Species roses are, as the name implies, wild species and their cultivars that are not greatly hybridized. There are around 150 species of roses native to the northern hemisphere and often there is quite a lot of variation within species. These roses are the ancestors of all garden roses. The species that are most widely grown here in Iceland are Rosa pimpinellifolia, Rosa rugosa, Rosa pendulina, Rosa moyesii and Rosa sweginzowii. R. pimpinellfolia and Rosa dumalis are rare natives to Iceland and are both protected species. Neither is a good garden plant. .
Father David's Rose
Father David's rose is native to Central- and W-China and SE-Tibet where it grows in 1600-3000 m height. It is very similar to Rosa moyesii and Rosa sweginzowii, but is a bit more delicate in habit.
Burnet rose is native to Europe in sandy soil along coastlines or in limestone. The flowers are single, white and the foliage is bluegray with small, round leaflets. Burnet rose has been widely used in rose breeding and a number of cultivars are in cultivation which are covered with Antique roses.
Rosa pimpinellifolia (syn. Rosa spinosissima)
Beach rose is a hardy, shrub rose that flowers single, magenta flowers. It is native to NE-China, Korea, Japan and SE-Siberia where it often grows in sand dunes along beaches. It has been very valuable in rose breeding and a great number of rugosa hybrids are in cultivation which are listed under Antique roses.
Willmott's rose is a delicate shrub rose with delicate foliage and single flowers in a variety of pink shades. It is native to arid valleys in 2300 - 3150 m height in China.
Holy Rose of Abyssinia
Holy rose of Abyssinia is a very old species hybrid of unknown origin, that is believed to be the oldest cultivated rose. It flowers single flowers that open pale pink, but turn white as they age.