“Polar Express Sunbelt” sweeps the 2016 Biltmore International Rose Trials

Written By Leeann Donnelly

Posted 10/12/16

Updated 10/12/16

In Our Gardens

A jury of rose experts from around the world has selected the winning roses in the 2016 Biltmore International Rose Trials, held recently in Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden.

Polar Express Sunbelt (photo above), bred by Kordes (KORblixmu), took the top award: the George and Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials.

Since 2011, Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden has been home to the trials in which more than 150 varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists.

In addition to winning Best in Show, Polar Express Sunbelt won the Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda, and the William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit.

Additional winners this year were:

Honeymoon Arborose, bred by Kordes (KORhemtra), winner of the Gilded Age Award for Best Climber and the Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant


Double 10, bred by Ping Lim (LIM10), winner of the Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea

The Lark Ascending, bred by David Austin Roses (Ausursula), winner of the Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub

Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. This year’s final round of competition started with 31 entries planted in 2014 from Canada, the U.S., France, Ireland, Great Britain and Germany.

Trials of this type are open to rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner. Competing roses are evaluated for overall health and rigor; fragrance; disease resistance; and ability to repeat bloom. 

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Biltmore's Rose Garden receives Award of Garden Excellence

During the trials event, Biltmore’s rosarian Emily Wilson and past American Rose Society president Jolene Adams unveiled an award in honor of Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden: the World Federation of Rose Societies Award of Garden Excellence. Biltmore’s rose garden is one of only 10 gardens in the United States and 62 worldwide to receive it. Susan Fox, one of the Rose Trials jurors, tells us that gardeners and garden lovers travel just to see the gardens that receive this award. We are honored to have received it! 

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