Chrysler Imperial

by Judi G.


This rose was one of the first roses to be involved in the promotional marketing of a consumer product, the Chrysler Imperial car. The Chrysler Imperial Rose is shown featured with the car in the 1954 Tournament of Roses Parade.


'Life of an American Workman' the title of the autobiography of the founder of Chrysler Corporation, Walter P. Chrysler, was the theme of the float entered in 1954 by the City of Detroit in cooperation with Chrysler. The central figure an American workman is striding out of the pages of the book and striking an anvil with a massive hammer that sends out flashing floral sparks which terminate in an automobile, a plane, a boat, a truck and other products of this great Michigan metropolis. The base of the float is a rich bed of 25,000 Chrysler Imperial roses each one in its own individual tube of water to keep it fresh.

The Chrysler Imperial Rose

  • Height: 4-6' feet
  • Width: 3'x3'
  • Bloom Frequency: Continuous, begins mid-spring and blooms off and on throughout the growing season.
  • Bloom description: Flower size 4-5", globular, cluster size 2-4, Petal Count 40-50, high centered, classic hybrid tea, exhibition form. Opened flowers are double and hold their shape very well.
  • Fragrance: Damask, quite fragrant
  • ARS Color: Dark Red, velvety, with a slightly paler reverse. ARS Rating: 7.8
  • Habit: Compact
  • Foliage: Semi-Glossy Medium Green, new foliage has reddish tinge.
  • Buds: Pointed Long
  • Hips: none
  • Zone: 5-9, requires some winter protection.
  • Culture: Not a very hardy rose and is prone to decline and die back after a few years. It is also susceptible to mildew. It prefers warm climates and the flower will tend to "blue" in cold weather. Good for cutting.
  • Propagation: Somewhat difficult to grow and propagate, but the beauty and fragrance makes it worth the effort. It is tolerant of poorer soils.
  • Awards: AARS 1953 Gold Medal, ARS1956 Gold Medal, Portland 1951, James Alexander Gamble Fragrance medal ARS 1965, John Cook Medal ARS 1964

Parentage: Charlotte Armstrong x Mirandy

United States - Patent No: PP 1,167

US Hybridizer: Dr Walter E Lammerts from Germany- introduced by Germain's in 1952 Dr. Walter E. Lammerts reportedly produced 46 new varieties of roses between 1940 and 1981 including the famous Queen Elizabeth. Twenty-five percent of his roses were chosen by the All-American Rose Selection for the years top rose variations. As a result of his efforts the American Rose Society created an entirely new class of rose known as the Grandiflora.