New Zealand rose breeder takes top international award

Published on 28 November 2022

Picture shows three people standing in a rose garden with umbrellas in hand.

Samantha, Cath and Bob Matthews with their winning variety

New Zealand rose breeder Bob Matthews took out the top award at the New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trial Grounds in Palmerston North on Sunday 27 November.

Mr Matthews has won the Gold Star of the South Pacific for the highest scoring rose on trial. The success of the orange flowering variety Allison Scott caps off a year of celebrations for the Matthews family as they celebrate 75 years of growing roses commercially at their nursery near Whanganui.

Picture shows a bunch of roses. Allison Scott rose

The Silver Star of the City of Palmerston North for the best New Zealand amateur bred rose was awarded to Palmerston North rose breeder John Ford with the apricot variety Autumn Glow.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Tauranga rose breeder Rob Somerville for the pale pink Smitten and yellow Spellbound, while Rosen Tantau of Germany received a Certificate of Merit for the yellow Lampion.

All these varieties will be introduced to the New Zealand market in the next few years.

The panel of 20 judges assessed the roses in areas such as freedom of flowering, health, plant quality, flower quality and fragrance.

The New Zealand Rose Society trials are one of 40 such trials located around the world, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere and reflects on Palmerston North as an internationally recognised rose growing area.