Modern roses were introduced in the late 19th century, specifically in the 1860s. The exact date is often attributed to the introduction of ‘La France,’ the first hybrid tea rose, which was bred by French nurseryman Jean-Baptiste Guillot in 1867. This marked the beginning of a new era in rose cultivation, characterized by the hybridization of various rose species to create new and improved varieties. These roses have been bred for specific traits such as repeat blooming, disease resistance, larger blooms, and longer blooming periods.
One of the first modern roses, ‘Peace’, was introduced in 1945 by French hybridizer Francis Meilland, and quickly became a worldwide sensation for its large, fragrant blooms and disease resistance. Other famous modern rose hybridizers include David Austin, who developed the English Roses, and Wilhelm Kordes II, who introduced the Kordesii hybrids. In recent years, many modern roses have been bred for increased sustainability and reduced need for pesticides.
Modern roses are perfect for use in mixed borders, as specimen plants, or for creating a low hedge. They also tend to have a strong fragrance, which can vary from fruity to spicy or musky depending on the cultivar.