Rose Lookalikes: 21 Flowers That Look Like Roses

Looking to plant some flowers that look similar to roses, but aren't sure what to plant? Roses are beautiful flowering shrubs, but many gardeners don't want to deal with the upkeep that they require. In this article, we look at some of our favorite rose lookalikes to give you some different planting options for your garden.

flowers that look like roses

Roses are the favored flower bush of gardeners all over the world. Although there are over 150 species of roses to choose from, they all share the same delicate and romantic look. Rose bushes are a common choice to add to your garden, but maybe you want something a little different. Whereas beginner gardeners may have trouble keeping up with the care requirements of a rose bush, seasoned gardeners may wish to have something less mainstream.

Luckily, there are plenty of flowers that look like roses. In most cases, the similarities lie in their petals’ colors, fragrance, and shape. However, the care requirements for other flower species may be better for your gardening skill level, environment, or the care you can give.

Below, you will find a combination of well-known and obscure rose-like flowers. If you’re looking for a flower that resembles a rose, you’re sure to find a variety that suits your needs on the following list. Let’s jump in!

Alpine Pink Dianthus

Dianthus Alpinus
Alpine Pink Dianthus is characterized by unpretentiousness and the ability to grow on rocky areas with poor soil.
Scientific Name: Dianthus Alpinus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern Austria
  • Plant Size: 6-12 inch spread
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-9 (USDA)

The beautiful and delicate Alpine Pink Dianthus flower shares a striking resemblance to the dog-rose variety. The main difference with the Alpine Pink Dianthus flower is its jagged-looking edges.

This pretty pink flower makes a great rose substitute if you want a simple flower with a touch of uniqueness. Alpine Pink Dianthuses are pink or salmon in color with a sweet fragrance and look great in pots, hanging baskets, or in a rock garden.

Camellias

Camellia spp.
Camellias is an evergreen, ornamental flowering shrub or tree of the family Theaceae.
Scientific Name: Camellia spp.
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Japan, China, and Korea
  • Plant Size: 2 to 12 feet (depending on variety)
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-9 (USDA)

Camellias are flowering shrubs that bear gorgeous, showy, bright-colored red, pink, white, or streaked flowers. Their heavily petaled blooms have a dainty, romantic look, making them popular for floral wedding arrangements.

These evergreens have dark, glossy leaves that contrast nicely with their blooms. Camellias add a sense of elegance and femininity to a garden and are commonly used as climbing shrubs against a fence.

While camellias come in many different colors, red camellia varieties are the types that most gardeners think resemble a rose.

Carnations

Dianthus caryophyllus
For Carnations choose well-lit places, with protection from the wind.
Scientific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
  • Plant Type: Flowering Perennials
  • Geographic Origin: Italy, Spain, Greece, and Croatia
  • Plant Size: 12-18 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-10 (USDA)

Carnations, also known as Dianthus, are commonly sold as cut flowers and are popular additions to a corsage.

Their ruffled, charming petals will give your garden the same ambiance as roses, but with more character, especially if you plant the multi-colored varieties. Their color may be a shade of pink, coral, red, or white. However, you may have seen bright blue, purple, green, or even tye-dyed carnations when dyed for holidays.

Catawba Rhododendron

Rhododendron catawbiense
Catawba Rhododendron is an evergreen, tall, large-leaved, profusely and beautifully flowering and at the same time very winter-hardy shrub.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron catawbiense
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Southeastern United States
  • Plant Size: Will remain 6-8 feet in height and 4-6 feet wide for many years but may eventually get larger
  • Sun Exposure: Partial sun to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-8 (USDA)

Catawba Rhododendrons are stunning, mound-shaped shrubs that feature dense, glossy foliage. Its bell-shaped flowers are a rosy or violet color that grows in bunches.

This beautiful evergreen perennial shrub grows best in part shade and evenly moist, humusy, acidic, well-drained soils. Though they start growing somewhat slowly, usually about a foot per year, they will continue to grow for years to come.

Cotton Rose Hibiscus

Hibiscus Mutabilis
Cotton Rose Hibiscus is a spectacular evergreen or semi-deciduous flowering plant with the ability to change the color of the buds during flowering.
Scientific Name: Hibiscus Mutabilis
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub/tree
  • Geographic Origin: China
  • Plant Size: 6-15 feet in height; 6-10 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-11 (USDA)

Despite its name, the Cotton Rose Hibiscus isn’t related to the rosa family but is within the mallows family. When you picture a Hibiscus flower, you might imagine a flower holding back long Hawaiian hair. However, the Cotton Rose Hibiscus looks more like a rose than a tropical flower.

This shrub features bright green foliage with white, light pink, or dark pink blooms. In fact, this unique flower is known for rapidly changing its colors over a few days.

Double Impatiens

Impatiens walleriana
Double Impatiens are able to release droplets of juice during periods of high humidity – after watering or shortly before rain, this allows balsam to protect pollen from ants.
Scientific Name: Impatiens walleriana
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: New Guinea
  • Plant Size: 8-18 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Shade
  • Plant Zone: 10-12 (USDA)

If you’ve spent any time in a garden, you’ve probably seen the wildly popular Impatiens variety. However, as the name suggests, Double Impatiens have double the flower petals. Impatiens are easy to grow, and are a mainstay of many flower gardeners due to their ability to thrive across many climates.

You can find these flowers in shades of purple, pink, red, orange, and multicolor, and they may be bright or pastel. Double Impatiens grow in a mound of lush green foliage, making them an excellent option for potted or hanging plants in your garden.

Double Tulips

Tulipa x
The beautiful double tulip belongs to the perennial herbaceous bulbous plants of the Liliaceae family.
Scientific Name: Tulipa x
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: NA; Nursery hybrid
  • Plant Size: Up to 18 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8 (USDA)

Like Double Impatiens, Double Tulips also have fluffier blooms with double the petals. You can find these showy flowers in red, purple, pink, orange, yellow, white and some have two colors. Double Tulips are known to have long-lasting blooms and come in tall or short varieties.

Add these showy flowers to a garden bed or pots in your garden for a classic, romantic look.

Gardenia

 Gardenia jasminoides
Gardenia flowers are white or cream and bloom from May to August.
Scientific Name: Gardenia jasminoides
  • Plant Type: Flowering broadleaf evergreen
  • Geographic Origin: China, Japan, and Taiwan
  • Plant Size: 5 to 6 feet in height with a similar spread
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 8-11 (USDA)

Gardenias are a part of the coffee family and are usually grown as indoor houseplants. Like roses, Gardenias have incredibly fragrant blooms that can quickly fill up the room with their unique scent.

It is important to note that Gardenias can be tricky to grow, though their pretty white flowers and natural perfume make them worth the extra effort. If you decide to plant them from seeds, it will be at least two years before your plant will have flowers.

Helen Elizabeth Poppy

Papaver orientale 'Helen Elizabeth'
Helen Elizabeth Poppy features large, ruffled, salmon pink, satiny flowers that bloom in May and June.
Scientific Name: Papaver orientale ‘Helen Elizabeth’
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, northern Iran
  • Plant Size: 2-4 feet in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-9 (USDA)

From the side, you may mistake this Poppy variety for a delicate pink rose. If you want your garden to have a bit of romance, the ‘Helen Elizabeth’ Poppy will do just that. Its pinkish peach petals have a satiny look and feel to them.

You can use these dainty and ruffled flowers to line an entire garden bed or use them as a potted plant. They’re easy to grow and are rabbit and deer-resistant.

Japanese Quince

Chaenomeles japonica
Chaenomeles japonica is a heat-loving plant and grows especially well in regions with a mild climate.
Scientific Name: Chaenomeles japonica
  • Plant Type: Annual shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Japan
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5-9 (USDA)

Although this flower doesn’t look exactly like a rose, it has many similar qualities. Japanese Quince produces grayish-brown thorny branches, much like a rose bush. Its blooms are usually reddish-orange but will sometimes be pink or white. These vibrant flowers are fragrant, attracting pollinators, including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Quince fruit is too hard to eat raw, but you can make it into jellies or jams. This stunning tree is often used for bonsai plants, especially in Japan.

Japanese Rose

Kerria japonica
Japanese Rose is oriental in origin, and also in style, an ornamental deciduous shrub with arching, greenish-yellow stems and masses of golden-yellow flowers.
Scientific Name: Kerria japonica
  • Plant Type: Perennial Flower, shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 5-10 feet in height, 6-10 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-8 (USDA)

Japanese Roses are not a part of the Rosa family, though their five-petaled yellow flowers look like roses. This low-maintenance flowering shrub blooms in spring and will sometimes rebloom again during the summer.

Like some of the other flowers on our list, Japanese Roses may be single or double-petaled. This eye-catching tree produces bright yellow flowers paired with yellow-green or kelly green bark.

Lisianthus

Eustoma russellianum
Lisianthus is one of the most beautiful flowering crops that has beautiful flowers, reminiscent of delicate silk half-opened roses.
Scientific Name: Eustoma russellianum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial, usually grown as an annual
  • Geographic Origin: Central North America
  • Plant Size: 1-3 feet in height, 6-12 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 8-10 (USDA)

Lisianthus has recently become a go-to flower for potted plants. With proper care, Lisianthus flowers will have significant, delicate blooms in various colors, including purple, pink, and white. They look remarkably similar to the shape of a rose but stand out with their bi-colored petals.

Lisianthuses do best when planted in the early spring months and do not work well when grown indoors.

Marigolds

Tagetes spp.
In ornamental culture, Marigolds are grown mainly as annuals, although in regions with a hot climate, these plants can be cultivated for several seasons.
Scientific Name: Tagetes spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous annual
  • Geographic Origin: Southern North America (Mexico)
  • Plant Size: up to 4 feet in height, up to 2 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 2-11 (USDA)

Marigolds are commonly used flowers in garden beds across the world. They have warm, bright colors that include orange, yellow-white, red, gold, and bicolor. These may not be exact twins of the rose, but they offer a similar aesthetic to your garden with their bushy and showy petals.

Marigolds are rapid-growing plants that can bloom to maturity from a seed within a few months.

‘Mary Gay Lirette’ Daffodil

Narcissus' Mary Gay Lirette'
‘Mary Gay Lirette’ Daffodil has a sweetly scented stunner that blooms to a height of 35-45cm.
Scientific Name: Narcissus’ Mary Gay Lirette’
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: NA; Nursery hybrid
  • Plant Size: 12–18 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade​
  • Plant Zone: 3–8 (USDA)

Like roses, horticulturalists have been cultivating Daffodils for decades. The ‘Mary Gay Lirette’ Daffodil is a truly stunning variety that features pale, creamy pink-colored flowers. While most Daffodils have more of an orangey tinge to them, the ‘Mary Gay Lirette” variety is closer to a true pink.

These ruffled flowers look quite different from a daffodil; you may even mistake them for peonies. Similar to roses, these distinctive Daffodils will add a dainty, romantic, and feminine ambiance wherever you plant them.

Million Bells

Calibrachoa
Purple is the “native” coloring of the Million Bells.
Scientific Name: Calibrachoa
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial, annual
  • Geographic Origin: South American Hybrid
  • Plant Size: 3 to 9 inches in height and 6 to 24 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 9-11 (USDA)

Calibrachoa, known as Million Bells, is most commonly used for hanging baskets because they tend to produce a dense trail as it gracefully flows over the sides. Its delicate blooms are only an inch across but often have plenty of flowers.

These vibrant flowers may be pink, red, yellow, violet, white, blue, magenta, or bronze. You may also see them in small plastic containers to replant in a garden bed.

Moss Rose

Portulaca grandiflora
Moss Rose is the only ornamental plant in the numerous purslane family.
Scientific Name: Portulaca grandiflora
  • Plant Type: Annual flowering succulent
  • Geographic Origin: South America
  • Plant Size: 3-9 inches tall, 6-12 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 2-11 (USDA)

Moss Roses are famous sellers during the spring and sometimes even summer. Despite its name and full, ruffled blooms, Moss Rose is a part of the Portulacaceae family. These hardy plants can withstand quite a bit of drought, making them great for newer gardeners who may forget to water for a day or two. They are not frost tolerant, so most gardeners treat these flowering plants as annuals.

Their blooms come in multiple vibrant colors, including shades of pink, red, orange, and yellow. They are easy to grow flowers and make excellent ground covers due to their dense spread.

Persian Buttercup

Ranunculus asiaticus
Persian Buttercup is the most beloved type of ranunculus by flower growers and florists, which has become the main one in the selection of modern varieties.
Scientific Name: Ranunculus asiaticus
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous, perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranean
  • Plant Size: 1-2 feet tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Zone: 8-10 (USDA)

Persian Buttercups are famous for their vibrant colors, ruffled petals, and long stems that can last ten years with proper cair. You can find ranunculus in all usual rose colors, including bright pink, red, cream, yellow, and even purple and orange.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a flower shop that doesn’t sell these beauties, as most people love to use them for wedding bouquets or vase flowers. They grow quickly and typically bloom between spring and summer.

Pink Mountain Rose

Greenovia dodrantalis
Pink Mountain Rose of exceptional beauty, ideal for growing in pots, such as on a terrace or patio.
Scientific Name: Greenovia dodrantalis
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Geographic Origin: Canary Islands
  • Plant Size: about 6 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 10a to 11b (USDA)

At first glance, you may mistake this distinctive succulent for a rose. Mountain Rose features leaves that naturally arrange to look like a rose. You can find Mountain Rose succulents in shades of green, blue, and even pink. Although the blue and green are gorgeous, the pink is especially rose-like.

These unique beauties have become popular in the last decade because of their ease to care.

Red Charm Peonies

Paeonia Lactiflora x Paeonia Officinalis' Red Charm' or Paeonia' Red Charm'
Red Charm Peonies is one of the most popular varieties that has been widely grown in garden plots for several decades.
Scientific Name: Paeonia Lactiflora x Paeonia Officinalis’ Red Charm’ or Paeonia’ Red Charm’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous, perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Asia
  • Plant Size: 3 feet in height and width
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8 (USDA)

If you’re looking for a showy flower with rich red color and a rose-like aroma, look no further than the Red Charm Peonies. This peony variety has attention-grabbing blossoms that are incredibly fragrant and have a nearly identical scent to roses.

While most peonies are pink or white, these peonies have deep, crimson red petals that contrast beautifully with their bright green foliage.

Solenia ‘Dusty Rose’ Begonia

Begonia × tuberhybrida
Solenia ‘Dusty Rose’ Begonia is polyhybrid species, which appeared as a result of crossing several types of begonias.
Scientific Name: Begonia × tuberhybrida
  • Plant Type: Typically grown as an annual
  • Geographic Origin: NA; this is a hybrid plant
  • Plant Size: 6 to 12 inches in height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part sun
  • Plant Zone: 10 to 11 (USDA)

Solenia’ Dusty Rose’ Begonia is a stunning trademarked hybrid. These frilly flowers are vibrant, hot-pink, and hard to miss in a garden. Its leaves are heart-shaped and stay green all year long.

They grow in a mound shape that beautifully towers over a pot in almost a bush-like formation. You can use these stunning flowers as outdoor potted plants or hanging plants.

Windflower

Anemone spp
Windflower is a herbaceous perennial from the Buttercup family.
Scientific Name: Anemone spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Temperate zones worldwide, many are native to North America
  • Plant Size: 6 in.–4 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide depending on species
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-10 (USDA) depending on the species

Windflower, also commonly known as “Anemone,” is a popular perennial that you typically plant from bulbs. One attractive trait of Anemones is their color varieties, including shades of red, orange, blue, purple, white, ivory, and pink. Some types, such as a Double Windflower, have a bushy appearance that may be more attractive to rose lovers.

These fast-growing flowers have varying sizes and life expectancies depending on the species. All Windflowers, however, are somewhat toxic to humans and pets.

Final Thoughts

Roses have been a popular flowering shrub for decades, representing love, romance, and femininity. While these traditional blooms make a beautiful addition to any garden, you may wonder if any flowers look like roses.

Luckily, there are plenty of flowers to choose from. Some varieties may have similar petal shapes, but with a different color you may be looking for, or vice versa.

Whether you’re looking for a succulent that looks like a rose or thorn bushes with delicate flowers, there is a variety that will make a great focal point of your garden. Some of the blooms mentioned above even have a similar fragrance to a rose, so even if you don’t have a rose bush, you’ll hardly notice that you don’t.

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