when I am choosing roses for the nursery to sell, I take scent seriously. Here are a dozen fragrant cultivars to consider, all of which are award-winning and by sheer coincidence, in stock right now.

Rosa ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (1963)

Rosa 'Fragrant Cloud'

(📸 Star Roses)

‘Fragrant Cloud’ is a challenging hybrid tea to define, at least as far as colour is concerned, as it ranges from coral to a reddish orange. The strong sweet honey fragrance has made it a favourite for well over 50 years, and the large blooms that are great for cutting also make it quite popular. Grows 3-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

Award(s):

Portland Gold Medal 1966

James Gamble Fragrance Award 1970

World’s Favorite Rose 1981

 

Rosa ‘White Licorice’ (2011)

Rosa 'White Licorice'

(📸 ML Douglas)

The sweet licorice and lemon scent of this floribunda rose, 'White Licorice', accents the relatively large blooms of 4-5” wide. The dark green foliage also sets off the pale yellow to white blossoms perfectly. Grows 4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

Award(s):

Rose Hill Gold Medal 2010

Portland Best Floribunda 2013

Portland People’s Choice Most Fragrant 2014

 

Rosa ‘Rouge Royale’ (2000)

Rosa 'Rouge Royale'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Rouge Royale' is a Meilland rose with quartered English-like blooms of burgundy-red with a cupped form. Expect an enticing fragrance of citrus and fresh berries from this very worthy hybrid tea. Grows 4-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.

Award(s):

Rose Hills International Fragrance Award 2003

 

Rosa ‘Dee-Lish’ (2005)

Rosa 'Dee-Lish'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Dee-Lish' is a tall hybrid tea rose that lives up to its name with non-fading rich pink quartered flowers. Add to this the enticing verbena and citrus scent, as well as excellent disease resistance, and you have a great all-round rose. Grows 6’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

Award(s):

All Germany Rose Trials

AGRS American Garden Rose Selections

Biltmore International Rose Trials

Rose Hill International Rose Trials

 

Rosa ‘Valencia’ (1987)

Rosa 'Valencia'

(📸 Star Roses)

The creamy apricot blooms backed with copper overtones make 'Valencia' a great rose for cut flowers. This hybrid tea also features a strong sweet rose scent that will definitely enhance any floral arrangement. Grows 3-4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 7.

Award(s):

Henry Edland Fragrance Award 1989

Award of Garden Merit 2001

 

Rosa ‘Perfume Delight’ (1973)

Rosa 'Perfume Delight'

(📸 Star Roses)

The lurid hot pink double blooms of this hybrid tea rose, 'Perfume Delight', made her an All-America Rose Selection shortly after introduction. Expect a heady damask rose fragrance to match those eye-catching flowers. Grows 3-4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.

Award(s):

All-America Rose Selections 1974

 

Rosa ‘Molineux’ (1994)

Rosa 'Molineux' - David Austin Roses

(📸 David Austin Roses)

'Molineux' is one of my favourite English roses due to its ever-changing quartered flowers which have a tinge of orange as they unfold to a rich yellow, slightly bleaching at the petal tips as they fade. The musky tea scent is also quite alluring. Grows 3’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

Award(s):

Award of Garden Merit 2001

Henry Edland Fragrance Award

 

Rosa ‘Intrigue’ (1982)

Rosa 'Intrigue'

(📸 Star Roses)

It is hard to find a richer plum-purple bloom on any rose, let alone this AARS winning floribunda, 'Intrigue'. The symmetrical buds open to a powerful perfume of true rose and citrus. Grows 3-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.

Award(s):

All-America Rose Selections 1984

Madrid Fragrance Medal

 

Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ (1868)

Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin' - David Austin Roses

(📸 David Austin Roses)

'Zephirine Drouhin' is an antique climbing rose that is not only thornless but also thrives in a partial shade exposure. The abundant cerise-pink blossoms emit an enticing scent of old-fashioned bourbon roses. Grows 8-10’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

Award(s):

Long Island Rose Society 2000

Chicagoland Rose Society 2001

 

Rosa ‘New Zealand’ (1989)

Rosa 'New Zealand'

(📸 Weeks Roses)

'New Zealand' is a very popular hybrid tea with pale pink flowers that are tinged deeper along the petal edge. The unique rich honeysuckle fragrance also makes it a great cut flower. Grows 4-6’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.

Award(s):

Auckland Rose of the Year 1990

New Zealand Fragrance Award 1990

Portland Gold Medal 1996

 

Rosa ‘Michelangelo’ (1997)

Rosa 'Michelangelo'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Michelangelo' is a vibrant hybrid tea rose that has the charm of English roses with a matching sweet lemon scent. The rich green foliage contrasts the flowers nicely, which also make a beautiful addition to indoor arrangements.

Award(s):

Monza Gold Medal 1997

Lyon Grande Rose 1998

AJJH Prix de la Rose 1999

 

Rosa ‘Scentimental’ (1997)

Rosa 'Scentimental'

(📸 Weeks Roses)

Every bloom is different on this floribunda rose with clusters of marbled cream and red blossoms. 'Scentimental' offers a strong, sweet, spice fragrance, which only adds to the charm of this AARS winner. Grows 4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 7.

Award(s):

All-America Rose Selection 1997

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