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Centenary Rose

Posted on 09 October 2007

A rose specially pollinated, selected and cultivated to celebrate the University of Pretoria's Centenary in 2008 was launched at a garden party at the University on Tuesday 9 October 2007.

University of Pretoria launches Centenary rose

The rose, ‘University of Pretoria Centenary’, selected and cultivated by prominent and well-known rose expert, Ludwig Taschner of Ludwig’s Rose Farm, was officially named by the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University, Prof Calie Pistorius, and presented to the reigning Tuks Rag Queen, Phumi Bohlela, by Prof Piet Hoek, Alumnus and a previous Chairperson of the UP Council.

”Whilst we celebrate a hundred years of scholarship, we should not forget that universities are about the future. The University of Pretoria Centenary rose symbolises the University of Pretoria’s commitment to contributing towards a better future for all South Africans. Growth, beauty and freshness are all inherent characteristics of this commitment, as they are embodied in the rose,” said Prof Calie Pistorius, Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria.

“As the rose blooms to bring joy and enhance the quality of life, so will the University of Pretoria bloom in its striving to be the intellectual home for the rich diversity of South African academic talent, and to do the country proud as one of its world-class universities,” he added.

The University of Pretoria Centenary rose is a vigorous, cluster-producing bush rose, covered in glossy, healthy foliage with many shoots that sprout prolifically from the base to the top of the plant. The buds are pointed and open, with slightly in-curved petals, into attractive, open blooms. The colour blend of the blooms distinguishes it from other varieties. The petals rise from a yellow base and blend into a shade of brown, touched with a delicate tint of apricot. When the slightly scented, firm petals unfold into a 12 cm-wide bloom, the colour takes on a silvery sheen.

A mature plant will grow into a most admirable, chest-high specimen, which can serve as a striking focal point in a garden. If pruned and planted in groups or beds, this rose performs excellently as a bedding rose of hip height. It is stunning when budded on a standard stem or grown in a tub or large container.

“The University of Pretoria Centenary rose comes with a distinguished genetic heritage and colourful history. This rose originated, on the female side, from a crossing of the Safrano tea rose with Yellow China in 1839. Further cross-pollination resulted in the famous Lady Mary Fitzwilliam rose in 1882. This was crossed with Madame Tartas in 1890, which produced Madame Caroline Testout, which is still very popular today. The genetic ancestry also includes La Reine, as well as the very famous Frau Karl Druschki, which was cultivated in 1903. The crossing with a seedling by Messrs Delbard in France resulted in Centenaire de Lourdes, a strong pink floribunda shrub that is extremely healthy and floriferous," Ludwig Taschner explains.

“On the male side, the line originated with the first yellow Soleil d’Or hybrid rose in 1900, followed by Rayon d’Or and the celebrated Mrs PS du Pont in 1929. Further breeding involved Pink Favourite, Dainty Maid, Allgold and, finally, a cross between Remember Me and Southampton. This brought about Fellowship, a free-flowering floribunda with masses of blooms in a much sought-after apricot copper colouring.” ‘University’ is the product of a seedling from a cross between ‘Centenaire de Lourdes’ and ‘Fellowship’ in 1997. of Pretoria Centenary

Click here to view Centenary Rose launch video

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