International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park
The International Rose Test Garden sits within Portland Parks & Recreation’s Washington Park, one of the oldest and most-visited parks in the region. Within the park’s nearly 410 acres, you’ll find the Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Children’s Museum, and World Forestry Center, in addition to various memorials, trails, and statues.
The primary purpose of the Garden is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties. In the beginning, while World War I was raging, hybridists sent roses from around the world to Portland’s garden for testing. More than 10,000 individual rose bushes bloom in the Garden from late May through October, representing over 610 different rose varieties. The majority of roses in the Garden are commercially available. About 10 to 20 varieties are replaced each year with some of the best new roses released onto the market.
Jesse A. Currey, a former Rose Society president, chose the current site in Washington Park (known at the time as City Park), and convinced city leaders in 1917 to inaugurate a rose test garden with the support of the American Rose Society. At that time, Portland had 200 miles of a single hybrid tea rose cultivar, ‘Madame Caroline Testout’ (pronounced ‘test-oo’) planted in borders along its city streets–a strategy to draw attention to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial celebration. As a result, Portland was dubbed the City of Roses.
Trial site manager: Rachel Burlington, Curator
Trial site contact: Rachel.burlington@Portlandoregon.gov
Location of A.R.T.S.® site within property: In the middle of Section C (middle tier of garden)
400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Hours of Operation:
Free (City Park)