Rose Breeders
Roses Bred by McGredy
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The house of McGredy had been breeding roses in Ireland for more than half a century when Sam McGredy introduced Chanelle, Orangeade, and Picadilly in1959. These roses were hits. Picadilly went on to parent a vast number of roses. By the time Handel was introduced in 1965, its shining white petals kissed with both primrose yellow and candy pink, it was clear that Sam McGredy was a rose breeding force to be reconned with. At some point he chose to move his whole operation to New Zealand; the move must have gone fairly smoothly since there are no apparent large temporal gaps in the flow of good new cultivars.

McGredy managed to make significant progress on almost all fronts. He introduced a number of superlative climbers including the highly rated pure red Dublin Bay. He introduced a line of 'hand painted' striped roses of which Oranges and Lemons may be the most novel. The most successful of this line must be Eye Paint which covers itself in brilliant red blossoms with a white eye.

He introduced a number of hybrid tea roses remarkable for their durability: Electron, Olympiad, and New Zealand are some of the hybrid teas of easiest culture to be found. They have good form, good color, good size, good vigor, good disease resistance, and good fragrance. There's not much more to ask for. Of New Zealand I have sometimes heard rosarians claim they do not grow it because it is too easy! Perhaps they should spend time promoting and cultivating Old Port. It is an English style rose whose culture I understand presents a number of challenges. Its particular shade of purple and its particular shape make it quite unique.

Anyone who has seen it grown perfectly and at the height of bloom would surely agree that Sam McGredy's most superlative effort was Sexy Rexy. Topping out at four feet in height and about three feet across it manages to completely cover its surface with two inch wide old style flowers. The sheer 'wow' effect is impossible to describe.

McGredy's contributions to rose breeding are among the most towering of any twentieth century individual. No breeder produced truly great roses for more years. None produced so many roses in so many different areas. None has produced so many unusually colored roses. And I can think of no breeder that has offered a 'grand slam' hybrid tea - one that aces all the categories by which we might judge hybrid tea roses. How incredibly fortunate the rose world is that today we can regularly enjoy our gardens so much more thanks to the productive work of Sam McGredy.

 

RoseFile Database.

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Cultivar Class Color FragranceBreeder Hardiness
Miniature
White
None
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Chrome Yellow
Strong
McGredy
Zone 5
Cluster Flower Climber
Candy Pink
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Coral/Gold Blend
Slight
McGredy
Zone 6
Floribunda
Red
Strong
McGredy
Zone 6
Hybrid Tea
Pale Apricot
Moderate
McGredy
Zone 6
Large Flower Climber
Yellow
Moderate
McGredy
Zone 6
Floribunda
Red/Yellow Blend
Slight
McGredy
Zone 4
Floribunda
Buff
Strong
McGredy
Zone 6
Floribunda
Scarlet
None
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Coral
None
McGredy
Zone 4
Floribunda
Gold
Strong
McGredy
Zone 7
Miniature
Chrome Yellow
Slight
McGredy
Zone 4
Large Flower Climber
Red
Moderate
McGredy
Zone 4
Hybrid Tea
Rose
Strong
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Salmon
Moderate
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Scarlet
None
McGredy
Zone 5
Hybrid Tea
Pink/Orange Blend
Powerful
McGredy
Zone 5
Miniature
Pale Apricot
Strong
McGredy
Zone 5
Large Flower Climber
Coral
Slight
McGredy
Zone 4
Hybrid Tea
Salmon
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
Large Flower Climber
Scarlet
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
Miniature Climber
Coral
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
Cluster Flower Climber
White/Pink Blend
Strong
McGredy
Zone 5
Miniature Climber
Red/White
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
Hybrid Tea
Candy Pink
Strong
McGredy
Zone 5
Miniature
Red/WhiteBlend
None
McGredy
Zone 4
Hybrid Tea
Salmon
Slight
McGredy
Zone 6
Floribunda
Red/White Blend
None
McGredy
Zone 5
Floribunda
Red/White
Slight
McGredy
Zone 5
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