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Floribunda Roses
According to David Austin [David Austin's English Roses, p. 17], Floribundas were the result of crossing Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas by P.T. Poulsen. Poulsen was looking for roses that would thrive in the Scandinavian climate. Floribundas retain much of the hardiness, freedom and continuity of flower of the Polyanthas, but have much larger blooms.


[From The Quest for the Rose, p. 199:] 'Kirsten Poulsen' was originally classed as a Poulsen Rose, but later classified as one of the first Floribundas.


[From Gardening with Roses, by Judith McKeon, p. 32:] Floribunda roses are the result of crossbreeding between polyantha roses and hybrid teas. Compact bushy shrubs produce clusters of showy blooms, many of which resemble small, high-centered hybrid tea blooms, but they also come in a flat antique style and five-petaled or single-flower forms. An excellent landscape rose for borders, beds, and hedging, floribundas were introduced in the 1930s.


[From Roses, by Eleonore Cruse, p. 9:] larger flowers borne on shrubs of the same type as Polyanthas.


[From Gardening with Old Roses, Alan Sinclair writes on p. 58:] Floribunda roses are excellent for companion planting, and with their heritage of the Polyantha behind them, they are almost constantly in flower...


[From Roses For the Television Age, by E.A. Piester, p. 21:] 'Carillon' (1935) or 'World's Fair' (1938) may be credited with establishing the fashion for floribundas.


[From Roses of America, by Stephen Scanniello and Tania Bayard, p. 117:] Floribunda (cluster-flowered) roses are the result of crossing polyanthas and hybrid teas. Much of the original work on floribundas was done by Danish hybridizer D.T. Poulsen, who was attempting to raise roses that would flourish in the harsh winters and short growing seasons of Scandinavia. Poulsen introduced what is considered the first floribunda, 'Rodhatte', in 1912, and his sons Dines and Svend continued his work with this type of rose... At the beginning of the season, prune floribundas back by one-third to outward-facing buds. Clean out the centers, remove dead and cluttered canes, and shape the bushes to even heights in a bed.


[From Operation Roses, by Geoffrey G. Whitney, pp. 7-8:] For quantity of bloom and a blaze of color, throughout the season, they have no equals. Their hardiness and disease resistance is excellent and the color-range is wide and lovely!... most varieties lack fragrance...


[From Beautiful American Rose Gardens, by Mary Tonetti Dorra, p. 10:] Floribunda, for example, introduced as the "Hybrid Polyantha" in 1911 in Denamrk, grew taller and produced larger flowers and foliage than its parent.


[From Every Spray is a Lovely Bouquet, by Kitty Belendez, p. 13-14:] The single-petalled floribundas are usually the earliest to bloom in the spring, and they tend to recycle fairly quickly. For me, 'Playboy' is the first floribunda to bloom... The many-petalled floribundas take quite a bit longer to produce their sprays and will have their first bloom cycle even after most of the hybrid teas have finished their cycle... The biggest and best sprays are usually produced in the spring...


[From Value for Money, by Lt. Col. Ken Grapes, p. 114:] Of all the Floribunda roses perhaps the most famous is 'Iceberg' bred by Reimer Kordes and introduced in 1958.


[From A Year of Roses, by Stephen Scanniello, p. 41:] 'Smiles', a cluster flowered pink rose, was introduced as the first official floribunda in 1939.


(From Roses by Jack Harkness, p117:] FLORIBUNDAS
Many wild roses have much smaller flowers than those of the countryside of Europe and North America. Some of them, if one can describe it this way, go in for quantity rather than size, and their small flowers are crammed together in a flowering head, so that if one tries to count how many there are, one will probably lose count and be obliged to start again. Of such are many of the Synstylae, which form the next section of this book, and among them is the prototype of the Floribundas, R. multiflora. From R. multiflora came the Polyantha Roses, short growing plants with an abundance of small flowers, very attractive at the time when it was being realized that roses were not only shrubs or providers of cut blooms, but also bedding plants. It was not long before the Polyanthas were crossed with other roses, so that the flowers became larger, and the plants more like members of the Indicae than of the Synstylae. The trick was to enlarge the flowers, without losing their abundance. As we shall see in the ensuing pages, the breeders who were the conjurers-in-chief were a Dane and an American. Poulsen of Denmark introduced 'Else Poulsen' and `Kirsten Poulsen' in 1924, and established a new class, which the National Rose Society acknowledged in 1932 as Hybrid Polyantha. Boerner of the United States was the most successful, although not the first, of several breeders in turning the plain flowers of the Hybrid Polyanthas into something like small Hybrid Teas. His roses of 1947 and 1949 included Goldilocks' and 'Fashion'. American nurserymen, anxious for a more attractive name than Hybrid Polyantha, and aware that the class had undergone a considerable change since 1924, invented the name Floribunda. As we noticed in the case of the Pernetiana roses nearly forty years before, there were objections to the new name as being botanically unsound. Very sensibly, the Americans took no notice, but started using it, and in 1951 the British followed suit. It soon became obvious that as providers of colour, Floribundas had many advantages over Hybrid Teas. Their heads of bloom occupied a larger area; and because all the buds did not open at once, they were in flower for a longer period. This is particularly useful in bad weather, which can spoil the best blooms of a Hybrid Tea, but cannot affect the unopened buds of a Floribunda, even though it may spoil the open flowers. Moreover, the flowers of a Floribunda weigh less, and on those shoots which grow sideways they can be borne more elegantly than Hybrid Teas; thus the best Floribundas could clothe in bloom not only the top of the plants, but also the sides. A further advantage in favour of the Floribundas was an acceptance of a wide-range of flower forms. A Hybrid Tea without its straight, high centre is in the popular view a failed Hybrid Tea; but a Floribunda may be single, semi-double, double, shaped like a rosette or a Hybrid Tea or anything in between, so long as it is beautiful. All we ask of Floribundas, and we have to watch carefully in case it be withheld, is that they grow away at once to flower a second or a third time in the season. Those which flower once, and then wait a long time, are failed Floribundas. The course of their development may be traced through the archetypal or outstanding varieties……

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