The establishment of section Orientales in the genus Rosa (Rosaceae) was proposed by Crepin in 1868, but only the name of the taxon was published. Section Orientales was not formally described until more than a hundred years later by Mandenova (1970), who placed in it three closely related species: Rosa orientalis (as the type of the section), R. heckeliana and R. vanheurckiana. These three taxa and R. doluchanovii described in 1976 fall entirely within the morphological circumscription of section Caninae, however, their combined features do not fit any subsection recognized in this section. The reduction of section Orientales to the new rank of subsection is thus hereby proposed. In addition an unusual morphotype of Rosa vanheurckiana with hypanthia and fruits covered with densely pilose setae is described from the province of Malatya in eastern Anatolia, Turkey as Rosa vanheurckiana var. barbata.