In 1993, the Meilland family introduced a hybrid tea rose, cultivar name ‘MEItebros’, that honored the renowned Provençal poet with its exhibition name, 'Frédéric Mistral'®. Another popular synonym is the Children's Rose. Its parentage is 'Perfume Delight' x 'Prima Ballerina'.
The American Rose Society (ARS) color classification for 'Frédéric Mistral' is light pink.
Flowering generally occurs singly but sometimes presents clusters of three to five. The flower size is about 3.5 inches (9 centimeters). Flowers have 26 to 40 petals.
Large leaves are semi-glossy dark green.
In a hot climate, this rosebush may soar to a height of 6.6 feet (2 meters). 'Frédéric Mistral' has a horizontal spread of about 3.3 feet (1 meter).
Its fragrance, which is intense and rich, is reminiscent of damask roses (Rosa x damascena), which are renowned for their superior aromas. Interestingly, the fragrance for Frédéric Mistral was derived from The McCartney Rose™ (cultivar: ‘MEIzeli’), which was introduced in 1995 by Alain Meilland in honor of Sir Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942).
Meilland family: Creators of the world's most famous rose
The Meilland family rose business was started by Lyonnaise gardener Philippe Jean-Baptiste François Rambeau, known as Joseph Rambaux (March 14, 1820 - July 30, 1878) around 1850. In 1923 the company, in need of more space, moved to the quiet village of Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Lyons. With the instituting of plant patenting by the United States in 1930, the company wisely expanded their business to the United States in 1932 through a contract establishing as their American agents Conard-Pyle Company’s Star Roses Nursery in West Grove, a town in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania where the historic Red Rose Inn, established in 1740, famously was granted land from the commonwealth’s founder, William Penn (October 14, 1644 - July 30, 1718), for the annual rental payment of one red rose.
On January 14, 1939 Joseph Rambaux’s great-great-grandson, Francis Meilland (February 20, 1912 - June 15, 1958) married Louisette Paolino (1920 - 1987), in southeastern France at Cap d’Antibes, where Louisette’s parents, Marie-Elisabeth Greco Paolino and Francesco Giacomo Paolino, had established a successful rose growing business.
In 1948 the Meilland family moved their rosebreeding operations to Cap d’Antibes while retaining half-ownership in the Tassin property (including greenhouses, roses, etc.), which was reformed, exclusively for the production and sale of roses, with Lyonnaise rosarian Francisque Richardier as Roseraies Meilland Richardier. The main rose-breeding station is now located at Le Luc-en-Provence in the southeastern French department of Var. Test sites are maintained in central and southern France, northern Germany, and in West Grove, Pennsylvania and Wasco, California in the United States.
From 1935 to 1939, Francis focused on developing a rose which has become the most famous rose in the world. Introduced in 1945, Francis named the rose ‘Mme. A. Meilland’ to honor his mother, Joséphine Claudine “Claudia” Dubreuil Meilland (November 3, 1887 - 1932?). This remarkable yellow rose with rainbow edges of crimson, cream, and pink is known in English speaking countries as ‘Peace’, in Italy as ‘Gioia’ (“Joy”), and in Germany as ‘Gloria Dei’ (“Glory to God”).