Development of what was to become the Peace Rose began with a famous rose-breeding family in mid-1930s France. In 1935, the Meilland family had crossbred hundreds of roses hoping to create new commercially viable varieties. One of the crosses yielded a unique bloom with yellow petals delicately edged with pink, which they named Madame A. Meilland. Years later, as World War II escalated in Europe and France was threatened with invasion, two packages of the new rose’s budwood were sent to plantsmen in Germany and Italy.
A third package was entrusted to the U.S. consul, who took it with him as he left France and promised to send it on to American grower Conard-Pyle. This U.S. breeder cultivated the rose and sent cuttings to other growers to test the plant in various climatic zones and soil conditions. The trials were so successful that the rose was introduced April 29, 1945, and made available for sale to the public. With war still raging across the globe, American growers selected a new name for the rose as a reflection of the world’s most fervent desire: peace.
The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a new Forever stamp celebrating one of the most popular roses of all time. The new Peace Rose Forever stamp features a detail from a photograph of the rose’s blossom, its creamy yellow petals touched at the edges with pink.
The peace rose revolutionized hybrid tea roses with its unique coloring, hardiness and disease resistance. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with an existing photograph taken by Richard C. Baer. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtags #PeaceRoseStamp and #FlowerStamps.