Rose Types

Mini Flora Roses

J. Benjamin Williams of Silver Spring , Maryland is accredited with the invention of the term "mini-flora". He was a famous rose hybridizer and subsequently he allowed the ARS or the American Rose Society to take this trademark term and use it to denote a classification of roses. This happened in 1999, so Mini-floras have been around for quite some time now, and they are here to stay. The other option for the ARS was "maxi-minis", a term invented and trademarked by Gene King of Louisiana. But somehow Mini-flora stuck on. The definition of a mini-flora as offered by the ARS is as follows:

"Those roses whose leaf structure and leaf morphology and bloom structure are essentially smaller than a Floribunda but larger than the typical Miniature." 

As we saw, the word Mini-flora has been around for sometime now. A rose series from Meilland, called Sunblazes was advertised as "mini-flora" by Star Roses in 1982. The plants themselves were miniature sized but the flowers were bigger than is usual. Though these roses were very popular all over the worlds, somehow the craze never caught on in America. In my garden you will find a couple of Sunblazes, such as the Lady Sunblaze (1986 Ip) and Orange Sunblaze (1982 or.) thriving amongst other taller variety of roses. 

"Patio roses" are somewhat similar to the Mini-floras, they are the right size to grow in pots and the flowers are larger. These roses are found more in England, Australia and New Zealand. In England people do not generally have large gardens and flower pots are all they can accommodate. Patio roses covers all kinds of roses that can be fitted in a patio such as small shrubs, Polyanthas etc. the Patio roses popular in England are Angela Rippon (1978 mp), Anna Ford (1980 ob), Brass Ring (aka Peek a Boo, 1981 ob) Clarissa (1982 ab) etc.

Nowadays we slot these roses as Mini-floras. But they were extant long before the category of Mini-floras was created. Earlier these were either grouped under the class of Floribunda or Miniature. Much in the same way, the class of Grandiflora was created by the ARS in 1955, for all those roses that were between Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, and were called Flora Teas by the rose industry.

Many roses defy any categorization, for eg the Micro Minis. The Rambler class has been split giving rise to no end of confusion. A new popular marketing strategy is the groundcovers, in the near future this will be a region worth watching.

Mini-floras are judged in the same class with miniatures and this is a big problem. Sometimes however they are also judged apart, separately in local shows. According to regulations mini-floras should be judged in a separate class in national and district shows. The ARS gives specific certificates to the Mini-flora King, Queen and Princess. The Guidelines can give rise to confusion because sometimes they tend to get ambiguous and vague, they say that mini-floras should be judged by the same standards as the Hybrid Tea, but the difference in size should be taken in account.

It is possible that one day the mini-floras might disappear into some other class like the grandifloras, as suddenly as they first came into existence; however they are showing great promise for the future.