This month we feature one of the world’s most popular rose variety which in 2015, celebrates 70 years since its first introduction to the world.
‘Peace’ is one of the great roses, not only for the story behind it but also for its contribution to the world of roses. In 1935, the late Francis Meilland made the cross between an un-named seedling and the Hybrid Tea ‘Margaret McGredy’ at Antibes, France. Known as 3-35-40, propagation material was dispatched to other countries just as World War 2 was breaking out. There was no communication during the war years and 3-35-40 was named ‘Madame A Meilland’ for the hybridisers late mother in France. In Italy, it received the name ‘Gioia’ and Germany ‘Gloria Dei’. In the United States, it was introduced as ‘Peace’just as the war was ending and later in 1945, a bloom was presented to each delegate at the meeting wich was to form the United Nations with a card bearing the message “This is the ‘Peace’ rose which was christened at the Pacific Rose Society exhibition in Pasadena on the day Berlin fell. We hope that the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”
The rose itself features large well-formed blooms of medium yellow with a pink edge to the petals. In terms of the plant, at the time was a great advance on many of the earlier Hybrid Teas with good strong stems, vigorous growth and improved health. It has been widely used as a parent with nearly 500 roses featuring ‘Peace’ as one of the parents. Furthermore, ‘Peace’ has been known to produce at least 20 sports of which the most widely grown are ‘Chicago Peace’ and ‘Kronenbourg’. An estimated 100 million plants of ‘Peace has been propagated over the years, a remarkable legacy.
A multi award winner around the world, ‘Peace’ was the first rose to be inaugurated into the World Federation of Rose Societies Rose Hall of Fame in 1976 and is worth a place in any garden.