• Leen LeusEmail author
  • Katrijn Van Laere
  • Jan De Riek
  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 11)


Since ancient times, roses have graced homes and gardens as an ornamental plant. Roses are used for many different ornamental purposes as cut flower, garden plant, and pot plant, as well as industrial (perfume), medicinal, and culinary applications. Roses have the largest economic value of all the ornamental plants and have a long and well-documented tradition in selection and breeding. With more than 30,000 cultivars, roses have the largest breeding output among all crops, yet the demand for new cultivars continues unabated. The search for novel ornamental traits is still the main breeding goal. Besides, for cut roses differentiation in the product, increase in production, and better adaptation to (new) production areas are sought. In garden roses, breeders select for better adaptation to diseases including new and important diseases such as rose rosette disease (RRD). Rose breeding is challenging because of the very narrow genetic background in cultivated roses, polyploidy and/or differences in ploidy levels, reproductive barriers including limited fertility and germination challenges, etc. Tools for the breeder include knowledge on the background of traits, (new) molecular techniques, and genome information. This chapter gives an overview of the challenges in rose breeding, breeding objectives, the hybridization process, and conventional and molecular breeding tools. Several breeders were contacted to share an applied and practical viewpoint on cut rose and garden rose breeding with an eye toward trends and evolutions in modern rose breeding.


Breeders’ viewpoint Cut rose Fertility Garden rose Rose breeding Ploidy Cytogenetics Molecular markers 



We are grateful to the breeders for sharing their experience and viewpoint on current cut rose breeding. The author also thanks Miriam Levenson, English-language editor at ILVO, for the useful remarks about the structure of the manuscript, fair questions that needed an answer, and helpful English corrections.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leen Leus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrijn Van Laere
    • 1
  • Jan De Riek
    • 1
  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Plant Sciences Unit, Applied Genetics and BreedingMelleBelgium

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