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Rose History

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In the Rose Fields with the Hybridizers

One of my favorite times of the year is mid September when the rose breeders we work with come to our place and together we wrap up the season and make the final decisions of what to keep and what to discard. But more importantly, we decide what roses will move forward — in other words, the few,...

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Propagation and Mutations

Have you ever wondered why The Knock Out® Rose in your yard is perfectly identical to your neighbors? Or why the ones you see in stores all look the same? The answer is that they are all clones. They are exact replicates of each other which originated from a single plant like the original Knock Out...

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Plant Patents — A Different Kind of Invention

I always find it interesting when a conversation comes up about the fact that new plants can be considered inventions, and hybridizers can get royalties just like any other patent owner. The reaction is usually either of surprise, lack of belief, “you’re pulling my leg”, or a combination of the...

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A Family Tradition of Breeding Exceptional Roses

If you read this blog often, you may already know that I have the opportunity to visit with Alain Meilland at his house in Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera once in a while. It is always a pleasure to visit Alain and to learn from his deep knowledge of all aspects of the rose business: the good (...

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The Fragrance of Desire

Roses are not fragrant: Myth or Reality? Anyone who has read the entertaining book “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan will be familiar with the popularly held belief that modern roses have no fragrance[1]. Is this true, or is it a myth perpetuated by those who use it to sell books of doom and...

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Rows and Rows of Roses

If you’ve ever wondered where your roses come from, you’ll want to take a look at this video which captures the planting process. When we recently traveled out to our rose fields in Wasco, California, I was able to see first hand how much work goes into growing a rose. The machine seen in the...

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The Original Knock Out® Rose

Recently, a group of us from Star® Roses and Plants traveled to the IGC Show in Chicago. We took advantage of the geographical proximity to arrive one day earlier and visit William Radler, the hybridizer of The Knock Out® Family of Roses . Will still lives in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin,...

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Part 4: Florist Roses for the Garden

Part 4: Florist Roses for the Garden

Jacques Ferare wraps up his series on florist and garden rose similarities and differences. While there is a trend for florist arrangements to look more natural, at the other end of the spectrum, a variety developed for the florist trade can make the jump over to the garden. These are rare...

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Part 3: Garden Roses for the Florist

In my last post, I discussed how today's florist roses have little in common with garden roses. However, maybe due to this influx of mass produced florist cut roses, there is a growing trend among some of the more sophisticated florists and consumers to come back to a more “natural” look, with...

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The paths of garden and florist roses

Part 2: The Paths of Garden and Florist Roses Separate

Last week, I gave you some history on florist roses and their beginnings in the garden. Today, I'm going to tell you how they ended up going separate ways. The rose varieties used for cut flower production in greenhouses were initially the same varieties that were being used in gardens. However,...

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