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'Stephens' Big Purple' rose References
Book  (1992)  Page(s) 107.  
Final Analysis 1991-92.
'Big Purple' (STEbigpu); Stephens 1986; Unnamed Seedling x 'Purple Splendour'; purple; 37 reports on 45 bushes; 1-5 years; I.2 metres; 6.8 rating. A unique rose bred in NZ by the late Pat Stephens and has been received well everywhere for the fragrant purple blooms. The ratings have varied greatly over the years appearing to do much better in Northland and Auckland than further south. The main problems seem to be, very slow repeat of blooms, bushes have prominent dieback, colour fades to a rather ugly shade as flower ages and not many basals produced. All agree that they love colour in the early stages and also the fragrance - it really stands out in the garden when in bloom. A Marlborough grower probably sums it up well 'a very good rose at times BUT!!!'.
Book  (1991)  Page(s) 85.  
Don Sheppard. Review of Newer Roses for 1990-91 Season
'Big Purple' STEbigpu; Stephens 1986; purple; 8 reports on 11 bushes; 1-4 years; 1.3 metres; 6.6 rating. Ratings have dropped this year mainly because repeat is slow in all areas, Kaitaia to Mid-Canterbury. The colour is good, but left on the bush they do fade to a rather ugly grey colour and petals take a long time to drop. Blooms have big petals, good colour and texture, are of classic form and come one per stem. Growth tends to be untidy, with new basals towering over everything. Health is good, but some bushes have prominent dieback.
Book  (1990)  Page(s) 23.  
Valerie Swane, NSW.  Some of the New Roses for 1990. 
Big Purple The name says it all! A big, very big, reddish purple rose with an outstanding, heady scent. This has spectacular form for both the gardener and the show bench. The buds are enormous. Foliage is greyish, dark green on a vigorous medium height bush.
Book  (1990)  Page(s) 82.  
Don Sheppard. Review of Newer Roses for 1989-90 Season
'Big Purple' STEbigpu; Stephens 1986; purple; 9 reports; 10 bushes; 1-2 years; 1.3m; 7.1 rating. Only two reporters this year from the South Island and again all like the strong fragrance. Opinions vary as to the bloom, some say form good, others rather blowzy. The colour is good till about fully open, when a greying process takes over and they can be quite ugly. Blooms come late in the spring and always one per stem. Repeat is slow to average. There are few blooms. The bush grows tall and quite well and is generally healthy. If picked young, the blooms and colour last well in the vase.
Book  (1989)  Page(s) 88.  
Don Sheppard. Review of Newer Roses for 1988-89 Season., Hybrid Teas.
'Big Purple'. STEbigpu; Stephens 1986; deep purple; 3 reports; 3 bushes; 1-2 years; 1.3rn; 6.6 rating.
Reporters, from the North Island only, like the strong fragrance, but say it is a shy flowerer. The colour is good, but the ageing petals turn a rather ugly colour. When young, the colour is very good. Blooms are large, high centred and of good form. The dark foliage is often large, but a trifle sparse. Manawatu has had trouble with powdery mildew. Franklin thinks that, once settled in, it should have a good future.
Website/Catalog  (1988)  Page(s) 2.  
NUIT D'ORIENT ® Stebigpu (Stephen 87) Rouge cramoisi. Parfumée.
[no longer listed in 1989]
Book  (1988)  
p67. John Martin. The New Roses for 1988. 'Big Purple', bred by the late Pat Stephens of Te Awamutu, is a real novelty. Full Hybrid Tea Blooms of rich purple like 'Purple Splendour' - one of the parents - and it has a really powerful fragrance. The bush is healthy with lovely long stems for cutting.

p90 Don Sheppard. Review of Newer Roses for 1987-88 Season. Hybrid Teas.
'Big Purple' STEbigpu. Stephens NZ 1986; magenta; 2 reports; 3 bushes; I year; 1.5m; 8.0 rating. Bay of Plenty reports that the rich magenta, with no red fading, blooms last well; repeat and health are good, but its growth habits are untidy. Franklin says the colour is new to HT's, form, repeat and health are a good and the cultivar appears to have a good future. I have included this report even though it is rather short and comes from only two growers, but there is general interest in any locally raised rose. I hope it helps would-be buyers.
Book  (1987)  Includes photo(s).
p89. Photo 'Big Purple' STEbigpu. Stephens, New Zealand. Hybrid Tea bred by the late Pat Stephens, former President of the National Rose Society of N.Z. Transparency courtesy Sam McGredy Roses International.

p126. Egmont Roses advertisement. 'Big Purple' (Stebigpu) HT, Stephens 1987. Large full flowers of rich deep purple with a powerful fragrance. Bred from 'Purple Splendour' by Pat Stephens.
Website/Catalog  Page(s) 95.  Includes photo(s).
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