17 Unusual Roses For Unique Garden Appeal

Are you looking to add something special to your garden this season? Roses are a classic choice, but the characteristics of these unusual varieties might surprise you! In this article, gardening expert and rose enthusiast Danielle Sherwood shares 17 roses that stand out from the rest.

Black Baccara Unique Rose Growing in Garden

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I used to think a rose was a rose. Over the years, I’ve been amazed to learn how different they can be. Some roses have differently-shaped petals. Others have an unexpected color or bloom form. A few have a surprising growth habit.

If you’re looking for a rose that’s a bit out of the ordinary, you’ll love checking out these 17 varieties. You may not encounter them at your local nursery or big box store, but most of them can be ordered from online vendors.

Whether you’re just starting out with roses or have an extensive collection, one of these unconventional roses might be the next star of your garden. Let’s check them out!

‘Green Romantica’

Close-up of two 'Green Romantica' roses in bloom against a blurred background of a green garden. The flowers are large, lush, double, with slightly corrugated tips on the petals. The petals are lime green.
‘Green Romantica’ is a hybrid tea rose with unique fresh lime green buds that open into double blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Green Romantica’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

The buds of ‘Green Romantica’ are a fresh lime green. As the double blooms open, the outer petals remain green while the interior glows creamy white.

You might recognize this rose from florist bouquets as its unique coloration has made it popular in the trade. It isn’t recommended for cold climates but can be successfully grown by gardeners in zones 7 and up.

‘Green Romantica’ is a hybrid tea with a pleasant fragrance. It prefers a bit of shade to preserve its color. Best of all, this rose lasts forever on the bush and continues to look beautiful dried!

‘Pink Grootendorst’

Close-up of blooming flowers of 'Pink Grootendorst' against pinnately compound green foliage. Rose 'Pink Grootendorst' produces small deep pink flowers in clusters, with ruffled and wrinkled petals giving it a lush and fluffy appearance.
‘Pink Grootendorst’ is a hardy rugosa rose with fringed deep pink petals that resemble carnations.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Pink Grootendorst’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun- Part Shade
height height 4’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

The first thing you’ll notice about ‘Pink Grootendorst’ is its fringed petals. While the foliage of this rugosa rose looks as expected, it surprises with blooms that resemble carnations!

This rose is a beautiful deep pink. It produces hundreds of little flowers all season long. Rugosa roses are generally very hardy and tough, and ‘Pink Grootendorst’ boasts all the vigor of its class.

This variety stays compact and works beautifully as a landscape rose. It will tolerate shade, poor soils, and harsh winds. Keep it deadheaded for continual flowering.

‘Red Moss’

Close-up of a blooming 'Red Moss' rose flower in the garden. The flower is large, cup-shaped, double, dark crimson in color with golden stamens in the center.
‘Moss rose’ is a unique rose class with a fuzzy coating on sepals, stems, and buds due to pine-scented glands.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Henri Martin’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 5’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

Don’t confuse this uncommon rose with Portulaca, also referred to as moss rose. This moss rose earned its name because the sepals (petals at the base of the bud), stems, and buds have a fuzzy coating that covers them like moss.

The fuzzy appearance is due to pine-scented glands unique to the moss rose class. ‘Red Moss’ is a gorgeous representative of the group, with a stunning spring flush of old-world double blooms in fuschia to crimson. It’s a small climber that reaches about 6 feet tall.

While the buds and stems have a unique pine scent, the blooms themselves smell strongly of the best old garden roses. This tough shrub, introduced prior to 1862, is rated one of the top Old Garden roses by the American Rose Society.

‘Koko Loco’

Close-up of a 'Koko Loco' rose flower with dew drops on a blurred green background. A flower of unique coloration, combining shades of lavender, smoky chocolate and deep pink. The petals are ruffled and slightly cupped.
‘Koko Loco’ is a stunning rose with rich chocolate buds and caramel latte-colored blooms with hints of lavender.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKbijou’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

While a brown rose might not sound appealing, you’re going to want to take a closer look at the unexpectedly stunning ‘Koko Loco’. The buds are a rich chocolate and open to an exposition-worthy bloom the color of a caramel latte with hints of lavender.

This rose is a guaranteed attention-getter. Plant it with other lavender flowers like phlox or pale violas for a beautiful mixed bed. The lavender tones will be more apparent in warm weather and full sun, while the coffee colors show up most in the cool months of spring and fall.

This unusual color combination has made ‘Koko’ a star in florists’ bouquets and a popular choice for neutral-themed wedding arrangements. To add to its attributes, this is a healthy shrub with lots of green bushy foliage. Expect it to bloom in flushes from spring through frost.

‘Rosa Glauca’

Close-up of a blooming rose bush 'Rosa Glauca' in the garden. The bush has single flowers from pink to light purple. The flowers have five petals and bright yellow stamens. The leaves are pinnate, blue-green in color, and have a slightly hairy texture.
‘Rosca Glauca’ is a highly ornamental wild rose with deep blue-green foliage, simple single-petaled blooms that attract pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa rubrifolia
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 6’–12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-9

‘Rosa Glauca’, meaning “blue-gray rose” is exceptional due to its deep blue-green foliage with hints of burgundy. The blooms are simple and single-petaled, the form most accessible and attractive to pollinators.

The dark foliage contrasts beautifully with the soft pink of ‘Rosa Glauca’s’ flowers. This is a highly ornamental wild rose native to Central Europe. It won the Royal
Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for landscape value and disease resistance.

‘Rosa Glauca’ is beautiful all year long. It blooms in clusters from spring through frost. Autumn brings a bounty of bright red hips that persist through winter, beautifying the garden and feeding wildlife. It can spread into a 7-foot wide natural hedge, so give this one some room to grow!

‘The Green Rose’

Close-up of a blooming Rosa chinensis ‘viridiflora’ in a garden. Rosa chinensis ‘viridiflora’, also known as green rose, has unique petalless flowers and green sepals that look like small leaves. In the center of the flower are small greenish-yellow stamens.
‘The Green Rose’ is an odd variety with rosette-like blooms that add textural interest to arrangements.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa chinensis ‘viridiflora’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

This odd rose doesn’t have true blooms at all. Instead, layered sepals give the impression of pointed green rosettes, which are often attractively flecked with scarlet. While it’s not for everyone, ‘The Green Rose’ is definitely a peculiar and intriguing variety.

This variety is prized in arrangements, where it adds textural interest and beautifully complements traditional rose blooms. The blooms are long-lasting on the bush and in the vase.

‘The Green Rose’ tolerates shade and will stay evergreen in warm climates. It is robust and easy to grow. You’ll definitely get questions about this one! 

‘Kensington Gardens’

Close-up of 'Kensington Gardens' rose flowers against a blurred background. The rose produces large, cupped flowers in soft orange-peach-pink hues with slightly ruffled petals.
‘Kensington Gardens’ has coral-pink double blooms and produces proliferation.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Kensington Gardens’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 3’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

This florist rose from the Netherlands has beautiful double blooms in pretty coral pink. ‘Kensington Gardens’ is a modern variety most often grown in greenhouses. It reliably produces proliferation, which looks like a bundle of green leaves emerging from the center of the flower.

Proliferation is when a new bud (or just a stem and leaves) forms in the center of a fully open flower. The reason why it occurs is not yet completely understood. It’s commonly thought to be a genetic mutation or viral disorder. It sometimes happens after a sudden drop in temperatures.

 Some gardeners regard proliferation as unsightly, while others seek it out. Certain varieties, often in the Old Garden Rose family, are more likely to develop it. I think it’s a fun and rare form that I’d love to add to bouquets.

‘Seven Sisters’

Close-up of 'Seven Sisters' rose flowers in a sunny garden, against a blurred green background. The rose has a cluster of small double flowers of pale pink-violet hues with golden stamens in the centers.
This is a large rambling rose with seven different bloom colors that appear on the bush at once.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘GREvillei’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 10’ – 20’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘Seven Sisters’ is a monster rambling rose that can grow up to 20 ft. tall. It’s named for the seven different colors of bloom that often appear on the bush at one time, sometimes in the same cluster. The bush produces roses in shades of purple, pink, and cream.

Like most ramblers, ‘Seven Sisters’ is a once-blooming variety. It yields an impressive display for nearly two months in spring to early summer. The appeal of its fragrance and beauty together made this a popular rose to pass to friends via seeds and cuttings in the 1800s.

When growing ramblers, remember to prune after blooming. Otherwise, you risk cutting off this season’s blooms! ‘Seven Sisters’ grows beautifully in partial shade and will put up with almost any conditions. This is a plant it and forget it rose with an awe-inspiring annual bloom. Don’t forget, when growing ramblers, prune after blooming. Otherwise, you risk cutting off this season’s flowers!

‘Dreaming’

A close-up of a blooming 'Dreaming' rose flower surrounded by dark green feathery foliage in a garden. The leaves have oval glossy green leaflets with serrated edges. The flower is solitary, small, shell-pink in color with large golden stamens in the center.
This rose has golden stamens and shell-pink single flowers that bloom all summer.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘CLEdream’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 10’ – 15’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

‘Dreaming’ stands out due to its giant golden stamens. They emerge from shell-pink single flowers that cover the bush throughout the summer.

Enjoyed by pollinators, this rose looks beautiful in a butterfly garden. The flowers are small and delicate, produced in such abundance that the whole shrub is smothered in color.

‘Dreaming’ has a mild sweet fragrance and appreciates a sturdy trellis to grow on. It looks a lot like the climbing twin of the popular low-growing ‘Ballerina’.

‘Pomponella’

Close-up of a lush bush of flowering rose 'Pomponella' in the garden. Rose 'Pomponella' has small, pom-pom-like, double flowers that range in color from light pink to dark purple. Flowers are collected in inflorescences.
This is a deeply cupped rose that produces up to seven frilly deep pink flowers per spray.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘KORpompan’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Pomponella’, from Kordes Fairytale collection, is remarkable for its deeply cupped form. It’s a bloom machine from spring to frost with sprays of up to seven flowers each. It’s a perfect name for the deep pink roses, which have a frilly and feminine pompon shape.

‘Pomponella’ has a mild fragrance and shines in bouquets. It’s highly rated for disease and pest resistance and a winner of gold medals in multiple international trials. 

The flowers hold their color well even under the hot sun, making them popular for dried arrangements. Plant several for a jaw-dropping hedge of romantic blooms.

‘Green Snake’

Close-up of a blooming 'Green Snake' rose against a blurred background. The flowers are small, solitary, with cream-colored petals with pinkish tips, and yellow stamens in the centers.
‘Green Snake’ is an excellent ground cover with trailing canes and ivory and blush-tinged flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘LENwich’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

The word is out: roses can work as a fantastic ground cover. While I’ve seen some beautiful cultivars used for this purpose, I’ve never seen one that consistently stays under a foot tall!

 ‘Green Snake’ tops out at 6 to 10 inches. The ivory and blush-tinged flowers are single-petaled and appear for several weeks in early spring, followed by occasional repeat flushes.

This ground-hugging rose sends out long trailing canes, so plan to give ‘Green Snake’ room to spread about 5 to 7 feet wide. It would look great at the base of taller roses or used to cascade gracefully over a wall in a tiered garden.

‘Blue Moonstone’

Close-up of a Blue Moonstone rose flower on a gray background. The flower is large, lush, double with a unique combination of lavender-blue and silvery-white shades.
This is a sought-after Japanese rose with violet and lilac-blue blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Blue Moonstone’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

‘Blue Moonstone’ is a Japanese rose with gorgeous violet and lilac-blue shading, a cream center, and a green eye.

‘Blue Moonstone’s’ blooms are packed with petals and very ruffled. The outer petals retain a light green hue.

This rose grows well in rainy, temperate regions. Like other Japanese roses, it’s not yet widely available in the United States but is highly sought after by rose collectors on sites like Etsy.

‘In Your Eyes’

Close-up of a blooming 'In Your Eyes' rose bush in the garden. The shrub has clusters of small single flowers and pinnately compound dark green leaves with serrated edges. This unusual cultivar has deep orange flowers with red centers that fade to pale pinkish lavender.
‘In Your Eyes’ is a multicolored persica hybrid with deep orange blooms that fade to pinkish-lavender.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKefybomeba’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’ – 8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

If you love bright colors and can’t settle on just one, this multihued rose will end your deliberation. This singular rose variety has deep orange blooms with red centers that gradually fade to pale pinkish-lavender.

‘In Your Eyes’ is a persica hybrid, with parents that hail from Iran and Afghanistan. The unusual heritage results in the desirable deep red blotch in the centers that make these hybrids stand out from the crowd.

This is an attractive shrub with large bloom clusters all summer long. It has a gentle fruity fragrance. Plant ‘In your Eyes’ with perennials in warm colors, like red valerian or orange wallflowers, for an eye-catching display.

‘Madame Plantier’

Close-up of blooming clusters of rose 'Madame Plantier' among pinnately compound green foliage. The flowers are fluffy, double, ivory.
‘Madame Plantier’ is a hardy alba rose with clusters of pink buds followed by ivory-blush flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Madame Plantier’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 5’– 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Luminous alba hybrid ‘Madame Plantier’ has beautiful clusters of tiny pink buds followed by fluffy ivory to blush flowers. This heirloom rose is special for many reasons, but I included it specifically for its cute green button eye.

We had a particularly hard winter in Eastern Washington this year, and one of our city’s most beloved rose nurseries lost many roses. While most of the roses in their display have been cut nearly to the ground due to dieback, cold hardy ‘Madame Plantier’ is still tall, healthy, and green,

 Nicknamed the ‘Bride’s Rose’ for its wedding-ready colors, the sprays of this rose make gorgeous delicate bouquets. ‘Madame Plantier’ has a sweet, strong scent that wafts in the breeze. Best of all, this rose is really tough. It thrives in sun or shade and will grow vigorously even when neglected.

‘Black Baccara’

Close-up of 'Black Baccara' rose flowers in a sunny garden against a blurred background. The flowers are large, double, classically shaped roses, with velvety oxblood petals edged with ebony.
‘Black Baccara’ is a hybrid tea rose with velvety oxblood petals, blooming throughout the season.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘MEIdebenne’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 3’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

While a Google search for “black rose” will yield lots of fakes, deepest crimson ‘Black Baccara’ might fulfill your craving for an intense, dark bloom. This luscious hybrid tea has velvety oxblood petals edged in ebony.

‘Black Baccara’s’ buds do begin nearly black. Its crimson tone reveals itself as the rose slowly unfurls. This is a favorite in fall arrangements for its long, slender stems and moody coloring. It lasts up to two weeks in the vase!

‘Baccara’ is kind of a diva and prefers dry, hot climates. In ideal conditions, it will bloom throughout the season. Avoid it in humid regions where it’s prone to black spot and mildew.

‘Disneyland’

Close-up of a blooming 'Disneyland' rose against a blurred backdrop of a garden. The flower is large, with wavy petals of bright salmon, apricot, pink and copper hues.
Disneyland rose produces large, waved flowers in vibrant shades of salmon, apricot, pink, and copper.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACmouse’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

While you might not be able to visit Disneyland every summer, you can bring home the rose that welcomes visitors to its gates. This cheerful floribunda peps up the garden palette with vibrant salmon, apricot, pink, and copper.

When searching for the perfect rose to plant at the park entrance, Disneyland’s horticultural team sought a rose that would be tough, shine in the landscape, and reflect the colorful magic of Disney. It was found in cluster-flowering ‘Disneyland’ (later named for the amusement park), a disease-resistant shrub that flowers from spring ‘til frost.

‘Disneyland’ has large, waved flowers and a light fruity fragrance. They grow on a healthy midsized shrub with lots of glossy green foliage. This is a great gold-medal-winning rose that will draw attention to your garden. 

‘Miyabi’

Close-up of a bouquet of 'Miyabi' roses in a vase. The 'Miyabi' rose has double flowers with finely pointed petals, and its overall shape is reminiscent of a water lily. The flowers have a center of beige to peach color, and the outer petals, curved down, are dark pink.
‘Miyabi’ is a sought-after Japanese rose with waterlily-like shape and subtle pointed petals.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Miyabi’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Our last variety is another coveted Japanese rose called ‘Miyabi’, loosely translated as “elegant refinement”. This rose has subtly pointed petals, its overall form reminding me somewhat of a waterlily.

Japanese roses are gaining popularity due to the unusual forms and colors of their flowers. ‘Miyabi’ has double blooms, with centers in beige to peach and down-turned outer petals in deep pink.

This rose is highlighted at Japan’s famed Kanoya Rose Garden, where it blooms through the warm summer months. It’s a popular cut flower with faint classic rose perfume. You won’t find it from mainstream vendors, but a quick internet search will show options from independent sellers (the quality of which I can’t vouch for).

Final Thoughts

Let’s not plant the same old roses our next-door neighbors have. Roses are endlessly variable, with so many unique and unexpected options for our gardens. An endless horizon of Knock Out roses sure would get boring, don’t you think?

Make the garden representative of your individual tastes, and take the time to seek out a variety that’s a little bit extraordinary. Any of these 17 roses would make an uncommon and beautiful garden addition, but there are still so many varieties out there to check out. Find the perfect one for you and your climate and enjoy your roses!

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