2013 Top Miniflora Roses

Whirlaway Outdoors Copyright

‘Whirlaway’ hybridized by David Clemons. Photo by Andrew Hearne.

#1 (Tie) ‘Whirlaway’ – After winning by 42 points last year ‘Whirlaway’ tied ‘Conundrum’ for the top miniflora exhibition rose. With 141 points, ‘Whirlaway’ dropped 1/3 of its point total from 2012. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, we saw a drastic drop-off in head table placement due to the late, cool, and wet spring. Winning 11 Miniflora Queens in 2013, ‘Whirlaway’ took the title away from the 2012 top “Queen Machine”, ‘Conundrum’.  This was the third straight year ‘Whirlaway’ has finished as either the top exhibition miniflora show rose or tied for it at the top.

Conundrum Copyright

‘Conundrum’ hybridized by Robbie Tucker. Photo by Andrew Hearne.

#1 ‘Conundrum’ – Despite scoring 6 fewer point than the previous year ‘Conundrum’ moved up 3 spots to tie ‘Whirlaway’ for the top spot. Winning ten Queens in 2013, this was five fewer than 2012, but still far better than the five won in 2011. Despite being prone to mildew ‘Conundrum’ is still one the best miniflora show roses ever hybridized.

Foolish Pleasure Copyright

‘Foolish Pleasure’ in the garden after the previous day’s rain. Photo by Andrew Hearne.

#3 ‘Foolish Pleasure’ – David Clemons’ large pink blend miniflora ‘Foolish Pleasure’ was only 15 point behind first to repeat its 2012 3rd place finish. Winning nine Queens was also the 3rd most of any miniflora in 2013. ‘Foolish Pleasure’ is a parent to the #1 ranked ‘Whirlaway’.

Butter Cream Copyright

‘Butter Cream’ Miniflora King of the Show at the 2009 West Jersey Rose Show shown by Andrew Hearne. Photo by Andrew Hearne.

#4 ‘Butter Cream’ – Moving up four positions from 2012 ‘Butter Cream’ rebounded nicely from its 5 place drop in 2011. ‘Butter Cream’ finished only 5 points behind ‘Foolish Pleasure’.  The former number one exhibition miniflora was hybridized by Robert Martin and is an offspring of the great miniature ‘Fairhope’.  Like ‘Conundrum’, ‘Butter Cream’ is smaller compared to the newer “super” minifloras.

Abbys Angel MF Queen Borrmann

‘Abby’s Angel’ Miniflora Queen of Show at the 2013 Penn-Jersey DIstrict Rose Show won by Ken Borrmann.

#5 ‘Abby’s Angel’ – Verlie “Whit” Wells’ beautiful yellow and red miniflora held ground in 2013 and remained ranked 5th.  Some people find this rose a bit stubborn to grow and get established on own root. A few are reportedly having better luck with it grafted. Due to its striking color and reliable form ‘Abby’s Angel’ is a must have miniflora show rose.

Dr. John Dickman Copyright

‘Dr. John Dickman’. Photo by Andrew Hearne.

#6 ‘Dr. John Dickman’ – Despite winning one more Queen in 2013 (eight) than the previous year ‘Dr. John Dickman’ dropped from the second position.  Finishing only 3 points behind ‘Abby’s Angel’ and 13 points behind 3rd ranked ‘Foolish Pleasure’, it is a testament to how close in quality the miniflora class has become.

First Choice Copyright

‘First Choice’. Photo by Andrew Hearne

#7 ‘First Choice’ – Moving up three positions to #7 is the lovely but somewhat understated white and pink/mauve edged ‘First Choice’. This rose can be confusing at times as this spring locally we heard some exhibitors complain of blooms that had no corp to the bud despite being on “Queen” quality stems. In the fall the blooms were much improved as many high quality ‘First Choice’ were at the shows and made the head table. I noticed this anomaly also on my bushes this past year from an otherwise reliable rose.

Showstopper Ivor

‘Show Stopper’. Photo by Ivor Mace of the United Kingdom.

#8 ‘Show Stopper’ – Dropping one position from 2012, Frank Benardella’s wonderfully formed miniflora won six Queens in 2013. Though its color is not beloved by everyone, especially when its takes on the muted light pink/tan tone, when it is fresh and vibrant and the bloom is outlined in a darker shade of pink ‘Showstopper’ will make you say wow with its often perfect form (see picture above).  I personally have had good success with this rose over the years despite the thrips loving the variety in my garden. Frank’s best miniflora show rose in my opinion.

Power Point Copyright

‘Power Point’ Miniflora Princess at the 2013 Winston-Salem National Miniature Rose Show shown by Dr. Gary Rankin. Photo by Andrew Hearne

#9 ‘Power Point’ – After graduating to the Horizon Roses Honor Roll this past year, ‘Power Point’ climbed 7 positions to make up for the 7 positions dropped in 2012. Typically, roses excel in the area where they were created, but oddly, since its introduction, ‘Power Point’ has not made the court or head table often at our local rose shows.


‘Baldo Villegas’. Photo by Andrew Hearne

#10 ‘Baldo Villegas’ – The often confused and sometimes controversial ‘Baldo Villegas’ and its identical twin ‘Shameless’ has lead many too believe they are the same rose. Despite its similarities in almost every regard ‘Baldo Villegas’ dropped only one position from 2012 to remain in the top 10. ‘Shameless’ on the other hand collapsed from its yearly rise up the miniflora chart by dropping 9 positions to a 15th ranked tie with the legendary ‘Tiffany Lynn’.

Verlie “Whit” Wells and Frank Benardella hybridized 13 of the top 25 roses with 7 and 6 respectively. David Clemons ‘Whirlaway’ and ‘Foolish Pleasure’ are the #1 and #3 ranked minifloras for the second straight year. ‘Shawn Sease’ the large red-blend miniflora from Michael Williams just missed the top 10 finishing #11 and moved up 9 positions. I believe we will soon see this rose make the top ten and graduate to the Horizon Roses Honor Roll. Michael Williams’ dark rose ‘Cooper’ (same parents as ‘Shawn Sease’ except pollen and seed parents were reversed) cracked into the top 25 at #18 (tie). Frank Benardella’s ‘Solar Flair’ and ‘Double Take’ re-entered the top 25 at #18 (tie) and #21 respectively.  Interestingly, ‘Mary Pickersgill’ was not advertised when introduced as having exhibition quality blooms is sitting just outside the top 25 at 28th. Suni and Rafiq Bolar won miniflora Queen of Show at the 2013 Reading-Berks Rose Show and it does appear this rose is capable of having good form with outstanding color.

Top 25

1t- ‘Whirlaway’ (141)
1t- ‘Conundrum’ (141)
3- ‘Foolish Pleasure’ (126)
4- ‘Butter Cream’ (121)
5- ‘Abby’s Angel’ (116)
6- ‘Dr. John Dickman’ (113)
7- ‘First Choice’ (101)
8- ‘Show Stopper’ (95)
9- ‘Power Point’ (89)
10- ‘Baldo Villegas’ (88)
11- ‘Shawn Sease’ (81)
12- ‘Dr Troy Garret’ (77)
13- ‘Louisville Lady’ (68)
14- ‘Powerhouse’ (67)
15t- ‘Shameless’ (64)
15t- ‘Tiffany Lynn’ (64)
17- ‘Leading Lady’ (63)
18t- ‘Cooper’ (48)
18t- ‘Solar Flair’ (48)
20- ‘Memphis Music’ (46)
21- ‘Double Take’ (39)
22- ‘Unbridled’ (32)
23- ‘Lady E’owyn’ (28)
24- ‘Lo and Behold’ (26)
25- ‘Autumn Splendor’ (23)

Statistics are provided by Robert Martin, editor of Rose Exhibitors’ Forum–a comprehensive quarterly American Rose Society bulletin dedicated to rose exhibiting. On a personal note I really enjoy chatting with Bob about the statistics and history of rose exhibiting. Bob is a self-admitted stats junkie and his analysis on data collected throughout the years definitely shows. -Andrew

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