Hybrid tea is an informal horticultural classification for a group of garden roses. They were created by cross-breeding two types of roses, initially by hybridising hybrid perpetuals with tea roses. It is the oldest group classified as a modern garden rose. Hybrid teas exhibit traits midway between both parents, being hardier than the often quite tender teas (although not as hardy as the hybrid perpetuals), and more inclined to repeat-flowering than the somewhat misleadingly-named hybrid perpetuals (if not quite as ever-blooming as the teas).
Hybrid tea flowers are well-formed with large, high-centred buds, supported by long, straight and upright stems. Each flower can grow to 8–12.5 cm wide. Hybrid teas are the world’s most popular type of rose by choice due to their colour and flower form. Their flowers are usually borne singly at the end of long stems which makes them popular as cut flowers. Most hybrid tea bushes tend to be somewhat upright in habit, and reach between 0.75 and 2.0 metres in height, depending on the cultivar, growing conditions and pruning regime.
Hybrid tea roses did not become popular until the beginning of the 20th century, when Pernet-Ducher in Lyons, France, bred the cultivar ‘Soleil d’Or’ (1900). But the cultivar that made hybrid teas the most popular class of garden rose of the 20th century was the rose Peace (‘Madame A. Meilland’), introduced by Francis Meilland at the end of World War II, and one of the most popular rose cultivars of the 20th century.