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Boerner, Eugene S.
'Boerner, Eugene S.'  photo
Photo courtesy of Ms.Lefty
Rose Breeder   Listing last updated on 16 Jun 2024.
United States
Eugene Sonnenberg Boerner (January 22, 1893 - September 5, 1966 Clifton Springs, NY), 5th child of Arthur Richard Boerner (January 26, 1858 Cedarburg, Wisconsin - June 7, 1909 Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Hermine Louisa Sonnenberg (July 27, 1866 Berlin, Germany - May 4, 1907 Cedarburg, Wisconsin).
His papers are archived at the Cornell University Library.
Director of Research for Jackson & Perkins and the raiser of many beautiful roses, Boerner died on September 5, 1966. He was born on January 22, 1893. He is buried in Zur Ruhe Cemetery, Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
His grave marker carries this inscription:
"World renowned hybridizer of roses, chrysanthemums, delphiniums, and other perennials
* * * *
A pioneer in the introduction of floribunda roses and other varieties which will long perpetuate his vision and foresight in the pursuit of beauty for all men to enjoy. Through his efforts he left this world a better place."

Known as Papa Floribunda
[From the American Rose Annual 1945, p. 225:] E.S. Boerner, Newark, New York.

[From Les Amis des Roses, 4. trimester 1966, p. 26:] Trésorier et Directeur des Recherches de la JACKSON & PERKINS Co, M. BOERNER a créé plus de 150 variétés de roses, mais il était spécialement connu pour son travail de pionnier avec les floribundas. Onze des floribundas de M. BOERNER ont remporté le prix de l'AII-America Rose Selection, de même que « GAY PRINCESS » qui a été choisie pour 1967.
Directeur et Président sortant du Jury de la A.A.R.S. il était membre du American Horticultural Council, de l'American Nurserymen's Association, de l'American Rose Society, des Men's Clubs of America, de la Société Française d'Horticulture, de la Royal National Rose Society, de la German Rosa Society, de la Massachusetts Horticultural Society, de la Pennsylvania Forestry Association, de la New England Rose Society, etc.
Né en 1893 à Cedarburg (Wisc), Eugène S. BOERNER terminait en 1917 ses études par une licence de Sciences Pilote pendant la Première Guerre Mondiale, il entre à la JACKSON & PERKINS en 1920 et ses activités sur le plan de la recherche commencent avec la mort du Dr J.H. NICOLAS. La génétique est sa passion....

[From the American Rose Annual 1967, p. 47:] A tribute to Eugene S. Boerner.
[From Botanica's Roses, p. 677:] 'Papa Floribunda' was active from the 1940s until 1966 with Jackson & Perkins Nursery, Newark, New York. He utilized Kordes' 'Pinocchio' and Hybrid Polyanthas with brilliant results, which were achieved by working on a large scale, sowing a quarter of a million seeds each year...
[From Value for Money, by Lt. Col. Ken Grapes, p. 114:] Eugene S. Boerner, an American of German stock, became Director of Research for the famous United States rose nursery Jackson & Perkins in 1920... 'Papa Floribunda' died in 1966, leaving a large legacy to Cornell University to support graduates working on rose research...

1974 The Rose Annual, UK.
p65. Nigel Raban. The Men Behind the New Roses. Eugene Boerner

[From Roses  by Jack Harkness, 1978, p122:]. 
Goldilocks' was an important Floribunda  in two ways, from being easily the best yellow up to its introduction in 1945, and from setting the style of the class firmly into double flowers of Hybrid Tea type, as Rosenelfe' had first shown to be possible. It also introduces us to an American breeder so successful with this type of rose he was nicknamed Papa Floribunda.   Eugene Boemer was born  in 1893  in Cedarsburg, Wisconsin, and was  always proud of the German stock he came from. He joined the Jackson & Perkins Company  in 1920, and in 1930 became Director of Research in succession to Dr J. H. Nicolas.  Nicolas had a great reputation for his knowledge of the rose, and for his scientific approach to breeding; his most lasting varieties were the yellow Hybrid Tea, 'Eclipse', and the yellow climber, 'King Midas', introduced in 1935 and 1942 respectively. The pink Hybrid Tea, 'The Doctor', was  named after him, under his familiar title. Jackson &  Perkins (usually known as J & P) developed by means of an exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1939; they had the acumen to rename 'Minna Kordes' a crimson Floribunda they had from   Germany  and to introduce it in New York as `World's Fair'. The result was that in the 1950s they were claiming to be the world's largest rose growers with 17 million plants. Impressed by the virtues of quantity, Boerner applied it also to rose breeding. His fields of new roses on trial became too large to inspect on foot, so he suspended seats behind a tractor in order to oversee them.. But it cannot be said that quantity yielded the rewards he hoped for; apart from the useful orange red `Zorina', a Floribunda for cut flower growers introduced in 1963, Boerner's greatest successes were from  1945-1955. He died in 1966.
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