Meilland International SA
Meilland International SA is a family-owned rose growing business founded circa 1850. The business operates today out of the Domaine de Saint André in Le Cannet-des-Maures, Le Luc en Provence, Var, France with branches all over the world.
The founder of Meilland International SA, Antoine Meilland, survived service in World War I, and saw his first post-war rose crop wiped out by a beetle infestation. He recovered and eventually made his nursery the dominant force in the French rose growing business. In 1932, he signed a contract with the Conard-Pyle Co. (Star Roses) nursery in West Grove, Pennsylvania to market Meilland-bred roses in America. The relationship continues to this day.[when?]
Antoine's son, Francis Meilland (1912-1958), was another visionary[who said this?] who established a reputation for his breeding and built the business into a worldwide operation with a network of agents who simultaneously introduced his varieties. For what he called a "Universal Rose Selection", he prepared colored catalogs designed so that each agent could insert their own text. Having arranged the smuggling of a seedling out of France just prior to the German occupation in World War II, in 1945 Francis Meilland introduced one of the most famous of all roses, Peace from the book For Love of a Rose by Antonia Ridge.
Currently,[when?] the business is headed by Alain Meilland, and today[when?] it has nursery production covering 600 hectares or 1500 acres in France, Morocco, Spain, the Netherlands, and in the U.S. State of California selling more than 12 million rosebushes annually. Alain Meilland wrote about his family in a 1969 book published in Paris by Editions Solar as La Vie en Roses and re-released in English in 1984 as Meilland: A Life in Roses. More recently, their history was recounted in a 1998 book titled La grande famille des roses by Anne-Sophie Rondeau.
Meilland holds more than 1,000 patents worldwide and owns 600 trademarks. They have a tradition of naming some of their roses in honor of a notable person or celebrity, both historical and present day.
|'Alain'||Floribunda||red||1946||Most Beautiful French Rose|
|'Louis de Funès'||Hybrid Tea||yellow-red blend||1987||Geneva GM|
|'Peace'||Hybrid Tea||yellow blend||1935||Rose Hall of Fame|
|'Pierre de Ronsard'||Large-flowered climber||pink blend||1985||Rose Hall of Fame|
|'Pink Wonder'||Floribunda||pink||1970||Belfast GM, Madrid GM|
|'Line Renaud'||Hybrid Tea||pink||2006||ADR|
|'Rose de Beyrouth'||Floribunda||pink||2012||Beirut, Lebanon|
|'Bonica 82'||Floribunda||pink||1981||Rose Hall of Fame
|'Papa Meilland'||1988||dark red||1963||Hybrid Tea||Rose Hall of Fame
Gamble Fragrance Award 1974
So far, Meilland is the only rose breeder to introduce several cultivars that were voted World's Favorite Rose.
Antoine Meilland's rose "Golden State", so named to commemorate his visit to California, won the 1937 Gold Medal at both the Concours de roses de Bagatelle, the City of Paris International competition for new roses, and at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon, at that time symbolic of the best new rose in France and the United States.
The McCartney Rose, named for Paul McCartney, has won many international awards.
- La grande famille des roses (The Grand Rose Family) by Anne-Sophie Rondeau - Photos by Emmanuel Ulzega (1998) Rustica Publishers ISBN 2-84038-249-0
- Ridge, Antonia (1965). For Love of a Rose. Faber and Faber.
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