100 Years of Rose Breeding
For over 100 years, garden rose breeding has been the core business of Rosen Tantau. Twenty years ago, however, the company started intensively diversifying its breeding lines to different types of rose classes.
Rosen Tantau was established in the German town of Uetersen in 1906 by nursery gardener Mathias Tantau. With his two brothers, Tantau built up the business through the propagation of garden rosebushes, branching into rose breeding during the difficult years of the First World War. This proved to be a successful move, and in the following years Tantau introduced many famous varieties, including one of the first cut rose varieties to become successful worldwide – the productive and long- lasting red Garnette.
In the 1950s, Rosen Tantau passed into the hands of Tantau’s son, Mathias Tantau, Jr., who significantly changed the company’s breeding strategies. Tantau, Jr., anticipated the market’s need for larger flowered varieties with strong colours, which also had good resistance against fungal diseases. One of his biggest successes was in 1960, with the salmon-orange hybrid tea Super Star (Tropicana), which created a sensation with its bright, glossy colour combined with a strong fragrance.
Many other successful, strongly perfumed, large-flowered varieties with good winter resistance followed, and the company grew rapidly. By 1964, Rosen Tantau had 70 employees and propagated 3 million garden rose plants per year, with Tantau, Jr., winning many international medals and trophies for his outstanding rose varieties. In 1985, Tantau handed the company over to his trusted employee and family friend, Hans Jürgen Evers, and Rosen Tantau went on to become one of the world´s most important rose breeding companies by diversifying its breeding program.
Diversification of Breeding Programs
Garden rose varieties
Hans J. Evers introduced many rich-flowering and disease-resistant garden rose varieties in different categories, including the famous Santana (1985), Black Magic (1995), Candlelight (2001) and Pastella (2004).
Outdoor cut roses
Evers was one of the first rose breeders who selected and bred specialised cut rose varieties to be cultivated outdoors worldwide. One of the first varieties for this purpose was Diadem, with its different mutations. Later varieties included Monica, Majolika, Softy and today’s outstanding varieties,includingKessy, Mariatheresia and Nostalgie.
Professional cut rose varieties
With the introduction of the varieties Garnette in 1945 and Osiana in 1989, Rosen Tantau’s great success story started. The specialized cut rose Osiana was introduced in the Netherlands and then went to South America, and can be seen as Tantau’s ‘door opener’ to the very important cut rose market. Later, varieties like Black Magic, Akito and Vendela were launched with great success, boosted by the big increase in worldwide cut flower consumption.
During the last ten years, Rosen Tantau has become a global player in the field of roses, especially due to the diversification of its breeding programs. Today Rosen Tantau produces 2.5 million garden rose bushes of all kinds for cut rose production. The historic grounds of Rosen Tantau have been expanded and reconstructed, and are now the meeting place of rose experts from all over the world.
Rosen Tantau’s Success Story Continues
In 2000, Hans J. Evers’ son Christian Evers joined his father in introducing many promising cut rose varieties such as Cherry Brandy, Prestige and Sweet Haze, which have become famous worldwide. Since Hans Evers passed away in August 2007, Christian now runs the company. An accomplished rose breeder in his own right, he has released many brilliant varieties such as Chippendale®, Heidi Klum Rose®,Nostalgie® and the very interesting red rose Piano®.
In the future, we can assure you that you will see even more beautiful and successful rose varieties introduced by Rosen Tantau, whether they are cut roses, garden roses, roses for public green areas, pot roses or roses for other innovative purposes.