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Apr 29

Peace Rose Day

Peace Rose
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Peace Rose
Photo by goranhadzihasanovic
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"We hope the 'Peace' Rose will influence men's thoughts for everlasting world peace." ~ United Nations, 1945

The Peace Rose was developed by the French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, between 1935 and 1939 who, when he saw that war with Germany was inevitable, sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany and the USA. History tells that the roses were on the very last flight before the German invasion of France. In the USA, the rose breeders Conrad Pyle Co., successfully grew it and thereby kept it safe. This rose has had several names: France called it 'Madame A. Meilland' after Meilland's mother; Italy called it 'Goia' (Joy); Germany named it 'Glory Dei' (glory to God); and the USA called it 'Peace'. Its official name 'Peace" was announced on the same day as Berlin fell, ending the war in Europe.

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan echoes the colors of the Peace Rose.

Considered one of the greatest roses of its time, developed in 1935, this hybrid rose was in the process of being refined by French hybridizer Francis Meilland during the war. It was one item spirited away on some of the last planes to leave France before German occupation during World War II. By April 1945, the Conard-Pyle Company introduced this rose in America under the appropriate name of Peace, coincidentally on the very same day that Berlin fell, and the war was pronounced over. The ceremony took place at the first annual rose show of the Pacific Rose Society at Pasadena, California. Two white doves were released into the heavens, in honor of the new rose symbolizing peace.

In 1995, nations around the world paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, and All-America Rose Selections (AARS) worked to make the Peace rose a focal point of the commemorative ceremonies.

As proof of its excellent lineage, the descendants of Peace read like a Who's Who of great roses: Royal Highness, Garden Party, Double Delight, Perfume Delight, and Princesse de Monaco, to name but a few.

For more on the story of this wartime rose, click the rose.