How Many Petals Does a Rose Have?

  • Time to read: 4 min.

When giving your loved one a bouquet of fresh red roses, you might not count every single petal on every flower. However, it’s an excellent question to ask if you’re breeding roses or remotely interested in the flower. Roses may look alike, but if you look at them closely, you may notice they have different numbers of petals — so how many petals does a rose typically have?

Wild roses typically have 5 petals, with cultivated ‘single’ rose flowers having somewhere between 4-7 petals. ‘Semi-Double’ Roses have 8-15 petals, and ‘Double’ roses have 16-25 petals. ‘Full’ roses have 26-40 petals. ‘ Very full’ roses have more than 40 petals on a single flower.

Read on to learn more about the various factors that can influence how many petals a rose has.

How Many Petals Does a Rose Have?

White Wild Rose | Photo 42186444 © Ncristian | Dreamstime.com

Most wild roses have five petals, while the roses that humans cultivate tend to have more petals, and those petals are often divided into different sets.

The five-petaled rose isn’t the most common type of rose in the world, however. Instead, roses with 4 or 6 petals are the most well-known. (Think the typical cut rose.)

Cultivated roses can have a lot more than 6 petals, though, with some varieties having more than 100 petals on a single flower.

The BathSheba variety, for example, is a climbing variety of rose that has 170 petals.  The Queen of Sweden variety is a large shrub type rose that hase 140 petals.

The Spirit of Freedom rose is a climbing rose that has 200 petals.

This isn’t always the case, though, with the Kew Gardens rose only having 5 petals even though it’s a cultivated variety.

Rose Fullness

With all of the different factors that can influence a rose’s petal count, how will you keep track of it when it comes to picking out the perfect rose for your loved one? If you want to get a certain number of petals, will you have to count out the various petals in the store? 

This is where the concept of ‘fullness’ comes in.  There are different terms for how ‘full’ a rose is depending on how many petals the rose has.  Here is a table, based on data from the National Gardening Assotiation.

FullnessNumber of Petals
Single<8
Semi-Double8-15
Double16-25
Full26-40
Very Full41+

Just doing a little research and figuring what type of roses you have access to in the stores in your area will help you make sure that you know how many petals will be on each rose. Plus, it will help you understand how to care for your roses to ensure their petals stay on as long as possible.

Should I Get the Multiflora Rose? 

You should get the Multiflora rose if you’re looking for a rose that always has five petals. This type of rose is grown from seeds and has many flower heads on a single stem, with the large rose petals drooping downwards.

It grows on shrubs that can almost act as living fences, and the shrubs grow thick and quick! However, it does come with some downsides as several of the shrubs are seen as invasive due to their ability to overcome natural landscapes.

These roses do have some benefits for animals as sources of food and cover. However, their fast growth rate and the ability for each plant to produce over 500,000 seeds per year have limited their usages in homes and gardens worldwide. Even now, most governments and organizations are fighting against the spread of the Multiflora rose to protect our natural environment.

Does the Number of Rose Petals Matter?

With all of the petal numbers and different varieties of roses you can get, even from a store, you might find yourself wondering if the number of petals on a rose even matters? After all, a rose by any other name is a rose, isn’t it? 

The number of rose petals doesn’t matter if you only want to get the roses for yourself or to decorate your home. Whether a rose has 4 or more petals, it’s still a beautiful flower that will complement your home and make it smell nice.

Now, the number of roses you give someone can matter, as roses have a long history of symbolism. For example, a single rose means the start or continuation of deep love. Six roses symbolize any type of infatuation or crush; fifteen roses are the traditional number for apologies, and if you’re in love, there’s no harm sending your loved one fifty roses! Except possibly to your wallet as roses and rose petals can be very expensive, but you can’t put a price on love declarations!

Conclusion

Roses can have many petals based on how they’re grown, their environment, where they were raised, and several other factors. However, the ‘normal’ roses you can get in most stores and shops will be the Bush Rose, which has four petals and only one flower on the end of a long and thorny stem. 

Still, if you want to find roses with larger or more petite petals, you can find them somewhere in the world. Roses are beautiful flowers with significant meanings (and can be quite expensive), but you can use them to express love, even apologies! 

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