Peter Lambert and the Rosy Language of Love: Rosa 'Leonie Lamesch' and Rosa 'Trier'

by DerdriuMarriner

Two roses introduced by German rose breeder Peter Lambert honored his dearest loves: his wife, Leonie Lamesch, and his birthplace, Trier.

Peter Lambert was a German rose breeder whose contributions to twentieth-century rose cultivation are well-known in the elite world of rose growers.

In addition to his rosy introductions, Peter was instrumental in the establishment of Europa-Rosarium in Sangerhausen, considered to contain the largest collection of roses in the world.

Two of his most fascinating roses were named for his cherished wife, Leonie Lamesch, and for his beloved hometown, Trier.

Rosa 'Trier' honors Peter Lambert's birthplace.

Rosa 'Trier', Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid
Rosa 'Trier', Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid


Peter Lambert (June 1, 1859 - February 20, 1939) was born into a family of two generations of gardener nurserymen in the southwest German city of Trier. Lambert & Reiter, co-founded by his father, Jean Lambert, began importing and propagating roses but, not considering themselves breeders, only introduced a few cultivars. Subsequent to growing up in his father’s nursery, Peter studied at Höhere Gärtnerlehranstalt, a higher education institute for gardeners in Dahlem, a district in southwestern Berlin.

Peter journeyed 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Trier to apprentice with floriculturists in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Großherzogtum Luxemburg). Soupert & Notting was founded in 1855 by noted rosarians (specialists in rose cultivation) Jean Soupert (February 20, 1834 - July 17, 1906) and Pierre Notting (February 11, 1825 - November 2, 1895) in Limpertsberg (German: Lampertsbierg), a northwestern quarter in the city of Luxembourg.

Within floriculture, Peter found his passion in rose breeding. Recognizing the importance of undistracted focus on his specialization as a rosarian, Peter decided in 1889 to establish his own nursery for roses.

In 1891, Peter introduced an exquisite, yellow-centered, creamy white hybrid tea rose honoring the last German Empress and Queen of Prussia, Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (October 22, 1858 - April 11, 1921), the rose loving wife of Emperor (Kaiser) William II, King of Prussia (January 27, 1859 - June 4, 1941). ‘Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria’, quickly gaining fame for its perfect beauty as an early hybrid tea, established Peter’s stature as the greatest rose hybridist of the early twentieth century and as the founder of the German rose industry.


Europa-Rosarium Sangerhausen: considered to have the largest collection of roses in the world

Peter Lambert was instrumental in its establishment.
Europa-Rosarium Sangerhausen
Europa-Rosarium Sangerhausen

Rosarium in Sangerhausen


Peter was instrumental in the establishment of a rosarium in the municipal garden in the medieval town of Sangerhausen, in the central-northeastern state of Saxony-Anhalt (German: Sachsen-Anhalt). Under Peter's wise direction, over 2,000 cultivars, including old garden roses and species endangered with extinction, were planted on the original plot of 3.7 acres (1.5 hectares). The official opening of Europa-Rosarium in 1903 was attended by its Royal Patron, Empress (Kaiserin) Auguste Viktoria.


Auguste-Viktoria, last German Empress and Queen of Prussia:

Royal Patron of Europa-Rosarium in Sangerhausen
1908 oil portrait of Auguste Viktoria, Deutsche Kaiserin (1858-1921) by Philip Alexius de László (April 30, 1869-Nov. 22, 1937)[
1908 oil portrait of Auguste Viktoria, Deutsche Kaiserin (1858-1921) by Philip Alexius de László (April 30, 1869-Nov. 22, 1937)[


Showcasing over 75,000 shrubs of over 8,300 cultivars on its expanded grounds of 30.8 acres (12.5 hectares), Europa Rosarium contains the largest collection of roses in the world. With cultivars representing a complete evolutionary history of roses, this rose garden is considered to be the most important rosarium in the world. Its collection of old garden roses, the most extensive repository in the world, comprises 50,000 plants and 6,800 varieties.


Europas Rosengarten in Zweibrücken:

another rose garden owing its existence to Peter Lambert's conscientious involvement in its establishment
climbing roses, Europas Rosengarten in Zweibrücken
climbing roses, Europas Rosengarten in Zweibrücken

Rosarium in Zweibrücken


In the nearby city of Zweibrücken (“two bridges”), about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Trier, Peter also motivated the establishment of rose gardens (rosengartens), which were opened on June 20, 1914. Known as Europas Rosengarten, the rosy park survived destructive World War II air attacks in March 1945. In its fragrant, glorious setting of over 2,000 cultivars on over 60,000 bushes, Europas Rosengarten also hosts cultural events, such as concerts, festivals, and open-air theatre.


Rosa 'Mozart', one of last 3 roses bred by Peter, introduced in 1937 in honor of musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756–December 5, 1791)

International Rose Garden, Kortrijk, northwestern Belgium
International Rose Garden, Kortrijk, northwestern Belgium


Peter is credited with 179 cultivars, which encompass:

  • 46 Hybrid Teas, the most popular class of modern (i.e., introduced in 1867 or thereafter) roses, with enchantingly large, shapely flowers of 30 to 50 petals;
  • 28 Hybrid Musks, also known as Lambertianas;
  • 33 once-blooming shrubs or climbers;
  • 29 Hybrid Perpetuals, fragrant, tall old garden roses of upright stature, growing to about 6.5 feet (2 meters), with flowers mainly in hues of pink and red;
  • 30 Polyanthas, modern roses of small, sturdy stature blooming in large clusters of small flowers;
  • 8 Teas, old garden roses (i.e., existing prior to 1867) of small to medium stature reaching a maximum of 4.26 feet (1.3 meters), with large flowers drooping on weak stems;
  • 5 Hybrid Chinas, old garden roses originating in China and reaching Europe in the late eighteenth century, of small stature, from 2 to 3 feet (60 centimeters to 1 meter), exuding a spicy fragrance.

At least one hundred of his cultivars are represented in the rosarium at Sangerhausen.

In his fifty-year career as a rose breeder, Peter displayed creativity and persistence based on a deep understanding of rose cultivation, with a special talent for hybridization. With a goal of producing freely floriferous, hardy, healthy, vigorous cultivars, Peter’s persistent guideline was the selection of specimens resistant to mildew and rust for parental roses. As such, many of his creations have stood the test of time for close to a century, continuing to delight with their consistently flawless beauty and health.


Rosa 'Trier'®:

basis for Hybrid Musks, or Lambertianas, developed by Peter Lambert and noted for fragrance, large flowers, and handsome leaves
Rosa 'Trier'
Rosa 'Trier'

'Trier'® rose


'Trier'® is a multiflora rambler which was introduced by Peter Lambert in 1904. Peter named this precious cultivar in honor of his beloved home town, Trier.

Its parentage is identified as 'Aglaia' x unknown. 'Aglaia' has cupped, double flowers which open as pale yellow and fade to cream and white. 'Aglaia' fulfills Peter's ideal of a climber and a shrub as it climbs to a height of 16.4 feet (5 meters) on a wall but also shows well as a freestanding shrub with a maximum height of 6.6 feet (2 meters). 'Aglaia' and and its offspring, 'Trier'®, served as the foundation for Polyanthas and a new race of roses, Hybrid Musks.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which categorizes plants according to the coldest temperature at which they remain viable, classifies 'Trier'® in Zone 6 (-10° to 0° Fahrenheit, -23.3° to -17.8° Celsius).

A climber with upright growth, 'Trier'® has a spread of 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) and a height of 6.6 feet (2 meters).

'Trier'® flowers measure 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters). Opening from pink buds, the flowers are white with rich golden stamens. Large, loose clusters, which initially comprise 5 to 50 flowers, burgeon to clusters of 100 in late summer and autumn.

Dark, glossy green leaves contrast daintily with the white floral purity.

'Trier'® emits a musky fragrance which is beguilingly strong and sweet.

Not content to bask solely in its virtues, 'Trier'® subsequently served as the basis for a distinctive class of shrubs and climbers, known as Hybrid Musks or Lambertianas, developed by Peter and noted for their fragrance, large remontant flowers, and handsome leaves.


Trier, Moselle Valley, southwestern Germany

ca. 1890-1900 Detroit Publishing Company photochrom print
ca. 1890-1900 Detroit Publishing Company photochrom print

Trier: an inspiration of history and scenery


Located in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz), Trier straddles the Moselle (German: Mosel) River, which nourishes the French, German, and Luxembourg wine industries in fairytale scenery. Trier is the oldest city in Germany, historically dating back to the first century B.C. when it was attached to the Roman Empire.

Under the empire's sway, Trier, known as Augusta Treverorum ("august city of the Treveri"), prospered as a trading center and then as capital of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, which comprised modern-day Belgium, northeastern France, western Germany, Luxembourg, and southern Netherlands. With an estimated population of 70,000 and covering 700 acres (283.28 hectares), Roman Trier was impressively prosperous. Architectural antiquities from that time include Porta Nigra ("black gate"), the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, which, along with other Roman and Gothic monuments, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

Nevertheless, Trier’s legendary history attributes its founding to Assyrian Prince Trebeta, who fled from his hostile stepmother, Queen Semiramis, after the death of his father, King Ninus, founder of Assyria’s reputedly magnificent capital, Nineveh. In his wanderings into Europe, Trebeta established and settled a colony at Trier around 2000 B.C.


Rosa 'Léonie Lamesch': rosy symbol of Peter's beloved wife

Rosa 'Léonie Lamesch', Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid
Rosa 'Léonie Lamesch', Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid

'Léonie Lamesch' rose


'Léonie Lamesch' was introduced by Peter Lambert in 1899. One of the first Polyanthas, 'Léonie Lamesch' is considered still one of the best.

Its excellent parentage is 'Aglaia' x ('Mignonette' x 'Shirley Hibberd'). One of the earliest bred Polyanthas, 'Mignonette' is a compact, dwarf plant with large clusters of small, white to blush pink flowers. 'Mignonette' has an equiproportionate spread and height of 1 feet (30 centimeters).

'Léonie Lamesch' is categorized in Zone 6 (-10° to 0° Fahrenheit, -23.3° to -17.8° Celsius) of the U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

'Léonie Lamesch' is equiproportionate, with a spread of 2.5 feet (75 centimeters) and a height of 2.5 feet (75 centimeters).

Its flowers, which measure 2 inches (5 centimeters), form in clusters of 3 to 15.

The official American Rose Society (ARS) color for 'Léonie Lamesch' is classified as orange and orange blend. The flowers present a vivid display of copper, orange, and red. Age fades the yellow tints, resulting in an entirely white flower accented with crimson tips.

'Léonie Lamesch' exudes a strong fragrance which permeates its environment.

The rich green of its delightfully soft leaves accentuate the floral palette.


closeup of Rosa 'Léonie Lamesch'

Florida Southern College, Lakeland, central Florida
Florida Southern College, Lakeland, central Florida

Roses: universal language of love


In 1900 Peter married Léonie Lamesch of Luxembourg. In 1913 Peter was inspired to bestow his beloved wife's name on another rose, 'Léonie Lambert'. This second namesake, a Hybrid Tea, features large, shapely flowers with a moderate fragrance. Classified by the American Rose Society as light pink, the silver pink flowers are shaded with yellow.

Virtually no personal details emerge concerning Peter Lambert's life. Nevertheless, Peter's quiet, conscientious devotion to the cultivation and preservation of roses impelled him to develop enduringly popular, beautiful, and healthy cultivars, thereby making an indelible impression on early twentieth century rose cultivation and, indeed, beyond. Through his personal choices in naming two of his most treasured creations, one after his future wife and the other after the hometown from which flowed the unabated stream of his creativity, Peter revealed his essential, loving personality.

Clearly the rosy language of love expresses Peter's respect for nature's beauty and his satisfaction with his career as well as his appreciation of the comfortable inspiration which he derived from his marriage and from his environment. Admirers from later times may wish to know more, but Peter has shared in his beautiful way the most important details. Rosarian, husband, hometown boy, who gave his whole heart to the best expressions of love: such is the dignified legacy of Peter Lambert.


Trier's remembrance of Peter Lambert

honoring hometown rosarian whose influence extended far beyond the boundaries of his beloved birthplace.
Peter Lambert bust in Nells Park, Trier, Germany
Peter Lambert bust in Nells Park, Trier, Germany



This article is dedicated to the memory of Peter Lambert.


Trier's Porta Nigra ("Black Gate"):

UNESCO World Heritage Site (1986), built c. 186 AD
c1890-1900 photochrom print by Detroit Publishing Company
c1890-1900 photochrom print by Detroit Publishing Company



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Kloster Sankt Marien, built in 7th century, ravaged during Napoleonic Wars' German Campaign (1813-1814):

Peter's estate on north banks of Moselle encompassed Cloisters' site; garden included life-size statues collected from Roman ruins and Cloisters
"Kloster Sankt Marien in Trier"
"Kloster Sankt Marien in Trier"

Sources Consulted


Austin, David. The Rose. Woodbridge UK: Garden Art Press, 2012. 

Beales, Peter. Classic Roses: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia and Grower's Manual of Old Roses, Shrub Roses and Climbers. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Wilson: 1985.

Enders, Harald. “Sangerhausen - The Greatest Rosary in the World.” Essays and Articles. 2010.

  • Available at:

"Exhibition of the Society of German Rosarians." Gardeners' Chronicle, A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Horticulture and Allied Subjects. Volume XXVIII Third Series: July to December 1900 (July 14, 1900):  34-35.

  • Available via Internet Archive at:

Meilland, Alain, Gilles Lambert, and Louis Clark Keating. La Vie en Roses. Paris: Editions Solar, 1969.

Modern Roses XI: The World Encyclopedia of Roses. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000.

Nicolas, J.H. (Jean Henri). A Rose Odyssey: Reminiscences of Many Trips to European Rose Centers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1937.

Quest-Ritson, Charles and Brigid. American Rose Society Encyclopedia of Roses. 1st American Edition. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2003.

Roberts, Andrew V., Thomas Debener, and Serge Gudin, ed. Encyclopedia of Rose Science. Volumes I, II, III. Oxford UK and San Diego CA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2003.

Roses. 1st American Edition. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1996.


With age, 'Léonie Lamesch' pales into whiteness with crimson tips.

'Léonie Lamesch':  Florida Southern College Roses April 2008
'Léonie Lamesch': Florida Southern College Roses April 2008
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Faceted clear crystal vase shows off six faceted rose blossoms in Ruby crystal.

Sparkling red flowers are complemented with silver-tone rhodium detailing on rose leaves and stems
Swarovski Crystal Red Roses

Earth Sun Moon Trading Company's rose-themed Light Pink 100% cotton t-shirt

Advice from a rose: Make someone's day / Enjoy the sunshine / Remember your beauty stems from within / Be colorful! / Look past the thorns / Make new buds / Bloom! / Be scent-sational!
rose-themed t-shirt

Star Spangled Flight: Green t-shirt

Star Spangled Flight
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Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 11/16/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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