Frank Benardella’s roses are grown by rosarians from around the country and world. So we decided to ask our fellow rosarians what are their five favorite roses hybridized by the great hybridizer Frank Benardella.
Sandy Lundberg- Buffton, SC
- ‘Sandy’s Pick’ I like the splashes of bright red on the outer part of the petals contrasted against the white inner and white reverse. The rose has a lot of petals showing a high center and also good holding power.
- ‘Show Stopper’ Whether on fortuniana rootstock or ‘own roots’ this makes a huge bush producing lots of blooms. The pink bloom’s darker pink striping is different on almost every bloom. The exhibition form is excellent.
- ‘Power Point’ Classic exhibition form on these non-fading red blooms make this rose a good selection for shows. In the garden, the bushes are large and prolific.
- ‘Double Take’ The blooms have very good form with nice centers. The color of the red petals is enhanced with the hints of yellow and white in the center of the bloom,
- ‘Power House’ The color of deep orange is pleasing, the exhibition form is excellent and for us produces lots of blooms on the fortuniana bushes.
- ‘Soroptimist International’ Robust, excellent form, abundant blooms. One of my best plants (I have 2).
- ‘Deja Blu’ My favorite color! Lovely form, but stems can be thin.
- ‘Leading Lady’ I love the blooms, but it was borderline hardy for me.
- ‘Jennifer’ I love the soft shading of the petals. I don’t grow it, I wish I did.
- Unnamed Tan I don’t think he ever introduced it, he didn’t like the color, but I love it.
Ivor Mace- Treorci, Rhondda Cynon Taff, United Kingdom
- ‘Show Stopper’ Love it does great here in Wales.
- ‘Solar Flair’ Does well also.
- ‘Leading Lady’ Gives me great blooms.
- ‘Baby Boomer’ Gives loads of blooms and except for Joy it’s my most consistent miniature.
- ‘Sunswept’ A bit flat topped, I budded a nice sport from it last June.
Cindy Dale- Peachtree, GA
- ‘Soroptimist International’ Vigorous, healthy, consistently exhibition form, makes great sprays. I won the Mini spray class with this at the St. Louis National.
- ‘Power Point’ One of the best red minifloras, velvety red blooms with consistently excellent centers, plant is not quite as large as some of my minifloras.
- ‘Leading Lady’ Creamy white blooms with pink petal edges, high, pointed centers that have great holding power and repeats well.
- ‘Powerhouse’ Stunning, deep orange blooms on a huge plant, bloom centers can have holes in them but many times they have trophy-winning form.
- ‘Pinnacle’ May be the only floribunda that he hybridized but, oh, what a winner! Deep fuchsia colored blooms that have hybrid tea form and excellent holding power. A must-have for exhibitors.
Rafiq and Suni Bolar- Hillsborough, NJ
- ‘Leading Lady’ This rose will always be special to me as this was the first rose that Frank gave me as a gift. Leading Lady is a great exhibition rose. It is a great garden rose but does blackspot if you are not on top with your spray program. Some blooms do ball up but when it makes a good exhibition bloom, it is a killer. In summer the blooms are completely white in our garden.
- ‘Showstopper’ Showstopper is second on our list of Frank’s roses as it is also a great exhibition rose. Again blackspot is a big problem. It is an extremely floriferous rose with non-stop blooms in our garden.
- ‘Powerhouse’ We like Powerhouse because of its gorgeous color. Most blooms have a pinwheel form for us but when it does make an exhibition bloom, it is simply stunning.
- ‘Soroptimist International’ We both think of Soroptimist International as Frank’s best miniature rose. It has pretty consistent exhibition form and is also a great garden rose. It is very winter hardy and has good blackspot resistance. It is a stunner both as a single bloom and as a spray.
- ‘Kristin’ I once asked June Benardella her opinion on which was Frank’s best rose. She replied, “Kristin without a doubt”. Kristin is invaluable to us as hybridizers. Our garden is in a cold micro-climate and Kristin takes a beating over winter. So we are able to show it mostly at rose shows in Summer and Fall.
Magic Show is another miniature rose which has won for us at all levels (local, district, and national), so it was hard for us to pick between Kristin and Magic Show for this list.