Choosing Rose Names


Have you ever thought of having a rose named in your honor? A fitting tribute to the First Lady, who is an avid gardener and rosarian – this rose also honors Mrs. Bush’s many contributions to education, literacy, and global health. Rosa Laura Bush (pictured here) would be a lasting tribute in your rose garden.  Its generous clusters of dusky orange buds open to a ruffled, cinnamon-orange bloom with a fruity aroma.


Proposing new and original rose names does require some simple rules which knowing beforehand will help.


When the rose name you want consists of a natural person living at the time of the application, a written consent to the name of the cultivar will be required from that person, or if deceased within 10 years, from his legal representative. If the rose name consists of a corporation or other organization, then the same consent form will be required from that organization.


Make sure when creating a name for a cultivar that your proposed name is unique and it cannot be confused either in spelling or pronunciation with another existing rose name. The length should not have more than 10 syllables and no more than 30 characters, excluding spaces and single quotation marks.


Your rose name should not be defined as being likely to exaggerate the merits of the cultivar, like: Best Ever, The Greatest, also it should not be made up of simple descriptive words, like: Red, Giant White. Do not use punctuation marks except for an apostrophe, comma, a single exclamation mark, hyphen or full-stop.


Certain words (or their equivalents in any language) are banned words and they cannot be used in the name, these are: cross, hybrid, group, form, maintenance, mutant, seedling, selection, sport, strain, variety (or the plural of these words in any language). Add to these the words ‘improved’ or ‘transformed’.


If your named rose is a single word, make sure that the word is not the same as that of a genus, whether in botanical Latin or in a modern language. Erica, Daphne, Iris and Veronica happen to be Latin names of genera and not permitted. Similarly, Rose and Violet are common names of the genera and also are not permitted. However, each word may be used in a name of two or more words provided that it does not form the final word, like: Erica Smith, Iris Jones and Rose Queen – these are acceptable but not ‘Queen Rose’.


Some 600+ Brand New Cultivars are available each season to be given “your own” name. These roses are often considered to be the ideal gift and countrygardenroses in the UK is a great place to do this.


Esther B. Smith, author

Thought of having a rose named after you, like Rosa Laura Bush? I'd say it was quite an honor, and Laura's rose name probably came because she has a large and well attended rose garden.