Photo courtesy of scvirginia
Rose breeder Listing last updated on 23 Feb 2019.
Santa Barbara, California
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Born in Firenze, Italia in 1843, as Emanuele Orazio Fenzi, Francesco Franceschi arrived in the Los Angeles in 1891. His background included a law degree from the University of Pisa and the family bank inherited from his uncle, but his passion was horticulture. He spoke six languages and was active in Tuscan horticulture, where he established a botanical garden. When the family bank failed in an economic crisis in 1889-90, he left town and changed his name. In 1893 he moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he was to became a noted American horticulturalist. He introduced numerous tropical and exotic plants through his greenhouses and nurseries near Santa Barbara, although his first business venture failed and resulted in litigation. He started a new venture called Montarioso, in an area near Santa Barbara known as Montecito. He reportedly imported seed of Rosa gigantea from Indian in 1904. In 1913 Franceschi returned briefly to Italy and assumed his real name. At the invitation of the Italian government, he moved to its colony in Tripoli, Libya, where he died in 1924.
The Francesco Franceschi Papers are reposed in the Bancroft Library of University of California, Berkeley.
[From "The Way It Was" by Hattie Beresford, April 19, 2007, Montecito Journal; The obituary of his grand-daughter, Ernestina Charlotte Franceschi Fenzi, by Susan Chamberlin, June 14, 2007, The Independent.]