Rose Breeders
Roses Bred by Wilhelm Kordes
AbeDarbyTrim Phot

Wilhelm Kordes specialized in breeding roses for parklands. His roses tend to be big, vigorous, foliferous, and disease free. About most of them Graham Thomas grouses that they are 'coarse' or llacking refinement or that they are 'scentless and soulless.' Nobody has finer sensibilities in this area than Thomas, and he is surely right.

Still, Kordes work on landscape roses has proven invaluable to several generations of his successors. For instance, Kordes worked for some time before he succeeded in crossing R wichurana with R. rugosa. He achieved a stable species-like rose now known as R. kordesii which is used quite liberally in the breeding of tough and hardy roses for northern climates. Dortmund and Heidelberg are two highly rated roses on this list that owe their success to that cross. And most of Dr Sveda's successes owe some measure of their success to the same cross.

Rose gardeners in Canada and the colder regions of the US will frequently find that roses bred by the house of Kordes, roses that derive from many of the cultivars listed here, will do better than those developed by American breeders working in the arid heat of California. This said, I have grown Elmshorn and while it grows into a nice shrub I am not much enamored of its flowers. Leverkusen has failed in my garden owing, I think, to summer drought. Raubritter scrapes by, barely doing well enough to escape shovel pruning. I had some success with Nymphenberg and intend to plant it again. Same holds for Dortmund.

RoseFile Database.

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Cultivar Class Color FragranceBreeder Hardiness
Modern Shrub
Purple
Strong
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Cluster Flower Climber
Red/White Blend
None
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Rambler
White/Pink Blend
Strong
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Rose
Slight
W. Kordes
Zone 5
Hybrid Musk
Pale Pink
Strong
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Crimson & Cerise
Slight
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Candy Pink
Strong
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Buff
Moderate
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Primrose
Powerful
W. Kordes
Zone 4
Modern Shrub
Pink/Yellow Blend
Moderate
W. Kordes
Zone 5
Cluster Flower Climber
Primrose
Moderate
W. Kordes
Zone 5
Modern Shrub
Shell Pink
Moderate
W. Kordes
Zone 5
Gallica
Scarlet
Slight
W. Kordes
Zone 4
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