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Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid teas are the most widely grown roses today, even though as a type they are little more than a hundred years old. They owe their popularity to their amazing color range (notably including yellow shades, not so often found in other types), their long, strong stems, the size and elegance of their individual blossoms, the fragrance of many varieties, and their ability to bloom abundantly and almost continuously from early summer to frost in Zones 3-8 and even longer in Zones 9 and 10. Most varieties are hardy without winter protection in Zones 6-10 but should be protected in Zones 3-5. Especially hardy varieties are noted in the entries below.

The most popular hybrid teas today have long, pointed buds and high-centered blooms. These characteristics, together with strong, straight stems, symmetrical leaves and crisp, long-lasting blossoms, make a good rose for exhibition. Many varieties that lack one or more of these traits are nevertheless good garden roses--i.e., vigorous, compact plants that provide plenty of flowers for cutting and require little upkeep.

Most hybrid teas bear double blossoms with 20 to 50 velvety or satin-textured petals; some have 70 or more. A few have single blossoms with five to seven petals; others are semidoubles with less than 20. The blossoms, some as large as 8 inches across, grow on bushes that range in height from 2 to as much as 6 feet if the plants are not cut back by pruning or severe winter damage. Colors include many shades of white, yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender and maroon; there are also blends and multicolors. Leaves are generally dark or medium green; in a few varieties new foliage is dark red before becoming green. The texture of the foliage ranges from glossy and leathery to dull and almost paper thin. Most hybrid teas have fairly large thorns; a few are relatively thornless.

Courtesy of Time Life Plant Encyclopeadia