Kordes® Roses is a global leader in the breeding and production of roses.
In 1887 in a small town north of Hamburg, Germany called Elmshorn, 22 year old Wilhelm Kordes founded a nursery for the production of rose plants called W. Kordes’ Sohne. He collected roses from many sources for propagation, and became known as a leading rose expert of his time. His business prospered, and in 1918 it was relocated to Sparrieshoop, Germany, where it remains to this day.
In time, Wilhelm II and his brother Herman joined their father in his business. Herman focused on marketing and production, while, in 1920, Wilhelm II began a program to breed new rose varieties. This brotherly partnership resulted in vastly expanded production, reaching over one million plants yearly in the late 1930’s. And it also resulted in worldwide breeding successes such as Crimson Glory, which came to market in 1935. The company continued to expand into the 1950’s and 1960’s with new greenhouses, modern cold storage facilities and increasing production.
In the late 1950’s, the third generation began to lead the company; Reimer Kordes, Herman Kordes II and Werner Kordes, introduced roses such as Iceberg ‘KORbin’ (1958), Lilli Marleen (1959), Color Wonder (1964) and Westerland (1969). Production reached a peak of over 4 million rose plants a year, making W. Kordes’ Sohne one of the leading rose nurseries in Europe. The 1970’s brought such superstars as Sunsprite (1973), Rosarium Uetersen (1977), and Helmut Schmidt (1979). Another change in management to the 4th generation began in 1988 with Wilhelm Kordes III, Bernd Helms-Kordes, and Tim-Herman Kordes.
Currently, the 5th generation including Alexander Kordes, Norman Kordes and John Kordes have joined the family business. Kordes® markets roses in more than 30 countries around the world, and they are now readily available here in North America.