Commandant Beaurepaire 2An old rose (Bourbons) with large double, fragrant light-pink flowers striped and flecked with deep-pink, purple and scarlet.

This Bourbon rose is named for Nicholas Joseph Beaurepaire, a retired colonel in the French army who, after the Revolution and on the invasion of France by Prussia and Austria, was called to defend the town of Verdun with a few hundred untrained conscripts against 60,000 Prussians. Refusing all calls to surrender, even from the town council and his own officers, the Commandant declared “I prefer death to life under despots” and promptly shot himself.

Verdun surrendered, but Beaurepaire became a national hero. This glorious striped rose was dedicated to him in 1874 after another war with Prussia left France in need of her heroes.

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