A novel structure of ZnO nanorods on microsized ZnSe particles has been prepared through a chemical vapor deposition technique using Zn and Se powders as the sources. The dimension of the nanorods can be controlled by adjusting the growth temperature, time and the Zn∈:∈Se ratio. Through the investigation of the effects of synthesis time and Zn∈:∈Se ratio on the formation of ZnO nanorods on ZnSe microparticles, it is proposed that the synthesis of the ZnO-ZnSe structures involves a two-stage formation. The growth of ZnO nanorods can be described by the vapor-solid mechanism. The photoluminescence of the ZnO-ZnSe structures has also been studied.