Each year on April 29th, we recognize National Peace Rose Day. The day is set aside to honor the “Peace” rose, a well-known and fruitful garden rose.
The light yellow to large cream-colored flowers of the Peace Rose have slightly flushed crimson pink petal edges. It is a hybrid tea rose that is hardy, vigorous and highly resistant to disease.
French horticulturist Francis Meilland, developed the Peace Rose between 1935 and 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France, to protect the new rose, he sent cutting to his friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States. It is believed these cuttings were sent to the United States on the last plane available before the German invasion.
The rose received different names in each country it was sent. In France, it was called “Madame A. Meilland” in honor of the breeder’s mother. In Italy, it was called Gioia, meaning Joy. In Germany, the name of the rose was Gloria Dei, for “glory to God.” In the United States, the rose was named Peace.
As the Second World War was coming to a close in Europe, the trade name “Peace” was publicly announced on April 29, 1945, the name it was given in the United States. Later in 1945, Peace roses were given to each delegate at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations, in San Francisco, with a note that read: “We hope the Peace rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.”