Francis Meilland, was the hybridizer who first cross-pollinated two roses, ((George Dickson x Souv. de Claudius Pernet) X (Joanna Hill x Charles P. Kilham)) X Margaret McGredy, from which was born a not so great a little seedling the next year, with a few eyes budded. No one was particularly impressed. Then that same fall, one of the seedling was covered in foliage, and it was lush, dark green, and to go with that were large blooms, they were the most beautiful delicate ivory-with pale yellow brushes. The edges of the roses were touched with pink. It was a true beauty!
At first just like Pola Rose, there was no name for her, they simply called her #3-35-40. From weakness, with little chance of coming to fruition, the story of success of the Peace Rose went on.
There was a war on when the Peace Rose was introduced in France, and at that time and place they called her by the name Mme A. Meilland, in Italy as Gioia, and in Germany she was introduced as Gloria Dei. Overnight she was a huge success. Meilland had named the rose in France after his mother.
As the war grew closer and closer, just before the occupation of France, the rose stock was smuggled away on some of the last planes to leave France for the United States. In April of 1945, the Conard -Plye Company offered
the rose in America, having paid an unheard of 33% royalty to Mr. Meilland. Jackson Perkins, by far the most famous of the rose growers, had considered that too high a royalty. The date of that first show was the day that Berlin fell, and the war came to an end. On that day the rose was introduced to the world as the Peace Rose. The show where this took place was in Pasadena, California at the First Annual Rose Show of the Pacific Rose Society. At the ceremony, two white doves were released, symbolizing peace returning to the world.
She was awared the All-American Rose Selection Award for 1946 (AARS.) Since that time it is estimated that up to 50 million Peace Rose plants have been grown. The Peace Rose is most popular rose of the 20th and 21st Century by all accounts. Many other awards have come since that initial one, and 500,000 are still grown annually.
In addition other hybrids have been been developed from the rose... peace spreads... Roses such as Double Delight, Perfume Delight, Garden Party and Princesse de Monaco, have come from the lineage of the Peace Rose.
Jackson Perkins is the most famous of all the rose growers of the world, but when they were offered the reins of Peace, they passed up the chance. I believe the reins of peace could easily be taken up by the leadership of Islam. Let it be so, the chance to bring peace to the Middle East can be held by the true leadership of Islam.