Photo: Kurt Steuber
War And Peace (Rose): The History Of The Name
The Peace Rose was developed in France in 1935 by Francis Meilland. In June 1939, rose growers from 7 nations visited his nursery and admired Meilland’s new (but then unknown as ‘Peace’) rose.
In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and World War 2 began. In November, when the Nazis were moving closer to the south of France, the American Consul, a lover of roses, told Meilland he would take some budwood of the new rose to America if Meilland could get it to the consul within two hours to be put on the last plane scheduled to leave the country.
During the subsequent occupation of France, Meilland had to remove all of his roses from his fields in order to use the ground to grow food. But, in 1944, he got word that his precious rose was thriving in the United States and receiving much acclaim.
The Conard-Pyle company marketed the rose in America under the name of ‘Peace’ and introduced it to the public in April 1945, the day that peace was declared in Europe. In June 1945, when the United Nations met for the first time in San Francisco, each of the 50 members who attended the opening session found one blossom of this symbolic rose in their hotel room.