A Measure of Peace

Every rose variety has an individual name, granted by the developer and used by growers around the world to identify the cultivar.

One of my father’s favorites (and mine) is known as “peace.”

13D29 Peace rose 1

Just before the German invasion of France during World War II, French horticulturalist Francis Meilland sent cuttings from his newest hybrid tea rose to colleagues in allied nations, so the rose could be protected and cultivated.

The rose was officially named “Peace” on April 29, 1945, a date which coincided with the fall of Berlin and the end of World War II.

A fitting name for such a beautiful flower.

13D29 Peace rose 2

Officially, “peace” has golden petals which flush pink at and near the edges. In reality, some of the flowers (like the ones in these photos) tend to be more pink, with deep yellow at the centers. The other blooms on this plant (unfortunately, too far gone to photograph well) show more of the yellow – I’ll try to get better pictures as summer continues.

Peace looks similar to a later-created rose called “Diana, Princess of Wales.” In fact, unless you see them side by side it can be tough to distinguish the two. Princess Diana roses tend to have a lighter yellow centers and darker pink (closer to fuchsia) around the edges, whereas “peace” has darker yellow at the center and paler pink.

Both are “blended roses,” meaning the blooms have more than one major or primary color.

On this anniversary of the fall of Berlin and the end of a terrible war, it seemed appropriate to share the history of the flower … and a wish for peace – rose-scented and otherwise – to all of you.

Do you have a favorite rose variety or color? Please leave a comment and let me know!



One thought on “A Measure of Peace

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Did you know that nearly all the edible fruits we eat (apples, berries, peaches, cherries, etc) are related to the rose? One of those NPR tidbits that stick in my head. Your post reminded me of this poem I wrote several years back. I’m not a fan of roses in flower bouquets, though I do love them in the wild. But I’d have to say my favorite rose is actually an apple. 🙂

    “Speak to me of Apples”

    The birds are singing in this last full day of summer.
    I could tell them about the dangers of frost,
    but I am the one who needs the reminder,
    the farmer’s almanac, the five-day forecasts.
    Even the dog knows when to stop shedding.
    I buy strawberries out of season, seduced
    by the red heart roundness, pay the price
    for my unnatural desires. I draw the line
    at hothouse roses. It’s not that they aren’t beautiful,
    but they remind me of funerals and flowers
    without scent are somehow worse than mealy berries,
    white nap of mold hidden underneath. Sun-dried
    tomatoes are red enough to remind me of summer, sharp
    enough to cut through the starched stiff collar of potatoes,
    just sweet enough to claim kinship with apples.
    And apples are the black sheep relations
    of roses made good. So please forgive me
    if I dote on apples; courtlands, jonagolds, macouns,
    and the nameless ones my neighbor lets rot in his front yard.
    They are my autumn roses, their blushing full cheeks
    brushing each other in the bowl like European kisses.
    I am a sucker for ridiculous bounty, for that last surge of sap,
    of pollen, and the frantic thrumming of bees.

    –LJCohen, 2009

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