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Excellence Roses: great performers for public spaces

Excellence Roses are strong, healthy and abundantly flowering roses, suitable for use in gardens and public spaces. Sixty-six rose varieties currently hold this designation. They have held their own in Dutch/Belgian inspections. These inspections are based on plant health.

So, how do the inspections work?

Rose breeders decide which varieties they want to submit. These roses are then planted in groups in different locations. A committee of 7 to 9 inspectors evaluates the roses on each location, by way of a set rating system. This evaluation takes place on at least 3 occasions during the period from June to September. Roses that gather sufficient points after three years can earn the designation.

Where does the inspection take place?

The inspections are done in the Netherlands at Rosarium Boskoop, De Rozenhof Lottum and Rosarium Winschoten; in Belgium at Botanical Garden ‘De Kleine Boerderij’ in Merksplas, the Vrijbroek Park in Mechelen and the Centre for Ornamental Horticulture (PCS) in Destelbergen.

What are the inspection criteria?

The inspectors base their judgement on growth, number of blooms, flower shape and colour, cleaning of wilted flowers, fragrance, hip formation and health. Since health is by far the most important consideration, at 60%, no plant protection products are applied at the inspection sites.

Is the designation valid forever?

Not by definition; rose varieties are reassessed every 10 years. If roses perform less well due to climate change, for example, they may lose their designation.

Does this mean that other varieties are not as good?

That is not necessarily the case: after all, the number of rose varieties on the market far exceeds those included in the inspections.

Which parties are involved?

In 2018, the Dutch Cultural Group for Roses and Rose Rootstocks under the Anthos secretariat took over the inspections from The Dutch Rose Society. However, 1-2 members of the latter society are still delegated to the inspection committee. The Royal Boskoop Culture Association (KVBC) coordinates the inspections.

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