As translated from the 1992 German Rose Annual
by George Mander

The ‘Anerkannte Deutsche Rose’ (ADR) program which is similar to the AARS in the United States, and the Royal National Rose Society’s Trial Ground Awards in England, is carried out in 9 official test gardens throughout Germany. The garden sites are chosen to include, as far as possible, all the climatic and soil conditions in which roses are commonly grown. Hybrid teas, floribundas and miniatures are tested over a 3 year period. The test period for climbers, shrubs and ground cover roses is extended to a 4 year period.

During the testing period, 15 characteristics, such as form, color, fragrance, repeat, hardiness, vigor, disease resistance, etc., are considered, but the main emphasis is disease resistance. Each set of judges submit 6 sets of scores in each growing season and out of a total of 100 points, 20 are given for disease resistance. The remaining 80 points are given for the 14 remaining characteristics. Since disease resistance is the most important criteria for which the roses are tested, the roses are not given any protection from fungus disease during the test period, and those roses surrounded by infected neighbors are left to fend for themselves.

At the end of the testing period, an average of the total points is used to arrive at the final score. Roses eligible for an award must have an average of 75 % out of 100 in all 9 test gardens. The most promising aspects of these tests is that a rose can score 90 out of 100 points but will not be considered for an award unless it receives at least 15 of the 20 points allotted to disease resistance. This will no doubt provide future rose growers with an abundant supply of disease resistant German roses from which to choose.

In 1991, a total of 37 roses concluded the test period. These were: 14 shrubs, 3 climbers, 4 ground cover, 5 hybrid teas, 10 floribundas and only one miniature. The final judging took place on August 29th, 1991 and only 5 roses received an award. The German hybridizer Noack won 4 of the 5 awards, for 1 floribunda (‘Schneeflocke’), 1 shrub (‘Richard Strauss’), and 2 groundcover roses (‘Apfelblüte’, and ‘Wildfang’- a rose whose pink color does not live up to its somewhat ferocious name).

‘Immensee’ was used in the parentage of 3 of his winners. ‘Schneeflocke’ should prove particulary interesting with the extremely disease resistant ‘Flower Carpet’ and the highly scented ‘Margaret Merril’ as parents.

It has been noted, with some concern, that many of the latest introductions which have received awards in other countries, have been very susceptible to disease, particulary mildew, in our coastal climate. What a rosy world it will be when all test gardens throughout the world adopt the stringent rules applied in Germany. Rose growers will then be able to choose Award Winning Roses, confident that they will be winners in their own garden.

(this article was first published in 1993 by: THE FRASER PACIFIC R.S. Coquitlam, B.C.; also by the “Acron Rose Rambler”, Peter Schneider editor; and in the R.H.A. NEWSLETTER, Summer 1993 VOLUME XXIV No. 2)