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Kordes II (1891-1976), Wilhelm J.H.
'Kordes II (1891-1976), Wilhelm J.H.'  photo
Photo courtesy of scvirginia
Rose breeder   Listing last updated on 26 Nov 2022.
Germany
Code = KOR---

Refer the file for W. Kordes & Sons for other Kordes family members.

[From Rosenwelten, 2008, p. 181:] Kordes, Wilhelm J. H. II (b. 30.3.1891 in Elmshorn, d. 8.11.1976) (Nurseryman, breeder, author, editor, managing director of the VDR). Oldest son of Wilhelm Kordes I. Returns 1919 from England, where he had opened a nursery togerher with Max Krause. Worked as breeder and operations manager in the nursery of his brother Hermann Kordes II (1893-1916), the operation was renamed "Wilhelm Kordes' Söhne"....

[FRom Les Amis des Roses, 1. trimester 1977, pp. 25-27:] Fils d'un pépiniériste de Elmshorn près de Hambourg, ce géant de la rose n'est plus. Après une vie prodigieuse, il s'est éteint à l'âge de 86 ans. Ses tribulations devaient commencer en Angleterre où vers 1912 ou 1913 il avait fondé un établissement dans le Surrey, à Witley, près de Godalming. Il avait 22 ans. Rentré dans son pays il s'installa à Sparrieshoop à 20 milles de Hambourg. Les temps furent difficiles et le devinrent plus encore avec l'arrivée d'Hitler. Mais au lieu de se décourager, il travailla davantage, et en 1939, il avait 1 500 000 rosiers en culture ou en contrats de culture. Il fit la connaissance d'Harry Wheatcroft en 1937...Une autre guerre allait anéantir ses installations, près de Hambourg et, dans un pays où la terreur régnait, où un semblant de désobéissance vous menait à la mort, c'était un crime que de distraire la moindre parcelle de terre aux cultures imposées et il le commis en dispersant ce qu'il avait sauvé des bombardements, au milieu des champs de céréales, de betteraves, de pommes de terre, ou dans des enclos dissimulés aux regards. C'est dans la clandestinité qu'il dut conserver et entretenir ses géniteurs et porte-greffes. Dans une serre reconstruite, il tenta encore des semis mais, sans combustible, l'hiver de 1941 ne lui laissa plus rien que ce courage qui force le destin. Dans un pays en ruines, il alla de ses mains arracher des églantiers dans les forêts, quémander quelques
variétés à des rosiéristes plus favorisés que lui, ou à d'anciens clients et l'empire Kordès renaquit une fois encore de ses cendres.

In the American Rose Annual, 1977, (pp. 121-122), there's a memorial to Wilhelm Kordes, "the grand old man of rose breeding" -- he had passed away in 1976. (His dates are: March 30, 1891 to November 8, 1976.)


[From The Makers of Heavenly Roses, by Jack Harkness, 1985, P. 98 Wilhelm Kordes] in 1887...started a nursery in Elmshorn.
[p. 101:] serious rose breeding started in Sparrieshoop in 1920 [with Wilhelm II returning to his earlier idea of trying to achieve a] red 'Caroline Testout'... On studying the descendants of Caroline, he thought he detected the entry he wanted in a pink rose called 'Superb', introduced by Evans of Brighton in 1924. He crossed 'Superb' with 'Sensation', a red rose introduced in 1922 by Joseph H. Hill Co. of Richmond, Indiana. Most of the seedlings were pink, but one was ruby red, giving him the break he had sought. He named it 'Cathrine Kordes' and introduced it in 1929...


[From Roses: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia and Grower's Handbook, by Peter Beales, 1992, p. 36: Wilhelm Kordes] is best known for his hardy, shrubby varieties developed from R. kordesii and for his foundation work in extending the colour range of modern roses through 'Independence' (1951)... whose issue brought forth a multitude of vivid flame and orange colours.


[From The Ultimate Rose Book, by Stirling Macoboy, 1993, p. 184:] About fifty years ago, Wilhelm Kordes created a series of roses from forms of Rosa pimpinellifolia and various Large-flowered Roses, giving them names celebrating the spring (fruhling) -- and appropriately too, as they are all very early in their flowering.


[From, Botanica's Roses, 1998, p. 213:] Wilhelm Kordes II (1891-1976)... Dr. A.S. Thomas of Australia has said of Kordes that he was 'possibly the greatest rose man of all time.'


[From The Encyclopedia of Roses, by Robert Markley, 1999, p. 19:] On October 1, 1887, Wilhelm Kordes I founded a "horticultural mursery and market garden," which after very few years concentrated on the breeding of roses. His eldest son, Wilhelm Kordes II, with his brother, Hermann Kordes II, led the firm to world fame as Wilhelm Kordes' Sons.

[From Value for Money, by Lt. Col. Ken Grapes, 2001, p. 114:] W. Kordes Söhne has made a name as one of the greatest rose breeders, successful in trials all over the world, and most recently, the 'Queen Mother International Rose Award' was presented to Wilhelm Kordes

 
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