Type: Hybrid Tea
History: 1935 by Frances Meilland
Mature size: 6' x 3'
Bloom size: A whopping 6"!
Pruning: Hard prune in early spring while dormant
Originally called Madame Meilland, after the breeder's mother, The peace rose was born in the midst of World War II and like other casualties of war should not have survived. Instead, it is perhaps the most popular garden rose in recent memory.
I'm a sucker for a good story and this rose has a great one. Late in the summer of 1939 an international conference of rose breeders met in Lyon, France and #3-35-40 was all anyone could talk about. A few months later the Nazi's were close to invading France, which prompted Monsieur Meilland to send budwood to hybridizers (friends) he knew in Turkey, Germany, Italy and the United States. As the story goes, it was sent to the U.S. on the last plane leaving before the German invasion saving it from a tenous future in France. On the day that Berlin fell (April 29, 1945) the name "Peace" was given it's official name.
Peter Beales (english rose grower) has said that Peace is without doubt the finest hybrid tea ever raised. If numbers count, he's right. It's estimated there are up to 500,00 plants grown annually with about 40 milion purchased in the 20th century.
Peace has thorns among the shiny, dark leathery foliage which support enormous 6" flowers in a sulphur yellow with pink edges. The blooms make ideal cut flowers and the scent is quite strong. I'm partial to heirloom varieties but as hybrid teas go, there isn't a garden around that couldn't use Peace as a showstopping centerpiece!